I’m Going Home!

I have seen pictures of the red earth but now I get to walk it.

I will see anthills taller than my head. And hear birds whose names I do not know.

I’ve heard the names of family and loved ones but now I get to hug them!

It’s almost too good to be true.

I will see the hospital where I was born and the city that held us until our departure.

I will walk with my mom through her school yard.

I will see the trees that look like someone has sat on them.

I will see a new set of stars. I will see a different set of skies.

I will be surrounded by a language my tongue did not learn.

I will walk.

I will see The Smoke That Thunders. I will feel it on my face and feel the freshness on my skin.

I wil be surrounded by family. I will be loved. I will be home.

Cheers to Another Year!

I’m home. After touching down at 3:30 AM last night, and rolling into bed close to 4:30 AM I’m ready to be home and to get back into the life. I spent a week in Southern BC, vising family on Vancouver Island and meeting my boyfriend in Vancouver for a few days.

My days were spent stuffing my face, walking everywhere, picking up some clothes to round out my wardrobe (had to supplement my jeans), watching the fireplace channel with my 3 year old niece, holding hands with my boyfriend down sparkling city streets, being close to the ocean and eating more waffles than I should! I took a seaplane for the first time, watched some people freak out about a rat running around the closed Starbucks at the Vancouver airport. Aaah, good times.

My Christmas was merry and chill which is the only way I like to go. I’m not about the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season. To me it’s a time to relax and spend some time with those I love. I’m really thankful I was able to do that this break, and I’m also thankful I was able to have two weeks off work to do so!

Since Thanksgiving in October (Canadian style) I gave it a great effort with a friend of mine to push ourselves at the gym. We also held off on beer for those 8 weeks and I really admire us for that. Nearing the end it was getting a little difficult for me. But looking back now, I’m impressed with our enthusiasm at wanting to make some life changes.

While on my trip I really wanted to enjoy the stuff I can’t get while at home so I went full out on sushi, Belgian waffles, poutine, all the goodness I could get my hands on. There’s no way I regret that, plus a lot of that was accompanied by oodles of walking around downtown Vancouver. I’m not going to get into sizes an weight but I want to go back to my passion before. I hit the gym today and took it easy. A girl can’t get fit in a single day, but I’m ready to put in the work this winter and see where I end up once spring rolls around.

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Added to that, I’ve been wondering what’s going to happen to this blog, where I want it to go. It has been a while since I posted last but I know I’ll miss the community, the lessons learned and passed on from this online readership. I love checking up on your guys’ newest posts and seeing what you guys are up to whether it’s with hair, life, fitness, finances or food. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I can give up this blog quite yet. I’ve had an amazing journey from my start back in May 2013 and look where I am now. I hope I can be a source of ideas and I am continually inspired by what I see from all of you.

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I have some goals for this year. I’m sure each of them will unfold in good time and I’ll do my best to share them with you.

Below are some pics of my eats and shenanigans this holiday season.

Happy New Year to each of you.

Much love,
Ndeshi

My First 10 km Race!

I did it! It was a small race which suited me perfectly. It was along the Pacific Ocean on Haida Gwaii and it was glorious! I made it in 58:20 which was perfect for my goal of under an hour and especially great because my ankle started to hurt 1/2 km into the race. Then on the way back my right toe went tingly and numb, I think I tied my shoe laces a little too tight. Lesson learned.

I’ve got some pics for ya 🙂

 

My Week: Running, Rocco and James

I’m pretty proud of myself. Yesterday I planned to go for a run but instead had a luxurious sleep in. Today I gave myself the boot out of bed and hit the road. Running outside is a luxury compared to running on a treadmill. It was fantastic. It was overcast and a little cool today but no rain which was ideal for me. And guess what? Yeah, I ran 10 k. Whoo!! And I ran it in under an hour!!!

It went like this. La dee da. Here I go! On the road and feeling pretty good. What should I do today. 6 k? 8 k? You know… let’s do a 10 k. I need to know I’m capable of it still. And off I went.

Nearing the end of my run I was sitting at 9.3 something. I was sitting at about 56 minutes? I wanted to get this 10 in under 60 minutes so you’d better believe I kicked it into high gear. It was a race against the clock and I came in 59:20. How’s that for squeaking in? Aaah it felt so great! I should have kept going just a little longer because I looked at my RunKeeper afterwards and my longest clocked run was 10.6 k. But hey maybe I’ll just go for a 12 next time?

I’m really happy to know that I am capable of running a 10 k well in advance of my race. And knowing my benchmark right now will help me see my improvements. I’m a happy girl.

ALSO!! The gym has been my best friend these past 2 weeks. It does help. In so many ways then I can count. My day is just better. I will definitely keep that going.

I’m currently sitting with a bag on my head (it’s Sunday, what’s new right?). I finally bought myself a new hair dryer. I bought one for $50, then promptly returned it when I found one for $25. If the blow dryer styled and twisted my hair for me I would’ve gladly shelled out that cash but otherwise… $25 is just fine. I can finally toss my 9 year old hair dryer that makes horrible revving sounds and I’m sure will short circuit any day now.

My hair in the front is now past my chin. It’s crazy. I try and treat Rocco right in hopes he’ll just do his thing and keep on growing. So far it’s worked out well. It’s been 2 years and 3 months since my BC and I honestly couldn’t be happier.

For the rest of the day I plan to make wonton soup (Yum!!). Later this afternoon I’ll be hanging at the coffee shop with my buddy L to plan our trip to the Island next month. Weeeee!!

Oh yeah!! I forgot, last week B and I went to the coast for a couple days to hang out. It was fantastic. It was nice and warm, not raining as usual, and we had a fantastic dinner and a fabulous ocean sunset view. I also took home a crab. I named him James and James was one feisty crab. And he was also delicious. My mom was not impressed with my naming our dinner hehe.

Hope your Sunday is treating you right!!

A Great Day Was Had

Yesterday was faboo! For my 25th birthday I was pretty happy it was on a weekend and that the sun was out. My roomie and I rented a car (I no longer had to pay that fee for being under 25) and we drove along the coast. Along a windy, bumpy road in between forests, along the ocean and up mountains, we spent some time at beaches and had lunch on the rocks.

It. was. great. A really nice day just cruising along. Here are some pics of my day 🙂

PS: I also learned that if I were to have a car I would not be as active as I am. Being able to take whatever you want home while grocery shopping would undoubtedly lead me to buying all sorts of delicious but horribly unnecessary things.

My Trip

A little update as to what I was up to for that wonderful 15 day vacay.

WELL! July 31 I hopped on a 7AM ferry of this island and headed to the mainland where three of my friends were waiting. Hugs hugs all around and off we went. And by off we went I mean we tapped ‘Tim Horton’s’ into the GPS and 10 minutes later voila! After a bagel sandwich and coffee (E being extremely brave and getting an extra large or 24oz coffee… actually brave or foolish? 24oz of any liquid on a road trip is recipe for a pee break) we hopped back in the car and off we went! We were doing okay until we took a wrong turn and realized were headed for the American border. Ha!! What’s a road trip without a wrong turn I ask you? Alright, turned around and headed the right direction and away we went!!

The landscape in British Columbia Canada is absolutely stunning. On our two day trip home we passed mountains and hills, farmland and corn fields. Passing through the lower mainland and up into the interior was close to desert-like. Sparse grass and trees. Rocks and shrub. Then we hit the canyon. My favourite part hands down. Sandy mountains separated by a river that is gorgeous, clear and this beautiful turquoise colour. You can’t keep your eyes off the groups of people rafting down. How much fun would that be! Looking to the other side of the mountain are train tracks and usually you can see a train winding its way along the path, hugging the mountain and momentarily disappearing into tunnels. Just off the highway, at the top of a power line is a huge birds’ nest. I swear it’s been the same nest that I see every time I’m up this way. And this time you can see a couple of little eagles sitting there waiting for mom or dad to bring them some food. Next, it’s your turn and you’re passing through tunnel after tunnel. Maybe I’m just easily amazed but honestly, you are passing through a mountain! Then after the canyon is more desert, and then all of a sudden you’re back to the rainforest. Mountains, trees and rivers are now all you can see. Snow capped mountains, some clear cut and some dense. But there’s no more straight lined highways. You’re curving around the base of these mountains, driving through small towns and some are mostly just villages and all the while we are singing, sleeping or talking about how beautiful everything is and how much we’ve missed it all. Finally, oooh my gosh, finally we are home. We head straight to the bride’s house and knock on her door! Eee!! Hugs and smiles all around. And then it’s home time!

Soo good to see my parents! After that it’s home-cooked meals and walks around the neighbourhood and wedding prep. Thursday is the stagette, and it’s pretty laid back. A backyard party at the Maid-of-Honour’s parents’. It’s funny because as teens that was our party spot. Mostly. I’m sure each of us could go around the circle and mention on what occasion they got sick or did something stupid. Her parents reminded me of my share of fateful new year’s eve parties. All laughs now but it was amazing to see how much we’ve grown. Out of the 6 bridesmaids and the bride 4 of us had just graduated with a diploma and three bachelor’s degrees. One was working on her Masters, one was still in school and the other (her sis) was still in highschool. But wow. That’s a far cry from all of us at 18 working at Dairy Queen and wondering who we’re taking to prom.

The stagette was a success, inappropriately shaped ice cubes and straws (hehe) and one impressive piñata in the shape of… well you know. It was at least three feet long, home made, painted with neon paint and some sparkly yarn haha! It was impressive and so much fun. And then the party really started when the boys showed up. The groom had arrived on Monday and his groomsmen arrived from out of town on Thursday. They were a riot, so much fun. One guy was armed with a pop bottle full of this drink ‘Burt Reynolds’ and would come around the circle and offer it up. Yeah, just tip your head back and he’d do the rest. I shudder thinking about it. I stayed away from the jello shooters though. I had an early morning the next day. But yeah, the party was a lot of fun.

Friday! Picked up my dress from the tailors, drove to the MOH’s house to help her clean up and also tried on my dress. I was kiiiind of worried it would be tight, but it fit better than before (phew). Met up with everyone for lunch and had some butter chicken (yum!). Then went for my nail appointment (first time getting a mani/pedi). Nails check, off to the hall to help decorate, then back to the bride’s house to make our bouquets. I think our bouquets turned out beautifully. Calla lillies, peacock feathers, and long grasses from her dad’s garden. Then we duct taped the stalks of them all and then the next morning the bride put appropriately coloured ribbon around the duct tape. Gorgeous. And then sleep time.

The next morning we met at the hair salon. My mom had put my hair in curlers the night before and then we put one braid along the front. I saved a lot of money and I could rest assured no one would be touching my hair. My friends’ bills were in the $60-90 range. Ouch!

After the salon we went to the hotel and drank some bubbly and took pictures and did our makeup. Bride received her message from the groom via his sister and an ipad. He had learned and played their wedding song on the guitar and he sang. It was absolutely beautiful. She let us watch and we were all a puddle of tears. Good thing this was before the makeup. You could tell he was trying and you could see little hints of frustration when he’d have to stop momentarily and get going. I’m smiling thinking about it. It was perfect. Then we got the bride ready and headed to the church. A little bit late but you know how it is. Aagh! Me and my friend E were saying how we should have taken a shot before going into that church. We’re not even the bride but I was soo anxious. It was just us and everyone else, the groomsmen, were in the church and everyone was just staring you down. They were smiling but still. haha! I hope I smiled. I know I walked a little too fast, but it’s soo hard when you just want to take your place and get out of the spotlight. Then the bride came and wow what a moment.. She was gorgeous on her dad’s arm then she took her groom’s arm and aaah! Beauty. Songs, vows, kiss and we were headed back down the aisle. We chatted amongst ourselves while the bride and groom were receiving hugs and well wishes.

The wedding party went about 10 minutes out of town to a creek. Beautiful creek. It was cute, there were two boys fishing, about 13 years old and they were very cooperative in putting their fishing on hold for a bunch of 20-somethings to take their wedding pictures. And then it was back to the reception. Because our wedding party is fun we all had matching pairs of custom Vans shoes. Purple for the girls, white with purple trim for the bride and black with purple trim for the groomsmen and groom. Nice. Made dancing that much easier.

The wedding was perfect. My time at home was a great time of being with family. I love my family. There’s not a lot of us. There’s my parents, my brother, step-sister and step-brother with his wife and kid. Everyone else, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, they’re all in Zambia or Angola. My knowing them was limited to the 18 months I lived in Zambia and after that I lived in Canada.I hope one day I can see them but right now. These 7 people are pretty much it. Thankfully we’re all in BC. But I’m thankful I have that. Very thankful. And that’s my trip!! I will add pictures. Promise promise.

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PS: Winner for best roadtrip song goes to: ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Light’. Love it.

What A Day

I am home. Home and in bed. Hair is taken care of, teeth are brushed, PJs are on. So, drove for about 9 hours today, got on a ferry with my friend, E and thankfully I had arranged a ride from my other friends. I had a huge suitcase and E and I were both relieved and grateful that we didn’t have to lug our stuff on the bus. We dropped E off at home but in her parking lot my friends’ car died. Just stopped. Tried to start it a couple times and nothing. Had to call a tow truck and I had to cab from E’s to my house. Boo. I feel bad… But I’m thankful that if their car was going to stop it stopped somewhere safe, in the parking lot and not on the highway or at a stop light. Yknow? Gotta look for the little things. I hope things work out for their car.. they were so sweet to pick us up and that’s how they’re thanked.. ugh. Life.

But I am at home and ready to start whatever’s next. Packing for my new place, getting back to my fitness routine (I don’t even want to know how much I gained… oy), and finding a job. What’s next, Life?

Goodnight