Sunday, February 05, 2012

11 randoms

i just realized that i was tagged by kristen at inspired by dooce and it is perfect timing as i am sitting in a hotel lobby in accra waiting for a driver to collect me to transfer to another hotel (because as much as i love Villa Monticello where i have spent the last two nights, it is a bit pricey for me to stay for the next 3 nights i have in ghana and this was a birthday gift, a most wonderful birthday gift!)

i am not going to tag other people because as a Bad Blogger, it would be a bit rude of me to expect others to complete this, but i love lists, i love reading random things about other people, and i like answering them.  so if you do answer any of kristen's (or nicole's, who i don't even know) questions, leave a link as i'd love to read them!

11 Random Things about Me
 1. i have really big feet for being only 5'2"
2. my sneezes are loud.  so loud that people often comment on them.
3. i love taking long haul flights alone, i find it is a great time to think, catch up on reading, listen to music, be alone.  i hope they never introduce wireless to the flights i take as i think it would ruin it for me as i like being disconnected.
4. i live with a general level of anxiety that would probably surprise most people.
5. i am not very good at watching tv, i have to be doing something else at the same time, reading a magazine, looking at the internet, or talking (which apparently annoys some people!).
6. i love running outdoors, but sometimes struggle to motivate myself to do it.  but i don't like running races as there are too many people and too much pressure for me (which could be linked to #4 above).
7. i live in monrovia, the capital city of liberia.  i suppose that isn't too random to most people that i know as i have been here for 4 months now, but i suppose it could be considered random because what is a canadian girl doing living in a small west african country??  i moved here to live with my boyfriend is the answer. 
8. i don't know what i want to be when i grow up and i wonder if i will ever know.  instead of trying to figure it out, i think i will try and focus on accepting it and seeing it as a positive rather than a negative.
9. i would like to do a phd one day.  and recently, i may have come up with an idea for a research topic.
10. i went on a solo vacation to spain about 7 months ago to figure out my life.  apparently that meant starting a relationship with someone i already knew who came from the uk for a mini break and moving to liberia a few months later.
11. i have spent 4 birthdays and 3 christmases in africa. 

Nicole's Questions
1. How many languages do you speak? What are they?

english and spanish and that could likely use some refreshing.  i wish i spoke french and have tried to learn it, but never consistently and regularly.

2. What side of the bed do you sleep on?

the side that is closest to the wall currently, but if i had it my way, i would sleep diagonally and take up the entire bed with 4 pillows arranged in a 'v' around my head.  yes, i have given this some thought and have developed a system that i prefer.

3. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

i would like to think a bit of both.  i like to get a start on my day, but i also love sleeping until about 9 if i can.  i tend to be rather productive in the evenings if i am not too tired from waking up too early.  what i do know is that i need my sleep so if i am up early, i am down early and vice versa.

4. What's your biggest time waster?

the internet and tv when i have it

5. Mac or PC?
mac. i converted about a year and a half ago and love it (and my ipad and iphone!)

6. Can you drive a standard transmission car?
you bet and i have never owned a car that wasn't manual, i prefer it.

7. Where did you go on your last trip?
i am on right now in accra, ghana.  and before this one, it was to dar es salaam, tanzania.

8. What's your favourite game (board or video)?
i like all board games that i have played (but i have 2 rules when playing: if you are not playing the game (mom!) then don't help anyone playing and if you start a game, you should finish it!), but i really like scrabble and anything that involves groups of people and lots of laughs.

9. Did you play any sports growing up?
when i was wee, i played soccer then i figure skated.

10. What's your favourite number and why?
22 and i am not sure why.  i like things that are even and i like that 22 divided is 11 and 1 + 1 = 2 and so on.

11. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
i would like to live in london, bangkok, cape town, berlin, dar es salaam, nairobi...  i think the more interesting part is where i will end up living in a year's time.

Kristen's Questions
1- When you're in a job interview, what do you use as your "weakness"? (you know, the weakness that you can turn into a positive somehow)
i don't like to delegate things to other people and i like to have control over all aspects of the work that i am involved in.  to be honest, i am not sure i would ever phrase it like that in a job interview, but if i did, i would say that it is because i have high expectations that my work will be delivered to a high standard of quality and on time.

2- What is your favourite food?
i am not sure.  i love macaroni and canned tomatoes because it is a comfort food from when i was kid, same with a roast beef dinner.  i would like to say that i have a favourite food place and that is san sebastian, spain. so if something can come with the quality and deliciousness of san sebastian, i will love it.

3- Why did you start blogging?
i was living in the uk studying my masters degree and it was a good way to keep in touch with friends and family back home without sending out the mass emails that were all about me, which is obnoxious.  i guess a blog is somewhere people can visit to see what i am up to.

4- If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
i've always wanted to visit brazil, argentina, and india.

5- If you're a runner, biker, triathlete, or any other sort of racer, what race is tops on your bucket list?
i don't like races.

6- What is your dream job? (pretending that it pays well)
ha, i answered the question above about how i don't know what i want to be when i grow up.  but i would like to be a professor or an advisor to a private company or a donor on how to spend their money and which projects are worth supporting.

7- Who is your celebrity crush?
apart from David Suzuki in his younger years?!  i think that Mike Rowe, Gabriel Garcia Bernal, Hugh Jackman, and Taye Diggs are all quite dreamy.

8- Did you or do you play an instrument?
no, but i think the drums could be fun.

9- What is your favourite "guilty pleasure" movie? (you know, the one that you like to pretend you didn't love)
Love Actually and i watch it every christmas!  i just can't get enough.

10- If you had to pick a last meal, what would you pick?
macaroni and tomatoes

11- Ben and Jerry's or Haagen Dazs?
neither as ice cream gives me a stomach ache (coincidentally, this is also the google search that leads to this blog most often so i am obviously not alone)

back to the working world

a week and a half into working at least 10 hours a day and i am reminded of how tiring working can be.  this past thursday, i just came home and flopped on to the couch at the end of the day before peeling myself off and heading out to the pool for a beer with some compoundmates.

but in this short period of time, i have already had some rather interesting experiences, including:

  • government meetings that open with prayers and close with benedictions (and who ask for volunteers to lead these things, where i ducked my head and avoided eye contact).
  • people repeating the phrase 'we must spread the message to avoid the dangers of human trafficking,' which is just wrong.  and not going to be effective in achieving anything.
  • my new colleagues brought in warm tarts and gave me a gift wrapped go mug on my birthday, neither of which i was expecting and was a lovely surprise.
  • a meeting where someone used latin to prove their point.  then they had to translate the phrase so the rest of the people understood.  lame.
  • working in an office building that sometimes has running water and sometimes does not.
  • a few peanut butter and jam sandwiches for lunch and the idea that if someone started a sandwich delivery service, they would have a market completely untapped.
  • there have been no less than 4 reports on the state of orphanages in liberia done in the last few years.  they all say the same thing: illegal international adoptions, majority of children in orphanages have living parents or relatives, substandard conditions, many are unlicensed and unregulated, some reports of child labour.  so don't go volunteer in one, please.
  • i have lots of ideas on what could be done by the agency i am working for and i just hope that at least one of them can be implemented, we shall see