Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Shaping UP for 2011


You know you haven’t been to the gym in a while…when you get a letter from the gym saying you need to go to the gym 12 times before the end of the year….or else your membership is cancelled. This is shocking and somewhat embarrassing.
Avon and I did the calculations – subtracting holiday time and it ment that we would have to go every day from the day we got the letter. So since Friday Avon and I have been going to the gym none stop. We even attempted going twice a day till we found out that it didn’t matter how many times a day you go to the gym – it still counts as one visit.

Ever since we got this letter I feel like every person at the gym is watching us. As if they are timing us and checking that we are actually working out. It sucks because sometimes we really just don’t want to go to the gym but the thought of loosing our membership (which is a pretty good deal) really kind of pushes us to go.

Yesterday it was funny coz we were pretty lazy and came up with a grand plan to skip gym but still count it as a vist. So we enter the gym, swipe our card and then pretend to have a huge argument right there at the till and get fed up and both leave. Lol. Ha ha ha! How funny would that be. I just pictured it.
Kanya “Well it was your grand Idea to come here!”
Avon “MY idea!!! My Idea.. you got to be kidding me! You were the one on my case about going.”
Kanya “I don’t care about going to stupid gym!” and I will just storm out and avon would run after me. Lol. Then we would get into the car and start laughing as we drove to KFC or something. Avon and I had a good laugh at this thought because it would be totally out of character. We ended up scratching the idea and went and worked out anyways.

On the flip side- if we do manage to keep up with the rate we are going…we will enter the year 2011 in ship shap shape! So keeping positive …..2011 HERE WE COME J

Thursday, December 2, 2010

McDonalds Commercial

Have a look at the Mcdonalds commercial below. And look out for the chick with attitude!!!! I think my level of fame has increased by 0.5 seconds. Which is huge progress for me lol. I think my friends in Canada must be laughing at me right now... Because I never used to want to go into McDonalds with them....but I would gladly do a commercial! Ha ha ha.

Anyways this was a commercial which we shot about 3 weeks ago. I had to pretend like I was really upset with my "boyfriend" because he didn't like Cheese on his burger and I did. I had to bring out the seriouse Kanya Attitude out.... which was actually pretty hard. It was funny because after every shot I had to laugh out loud just to get the gitters out. In my mind I was thinking of a moment when I was really upset with Avon...(which is very rare). But that helped me to have a seriouse face....aint nothing funny about being upset!

I thought it was a good thing that I had to be upset with my "boyfriend" rather than all lovey dovey...which would have just been a bit awkward..... I would think!

The whole experience was loads of fun as usual. Go and grab a cheesy burger or Vote for which one you like on their website http://www.beefyorcheesy.co.za/ or else you will get BEEF from me.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Triple A Concept to CHANGE


Why is it that an unexpected change never really feels positive at first? Well that’s how I felt when I had to move from my own private office to the Hostel. The people here call it the hostel because there are so many people working in one space. So you can imagine the emotions I felt when I got the call that I might have to move. Yup I felt like I was being demoted, unappreciated and uncool. But this whole experience lead me to discover the Triple A concept which is Accept (believe that it is for the better) Adapt (make the situation work for you) and Apply (ignite a positive change in yourself and others by applying goodness).
The first step to this adjustment was accepting it. In my case I really thought about why I was emotional about the move. Was I being punished? No! Were they rude about it? No they were very polite about it. Was I the only one getting moved? No, 5 others were getting moved. Suddenly the situation didn’t feel like a shot at me but an external shot at the company. I thought – what if God had planned this move? Suddenly I had a totally different perspective and thought…. Well if so then I better accept it.

Then there was the adaptation part. The key to it is making the situation work for you. For example they were moving me to a spot which faced the door which probably was the worst spot in the office. Plus I have a terrible attention span and the fact that I was by the door would mean noooo work was going to be done because I would watch every person walk by or comment on everything. So to overcome this I put a huge shelve in front of my desk – and problem solved. Unless you are Floris who is almost 6 feet tall I don’t see anyone walking into the office. Then there was the issue of watching other people in my peripheral view – how they eat, read, work and maybe sleep. So I placed both my laptop and my desktop computer up on my desk which created a “wall”. My desk looks hectic man. It is as if I have a dual monitor thang and I don’t see anyone unless I want to. I am so hidden that sometimes people walk in the office and don’t even notice I am here. It might look pretty ridiculous and obvious that I am hiding but that was the point and it worked for me. I have managed to create my ideal working environment regardless of my surroundings.
To apply, in my case, is to allow the change to change you and others for the Good. It is important to note “for the good” because “for the bad” can take place and cause destruction. I believe this section has a lot to do with accepting peoples characters and appreciating their role in your life. It has been about 3 months since I have moved and I have gotten to know other SEF staff a lot better and actually feel positive about it. Betty and Ronaldo are always keeping us up to date with the transportation routes from Johannesburg to Pretoria and give us weather reports. Sometimes Ronaldo even calls us to warn us of traffic on the road (he has a Super GPS). Vanessa and Carene are planning weddings for next year and it is always exciting to share wedding tips or marriage tips with them. Then there is Eben and Quinton who are only in the office on Mondays and Fridays; however, when they are here they always having heated environmental discussions in Afrikaans which sometimes is very entertaining. Some of us have even started a small prayer group. The rest pretty much keep to themselves but are still cool to have around. I didn’t know it at the time but the move was probably exactly what I needed. I got more motivated to go to work and actually enjoy the company around me. I also got more involved with what was actually happening at work and have started to learn more about environmental consulting.

So sometimes change is good. Change happens all the time but it is really about how you deal with it that matters. You can sulk and be bitter about the situation and affect the people around you negatively. Or you can take it as a stepping stone to something greater and better and positively influence the people you interact with. Applying really is your choice at the end of the day.

Anyways that is the Kanyadoit change strategy on the triple A concept: Accept, Adapt, Apply. lol I really made it up as I wrote this blog. It worked for me. Hope it works for you. :) lol

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Bloody Diet??

While Avon was watching Formula one I thought I would entertain myself in reading a book “Eat Right for Your Blood Type.” As most of you know I believe I am allergic to everything. My eczema (body rash) flares up at very odd times in a month and it nearly drives me mad. So I thought this book would help me figure out somethinhg.

Strangely enough this book dives into the history of our blood. I never thought that our blood actually has a history which dates way back to like the hunter and gatherer phases. The author links the diets of the people in those ages to the blood types and then gives guidelines for what to eat and what not to eat now.

Yes I am sure some of you are like “whatever!” but as I began to read about my blood type I started to understand why I react the way I do. For example it says Blood type Bs should AVOID SHELL FISH. Hello guys!!! Don’t you remember my honeymoon blog where I reacted like no mans business to CRAB. Then as I read on – I should also avoid tomatoes. Sho and since I was a kid I have been avoiding tomatoes because it is the number one skin reactor for me. This book was like God sent, till I read avoid CHICKEN. ‘What, that is like the only thing I really eat!” I said in my mind. Apparently Chicken causes some reaction in my body which makes me tired. So I searched THE GOOGLE to confirm it and I found the following “Chicken contains a Blood Type B agglutinating lectin in its muscle tissue. Although chicken is a lean meat, the issue is the power of an agglutinating lectin attacking your bloodstream and the potential for it to lead to strokes and immune disorders.” YIKES!!!! Scary stuff ha. Now what am I suppose to eat? Well from my research lamb, mutton, Venison, and Rabbit. That leaves me with ONLY LAMB because I can’t find most of the others in regular food stores let alone cook them. Eish!

I am not sure if I will fully avoid The CHICKEN, but I will consider the weight loss tip. Apparently foods like Corn, Wheat, peanuts, lentils, sesame seeds and tomatoes, affect Blood Type B insulin levels which can cause one to increase weight. I mean LENTILS GUYS, these are legumes that are pushed in any health book…imagine if I went on a Lentil and tomatoes diet and this whole blood type diet thing is true – I would then put on weight and really wonder what am I doing wrong. “I mean I am eating healthy right?”…but Jack I am not going to test it though. lol.

But it is food for thought. Who knows if it is all ture...just gotta try.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Bianca and rest in peace always

Hi Bianca Warburton not sure if you remember me, but we sat next to each other at life group…two nights before you died (a year ago). No worries if you don’t remember me. .. It’s all cool. Avon and I know Clifford your husband pretty well. Well since it is your birthday today and it is over a year since you have been gone I’d thought I would dedicate a blog to you because you were a super amazing person.

Avon was at work when I got the message “Pray for Clifford, Bianca has been shot dead by an attempted hijacking.” I was alone at home doing the ironing and the message cut my heart like a knife. Bianca I didn’t and don’t know how to deal with death and couldn’t imagine ho Clifford was doing. I ran to my bedroom and fell to my knees crying to God. Why, Why, Why…why had he taken you? You were such a kind person, pure and God fearing. I just couldn’t understand.

Then God reminded me of the vision you shared with us during a prayer session. You had a vision of a little boy on a white horse going into battle. Your vision is still clear in my mind. You sensed that the boy was struggling to hold his sword to fight…. You interpretation was that God is the horse and he will take us into battle…but we still have to fight. A lot of people in that prayer session related to it. But to me you were not only talking about the present battles but the future battles that need to be fought here in Johannesburg. Which I believe is the battle of the hearts of people which is between Good and Bad. My racing heart then slowed down and I began to understand that your plan is so much bigger than I can understand.

At your memorial I went into a deep trance of thought. The song Malibongwe was playing and I envisioned you dancing. They told me you were such a good dancer. In my mind your spirit was dancing through the church. It was so beautiful…more beautiful than I had ever sensed a dance before. I then put myself in your shoes. Not that I was kind, pure and God fearing. But what if I died…was I ready….did you know that it was your time? Would everyone I love know I love them? Have I said enough, done enough… those kinds of thoughts? Because as I learnt more about you I realised that Wow you were amazing. You had done a lot. Sho when I heard Clifford talk about you (yes your amazing Husband) I couldn’t control my tears. I felt his pain as I pictured Avon in his shoes.. the pain of losing the one you love.

But Bianca I just wanted to thank you. Thank you for living your life and only fearing God. You were a helping hand in a township that most of us would never venture into. You saw past the crime and dirt or black and white. You used Gods gift in you to the fullest and were never afraid to show it. And as your murders go on trial I pray that their hearts get won by Gods love. That they see what they have done and they change for the Good. I pray that Gods goodness ripples all over the city of Johannesburg and that we win this terrible war for Gods Glory.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Are you a Winna?

At the intersection of William Nicole and Lone hill (by checkers) an energetic young man sells homeless magazines to the passer bys. He is very hard to miss because every time he approaches a car he shoots you down with a beaming smile from ear to ear. Yes he is homeless, yes he is trying to get by just like you and me. But when you see him I am sure you will ask yourself the same question that I asked “Why is he so happy?”

The first time I noticed the man I was on my way home from a long day at the office. The traffic was backed up right into Lone hill Residential area and all I wanted to do was get through this traffic light. I wasn’t interested in no hawker harassment, no newspaper nothing. I usually avoid any conversation at any intersection. I just turn away but when I saw this guy I was intrigued. I saw him wave genuinely to the car in front of me. He stopped and smiled had a brief chat and walked away. I didn’t get to talk to him but I promised that I would do something different next time.

So the next day I took the very same route and this time I had just enough time to get a word in to the man. He waved as usual and I slowly rolled down my window as I approached him. “Hello my friend!” he said with spunk and a slight bounce to his walk.
“Hello, how are you?” I tried to say with just as much energy.
“ aaaa I am good, I am good!”
“What’s your name?” I asked
“Winna” he said confidently
“Winna…like a Winner? Wow. So what are you selling?” I curiously asked.
“Aaa Mem it is the Homeless newspaper, you can buy if you want”
“Sorry I don’t have money today, but I will buy it tomorrow!”
He smiled…”no problem!” and he gave it to me! I awkwardly drove off as if I had just stolen from a homeless guy.

But the encounter interested me so much. I wondered if he was really homeless. Where did he go at the end of the day? And why is it that he is so happy?.. I mean he seems to where the same cloths every day.

From then on our relationship built up and every time I approached that intersection I would look out for him. Just to say hi see how things are going. Our encounters grew from an awkward conversation through a window to a full handshake and honest talk. People in cars around me would look at us strangely and somewhat curious. He would tell me if the drivers are being rude today or not. I would tell him if the day was good or not. Sometimes I would give him whatever I could but other times we would just talk. No expectations just two strangers whose paths just happened to cross.

After about two months of travelling that same route I had to start taking a different route. This other route was a bit quicker and less congested but the only fall back was I missed my daily 30seconds -1 minute conversation with Winna. After a month of not seeing him I wondered if he even noticed.

Then I accidentally took the Winna route. I approached the intersection and to my surprise Winna came running to the car with a big smile. “Where have you been my friend? Yo yo yo yo…eish I thought you were dead!”

I was shocked this guy was genuinely concerned about me. For that moment I felt like wow I meant something to him and I didn’t even give him anything really…just my time and attention. I actually felt bad that my absence lead him to believe his worst scenario. What this whole encounter really made me think was – am I a Winna? When the circumstances of life hit the fan – do I still smile at a stranger? Yes okay maybe this was Winna’s job but at the end of the day who is really better off? Is it the guy that leaves his job to no home but still has a smile on his face or the man who comes to a home bitter and angry about life. Winna stirred something inside of me that only he could do. When the troubles of life come is my spirit in check? Depression, stress and relationships all have their ups and downs; but God is constant and His Love is more that enough to get you through this life. Be a Winna!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Perfect Bridal Gown: Shoot 2



Being at the second Perfect Bridal Gown photo shoot with Marcia was fun. Although Marcia had never been in a photo shoot she was like a natural model. We both were not there for each others weddings and wedding dress selection; but this opportunity was like we had a second chance of being there when we tried them on. We both wished we had been there though because you need someone for the emotional support of picking a dress. The first time I stepped into a wedding dress store I was alone…and I left the shop crying because it hurt me that none of my friends or family was there to help me (all overseas). Marcia just saved herself the emotions and got her dress made. So it was as if we were making up for that time when we didn’t have a friend around.
Thank you Perfect Bridal Gown for a wonderful day.

Overcoming the Insecurities of life

You know those moments when you can stand and look at yourself in the mirror looking so good covered in make-up dressed good….and yet you do not feel beautiful! Maybe it’s just me…but when these moments used to come along it never occurred to me that it was an inner struggle. You can put on more make up buy new cloths but everything is short lived forms of happiness. Basically it is look to the outside world to fill a very important void. Funny enough when this moment of insecurity and ugliness which comes to haunt me happens to be the time when my relationship with God is at its low.

See in my opinion real beauty has nothing to do with your hair or the cloths you wear. Real beauty is a reflection of Love and real love can only come from God because he created it. When you trust in God you are more than beautiful because you are not trying to prove yourself to him and you are standing on solid ground. See when we turn to the things of this world and to people for our security…. we struggle to find it . Let me give you a typical example. If we look to our relationships to feel beautiful – we fail, when we look to new cloths to feel beautiful – we succeed for a brief moment. Its all temporary - relationships go up and down, cloths get old, hairstyles pass…but God is consistent. Even in a marriage you can feel insecure that’s why they say marriage is a 3 way thing you, your husband/wife and God. We are all human…we all make mistakes. But if we keep our eyes on God you can feel safe in knowing that his plan is for the GOOD.

This isn’t a blog to tell you to Find God so that you can be beautiful and that your relationships will go well! No this is to tell you that in Gods eyes you are radiantly beautiful, you are more than enough to Him, that there is no scar or sin that he cannot overcome. …That if God is in your relationship He will lead you to happiness. The moment I decided to seriously put God first in my relationship was the moment I found my husband. Was the relationship easy ….No! But every trial brought us closer to God and closer to each other.

So if you struggle with insecurities about yourself and your relationship. Take a moment to pray for freedom from it …to pray that God shows you His Light. Life is way to short for you to live feeling not good enough ….for yourself or the person you are with.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rejection and Cloudy Days


It’s a gloomy Thursday morning and it sucks to be at work when you could have possibly been at a shoot. The real question that was on my mind was “how am I doing with rejection?” In the modelling/film industry rejection is part of the job. You go for auditions; you strut your stuff and pray that they call you back and if they don’t call you back you have to learn to know that …it is not YOU…but maybe you just didn’t have what they were looking for. But that isn’t always easy… sometimes you just want to give up and give in.

So a couple of weeks ago I went for a casting call for a female product. I can’t disclose the name or the brand because it is all secret. Two days later I get into the top 30 from 200 ladies…. “Not so bad,” I think to myself. Then 2 weeks later I am in the top 14 call back list from which they choose 10 girls. I thought I was excited at top 30 but wow top 14 I was now over the roof. And not only that…this particular job pays you for the call back, which is good because most of the time you end up taking days off real work to chance it at an call-back (doesn’t guarantee you the job).

Arriving to the call-back was and event in itself. I got super lost in traffic and ended up on the other side of Jozi. The casting director called and said – YOU have 5 minutes. When someone tells you that you have 5 minutes and you still have no idea where you are….. its terrible. In the car I reached that point of - where you know if you dwelled any further on your ridiculous lost ness and lateness – you would probably cry. Two tears fell and I thought this was the last thing I needed for a call-back – bloody red eyes. I started praying and said Lord please just get me there and may they not be mad.

10minutes later I franticly parked and I ran like a mad woman across the studio parking lots. This was the studios where they shoot big Soapies…and here I was running for a bloody call back. The team looked at me and a man said “I knew it was you…I recognised you from the pictures….Dam I am good.” I was panting and almost in tears trying to explain how I had got so lost and how right now I am trying to fight tears, but I understand if they want me to go. A lady said… “Its fine just go with him to hair and makeup.” The man led me to a room and asked me to sit down. I was alone and emotional. How badly did I want this job? Was it worth the tears and stress?

In no time I was dressed in a beautiful dress, had makeup on and was in front of the camera. I wish I could tell you guys what it was about…but I would have to save it for another blog – once the add is out. But it was pretty interesting and strange.I left the studio thinking…I didn’t do so bad, I mean the guy said “good job”..that should count for something…or was he just saying it.

They were supposed to call me yesterday to tell me if I got a role in the commercial. I sat at work staring at my phone like a teenage girl waiting for her crush to call. Every text and every call made me think “Maybe that’s them.” I would think..maybe I am thinking too much… let God do his work.. But the day ended with no call and no text. I tired not to take it to personally and I did have those talks with God “But why God L this would have made me happy..what was the point…am I missing something…what are you trying to teach me here.”



I know rejection is part of life but gosh it sucks. I guess the point is that we shouldn’t take it personally and just trust that God has a even better plan in store for us. There will be other jobs, other call backs we just got to keep our heads up and move forward. Maybe I am writing this just to re-assure/comfort myself. And it has helped.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Perfect Bridal Gown Photoshoot

What would you give if you had the chance to wear beautifully designed wedding dresses, get your makeup and hair done, and have your face in a wedding catalogue? ….. Anything right J. Well that’s exactly why I couldn’t turn down such an opportunity when Perfect Bridal Gown was looking for models for their new seasons wedding catalogue.

Seven girls shot in 30 beautiful dresses from overseas, was the task of the day (October 24, 2010). We began at 8:30am and shot right through till 5pm. But it wasn’t your average photo ..not that I would know what a average photo shoot is like .lol... This shoot was fun and energetic. It was similar to the vibe at the Special K photo shoot. The girls had spunk the photographer had style and Raymond, Tanya, Lizette and their crew had great energy helping us get in and out of our dresses.

The whole experience was like playing dress up except this time you had a real hairdresser, makeup artist and got to wear super beautiful and quality styled dresses. No it was more like a fairytale ….were we were each different types of Cinderella’s with the Fairy godmothers being Lizzet and Raymond. The lights were on us, the bling was on us. If I was a bride to be I would have struggled to pick which dress would be mine. They all had such unique detail. Some dresses were simple and elegant and others were extravagant and sassy.

Being in front of the camera required confidence which at first I was scared I wouldn’t have…because 1. My braids ssooo needed to be taken out and 2. I was almost as sick as a dog. But somehow somewhere I got the energy to smile and pose. My advice for those of you who may ever go to a photoshoot. ..... try to stop taking yourself too seriously and relax…if it’s a bad photo they can take it again. For me I would pretend like it was a Vogue photo shoot and I was a some big shot model who travelled on first class to shoot here.. and there was no time to be SICK. ….even though I was far from a Vouge Model …it helped me relax J. But I also tried to be myself…because the camera can see that too...there is a fine line between fake and genuine smiles. Being yourself also helps you enjoy the whole experience because its fun…Relax…dance… pretend the camera is not there and you are just in the bathroom naked making yourself laugh. ….Oh there is a word of advice - If you ever feeling down…take all your clothes off and dance in front of the mirror….ITS Hilarious!

But like any fairytale the ball had to end so when 5pm came we all turned into pumpkins, out of the beautiful dresses and back into the scummy cloths we arrived in. If you are looking for a wedding dress…please stop by Perfect Bridal Gown on Beyers Naude, Johannesburg. You are sure to have a wonderful experience and find a equally beautiful dress. Or just call them at 011-794-7101 and book an appointment




29th Birthday with Family



My birthday weekend had me really thinking, what is family, who is family and can we actually put boundaries and define family. I think this old age has me really looking at my life, the lives around me and the lives to come.

Seeing everyone seated around the table at my birthday breakfast bash made me think wow it’s amazing the new lives that have now become family and the family that has always been family. Regan was Avons best friend as one point but here he was now our brother inlaw. And here was Yash who might as well be family too since he has been Avon and Reagans friends since high school. Being with mom and dad on my birthday was extra special since we hadn’t spent it together in over 12 years.

At Chang and Bianca’s wedding, I got the sense of community and love present in a not so typically structured family. I say not so typically structured because typically would be – each child being brought up by their biological parents. But this was not the case for both Bianca and Chang as they had been brought up with fathers that were not their biological fathers. And although most of us would think …”gosh it must have been hard not being brought up by your real dad.” And I am sure they probably dealt with their own internal searches and battles of who their biological father was. But what we really should be thinking about is how God actually gave them a real father to look after them. After hearing both uncle Howards (Avon’s dad) and Chris (Biancas.. step dad) speaks I got a strong sense that these were the Dads that were destined to raise these children up. Both of the fathers were good examples to them both and you could just see and hear that they loved their adopted child as if it were their own.

But my thoughts didn’t end there… I was also moved when I went over to chill with my brother and sister inlaws..Micheal, Erica, Amanda and Lucile. These young adults are 4 of 5 children who Auntie Ethel took into her home, when their parents abandoned them. At this moment I, for the first time, sensed a strong bond amongst the siblings. Similar to the bond I felt when I was with my siblings. Maybe I hadn’t sensed it before because I hadn’t observed them much when they were all together. But I realised then that if it wasn’t for Auntie Ethel and Uncle Howard (my mother in law) opening their home to them.. this bond of love wouldn’t be present. It hurt me to think of where in the world they would have been. But I was so comforted when I saw how happy they are now.

Afterwards I went over to chill with Dad maybe he had answers to my curious wonder of family. Without even saying a word to him he turned to me and just said “Kanya you are the head of the herd now.” He put his hand over my shoulder. “This is your family now and you need to lead them, be there for them care for them, be an example to the children that come after you.” There was a long pause of silence and I let the words sink in. I thought of my new family, my inlaws that I will one day be looking after, my new siblings that would one day follow in Avon and my footsteps. Gosh the thought of where life puts us just fascinated me. Who knows what is to come, where we would be headed who we would be families too. We don’t really have a choice of who our family would be….God places certain people in our lives …be it biological or not. I wondered if I would even manage with the family that would come our way. Then my dad said “and He will be there for you!” And I just took the words all in my mind I repeated those words “and He will be there for you!” And thought “Lord may I not forget these words.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Baby Question


The approaching of my 29th Birthday has me really contemplating on the season ahead of me, the baby season. Almost 80% of the women I associate with these days are either pregnant or have had a child and the question always comes up, “So when is yours coming?” It’s not that I don’t want kids, I really do, but I am really beginning to ask myself the internal question of “body are you ready, mind are you ready, heart are you ready.” My thought was that when all is in check then I would have the green light; but is that ever the case.

When I do ask myself the baby question it’s almost like each component has a worry of its own. The first question I ask “Body are you ready?” the body would reply “Um, you know what Kanya I don’t think so…I mean not now let me just work on the abbs, do more boxing classes, run a marathon. You know how you tummy can get really thrown out of whack after them kids start coming…and you may never run anything once you have kids.” The second question “Mind are you ready?”…The mind is always trying to think logically and would reply “Ya you are the right age, you eat healthy, you just need to take some vitamins and you are good to go.” Then I took my co-worker to the doctor after she had a down syndrome scare. This really threw the Mind out of place. The Mind researched the symptoms and thought about aunt Connie and cousin Itai who has down syndrome. And well ….. “Mind are you ready???” I would ask again. “Aaa, no, no I don’t think I am ready Kanya, what if there are complications? I haven’t read up enough to get my mind mentally around pregnancy?” the mind would reply timidly. The last question would be “Heart are you ready?” and I would always ask this one softly as the heart was the most delicate of all the components that make Kanya. The heart would reply confusedly “Ya, the heart is ready.” ….. Till I get home and hear the neighbour shouting at her 3 year old child. “I TOLD YOU TO PUT THE F-#(&$( thing DOWN!!!” the mother of two would shout. My heart would get so stirred up and scared. My heart would ask, “Kanya what would cause a lady to shout so profoundly to a child who could barely talk? Was it the child or was it the lady? I am not sure the heart is strong enough to endure such!” And these would be the internal battles of my Baby question of life.

Then there are the insecurities of when you are actually trying for kids. When really is the right time? Everyone says you can’t wait till you are debt free or till the perfect moment comes for you to have kids, only God knows; but somehow I feel like I put Gods plan in my hands by using contraceptives. There is no guarantee that you will fall pregnant as soon as you stop taking the contraceptive.. but you could. – only God knows. Now what if you don’t fall pregnant? Sho that works on my heart even more as this won’t be an internal question but an external one. Would Avon and I be able to handle what ever comes our way.. what about compatibility and blood types? That scares me too. I get even more scared and frustrated when people put expectations on us….. we expect you to be pregnant by this time! What if I also wanted to be pregnant at that time…All of a sudden I begin to question whether I am doing it for Us or for them (the others) and get put off the whole having kids thing. Or maybe since everyone would have such high expectations my internal body would just stop functioning because of nerves.

Given all this I still use my mom as a benchmark for all my Body, Mind and Heart insecurities. My body reassures me by saying “ Yo, Kanya, if she had 4 kids after she was 30 and still has a body like she does today at 61. Don’t worry Kanya the body is ready.” My Mind whispers, “Listen Kanya you have your mothers genes, you are still in the safe zone. When you turn 30 then maybe you can start stressing.” And my heart says comfortingly, “ By Gods grace is more than enough for you. Just trust in Jesus.”

But honestly speaking…it doesn’t matter what our body, mind and heart thinks…when God is in control anything is possible. He can change the bodies, hearts and minds of all those who turn to him. I have seen him give twins to a couple that were told they could never have children…all through the power of prayer. God has even been there in situations where the pregnancy was destined for death for both the mother and twins she was struggling to deliver while travelling in a taxi in Swaziland.. Everyone ran out of the taxi in fear of cultural curses of being present in such a situation….God placed my mom (trained midwife) right there at that time and rescue the breached child … any minute later the situation could have been terrible.

So I surrender my body, heart and mind. ..I surrender my angers, fears and frustrations with others; I surrender my timing to His timing and my questions for His answer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Canadian Thanksgiving in Another World

The Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend and it didn't even occur to me till I spoke to my sister over skype in Canada on Friday afternoon. She talked about how she was going to aunt Claire’s, her home was the perfect spot for thanksgiving, and the conversation took me back to the times I lived in Canada. The fact that I had forgotten that it was thanksgiving almost scared me. I really questioned who I was? Was it the fact that I was in a different world now? Was I really Canadian? Where had time gone? So my sister, Maita, who had also lived in Canada for 6yrs, and I decided we had to celebrate thanksgiving somehow.

On Saturday afternoon Avon and I strolled down the isles of Broadacers Spar looking for the ingredients to our first Johannesburg thanksgiving dinner. We were sure we were going to find a turkey there; however, when we saw the size of the turkey we got very intimidated. Who was going to eat it all? And I wasn’t sure if I would cook it good enough for anyone to like it. Suddenly the look of the huge turkey drum stick seemed like a better option.

That evening I figured I could apply the same turkey recipe to the massive drum stick instead of the whole turkey. “Rub turkey with seasoning (sage, garlic and salt)”… I thought not a problem. Stuff turkey with whole apple – mmm a slice would work and I stuffed it under the skin of the turkey…stuff is stuff right. “cover turkey with champagne” …mmm apple cider should work just fine, although Avon had to rescue me coz I thought beer would work better. I then placed carrots sweet potato and potatoes around the turkey drum and covered it all with foil. “Dear God please may this turkey taste good.” While I was cooking the turkey Avon cooked the Lamb curry ..our back up plan just in case the turkey tasted crap.

The thanksgiving dinner turned out great. We decided not to go too hectic in who we invited (I was more worried that people would think the whole thing was strange). The turkey turned out so tasty…we actually wished we had bought the whole darn thing. Maita made rhubarb pie which was amazing …especially for her first pie. Reagans Banoffee was delicious; Avon’s Lamb curry spiced us up with flavour.

As much as thanksgiving was supposed to be a joyous occasion, a wave of depression came over me this past weekend. The whole thanksgiving experience made me really miss Canada in a strange and confused way. I thought of my Grandmother and my whole other half of my family in Canada, the white half. I thought of how the weather was right now and my friends which I had left behind. I was beginning to realise that the more I got involved in my life here in Johannesburg the more my memories of Canada almost seemed foreign. Not that I don’t like the season I am in now, I love it in fact, but how do we live in the present without loosing the good memories of the past? To they just remain memories….only time will tell. ..I will just continue to give thanks and thanks for thanksgiving.

Friday, October 8, 2010

God are You here? (Reflections from the movie Eat Pray Love)


Last night, October 7th, my good friend, Parusha Naidoo (Goodhope FM, DJ) and I attended the premier for Eat, Pray, Love, and what an enlightening movie it was.

The movie wasn’t a typical happy-go-lucky kind of a movie but a deep spiritual search with its highs and lows. The movie really shows how it isn’t always easy trying to listen to that inner voice, it isn’t easy to find your self (and do we ever really?), it isn’t always easy to forgive ourselves or others and it isn’t always easy to find God and peace in this world. But it does require a search as it so clearly shows in the movie.

Eat, Pray, love ignited moments in my life when I was searching for the deeper meaning and purpose; when I was trying to figure life out. I remember going up to “Gods Window” in Grasskop thinking maybe I would find God there. It was the most gloomiest days of that summer and I hiked right up to the top of this mountain alone…thinking for sure I would find God or God would find me. As I hiked up, the clouds came down and it became dark as I walked through the rain forest vegetation. I started to feel like I was not alone, yet there was no one around me. I got to the edge of the mountain where you supposedly would look over the clouds as if you were looking out of Gods window.

Breathless and tired I sat on the damp rock with the mist surrounding me and talked to God in my mind. I said “Okay God I am here. . . You could have at least have removed these clouds for me. I can barely see you. I have driven 3 hours alone…Where are you?” Still there was nothing. Isn’t it sad that we expect God to do some miracle to prove himself to us as if he is on our time and that we are not on his. I waited for God and soon my fears came to haunt me. You are alone Kanya…if you died right here no one would know.Do you really think people care about you? My mom had already said it was a stupid idea for me to be in the mountains alone. Suddenly I felt like she was right. I got scared. “God remove these fears.” I got a brief moment of suicide which had never crossed my mind. I panicked and began to run down the mountain, like a child that had just seen a ghost. I ran as if my life depended on it. As soon as I came to the open path, a busload of tourists were right in front of me. I stopped dead in my tracks and began to walk as if nothing had happened.

Although I was mad that I didn’t feel Gods presence or didn’t have that Godly moment which I was so searching, I realised that when we begin to search for God – the devil searches for us. The devil loves it when we are unhappy, when we are senseless and engulfed in unhealthy relationships, money and greed. These are the false illustrations of happiness and our inner being screams until it isn’t heard anymore. God rescues us by saying “Wake up there is more to life!” hopes that inner feeling will move us into a search for Him.

I think we all have different paths that God has called us to walk on.- when he calls us or when we realise He is actually real. It could be to leave all your treasures and find Him? It could be to leave the person you love in order to find the maker of Love, it could be to be in a place where you feel the presence of evil and realise then there must be a God. Whatever it is and whenever it happens you will know…your heart gets stirred up and you acknowledge this void that only God can fill. When it does don’t think about yourself…you will be just as confused. Just like the beginning of the movie, she got on her knees and prayed and God lead her step by step. Just get down on your knees and pray, and the light will begin to shine through the darkness.
God hears every prayer and counts every tear that falls J.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Opening of Mamma Mia


If you are debating about going to watch Mamma Mia….stop debating and just go and experience it for yourself. I was never a Mamma Mia fan, although I knew a lot of the song, I just found the movie really boring and really didn’t have any particular excitement for it. But this all changed after watching the musical last night at the Teatro Theater at Montecasino.

Since I wasn’t too hyper about attending the opening of Mamma Mia I felt a bit out of place because the opening is usually when you get the real fans of a show and also happens to be when all the famous people show up. I rocked up in an African dress that was older than me and flip flops, I wasn’t a fan and for sure wasn’t famous. He he he but we still got pictures taken as if we were famous.

The show was fantastic, the energy, the vibe, the colours and the characters all screamed Mamma Mia. I sat next to a gay couple and it actually was kinda funny coz I could tell the guys just wanted to get up and dance and show his flamboyant side. Avon and I didn’t hesitate…we sang out loud where we could and jived when we could. By the end of the night the whole room was just giving it their best moves and voices, and the guys next to me were busting moves with us .

I don’t want to give too much away about the show….but my favourite part was the dancing. It wasn’t your typical ladida dance from a musical because they added a bit of local moves here and there which really got the crowd laughing. My favourite character was the shuga mom because although she was older she was busting moves like no mans business.

Even though I enjoyed it I could see how the show could have certain people putting it on their …not to whatch list. As the main story lies around the whole idea that a daughter who doesn’t know who her father is since her mom was a bit of a wild one in her days. The characters go from gays, to shuga moms and the songs and gestures are can be a bit sexual. But as is life really and the people you meet on your way through life and trying to understand it.

I enjoyed the show because it put a lighter heart on a pretty serious situation. I mean imagine if you didn’t know who your dad was, or if you were the Mother who’s past came to haunt you, or the dad who didn’t know if he really was the dad. The light heartedness of the show is probably what a lot of people need, when the drama’s of life come their way.

Not only does the show lift you up I think a lot of people could relate to someone in the show. It wasn’t just some HOT cast of youthful people (but note there are some good looking girls and guys), but there were old and young, happy the sad, sexy and not so sexy, lovers and haters, married and divorced, gays and the straights, crazy and serious, black and white….characters. And each character played their role exceptionally well. …When you watch it just look at each character even if they are not in the spot light.

After watching the show I left the theatre realising why people loved Mamma Mia so much. If you go and watch it you will find that it is so hard to be in a bad mood after. When we left people where humming and dancing as they walked out. …Mamma Mia Here I go again….. Just watch it guys and see and feel for youselves!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Me and The GOOGLE

I find it so amazing how much information is at our fingertips just through The GOOGLE.. I mean have you really just sat and gone wow…what isn’t there out there that I can’t find out about through the internet. Maybe I am suffering form some serious delayed action but …. Yooooooo…the internet is hectic.

You can be sick and The GOOGLE can cure you. The other day I was suffering form a very bad headache and stiff neck. So I got onto THE GOOGLE and typed “stiff neck and headache” and BAM..there hundreds of diagnosis. I read through pages and pages of possible symptoms that could add onto what I thought I had. I went form sinusitis, to hey fever to meningitis. What worried me was that one article said “suffering form a headache and stiff neck are key symptoms of possible meningitis. Brrrrrr… I started to sweat just reading it. Then I read Fever…and for sure I was having a fever. Okay maybe I didn’t have the symptom of bad vision wasn’t going bad. The thing that truely saved me form diagnosing myself with meningitis was when I read “ If you are feeling a bit mental and are not thinking straight.” Well I don’t think I think straight every day but I was sure I was thinking straight on this day…I mean I was diagnosing myself using the internet….there should be some sanity in that right. J I concluded that is was definitely sinusitis and began using The Googles at home curing remedies of draining my sinuses with Water and salt. ..no I didn’t but the thought did cross my mind.

My absolute favourite thing to do on THE GOOGLE is finding recipes. But this requires a great amount of skill because you got to know exactly what you are searching for. My tip is to start with what you have in your fridge…that way you save yourself from driving to the shops. So say you only got Bacon and Broccoli. Well you just type that in THE GOOGLE and look through what comes up. You will find stir -fry bacon and broccoli to creamy bacon and broccoli casserole. Now what I am about to tell you next is absolutely crucial in succeeding with hunting for recipe…..You must add THE BEST to the beginning of your recipe. So type “THE BEST BACON AND BROCOLLI SALAD!” That puts you in a whole new playing field. Once you have gone through the best of the best Bacon and broccoli salads…..you simply print it and call your self SHEFF Ala Kanya!

Whenever I can’t figure out how to do something at work….I head to THE GOOGLE and just say it as it is. “How to mosaic classified images using…!” and BAM I find myself reading through forums of other idiots like myself trying to solve the same problem. It really makes me think…if I got a ridiculous question …..I am positive someone else in this world has asked the same ridiculous question on The Google and some saviour has answered the question on The Google. Although I often think to myself, “who has time to be answering such questions?”

Basically I just wanted to express my excitement for The Google.
..I know its not called THE GOOGLE. Just wanted to clarify that J.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Encounters with a Stranger


Meeting a stranger can always be interesting, and life changing if you take the time to listen. I truly believe that people come into our lives for a God given reason. You may not think of it at the time but each stranger we meet is like a puzzle piece to Gods master piece, but only time will allow you to realise it. The following blog is about how I took the time to listen to a stranger and where it took us both.

The day I met Fransisca wasn’t exactly the best day of my life. I was two weeks into my new job, I was adjusting to the traffic from Jozi to Pretoria, and on this Saturday I had to go into the office. After dropping my husband off at North-gate and asking my dad for some petrol money, I had to wait for my sister to come meet me there. It was a hot day, I was broke and depressed about working on a Saturday.

Then this young lady started to approach me and I wasn’t exactly in the mood to chat. But something came over me like the Holy Spirit whispering “Kanya all I ask is that you listen to her.” ....grrrrrr. So I asked God to help me listen because from what I could see…she looked rough around the edges, lots of make-up, short twist, denim jacket. She greeted me and began to tell me about her life, where she came from, who she was living with, how she was looking for a job, how it wasn’t easy. Something a lot of us have all heard before…but there was something different in this conversation. I began to talk about how I knew how hard it was to look for a job….But if I was struggling and had a Masters degree, how much more harder was it be for a girl with only O’levels. I told her I was only looking for someone to work for me for one day and she could come for an interview. By this time I had already interviewed 3 ladies, none of which were right for the job.

When I got into the car that day I briefly stepped into Gods world, I suddenly got flashes of her life, I got scared thinking how close prostitution could be..drugs. I got reminded about my prayer for a job, my frustrations with life and I began to realise how they were all nothing compared to hers. It was like at that moment I was touched by the compassion of God….. It was as if God was showing me how his puzzle of life worked and that this was just one puzzle piece. My blessing of having a job wasn’t for ME, MY LIFE MY NEEDS, MY DEBTS, MY DREAMS. No not at all. It was all for Gods Kingdom, Gods people. It was like God was giving me a glimpse at His BIGGER PICTURE but this was only one puzzle piece put in my heart by a stranger.

It is over 7 months later and Fransisca is like my daughter or my sister. We talk to each other about everything…from getting married, to contraceptives to loving your husband. She grew from working once a week with me to a full week of working for my friends and family. I realised later that she was a Christian and had been praying for a job just like me. We have both opened up our hearts to each other and have experienced so much more than we have ever imagined if we hadn’t met. We both know that it wasn’t in our own doings that got us to where we are today but Gods doing. There is so much more too her and I tell her that! Cleaning houses is only a stepping stone to what God has in store for her. But only time will tell and more puzzle pieces will be added to the puzzle of life.

Red Bull Cart Race: Jiva Inkunzi team

Tomorrow, 24th Sept 2010, marks one of the most exciting events in Soweto, The Red Bull Cart Race. This is a race where selected teams build home made carts and race them down a street in Soweto. Yup a good day of family fun. Don't ask how we got involved....it just started off with a small idea "hey why don't we......" and a month later the team is ready to race in a custom made (homemade) cart.

Now the rules of the race are simple: your cart can’t have an engine, it must have more than 2 wheels, a hooter and breaks. The rest is up to the teams imagination...and from what I have seen some teams go while...One team is called Booty Call and the cart is shaped like a boot (according to the sketch) To begin, all potential teams had to send in a sketch of what their cart will look like. Then Red Bull selects which carts will race on Sept 24th, 2010. This is the sketch we sent in:

Then the details are added…like team name, dance routine, d├ęcor ect. Our team name is Jiva Inkunzi which means dancing bull :). The core team consists of Avon (my husband), Reagan (brother inLaw), Elton (Avons Cousin) and Bradly (Avons other cousin). This team of great coloureds have been working intensively in developing a name for themselves. This type of branding came almost naturally to them, the choice of colours was pink and blue, the logo is a dancing bull, the cart is full of character and charisma. However; truth be told….none of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the Engineer uncle Eric himself. He knew exactly how to weld the cart together.



Last night I got to witness the final product. The cart was super cool and was exactly like the sketch we had envisioned at the beginning of the competition. We also went through our dance routine (which has to be withing 30seconds). From the looks of it the Jiva Inkunzi team was ready to show Soweto what they were all about. Form head to toe there personalities and dance moves just oozed with coolness…… Meet the team:
From top left: Avon Elton Bradly Reagan (bottom)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kanya’s Top 10: You know you live in Craigavon when?

I know some of you will relate to these top 10: You know you live in Craigavon when? But only if you live in the Craigavon Suburb. For those of you who don't live here this will give you and idea of some of the funny situations we go through. With all the little problems..we can only find humour in it all. Enjoy

  1. You have large bottles of water stored for the “just in case the water doesn’t come on days.” And you do dishes every night because you get haunted by the time when you didn’t have water for 3 whole days and your dishes began to grow things.
  2. Phone signal can only be picked up in certain areas of your apartment.
  3. You believe you are the unknown neighbours security guard because you back door looks over their large house. And you are still trying to figure out what exactly they do to live in such a house because they never leave.
  4. You get concerned when there is a different beggar at your regular intersection.
  5. Purchasing sunglasses and phone chargers on Witkoppen or William nicol is a quite a bargain.
  6. You grocery shop on Thursday and Friday nights because you know on Saturday Morning between 10am and 2pm…cedar avenue is way to stressful for your weekend. But you can deal with it during the week.
  7. You have a gym membership but only use it to go shower when the water stops flowing.
  8. You get disappointed when the billboard has changed from a pretty lady advertising a drink, to a pink Vanish advertisement selling stain remover. Its like contamination of your visual space….could the bottle get any pinker.
  9. You can’t wait for the rainy season because paying R60 a week for a car wash is starting to affect your budget.
  10. You wouldn’t be caught dead walking to Fourways mall which is less than 2km away but you will run around your block 4 times to get your exercise.

    And here is the bonus one:
  11. 11. You have a “lights out radar” when you drive home. If you are driving on your way home for dinner and the lights are out at Cedar Square you can guarantee you don’t have electricity. You are able to instantly strategise where to find your next meal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Have your cake and eat it too..Lies!


After a hectic weekend of craving cake, I could not resist an invite, from Marcia, to a treat at Isebella's bakery/restaurant (Pretoria).


Marcia had warned me about the cakes from this shop and she was so right, this was not your average piece of cake. It was beautiful, it even smelt good, just sitting ther on my plate. As I sunk my teeth into the Turkish delight cake I could feel all my female sense come to life. Woooooooooo...... HELLO WORLD. The icing was rich with flavour, with hints of Turkish delight pieces hidden within it. I hadn’t tasted anything like it before. The moisture and texture oozed with perfection. I savoured each bite like a kid trying not to suck on a sweet for too long…just so it wouldn’t finish too quick. It was indeed a taste of heaven.

Two hours and 3 cups of earl grey tea later, it dawned on us that we were not young anymore….we couldn’t have our cake and eat it too…we were getting to the age where we have to pay the price of eating cake L. The older we were getting the more the cakes were staying with us.…. On the hips and thighs. Marcia and I laughed at how when we were in high school we would eat 6 slices of bread minimum….. and we would still be skinny and hungry. Gone are the days … Soo gone

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Kanya the Remote Sensor

Well since it is lunch time and I feel like making my work sound more exciting than it really is…I thought I would write a blog about it.

So I am a remote sensor. Eek well remote sensing is the collection of information about objects/features without physically touching them. We carry out remote sensing every time we take a picture of someone….our camera captures the response of us based on what we reflect. Yes so you are also a remote sensors too.

But my type of remote sensing is a bit more complicated because instead of photographs I work with images generated from satellites. You are correct, satellites are those things that float around in space. There are a number of satellites that capture different types of information about our earth at different times. Tracker uses satellites to track where your car is a, a GPS uses satellites to provide us with location based information. Some satellites focus on climate others specialise in vegetation and so on. The really great satellites capture great detail spatially (measurement of a pixel – the smaller the pixel size the better) and spectrally (# of bands that the satellite captures information about – the more bands the better). These are the really expensive satellites and are required for exceptional precision and detail….we talking hyperspectral images where you can map what is beneath the ground.

I am currently using Landsat Satellite imagery to produce a basic Landcover map for a couple of African river basins. Landsat spatial resolution is 30m which isn’t the greatest because that is as zoomed in as you can get…30m. However Landsat has a pretty decent spectral resolution of 7 bands which allows you to capture more spectral information like types of vegetation. The other benefit of using Landsat is its affordability as it is freely available on the internet. However for projects such as mine I needed to purchase the imagery because all the images needed to be taken during the same time of the year and I needed them to be in the best condition as possible.
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This job isn’t always easy. It requires good software to process the images, such as Erdas or Envi, which can be very expensive. Also a number of processes need to be achieved before your image can be classified. Now that I have gone through all the stages – like removing the atmospheric effects (Haze and clouds), geometrically correcting each image (so that they actually fit accurately on a map)…ect...I am now classifying the images.

Classification is probably the best part of my job. It would have been ideal if I had been in the field before I had started mapping. But due to budget constrains and the purpose of this map field studies prior to classification wasn’t needed. This is where Google earth becomes very handy as I am able to zoom into areas and confirm features/landcover types much quicker than I would have done in the field. I feel like I am flying around the world to places I have never been, observing cultivated fields, wetlands, rivers, lakes ect. I can imagine what it would be like to be on the ground some areas are just so remote I wonder if people have even touched the land there.
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The benefits of being in my organisation is that I am able to confirm with in-house wetland experts and ecologist about features and landscape patterns that may not be familiar with to me. I need to make sure that the map I produce for the field visit is as accurate as I can get it. Later on this month our field experts will be going into the field to confirm if I got my classes correct. If not …it would be back to the drawing board.
So thats Kanya the remote sensor in a nut shell .


(The images in this blog show a river flowing over a different band of rock type which caused the river to braid). One image is from landsat(top) and the other is google earth (bottom). Notice the differences in resolution. ...google being more detailed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Reflections: Past, Present, Future

I was very interested in an article I read in the August issue of Oprah Magazine. It was letters to famous/successful ladies younger self from their older self. I know that sounds complicated but simply put the letters were words of encouragement during the tough times of their careers when they were younger.

For example one story was of Founder of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. She writes encouragements of how although she may not look like all her friends…tall and blonde,….she is still unique and had other qualities. .. here is a quote from the letter
“Your feeling of uncertainty as you’re trying to figure out what your life’s passion is won’t go away over night. You’ll feel lost at university. One day your mom will ask, ‘If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do?” You’ll say, somewhat hopelessly:” I’d go play with make-up at the cosmetics counter.” That’s when your mom will help you find Emerson College, where you’ll major in theatrical make-up”

She finished her letter by saying “Oh my God, if you’d told me when I was in high school that one day I’d take my eldest to Stanford University, That I’d be successful and have this amazing life, I’d never have believed it” Do you believe it now?

Isn’t it amazing how the struggles of our lives are actually the moments when we learn the most from God. It made me reflect on my “old self” and realise how confused I was at certain stages yet God was right there! When I was on my last penny and didn’t think I could finish my Masters (due to lack of motivation)…God pulled through. I remember sitting in my professors (Richard Kellys) office and crying (which I had done numerous times before), he said to me “Kanya I can see you one day Managing a Remote Sensing Department.” Yet here I am in a organisation which allowed me to build the department up from scratch…okay maybe it is a small department…but I must say I didn’t think I could have done it. When I didn’t believe I could love again he showed me how to love unconditionally.

After reading this I thought of my unpredictable future and imagined what my letter would be to myself now. Who would that “SOMEONE” be whoever she is I have no doubt that God would have used the ups and downs of today to weave me into a perfect quilt, with the colours and beads of a Kanya life.

Although I wrote this about me, my hope is that you would think of yourselves in this light. We all need to be encouraged and whatever it is you are going through there is a light! HIS time is so perfectly made for you just let GOD shine on your life.



Monday, September 6, 2010

ROAD RAGE = GAME OVER

The drive from Swaziland is 3.5 hours and the only way I can survive the journey is by playing "GAMES" with other drivers, but they don't know I am playing them. My favourite game is racing with Skoro Skoros (lousy cars) not the exceptionally slow ones because that’s just boring, but the ones that race past you down a hill and then struggle up a hill because of lack of VUMA, aka power. But the events of yesterday made me reconsider my Games.

As I was enjoying these games of mine one Skoro Skoro red truck car pulled up behind me while I was in the fast lane over taking. It would have been fine if he just relaxed but he decided to flash his lights franticly like he was in some major rush. GAME OVER for Kanya. I got so frustrated because I couldn’t move any faster coz there was a slower car in front of me and there were cars back to back on my left. I can completely understand if I was going slow in the fast lane….but IT WASN”T MY fault. So my game for entertainment purposes turned into a 1 hour …. “get back at the RED TRUCK”. Mean while Avon was fast asleep in the passenger side. This car was useless…. it couldn’t handle the hills at all. I managed to get to a point where I was in the fast lane and he was trying to over take me because now we were kind of going down hill but there was a BMW behind pushing him. I sped up, ever so slightly, just enough speed to irritate the guy behind him. The BMW was hovering and almost flashing his lights. I kept driving looking ahead as if I had no idea what was going on. But in my mind I was like …SEE HOW IT FEEL…SUCKER! I WIN J.

So we get of the N4 and travel on the N1 south to Wits Uni coz we had to drop of a Patrick (family friend who was passed out sleeping in the back). I was a lot calmer coz I had won the competition with the RED TRUCK. But just when I thought I was calm a White Van suddenly appears right at my tail, nearly kissing my ass. I was already going 120km/hour. Now that my passengers were awake I couldn’t express my anger to the Van, yet I let out a …”relax guy!”. But what I really wanted to do was raise my hand and pull down my glasses and give this guy a huge greasy (piercing look). This guy was in a serious hurry and as I watched his real skoro skorro van, with a plastic bagged back window, weave through the traffic I just thought, “what an idiot, I am not even going to play a game on you, coz you are going to cause an accident.”

Good thing I didn’t play and games because not even 5 minutes later on the M1 before the Empire exit I see serious action ahead in the fast lane. I was in the fast lane driving towards a scene where I saw someone pulling someone roughly out of the car. I thought for sure this was an accident. HECK NO because from the side profile I saw the biggest gun I have ever seen in my whole life. Now I am driving right towards it. I FREAK out. Put on my hazard lights…then realise by doing that I can’t switch into the left lane to avoid the action. It was like a movie. The Police were holding huge guns to the people who were driving the Skoro skoro Van. By this time the back window was out (Avon thinks someone tried to escape). My heart was racing because all I could think about was a SHOOT OUT. This was no GAME any more. Although I played the Game in my head. I would be the Hero who would shout “ GET DOWN!” and would speed through the traffic and bullets like I knew what I was doing.

Although technically I won the Game with the Skoro Skorro Van, I really reconsidered playing the game again. What if I did give the guys a huge greasy (look with piercing eyes)? That would be GAME OVER for Kanya.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CrimeAware

I found a very interesting crime site through my friend Erica Marks. It is a cime alert site where you can get emails notifying you of any crime that has been happening in your community. You just need to include your email address and address. As much as my last blog was being about people watching you..... you also need to watch people :).
FIGHT CRIME :) Together...... got to www.crimeaware.co.za

Monday, August 23, 2010

They are Watching You - Advances in the GPS

I had the pleasure of attending the GISSA meeting in Johannesburg on Friday 20 August and I thought I would share with you the advances in GIS and mapping communities because it was pretty shocking. If you are thinking about getting a GPS read this.

Danny Grobben (TeleAtlas) began the seminar with a talk about using the navigation community to build and maintain digital maps. TeleAtlas creates the maps that we see on a TomTom (GPS) but what fascinated me was how we, the TomTom users, contribute to the updating of these maps simply by connecting your GPS to the network and loading our comments. Such as “N1 now only has one lane” or “This road is now a one way road,” all these comments get verified and if correct all the other tomtom maps get updated. Our routes also get monitored so the head office actually knows if roads are active just by how many routes travel on that road. Who would have thought that we could actually help with the accuracy of the GPS maps just by driving to our regular destinations?

Our community contributions don’t end there, we also contribute to the Traffic updates that are loaded every 3 minutes on all the TomTom’s (the ones that have traffic alert layer). HOW? Well TeleAtlas is actually working with TRACKER and traffic alert companies to collect the most up-to-date traffic information. So on your GPS you will now know where the actual traffic back logs are happening and how long it will take to reach your destination. Your GPS will then provide you with another route which would be quicker. The data they have collected for the re-routing was obtained from TAXI drivers who travelled with GPS’s. So your GPS is as smart and as quick as a TAXI driver when it comes to re-routing. I don’t know about you guys but this makes me want a GPS. This would mean I wouldn’t have to call Ronaldo to find out how traffic is….or wait till the radio tells me there is a back log on the N1. You will also get crime alerts on the GPS, so now when I drive by Deipsloot I will be reminded to lock my doors. So are you thinking of getting a GPS? Read on.

The next presentation was by Geoff Green form Precinct Web. I was very impressed with Geoffs presentation on how you can set up a community base mapping project in support of disaster and crime management in Johannesburg. This could be done simply by mapping crime using an open source mapping system and Google maps. Crime clusters, plotted on a map, lead the police to find exactly how the criminals where getting into certain enclosed communities. In one case a storm water channel that went underground for several kilometres lead the police to where the actual problem was – poor communities in Alexandra. After this presentation I got inspired to set up my own community crime mapping site.

The following presentation brought us back to the GPS and the future use of this device. Etienne Louw from MapIT talked about Digital mapping, entering into a new phase. He was talking 3D GPS’s with real life views of where you are going and what the buildings look like. Further more he discussed use of GPS’s for advertising, where companies put in there locations and their specials on the GPS’s. So you could be driving to work (SEF) and “Knowledge Commons, Restaurant” will show up on your GPS as having a “Breakfast special for R29.” Now how MapIt makes money would be by the amount of people they bring to Knowledge Commons doorstep …..coz remember YOU ARE BEING TRACKED, so MapIt will know exactly where you are driving to and will get a certain amount of money for all those who drive to Knowledge Commons. Still want a GPS?

I thought the advertising was petty innovative but it really got me thinking about my level of privacy. Etienne did address this issue and said you are actually asked before you by your GPS unit whether you want to be tracked…..but I am sure they would put it in a more friendly way like “Would you want to contribute to the community mapping project? Yes/No” and knowing some of us we wouldn’t even think about saying no…. We would be so excited about the new GPS unit with Traffic and crime alerts, with a bonus advertising layer for your special restaurants and shops, ……such that we would tick all YES, YES, YES. But by doing so we are giving our Privacy away. Did you know that with the new I-phone you are actually asked if you want to share your photos with i-phone?????? To me that is just crazy no wonder famous people all of a sudden have scandalous pictures show up out of no where. For all you know they could have been taking photos of themselves on their new i-phone but ticked YES for sharing photos.

There was talk also on mapping social networks so instead of going on facebook you will have a social map which would show where all your friends are in the world – in real time. That would for sure encourage us to keep updating our facebook location….or else you would have someone writing on your facebook wall….”Yoooo are you still in India?” But that brings me back to the issue of Privacy. Maybe I would want to be in India but with only my close friends knowing and not my 578 facebook friends. What if I had a stalker on facebook? What about those undercover rapists that have been using facebook to locate victims? This social network map would be like Candy to a kid for them.

The whole conference really got me thinking about the life we are living in and the life we are going to be living in. I loved that GIS was advancing so much and I was in the “know how” of it but I really did get concerned about the future privacy levels. I was baffled when Etienne said at the end of his presentation something along the lines of “It is already written in the book of Revelations so you might as well buy into it now!” Brrrrrr I started to re-think my purchase of a GPS unit.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The A-Team Premier

Date: 12th August 2010
Location: Nu Metro cinema complex at Montecasino, JHB,
Highlights: Two members of the A-Team crew: Mad Murdoch played by Sharlto Copley (from District 9) and Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson(from Ultimate Fighting Championship UFC Title Holder).

Being invited to the A-team Premier was just the right medicine I needed for my very sick day last week Thursday. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get up close and personal with the rich and famous. Going to events like these is like going to the Zoo for me. I observe every creature...how they interact with each other, moved, talked or eat.

I got waves of nerves when we arrived at the venue and saw a huge red carpet crowded around with people. I was here to observe…not to be observed. But I daydreamed about walking on it. There we would be Avon and I holding hands pretending to be famous and walking with such confidence. The next thing you know a random reporter would whisper to the next “Um who are they?” other reporter: “Maybe they are in the movie too”…..Since no one had watched the movie yet everyone would just start taking photos just because the majority were doing it. I could just see myself waving gracefully …ha ha ha ha. Then I would walk up to a random person and sign their note pad as if they wanted my autograph. Qwa Qwa Qwa.

My daydream ended abruptly when we got handed our PRESS PASSES and then got scurried around the back of the crowds towards the stage. Well I guess a press pass is better than nothing. By this time Sharlto Copley who was playing Captain Murdok and Quinton who was playing Mr T were now on stage chatting about the movie. We were not in a great position to take pictures. But all I could think about was if I didn’t get a picture no one would understand my experience. Plus I had to earn my PRESS PASS.. you know what I mean. (Just working on them acting skills)

The A-Team movie was packed with action. But I must admit the fact that we had actually just seen the characters before we got into the movies made the movie even more ‘real.’ There was loads and loads of action, with a hint of romance and comedy, which is just the kind of movie I can sit through.

What really made my night was the premier after party. There were cameras and lights everywhere; waiters were walking around with free food and drinks. Avon and I were approached by a TV crew asking if we would like to share our views. I didn’t even know who they were filming for but I was so in. THIS WAS MY MOMENT. I was going to have a say on TV, a voice or a smile or something, who cares for WHAT J. The interview was going fine till they started asking me specific questions like “What did you think about Sharlto Copley!” You can’t do that to a dyslexic chick …names and me don’t mix. As soon as you ask me a name of someone I don’t know personally you can forget me relating to that question!” Unless he was Nelson Mandela, Mugabe, Oliver Mutukuzi. These are brothers I know. Sharlto rings no bell to my brain…maybe VICUS would but SHARLTO. I haven’t called him, watched him (WHEN HIS NAME IS CALLED SHARLTO). Maybe if I had watched him on a TV interview where a guy would say “Tonight we have Sharlto Copley in studio” Then he would walk in and only then would my brain click “ Hey ain’t that the guy from District 9….VICUS” But nooooooooo…… I have never had a moment like that.
So I smiled and gave a gentle turn to Avon with a look like “Baby you answer the question!” and AVON SAVED THE NIGHT J.

When I actually did meet Sharlto Copley for a picture, I wrapped my hand around his back and just thought damb if only he knew I didn’t know his name 5 minutes ago. I felt sooo bad. I mean I was like the reporter in my daydream…..the one that took pictures of others just because everyone else was taking pictures. That felt terrible. I watched him as he signed autographs and thought gosh was this what it was like being famous. I mean the interactions between him and the fans were not anything to write home about. How would I feel if everyone were to be handing me pieces of cardboard just for me to put a little scribble? Don’t get me wrong … the guy was very friendly and so down to earth. It all just made me wonder how would he feel when he gets to his hotel room having met thousands of people but having not connected really with anyone of them. Did it really matter?

When I met Mr T I was so nervous. He was just so massive and yet so soft spoken. He knew Avon form the interviews before the show so he was cool to get a picture with us. Man I love my Husbands job J.

The whole experience made me think about being an actress/actor. The industry felt so near when you stood with the actors, yet at the same time so far when you watch the movies. I am sure that the fact that Sharlto Copley is South African made the dream “to be big” feel possible for many of us. But where is the substance in such an industry???? Do we really appreciate famous people for their accomplishments or is it because everyone knows them so we should know them? I really wonder sometimes.
Stay tuned for more adventures

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Caribana Tribute

As it was Caribana WEEEKEND the first weekend of August, I just couldn’t resist writing a reminiscing blog about my experiences at such a festival. For those of you who are not familiar with Caribana it is the Caribean festival of Toronto and it only happens once a year. It is MASSIVE it is HUGE. All the hotels are booked out and everyone with a sense of adventure and the spirit of fun flocks to Caribana. It is officially Toronto’s biggest money making weekend.

Now I got introduced to Caribana in my first year of living in Canada, which is thanks to my wonderful friend Camille, who I had met during frosh week. Camille and I always laugh at how we met because we were the only black girls in the Environmental Studies department….Now remember there is no such thing as coloreds that side of the world, I was light skinned black, maybe Milado also known as 0.5s (Half breeds). It would have been strange if we didn’t talk or befriend each other….COZ we both knew we were the minority in the department…. and it was hard not to spot one another out from the crowd. I remember staring at her and wondering ….which part of Africa could she be from. Her features were very unique her face was round and her body wasn’t typical African. …well the African I knew. ..which was small waist and large hips. Anyways it turned out that Camille was from no where even near Africa, but came from Trinidad an island in the Caribbean, which I had never heard of (at that point in my life)….but ended up learning so much about culture.
Camille was the seed planter of my wannabe Caribbean persona. She introduced me to Soca music and got me loving slow reggae. It was like a culture I had never heard of that played music with a rhythm that moved much faster than Kwasa-Kwasa. When she invited me to Caribana I could not say NO. Even though I was warned about how bad such a carnival parade was. People had been shot in past years. But my thought was what is the worst that can happen to us because we were a group of over 15 girls. Plus my new sense of adventure to experience such a parade was burning deep inside me.
Camille introduced me to a whole other range of friendships with these 15 girls. I called them my Caribana Girls! These were all Camille’s sisters friends. Almost Every year they would meet up strictly to celebrate Caribana. The friendships didn’t run deep but we knew enough about each other to enjoy each others company. Together we were such a mix of girls with different looks and personalities. There was Daniel (Camille’s sister) who was daring and loud with these captivating eyes, to Layel who was Persian sweet tall and slender with long flowing locks, Nancy who was from Egypt short with curly hair that could look like an afro if she wanted it, to Ruth chocolate skin colour with a wonderful smile. That was just to name a few…but you get the gist of the group.. I was always the rookie …the newbe girl. Although most of you know me as being pretty loud….with these girls I wasn’t much. I remember Camille telling me that the girls were worried about her brining me…. Thinking what if she doesn’t like to dance…party pooper or a complainer. Mainly because this type of a weekend wasn’t the time to be stuck up.

So our typical Caribana weekend would involve all of us 15 girls sleeping in 2-3 hotel rooms. The plan was you were not going to be doing much sleeping. I would feel bad for any person that stayed next door to us because our rooms were always up late and full of music. Friday nights involved walking down Young Street. That was all that needed to be happening. Anyone who was anyone would be walking down this long street…..just walking and checking people out …or being checked out. That was it. We always had a theme for our group…Friday nights would be White T shirts and Jeans. During the parade would be a costume or colour theme.
It may have sounded childish (dressing the same) but it actually felt really good when you are all dressed in one colour. … It would be harder to loose someone and you always felt part of a family. It was always funny when guys would shout in an attempt to get our attention “yo yo, girls in pink” …and no one would turn…then they would try to pick out some feature “yo, you Alicia keys...” which would be any girl in the pink with the Alicia keys hair style. But none one would ever be interested.. It was like an unsaid rule that this was a girls weekend not a Pick up boys weekend. We would probably tease guys every now and again…sometimes it would be actually funny coz some of the girls would actually embarrass guys. I guess coz the harassment that would go on would actually be irritating.
The Parade its self is CRAZY Hot. It is full of loud music and millions of colourful costumes and masks. What I love most is that generally everyone is out to have a good time. The weather would be at its best during this weekend and in Canada when it is even the slightest bit warm you are bound to see lots of skin. Its like you might as well go extreme because it only happens a few days of the year. Even I have the shortest of shorts…just doesn’t feel right wearing them this side of the world. I look back at some of my pictures and think Wow how in the world did I wear that with out feeling revealing. But because everyone is dressed up it doesn’t feel revealing… My first caribana I probably had the most covered but it got less and less as the years went by. By 2008 I was actually in a Caribana costume. Wearing that costume made me feel as if I was born in Trinidad. I would even pretend like I was from there… but my accent was useless.