2012 Goals

I’ve been living with less goals these days, though there are some general things I’ll be keeping in mind in 2012:

  • be truly open to new experiences/cultures/people
  • don’t accumulate stuff
  • family is always more important than money
  • be confident (this applies especially to school)
Here are the few goals I do have for 2012:

Tour D’Afrique


  • stay positive and remember that pain is temporary
  • don’t get addicted to painkillers
  • cycle as many km as is reasonably possible

Friends (Though I always try to visit a few friends each year, this year should be easier as  people will come to ME in NYC!)

  • I intend to:
    • see several friends from McGill at least once (whether it be in Toronto, Montreal or somewhere else)
    • visit at least one friend from my exchange
    • attend Stu & Maggie’s, and Brenna & Kenley’s weddings


  • “return” to a vegetarian diet when I am back from Africa

2011 Highlights

As it is a new year, I spent my morning reflecting on how crazy 2011 was (good and bad). It  was a year full of transitions and travel. My experiences wouldn’t have been the same without such wonderful, amazing hosts (Maggie and Stu, Dany, Julia, Vicky, Murray, Marina and Danielle) Here are some highlights:

  • Guatemala
    • Biking to a macadamia farm with my great friends Erika and Danielle
    • Experiencing the wonders of Antigua, Atitlan, Tikal and the Rio Dulce with Erika
  • Belize – my first warm water dives with amazing fish and coral

  • Honduras
    • Living (briefly) with my old roomie Julia, one of my favourite people ever, in San Pedro Sula
    • Night diving in Utila (one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done)
    • Cliff jumping and swimming in waterfalls in Yojoa

  • Nicaragua
    • Volcano boarding with Mike in Leon
    • Watching Mike relish our spa day in Granada
    • Climbing the biggest, baddest volcano on Ometepe Island

  • Montreal – it was pure bliss returning to this amazing city and bixi-ing with my best girlfriend Dany.

  • Toronto – Steph, Vicky, Julia, Murray, Mitch and Dany. I couldn’t ask for more (with the exception of Benny).
  • Ottawa – watching Vicky teach Ronen how to waterski was priceless. Learning how myself was icing on the cake.

  • Churchill, MB – swimming with thousands of belugas was a lifelong dream fulfilled. I’ve never felt more proud of Manitoba and more privileged to be somewhere.

  • Friends
    • Gimli (specifically August Long) and all the people who are synonymous with this magical town (Chloe, Katrina, Kenley/Brenna, Stu/Maggie, Dave/Dani, Leslie, Aaron, the Goons and their girlfriends, and of course Mike) are always a highlight of my year.
    • Leah’s wedding was heart-warming and filled with unique, memorable and artistic details
    • All my lunches/breakfasts/dinners with my friends from BH (Megan, Alexis, Clo, Carleigh, Marta, Kyla, Marisa, Fejes, Katrina, Dany, Leah, Brenna, Steph)

  • Family
    • It was amazing to finally visit my Uncle Brian and Aunt Virginia in Kelowna, BC. They have a beautiful lakefront house and a winery with amazing views (and wine).
    • I am so so proud of my brother Nelson for having such a successful year. He moved out, released an album, went on tour, and completed his fifth year of mechanical engineering (with amazing grades), all while working part-time.
    • I had a great year with my step-dad David and his new girlfriend Terri-Lynn. She is fantastic, supportive and interesting. I also really enjoyed Anne’s (my step-grandma) visit. She taught me how to knit!
    • I enjoyed working closely with my dad this year as he ran for the Green Party in the provincial election
    • Mike’s family continues to be the best second family anyone could ask for, always so generous and welcoming
    • I felt very honoured to be named Lucas Alvarez’s (the cutest baby in the world and Mike’s nephew) godmother

  • Getting accepted to Columbia University to do my MBA
  • Selling my mom’s house and finally settling her estate was a big relief! It also meant I could finally move out of the suburbs!
  • Awarding the first Janet Sprout Memorial Scholarship to a very bright, motivated and promising girl from Afghanistan.