Friday, May 27, 2011

Brief Moments of Fame

So I was driving along the N1 south on my way home from a hectic day at work and all of a sudden I see this truck pull up beside me and THERE I AM ON THE TRUCK! It felt so strange because it was me...when I didn't know I was it was a Before Pregnancy (BP) moment. It was as if I just needed to see that picture right at the specific time...what were the chances hey. It was a brief moment of excitement that only I could enjoy on my lonely drive home. I couldn't wave or jump up and I just it drive along about its day.

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: The Violent Pregnant Ninja (Week 11)

I pulled a Violent Ninja move on my Husband…..Eeek! I only went as far as orange belt in Karate…but this….This was BLACK BELT techniques! Does pregnancy make you a violent person? Is there something wrong with me? Well here is how my violent episode unfolded, exploded and downloaded.

Avon and I got home from a great dinner out, but when we got home electricity was out and the whole place was dark and my fear instincts kicked in. I start imagining things that are not there..…shadows looked like strange men moving in a real Ninja movie. Mean while my flustered husband was in overheating mode needed a breeze in the house. But even though I knew this I still ask him if I can close the main door because I just didn’t feel safe (not admitting to the dark figures I am imagining). He refused but in a nice way, saying “nothing is going to happen to you babe.” But that wasn’t what I wanted to hear…. so I said fine I am going to bed then.

I went to the bedroom and as I started trying to get ready for bed my emotions and irritation levels started boiling, then I realised that my phone was on the dining room table. So I walked blindly to the living room not knowing I was in Ninja defence/attack mode. Mean while Avon was walking slowly round the opposite corner towards me in super chilled mode. I walk right into him and get the shock of my life because now this dark shadow was actually MOVING.  Then WAPAW KIA  were the sounds of my Ninja FLYING SLAPS. Yup I slapped him twice and with Black belt intensity. With the second hit being a conscious vicious slap but I was so freaked out with myself that I didn’t know what else to do. He stood there in complete bewilderment…if you or I could have seen his facial expression I am sure it would have been priceless!

I stormed across the room blindly, grabbed my phone and went into the bed room with a heart racing faster than a rave beat and tears flowing and evaporating quickly off my, should be red, cheeks. I was replaying my thoughts, thinking if he could have just closed the door I would have been fine!!!!!

The I paused…could it have been my hormones? What is wrong with me? I have never really hit a guy except once and it wasn’t enough for me to think that I was a violent person. I had heard of scary stories of pregnant women bringing out knives and threatening ridiculous things. If anything, during this pregnancy, I was expecting to be a crier not violent Karate Ninja.

After 15 minutes of silence alone in the bedroom I decided to pray which brought me to my senses. But facing Avon now felt super awkward…..I mean how do you confront someone after such an event. I really wasn’t in the mood for a fight and was kind of shocked at how the mood switched so quickly in a matter of minutes. I was actually embarrassed and didn’t know quite what to do…other than send an sms. Yup that’s right he was in the other room and I was so ashamed of myself that an SMS seemed the least shameful move to pull. I guess that’s the best thing you can do when you can’t face up for your actions.

Thank goodness he wasn’t angry with me just super confused. When we chatted the first question was “But I just don’t understand what I did?” I guess with pregnant women some things just can’t be fully explained. ….even you can’t explain it L. I think the tip is if you have no real explanation for your action you better just humble yourself and apologise. …and try not to turn into a Ninja again!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Meeting a S.A Survivor!!!

After watching last weeks episode of Survivor South Africa, Maldives, I really thought wow imagine what it would be like to be in the Final 2 of survivors! I mean you would have to have put up with a whole lot of characters, environments and emotional turmoil...and to top it all up YOU COULD BE A MILLIONAIRE! Well last night at the VWs 60th anniversary I had the wonderful opportunity of chatting with Letshego who is one of the final 2 left in S.A Survivors.

Letshego and Hykie....The hungry look!
As soon as I met Letshego I could tell that Survivor really took a toll on her body. In person she looked nothing like what she looked like in the final days on the island. She now had meat to her bones and face and her smile was real…You know guys there is a difference between a Hungry smile and a Not Hungry smile and the latter was evident that evening! Later on that evening Letshego pulled out a photo of how she looked when she first got back and I stared at the photo in bewilderment! She raised an interesting scenario which we TV viewers don’t think about – explaining where you have been and why you look the way you do?. She said, “Imagine having to go to work straight after doing survivor??? I mean first of all no body knows where in the world you have been because you are sworn into secrecy…and a month later you just rock up back at work looking as sick as a dog.” In my mind I could just picture how us Africans would evaluate it all because….we always jump to the HIV Aids conclusion. I could picture ladies bickering in the office print room, lets call them Josephine and Margaret. Margaret would take the lead and say “Ya you see her eyes…. that is what gives it away. I am telling you Josephine she has it.. IVirus!” and Josephine would reply with a question/answer “Serious?” which always comes back with a sure confirmation that the truth is spoken “Serious!”  and Josephine and Margaret would walk away feeling like the truth was spoken. For me those are the moments when you wish you could catch people in full on gossip and enjoy how tables turn as they realise that YOU WERE ON SURVIVOR and COULD BE A MILLIONAIR!!!! I would walk in and quit my job because I wouldn’t have to put up with my lousy boss and hop into my cash paid VW CC lol…(FYI I enjoy my current job and boss…remember people this is just a random Kanya day dream)

Letshego and Kanya at the VW 60th Anniversary (Not hungry smile)
Unlike me and my boastful day dream Letshego had a humble vibe around her. It’s 3 days before Letshego actually knows if she is going to win or not but her oar is as calm as ever. Not in an arrogance way but more like a peace about what is to come. Which I liked because now everything is in the hands of the public vote! That would really make me anxious. It is either a Million Rands or BA (NOTHING). She said when she went into the game she went in as Letshego and she was going to come out as Letshego no matter what. I think this is a quality a lot of people loose as soon as the lights, camera and action hits! What I saw while chatting to her was exactly what I saw on TV , honest, smart and true to who she really is, and I got a strong sense that on Friday morning when she wakes up she would be the same Letshego with or without the Million.

So given that you know what I think about Letshego here is what you need to do coz time is running out:

Cast your vote via SMS or MXit. Send the name of your favourite contestant (in our case it is Letsego) to 37177. You can vote up to 100 times at the cost of R1.50 per SMS. VAS rates apply and you can't use free minutes. 

FYI – I am not getting paid for this, I just met Letshego last night and liked what I saw and felt so decided to do a blog on it J

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The End of the World?

So the other day my mom just mentioned in passing “have you seen the signs declaring May 21st as the end of the world?” I hadn’t seen the signs but I had heard bits and pieces here and there about people declaring that the end of the world was going to take place sometime this year.

But it really got me thinking “What if it was the end of the world?” I mean what if it was all true and we were all walking around as if nothing has changed. What if God was taking his chosen people up to Heaven and all those who remain will suffer? What if? Maybe that Carte Blanch episode on Solar flairs was a sign that this world will get blown into smithereens.

So I embarked on a serious conversation with God ...which went something like this:
Kanya: But God couldn’t you just tell me when exactly the world was going to end? Couldn’t you just give me a sign, just so I could prepare myself?
God: What preparations are you talking about My Dear Kanya? Are you going to make sure your bags are packed? That you have saved up enough budget?
Kanya: You’re funny…I am just saying if it really is the end of the world then what really matters. My job, my house, my car are really all pointless really?
God: But you knew this already Kanya. I don’t know why you are getting scared now. It has been written that this day will come. I have always told you to be prepared always.
Kanya: Ya but I want to be prepared-prepared! You know like make sure I have said a really awesome prayer asking for forgiveness and then do something spectacular like give all my money away to a good cause just to show you that I am a Good person and deserve to go to heaven. Oh and I will make sure I have read my Bible too.
God: Kanya we have been over this and over this….it isn’t about your good works that get you to Heaven! No good deed or money giving will cover your sins only the blood of Jesus.  Remember I sent Jesus Christ to die for your sins. …everyone’s sins. That’s how bad your sin of the world was!
Kanya: But my sins weren’t so bad. Like I haven’t killed anyone or stolen a car or anything.
God: Sin is sin no matter how bad you think it is, it is the same to me.
Kanya: I know Lord but sometimes I just get confused. I really don’t understand how it can be so simple as believing in Christ?
God: Jesus died not so you could keep on sinning. He died to save you from the Guilt and Power of sin. Don’t you remember how you were before you met me?
Kanya: Eek ya I was probably on the road to hell … a certain degree of course. Sin had dominion over me. Lets just say I am super glad I found you J it was like I was made new. But sometimes I just don’t feel good enough.
God: That’s your human nature kicking in again. Had you not believed in Jesus Christ…. you and I would not be having this conversation right now or any conversation. You have come along way Kanya. Don’t stop believing in me and following me. You should be prepared for the end of the world at all times! Who says you are even going to live till then.
Kanya: Brrrr you are right…I am acting like I am going to live forever. I love you God and Shot for sending your Son Jesus J! What a guy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

~The Unexpected Angels~

There are people who come into your life who you would have never thought would impact you….but they do. And there are people who you would have probably never have encountered but then life puts you into a situation that creates a bond between the two of you that would have never been there before. Well this is a blog about how God used the least expected people to change ....I call them the Angels in life. This blog is a dedication to my friend Tania for Lupus Awareness day, May 10,2011.

This journey all started when I met Piet-louis and Althea during the Graduate orientation week at the University of Waterloo. They were a South African couple starting their PHD in the same Department as me. Piet-louis was a typically structured Afrikaans man, and if you don’t know what that looks like – big boned, rounded tummy, strong opinionated kind of guy. At first appearance I thought “Lord of all the people you could have sent from South Africa, why Afrikaners!” Yes that was probably racist of me but where I came from a majority of Afrikaners were perceived as racist themselves and stuck to their own kind. So really it was almost like “I don’t like them because most of them don’t like us (people of colour!)”…so I thought.

Piet-louis was probably the first person I had ever introduced myself to – as a Christian….or as he said “Sister in Christ!” When he knew I was a Christian his face lit up with excitement and he proudly introduced me to his wife Althea. They didn’t know it at the time but for me the whole introduction as a Christian wasn’t natural to me. I was more an under cover Christian, who prayed in silence and spoke my mind in private. But after this meeting it all changed as our friendship developed into a whole prayer group that met once a week at their home. Through them I learnt so much about trusting God and also realised the sin in me! After 8 months it was like we had been friends since birth. To the point that, I was travelled to South Africa to meet them there and see what opportunities could come up for my master’s research.

Althea, Piet-louis, Amy, Rene and cousins
Piet-louis, Althea and their two kids welcomed me to South Africa. I had one week to sort myself out while with them. Yup one week to get the research position, find a place to live, organise a car, find my way around ect. Through prayer everything happened like a miracle – Piet-louis and Althea loaned me their car because they were going back to Canada, I got funding through Piet-louis work he did with Maccaferri, South Africa.  Piet-louis also introduced me to a family friend called Tania, who offered her spare bedroom to me for rent for the 4 months I was in South Africa.

Living with Tania was how I found out about the disease Lupus. Now Tania was a couple of years older than I was and was also very much Afrikaans.  She was diagnosed with Lupus around about the age I was at the time. I had never heard of such a decease but Lupus is (aka SLE) is a chronic, incurable, potentially life-threatening, auto-immune disorder, whereby the body’s defence mechanisms ‘attack’ itself. It is not contagious, but genetic and affects mostly women between the ages of 14-50; however, the illness can occur in men, newborn infants, children and the elderly.

As the months went on Tania and I became really good friends and I witnessed the true effects of this disease and it baffled me. All of a sudden the stresses of my life really appeared to be insignificant compared to what she was going through. She was such a hard worker and extremely clever but some days her body just wouldn’t want to get out of bed. You see Lupus mainly attacks the joints, skin, lungs, kidney, heart, blood vessels, liver and nervous system. Tania would tell me that some days she would lie in bed and command her body to function eg. tell her legs – you better start moving coz we have work to do! Her body would get internal bruises out of no where no bump or anything just a bruise that would appear. She would fear using her sick days because she was afraid there would be a time she would really need them. So she pushed and worked herself harder than any other employee.

One night we sat up and watched a movie about a lady who was trying to fight cancer. The movie ended so well with her being able to fight the cancer and eventually have children. I just blurted out “wow isn’t that great!” but I didn’t realise that Tania had got emotional with the movie. She said to me “Sometimes I wish I had cancer!” That really put her disease into perspective for me. She was wishing she could have cancer because there could be a chance that she could get cured and could eventually have a child… yet with Lupus there was no cure and children were not an option. I was shocked. 

Tania still smiling when I visited her in hospital
The real traumatic moment for me was when she went through a period of illness known as ‘flares’ and she got admitted to hospital. Just before I walked into her hospital room I listened to the doctor explaining what was going on inside her. The doctor drew a diagram illustrating that her whole oesophagus, tummy and intestines were raw/damaged! My tummy turned at the thought of the pain she could be experiencing. But when we sat and chatted she cried, not about the pain but the fact that she couldn’t go to an event with her friend that night. You see the part of her suffering that hurt her most wasn’t the sickness but how it affected her friendships and her ability to live a normal life. Something a lot of us take for granted each day.

Nyemu, Kanya, Tania, Mom in Tania's 
Living with Tania really shed light on the true essence of life! She would say we are all going to die at some point…..God told me when I was going to die and I will live and cherish each day and every friendship till then. Tania was such a strong Christian and never doubted herself and Gods purpose over her life. Even when I asked here would you have wanted to have wished this disease away? She explained she found something inside of herself that she would not have been able to have found if she didn't go through with this experience. I visited her church and as we sang pure Afrikaans hymns I really felt Gods presence. I stood there singing in my new Afrikaans accent and looked around at all the Afrikaans faces and thought "Lord you have opened up my eyes and heart to things I never thought I needed changing or stirring up! You put Tania and the Grundling family into my life like unexpected Angels......Thank you!"
Living with Tania ignited a real self reflection - could I continue to live if this happened to me, would I still be able to serve and trust my mighty God? Why do bad things happen to good people? Well these are also some of the questions my pastor asked himself when he was battling with cancer! If you are interested in answers, we start a new series this week called “Why do Bad Things happen” and it hopes to answer some of these heart struck questions.. go to  (click resources) for each video preach.  

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Doctor, Doctor - I am Internet Sick! (Week 8)

Tip number one for early in early pregnancy is to “Stay away from the internet!” and get a decent Pregnancy Book! But did I know this……as you know the internet is my trusted friend for anything. So I just clicked my way into the pregnancy – Freak out Zone.

For example I totally stopped drinking normal tea and started drinking chamomile tea so decided to check up on The GOOGLE “Chamomile Tea and Pregnancy” Sho sho sho! I thought I was going to miscarry just reading the comments and the cautions against it! Then I started looking up other things like “Flax seed oil” because I have also increased my intake in this because of my eczema…>Sho sho sho. Then I typed in things to avoid during pregnancy and it took me to things like Rosemary, shark fish, sushi, the list goes on. It sounded like any issue could cause some effects some how!

So when I went to visit the GP for an infection I had I was really in a panic. I asked him all my questions and after all my huffing and puffing, and showing of things I was taking, he just told me to just be normal and take a recommended vitamin. I nodded my head in agreement but my mind was just saying “BE NORMAL! there is nothing NORMAL about being pregnant??? I am sure I need more Folic Acid and more Calcium and more this and that!!!! I mean I am carrying a life here DOC!”

Well I eventually calmed down with my overload of information and folic acid…and did my best to behave – Normal. I have even managed to control this morning sickness – Plain crackers and ginger tea is the way forward. I wake up and the first thing in my tummy is a dry cracker….mmm yummy.  I get to my desk at work and I sip at the bitter sweet taste of ginger tea. I am still struggling with cooking and eating certain foods though and I get super tired especially in the afternoons at work. I sometimes have to sneak out during my lunch break just for a quick nap...which is quite ridiculous really. It just fascinates me that something soooo small is causing me to be soooo exhausted. I never thought I would be turned off food either. But hey I guess it is all part of the journey. 

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Suddenly it Hits You! (Week8)

When my first morning sickness symptoms kicked in, Avon was away on a conference and I was sleeping over at Marcia and Craigs place. That morning I woke up and just stared at the thatched roof, something told me to just turn over and pray. So I did but I wasn't so sure what I was praying for or about but I thought I would give him thanks and praise.

I thought I was going to be like my mom and have no morning sickness. But morning sickness struck me down like a bolt of lightning. I hadn’t told Marcia and Craig yet just because I wanted to be sure I was pregnant. I remember Craig offering to cook a “egg and bacon breakfast!” and the thought made my tummy turn. I could barely hold down my regular oat meal porridge.

I got to work and as I hung over the office toilet throwing up and just started crying. WHY! WHY! I mean now I know I am officially pregnant but WHY such a sickness. I felt like saying “baby you making mommy not so happy!” Then I realised that maybe it doesn’t have a brain yet. I remembered reading that by now the baby has a heart and webbed feet and legs. It would be like talking to a Gecco (lizard).  The thought made me laugh none the less.

I tried not to make much noise while gagging because no one in the office knew I was pregnant yet. The whole silence of not telling people made me feel really lonely. People would ask me about their GIS tasks and I really just wanted to say GUYS leave me alone I am having a baby here! But no one knew, I just looked like I was having a bad day…almost every day! Even my walking pace, in the corridor, slowed down big time. I was so lucky to be sleeping over at Marcia and Craig’s – coz the drive home would have just made me even more sick. 

The Rhythm of My Pregnancy: Is everything okay? Weeks 5-7)

I have read so many websites in attempt to try educating myself about the first symptoms of Pregnancy. I have read of all the symptoms I am suppose to be experiencing and the only thing I feel is itchy nipples and tiredness. No morning sickness, no dizziness, no serious mood swings. It all is making me start to think that maybe I might not be pregnant. I spoke to a girl in my life group who is 8 weeks pregnant and she said she was the same…and then it all came at once. It’s like I want it to happen so I can be sure I am pregnant but I don’t!!! Brrr

My body still looks the same I am 56kgs and 165cm tall. I even went for an audition for a swim suite Kellogg commercial. I remember standing there in my bikini thinking “I may not look like this forever might as well take advantage! And I sure shoot date  is soon (for all of our sakes)!”  I envisioned myself on a beach posing for the commercial…while holding my tummy in big-timeJ.

Avon has been a great support…even though things haven’t got quite hectic. He just makes me feel secure for the time to come. We go for walks and talk about the future our plans….the changes to come. It all seems crazy how our life will change when we have a child….but at the same time everything feels and looks normal. Its like our discussions are a daydream.