November 30, 2006

Who EVER said Canadians were not patriotic ?

Here is all the reasons that I proudly bear the nickname "Beaver".

Thanks to Surind for posting this great video ! I'd seen the ad before, and still love it very very much !

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 28, 2006

The Star Wars Kid (Video)

Everybody heard about poor Ghislain Raza. His star ward kid video is the most forwarded video (Yahoo! news calculates it has been viewed 900 million times).

But have you seen this version ? Absolutely great !

November 27, 2006

The Broken Sword

Category: Books

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy

Author: Molly Cochran, Warren Murphy

The Broken Sword offers a rare blend of action, adventure, and history not found every day or even every year. Arthur is the young reincarnation of the once and future king and his guardian Hal was once Galahad. In a middle eastern marketplace a former American president is shot but then miraculously healed by a humble cup that rolls into the hands of Beatrice who had been blind from birth but suddenly can see. After further attempts on them Arthur and Beatrice stowaway on a ship bound for America with Taliesin. Hal swept away in a strong current eventually finds himself shepherding the rowdy knights of the round table who have been released into this reality to New York to try and save Arthur from once again losing his life to evil forces.

Not great litterature - but it will get you through a bored night !
*More updates coming soon*

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 19, 2006

Magneto & Mystique

Last night, I danced with Magneto. The sweet, tall, blond swedish engineer twirled me around on the dance floor and held me tight. I rested my head on his chest, closed my eyes, took in the sweet smell of his body. I closed my eyes and let him take me to another world. For a short while that felt like forever, he lead me to another plane, where we were the only 2 beings in the world.

He kissed my cheek tenderly and left without trying to get to my bed, but promising to see me again.

I leave Haiti in 4 days. It's always about terrible timing. I will nevertheless cherich this moment. It was magical in many, many ways. Sometimes, a short moment of magic is all one needs.

Update: I was at the mountain cottage today - and bumped into him... on a double date. Turns out - the guy is charming to everyone - and potentially in a relationship.

Last night, I felt special. Today, I feel ordinary, and kind of like a fool for maybe seeing something that wasn't there. I mean - I get VERY little male attention usually, after all.

P.S. Today is Amias' birthday. Do pop in by her blog (although she is now retired) and enjoy her beautiful writing. And why not leave her a comment wishing her a happy day while you're there?

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 16, 2006

Good times, bad times, this one might be painful for you but was fun for me (and some nice readings)

I mentionned earlier that I had been enlisted to perform at the hotel - here it is !

It's anything but professionnal, and it was a lot of fun. Some while ago, Salt Water had requested that I put up some of my voice - so here it is.

Enjoy it, because this is NOT going to happen often !
(If you don't just scroll down and read the book reviews!)


Some books I have enjoyed reading during my travelling :

Geisha of Gion / Ma vie de Geisha (Mineko Iwasaki )


Hygiene de l'assassin (Amelie Nothomb)


The Sea House / La Maison Mer (Esther Freud)


The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 14, 2006

High praise

For the very first time in a long time, I've been featured :o)

Thanks to Alice who wrote some very, very nice things about MOI, Da Beaver!

I'm reproducing here what she said about me, but please do visit her blog. Alice has a very interesting outlook on journalism and what it can do in the fight against bias, and her writing is quite pleasant to the eye. I look forward to reading her more when I am not on "agency time.Thanks again, Alice - and no big deal about the gender confusion - I realize my posts are not gender specific anyway :o)

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 13, 2006

Speak out !

I uploaded some new beautiful pics of the Carribean Sea - just click on the side bar Flickr badge to see them. There are some fun stories to tell about snorkling and sailing, but for now I want to talk some more about the fight against intolerance and what we can do to help. It's not only about seeing a movie. It's mostly about doing what is right, and building a better place.

This all started with The Laramie Project. I posted some more about it just HERE.

The man who got brutally killed and tortured in Laramie because he was different was Matthew Sheppard. It happens I didn't know him - but that doesn't matter because next time it could be my friend or my relative. It could also be yours. The mobile of his vile murder was HATE. It was in 1998, and it's still happening.

I just checked the state in which I spend the most time (Maryland), and was appalled to find out that there are 7 hate groups in the state, 4 of them being based on Baltimore. To me, that's a major eye-opener.

*Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms. White groups espousing beliefs similar to Black Separatists would be considered clearly racist. The same criterion should be applied to all groups regardless of their color.

If you want to check out what is going on in your state, click HERE.

I have gay friends and relatives. I have friends from all ethnicities. Because I love them, this concerns me. I have been around the world enough to know that this issue concerns us all. So I took the PLEDGE TO SPEAK OUT, and I encourage you all to take it as well, no matter who you are, where you come from, what your background is. We are all in this together.

I am reproducing it for your information, and thus am reiterating my wow to speak out against intolerance and bias.

I, the Travelling Beaver, will:

  • Speak up when I hear or see bigotry;
  • Question and identify bias when I see it;
  • Be mindful of my own behaviors;
  • Promote and appeal to higher principles;
  • Set limits on what is said or done around me;
  • Seek help and help others to work against bigotry; and
  • Remain vigilant and persistent.
Intolerance must be fought, because it affects all of us.

For more information visit Tolerance.Org

If you know of other organizations that partake in such campaigns, let me know and i will also list them here for referrence.

The Beaver

Speak out !

November 12, 2006


I have plenty to tell about last night and today.... for I want to set my frivolities aside tonight and talk to you, gentle reader, about something important to me.

I just finished seeing this movie and felt I should immediately share it. This is moving, disturbing, and necessary. We all have a conscience. The Laramie Project reminds us that tolerance is an ongoing fight and explores the deep confines of what I can only refer to as collective guilt.

"The brutal attack on Matthew Shepard was the kind of wakeup call a society doesn't get very often. It triggered an avalanche of media, a kind of national deathwatch until Shepard died five days later. THE LARAMIE PROJECT is the response of one man, playwright Moisés Kaufman, and his colleagues at the Tectonic Theater Project, who went to Laramie, Wyoming, and conducted more than 200 interviews with townspeople and officials. The result is this inquiry into hate and the thoughts and feelings of an American community. As one local states, Laramie became instantly notorious, "like Waco or Jasper." But The Laramie Project is not an exercise in self-righteous condemnation. It merely attempts to come to terms with what happened. It's a film, based on the play by the troupe, that presents the details of the slaying as revealed by those closest to it, and the truth lies in the details. It's a film about homophobia across the nation, but as one woman deftly points out, "Honey, it's still about Laramie."

It was Matthew Sheppard, but it could have been my friend or my relative. It could also be yours.

For more information visit Tolerance.Org

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 11, 2006

Welcome to Ayiti Cherie

It's a lazy day, it's 30 degrees outside and sunny, some light brazilian samba is playing. I am sitting on a sofa, outside. One of my friends is playing pool with himself, two others are surfing with their laptops. Casanova is playing in the background but nobody really cares.

Today, I woke up late, had room service for breakfast. I will spend the afternoon lazing away before the evening starts. Tonight is jazz night, and I have been asked to sing Hotel California for the hotel guests. I am not on vacation though. This is a well deserved rest from a long week of work.

This week, I spent 2 days out of PAP and I think it has a lot to do with my mood's improvement. I went on a site visit in a place called Deschappelles. (Full photoset can be found here. )This is a partner which I visited before, and truely enjoyed going back there.

The road was, as usual, very folklo. I had a blast taking pictures of the local public transportation and of the guys who get on at mid-flight.

Catching the bus

The place is gorgeous. The luscious vegetation is georgeous, the people are more laid back and less agressive then they are in PAP. I was sleeping in a guest house with no running water, but paradoxally, there was a pool in front of the guest house.

View of the campus

When I arrived there a 4PM, I paid a visit to my counterpart, settled down, and had some dinner (local food, of course). At 7PM I went over to Anne's. Anne is a French Canadian teacher who has lived in Haiti for several years. Coincidentally, she knew my father way back when, and is now working for this partner. So we spent 2 evenings in a row having Barbancourt rhum and chatting with our haitian colleagues.

It was great to laugh, and talk about home, and listen to her stories of the field. It was great to feel alive again, to swim in the pool at midnight, to float on my back and gaze at the Haitian night sky, counting the stars and feeling vibrantly alive.

Tomorrow, Naya and I have arranged to go back to the beach. Haiti has some of the most beautiful beaches I've seen.

Carribean sea-side

Too bad the country is a mess... and that it's so unsafe. Last night, two jordanian UN soldiers were killed in an ambush in downtown PAP. The ambush theory is not official yet, but it is a reasonnable one, since the 2 guys were shot right when they got out of their cars.

Blue Berets on the way to work (Casques bleus)

I'm always sad when violence that I can't understand happens. Deep down, it shatters my faith in man.

P.S. I also uploaded the last pictures I took on my Burundi Field Trip and there are some awesome shots... enjoy !
Burundi - Ruyigi FieldVisits 003
Full photoset for these last pix of Burundi is here.

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 06, 2006

Ups and downs

Yesterday was a bad day. Today was a good day. It was uneventful, but good.

I think my favorite part of today was dinner. It involved a lot of girl talk and male-bashing. (Sorry boys, I know there are some decent men out there, but this is part of my therapy.) This Haitian girl we befriended here was so funny, I laughed so hard, I think I cried. It was like being in Sex & The City, Haitian-style.

Tomorrow, I am going to the field to visit a Hospital where we participate in the treatment of HIV-AIDS patients. I've been there before and will re-assess the project, 6 months later. This should be interesting. It will be nice to be out of PAP for a few days, even though the conditions there are ... rather uncomfortable, to put it mildly.

One of the reasons I'm happy to be going is that I will hopefully get once again a glimpse of the beautiful haitian coast, like I did last time I went in April:

Benedictine Monastery
(Click on the picture to access my set of Haitian
pictures from my first trip there 6 months ago.)

So anyway, I'll be gone probably for a few days... hopefully when I get back I'll have more pictures to share.

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

November 05, 2006

Cul de sac

Port au Prince, 14:57

Je m’emmerde. Ca fait des heures que je surfe sur Internet. J’ai téléchargé des chansons, visite tous mes blogues préférés, pris un gros petit déjeuner, parle a une amie sur MSN… et je m’emmerde.

J’en ai marre de cet écran d’ordinateur. Pourtant, c’est ma seule porte de sortie, séquestrée comme je suis dans cet hôtel a 2 étoiles dont je ne peux m’échapper sans encourir les foudres divines des puissances, loin là-bas, aux Etats-Unis.

Pour la première fois depuis 3 mois, j’ai vraiment l’occasion de m’introspecter. Ca me déplaît profondément. Retourner au fond de moi, retrouver le contact avec le vide qui m’habite depuis que mon cœur a été fracasse comme une moule sur un rocher par le seul goéland en qui ma confiance était absolue.

Retrouver mes doutes, ma tristesse, mon absence de certitude. Replonger dans mon état névralgique, névrose de fille au cœur brise, a la carrière insatisfaite, a la solitude épidermique. Pas rigolo, tout ca.

J’imagine que c’est le moment pour moi de prendre le temps de mettre sur papier toutes ces questions qui m’assaillent et que j’ai tues ces derniers mois. J’imagine aussi qu’un bilan s’impose. Dans 2 semaines, je passe quelques jours à Montréal. L’occasion de revoir ma maman, mes amis. L’occasion de me confronter a ma ville natale, que j’identifie depuis 3 mois à l’amour de ma vie, celui qui m’a rejetée en prétextant que c’était pour le mieux. Cette ville dont chaque pierre, chaque rue porte le souvenir de lui, de nous.

Qu’est-ce qui a change en moi depuis le mois d’aout ? Suis-je une femme différente ? Qui rentrera chez ma mère ? Moi, ou une étrangère ? A la vérité, je suis devenue une étrangère des mon retour au Québec en Avril 2005. Partir a l’étranger, c’est un choix de vie. Ca vous change. Ca vous met à part des gens que vous aimez. Ca vous met a part de votre culture d’origine.

Mon nouvel état de célibataire m’a mise face a face avec cette dure réalité : je ne peux plus entrer dans le moule. Je suis irrémédiablement différente. Irrémédiablement solitaire. Irrémédiablement, inéluctablement seule. Une partie de moi savait que la femme que je devenais ne pourrait plus être avec l’homme qu’Il restait.

J’ai faim du monde. J’ai faim d’autres cultures. J’ai faim de découvertes. J’ai faim d’amour. Je ne me suis pas sentie si seule depuis des siècles. Isolée, abandonnée. Comment pourrais-je un jour rencontrer un compagnon de vie, moi qui suis maudite ? Maudite car je ne pourrais jamais me poser. Maudite car je suis incapable de rester chez moi. Maudite car je vais mourir célibataire, aigrie et déprimée. Maudite car aucun homme ne voudra jamais de moi, ne serais-ce qu’a cause de mon appétit vorace pour la vie qui me pousse à explorer, toujours explorer plus.

Pendant un moment, j’ai eu un moment de folie. J’ai perdu toute lucidité et j’ai pense que quelque part sur cette planète, existait un homme dont la faim serait aussi grande, aussi insatiable que la mienne. Mais ou est-il ? Je pensais l’avoir découvert, cache sous le manteau de l’amitié, masque par le temps passe à se découvrir. Mais j’ai été déçue, irrémédiablement, puisqu’il ne m’aime pas. Puisque celle que je suis ne lui a pas suffit.

Cul de sac. Voila le nom de ce post. Je me sens prisonnière. J’en ai marre de mon boulot. J’en ai marre de ma solitude. Mais j’y suis condamnée. Quitter et repartir a zéro ? Toujours cette foutue solitude. Toujours cette foutue impression d’être étrangère, de n’appartenir a rien ni a personne, d’être inadéquate.

Ca fait exactement 435 jours que je fais ce travail. Ca fait exactement 70 jours que je suis célibataire. Ca faisait exactement 1395 jours que nous étions en couple au moment de la rupture. Ca faisait 4068 jours qu’on se connaissait (plus ou moins). J’existe depuis 10819 jours. Je l’ai donc connu pendant 38% de ma vie. J’ai été son amoureuse pendant 13% de ma vie. Le temps dédié à mon emploi actuel représente 4% de mon temps de vie sur terre. Mon temps de souffrance actuel représente 1% de ma vie, et 25% de mon temps au travail. Les statistiques ne mentent pas.

De son cote, il existe depuis 10292 jours. Il donc m’a connu pendant 40% de sa vie, et aimée pendant 14% de sa vie. J’ai été absente pendant 15% de notre temps d’amour (en incluant mon stage de 6 mois). Les statistiques ne mentent pas.

Oui, il est important. Très important. Je ne peux pas me pardonner d’avoir perdu 15% du temps qui nous était alloue. Je ne peux pas lui pardonner d’avoir jeté au rebut 40% de temps d’amitié, de m’avoir force à abandonner 39% du mien.

Pourtant, c’est moi qui lui interdis de me contacter. C’est moi qui maintiens une distance. C’est moi qui maintenant refuse son amitié. Pourquoi ? Parce que ca fait mal. Trop mal. Par ce qu’au-delà des chiffres, il y a les émotions. Au-delà des statistiques, il y a l’amour. Et le mien est encore trop fort, trop grand, trop invincible pour être enferme dans les tiroirs exigus de l’amitié. Je l’aime. Je l’aime. Je l’aime et ca me fait souffrir. Je l’aime et j’ai envie de le crier. Je l’aime et je me sens capable de l’aimer toujours. Je l’aime et mon amour est immortel, il me transporte et me transperce. Je l’aime et il ne m’aime pas. Mon amour est la seule chose qui m’aurait permit de rester. La seule chose qui m’aurait peut-être assouvie. La seule puissance assez extraordinaire pour prendre le dessus pour mon appétit vorace du monde.

Maintenant que mon amour existe malgré moi, malgré ma volonté…. Qu’il me fait souffrir quel que soit ma vie… Qu’il me transporte sans m’apaiser… Qu’il me rend insupportable mon existence de vagabonde… Maintenant que je souffre quel que soit mon pays, mon destin, mon port d’attache… Maintenant que rien ne me satisfait plus…

Qu’est-ce que je vais devenir ?

Port-au-Prince, 15:57. Je pleure et je m'emmerde toujours autant.

November 01, 2006

About Security

What follows is a string of statements made to me about what security is like here and what I should expect.

"Please maintain a high level of caution. When you arrive in country, please stay close to the Hotel until you can meet with the staff. Please do not walk around town, or even the neighborhood around your hotel."

"Nationality is not an issue. Chances of being kidnapped can be largely diminished by staying out of designated areas of Port au Prince and not meandering around town without caution."

"Visitors these days are confined to hotels at night unless escorted out by a staff member. Even with escort they must return by 10:00 pm. Weekend sorties must be approved. All staff, national and international, are strongly recommended to be home by 11:00. pm."

"Anyone visiting the country must strictly follow the security protocols and procedures without exception as their lives depend upon it."

"It makes no difference what nationality, or economic status, the person may be. People are being kidnapped in high numbers, on a daily basis, all over the capital, and they are local and foreigner, poor and rich."

"While the entire city is a concern, they are definite ‘no-go” areas of the city to be avoided at all cost."

The first thing I did after I got this email was to file for Danger Pay.

The Beaver

My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !