Becoming Fools!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Off into the sunrise...

I'm off! I boarded my plane early this morning, and flew off into the sunrise (it was gorgeous). There nothing like seeing a sunrise when you are above the clouds.

For those of you who do not know, my final destination today is Guatemala City. I am returning after a year and eight months. In February 2010, my husband and I traveled to Guatemala on behalf of the creative non profit, Athentikos. We were participating in the filming of the
documentary movie "Reparando". Today is an exciting day, because I finally get to meet my wonderful friends, and producers, Scott and Amelia Moore, who I have been skyping for two years.

For the next two weeks, we will be visiting friends, and working on the next film, "Becoming Fools". Before we get down to the real nitty gritty of filming, we have the pleasure of spending a few days with the children from the slum of La Limonada. We will be accompanying them to Mision El Fargo (on the east coast) for art therapy camp. I will be teaching two classes a day of art therapy. I did my due diligence to research some art therapy activities etc, and wrote up detailed lessons plans, in case I got nervous and forgot everything. What trip is complete without a few mishaps? Last night, as I was about to do a few last minute tasks on my laptop, the Mac decided it needed a system reboot. And decided that it's operating system discs were no longer good enough. So I will be making do with my husband's laptop, with no photo editing software and no lessons plans. I know how I will be spending my bus ride to art camp. Anyways.... I am really looking forward to art camp. When we get back we will have an exhibit of all the art works the kids created for their family to see.

I'm hoping to update my blog more regularly then the last trip. Good internet can sometimes be hard to come by.
I just want to thank all my friends and family for making this trip possible! It always amazes me all the support I have behind me.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Day!

Today was a great day! Where do I start....

Once upon a time ago I was inspired by photographer Jeremy Cowart's Help Portrait initiative. And have always wanted to do something similar. Other photographer friends of mine, had similar dreams, but we had never got around to it.

My friend Dan Rossi, who owns the charity 5 With Drive , had another amazing brain child for Calgary's women. And today was the second Women's Health Expo.

"The Women’s Health Expo is an annual event which looks at providing women, particularly vulnerable women impacted by poverty, domestic violence and single parenthood, a day of opportunity and insight. The Expo provides the tools needed for women to reach their goals of achieving greater self-sufficiency. Information and resources on site provide exposure for women to identify with groups and programs that will positively impact their lives. This event includes organizations that work in the areas of domestic violence, health and wellness, education and money management. Numerous displays create awareness and education of support networks that are available in Calgary. Our desired goal is to impart hope to underprivileged women by working collectively as a community. This event was a resounding success last year, with over 350 women in attendance. We hope that with the addition of several educational sessions, this event will attract over 500 women this year."

There were henna booths, doctors, dentists, free clothing, food, seminars, etc. It was a great event. We were all able to combine our passions and give back to our city. We had a beauty booth, providing, haircuts, styling, makeup and a mini photo session.

My friend Brittany Robart came along side and helped make it happen. Two of my photographer friends, Britta Kokemor, and Jessy Bee helped with the photography. Caroline Stanley, Michelle Dewar, Pam Hoof, and Karyn Zuidhof helped make everything run smoothly. I am so blessed to have so many friends to support and come along side of me. Thank you ladies!

It was a fun day making women feel special and beautiful. Seeing them smile when they saw their picture printed was priceless.

Hopefully we can all do it again next year!

Thanks to the Camera Store for helping us out with the printer. Thanks to Shoppers Drug Mart for donating some makeup supplies!

The photo booth team! (we were too busy and forgot to get the rest :( ).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Slack Lining with a Twist.

Summerish weather has finally come to Calgary, Alberta. It was a beautiful a few weekends ago. So what better way to enjoy such weather by stringing up a 12ft slack line between two trees.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reparando Premiere - What a great night!

This is a longer over due blog post. I apologize for the delay.

April 14th was the Calgary Reparando Premiere, and what a great night it was! I was hoping and crossing my fingers people would show up. When I saw people pouring through the doors, I was so excited. Over 340 people came out!

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
People starting to file in.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
A packed lobby!

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
Some of my wonderful volunteers at work!

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
Paul Verhoef, the chaplain at the U of C, and good friend of mine was the Emcee.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
The lovely and talented Denise Hearn and Sam Masterton started the evening.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.
We also had the privilege of having Roland Vanderburg from Cause Canada come and speak about his experiences in Guatemala.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

There was quite a buzz of excitement after the film!

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

We were very fortunate to have corporate sponsors cover all the costs for the evening. All ticket sales and donations are being shared between Calgary's Streelight (mobile drop-in for homeless youth) and Micro Financing in Guatemala.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

It was a great evening of exposure for Streetlight.

Photo Credit Reuben Krabbe.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

My wonderful friend Samara and I. She was such a great help organizing this evening. She has been a great friend to me, alway supporting me and my crazy endeavours.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

Paul and I. He did such a great job as emcee and made the evening very special.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

My wonderful husband Matt, who has been right there beside me through this whole journey to and from Guatemala.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

Some of my wonderful volunteers who made the evening happen!

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

Allan and Ivy from Streetlight. Selfless people!

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.
The dashing John, Isaiah, and I.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.
The wonderful Jill and I.

Photo Credit Britta Kokemor.

I want to thank my dad for all the hard work and time he put into helping plan this event. He and my mom have always been there supporting me! With out them this evening would not have happened.

There are so many people to thank for making this evening happen.
Thank you to all the corporate sponsors: Glamorgan Bakery, DeJong's Insurance, Process Color, Wilco, Ed Weening, Peter DeBoer With you we are no able to support two great causes.

Thanks to all my volunteers who made the evening so flawless. You are awesome!

Thanks to Reuben Krabbe and Britta Kokemor for photographing the event.

And THANK YOU for all those who bought tickets and came the show! It was so great to have you there!
We are still collecting donations, so the final numbers of how much was raised are still coming!

If you were at the Film Premiere, I would love to hear your response to the film. Please email me @ To see others responses to the film
go to the Athentikos Blog.

If you would like to get your hands on a dvd, I will have some very soon or you can go to Type in "Trophies of Grace" for $5 off coupon!

Folllow Athentikos for news updates on upcoming projects.
twitter: @athentikos

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I was on the radio!

This morning I was on the radio!
I had the opportunity to talk a bit about the film Reparando and the Calgary Premiere, on Shine Fm. To listen to the interview click here.
Tomorrow is the first Canadian premiere at the Uptown Stage and Screen.
For more info go to:
Better hurry, tickets are going fast!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Amazing Love

I took this photo while I was in Guatemala on behalf of Athentikos doing still photos and film for the documentary Reparando. Each day we were in the slum La Limonada we would join the community for lunch at someone's house. Ten to fifteen people would all duck through doors to fit in small one or two room homes, sit on beds or whatever was available to share a meal. These were some of my favourite times. True community and friendship was very evident. Even though these families did not have much, they were completely willing to share whatever they could with their neighbours.

This couple was a testament of the hope and love in La Limonada ad-mist the pain and violence they are surrounded by. He is blind and not very mobile. She is old, frail, and suffers from stomach problems. They love each other so much and are devoted to caring for each other. Their home is always open to those in the community.

To learn and hear more about beautiful stories of hope in Guatemala check out to find a premiere near you.

The Calgary premiere will be on April 14th at the Uptown Stage & Screen.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Streetlight - Ivy

Ivy comforting one of the regular youth at Streetlight.

Over the last month I have been putting in many hours planning the Reparando April 14, Calgary Premiere. I'm really looking forward to the evening! I know it is going to be a very fun night!

If you are familiar with my work, you may have seen some of my photographs of the street youth in Calgary. This is another reason I am very excited for the premiere, 50% of all the proceeds of that night are going to, Streetlight, the mobile drop in trailer.

I received a letter this week from, Ivy, one of the staff at Streetlight. She is Streetlight's advocate against human trafficking and prostitution. Ivy is quite an amazing woman. She has dedicated hours and hours of her time to developing relationships with the homeless youth. I want to share this letter with you, so you can have a inside peek on what and who Streetlight is. And where 50% of the proceeds from the Reparando Premiere will be going.

Dear Family & Friends,

I have been working full time now since January 3rd and it has been an exciting adjustment. I struggled in the beginning with trying to switch my concept of work from an administrative work environment to a non-administrative, any time of the day environment. I now feel that I have adjusted and have figured out (for the most part) how to work in this different capacity.

Two of the challenges I have been facing since I started my job are building relationships with the youth and raising additional monthly support to keep me employed and keep my program running. Interestingly enough these are two fundamentals in my ministry and without them I would not have a job. I would appreciate your prayers regarding these challenges.

One Monday evening I was asked by a youth why I wanted to hang out with her and I was rendered speechless. I have never been asked that question before so needless to say I stumbled with an answer that may or may not have answered her question. I haven’t been able to forget that question since.

To give you an update on Tanya (the girl I mentioned in my last letter), she has temporarily lost her daughter to Child and Family Services for a minimum of six months. She is now required to go through some training and counselling to provide her with tools to better handle the challenges she faces in life as a young adult female and as a mother.

On the positive side, February has been an exciting month for StreetLight. Two youth graduated from a rehabilitation program and a third youth (Tanya’s boyfriend) admitted himself into a rehab program. I have known these three youth for almost seven years so being able to encourage them through these steps in their lives has been a joy and a blessing.

I invite you to check out StreetLight’s blog at My co-worker Allan Peters is posting updates on what is happening in the StreetLight program through this forum.

Thank you for your interest and support.



Sunday, January 9, 2011

An Afternoon at the Zoo

Last week I had a chance to go to the zoo while it was "warm" (-6 degree celsius)with my niece and nephew. I debated whether or not to take my camera. I thought, why bring my camera? What would I use these photos for anyways? Yes sometimes I feel that way, just more kbs of space being taken up. However, I think I need to get over it! It has been so long since I just took photos of whatever, with no expectations of what they would look like. And it was great!
Enjoy my take on the zoo that afternoon:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Family Photos

Before the snow fell this year (I mean last year), I did some family photos for my brother-in-law's family. They chose this great location in an abandon house! The walls had such great texture and natural light!