Joseph Kony, who is this man? I saw early this week that Kony was trending on Twitter. Who is he? A celebrity, an athlete? No, he is the worlds worst living criminal. Why? Because he has abducted over 30, 000 children, forcing them to become child soliders and sex slaves in Central Africa. Why have I never heard of him? How come this isn’t all over the news? I don’t know but this year that’s going to change.
A group called Invisible Children is trying to stop Kony, they want him arrested and to finally have justice for the invisible children. Kony remains at large because people don’t know who he is or the crimes he’s committed. Invisible Children are trying to make Kony famous.
Joseph Kony Facts * taken from the Kony 2012 Zine
He leads a violent cult of abducted fighters called the
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
He abducts children from their homes.
He forces them to be soldiers and sex slaves,
to murder and mutilate their neighbors.
In 2005 he became the first man indicted by the ICC.
The people united will never be defeated!
This year marks the 11th annual New Sun Conference, and like for the last 11 years, I was there. The New Sun Conference has been a part of my year for a while now and always is inspiring to me. Although I’m no longer a university student, I do still appreciate learning about other Aboriginal artists and broadening my horizons.
Last year’s conference was shortly after some health problems, it was good to get back to something familiar and invigorating. It was the 10th annual conference and during the lunch time performance a piece of Eagle down landed close by. We were told that this down was sacred and it was “lucky” for it to land on us. I put this little piece of down in a container which I keep with the drops I use to treat my eye disease. I also have a small shell that I got as a gift at Women’s World last summer. They remind me of good memories and to stay positive. It’s hard to believe a year has gone by but I’m definitely ready to start this new year!
This year’s conference was amazing, every year it seems to out do itself, it always makes me think and inspires me. That’s not to say that the topics are always easy, in fact, this year many of the topics were challenging. This year touched on so many things: about the role of women, murdered and missing Aboriginal women, reality, technology, health issues, about our communities, abuse, violence, equality, identity, stereotypes but, also, about hope and evolution. KC Adams started the morning off with a talk about cyborg hybrids and identity. I really appreciated how she chooses to appreciate her cultures. I have a similar cultural background and being bi-racial is definitely about balance and recognizing and appreciating where you come from and how that shapes who you are. I love her concept of the cyborg hybrid and creating identity that is free of racism and stereotypes.
Watching the clip from “Finding Dawn”, produced by Christine Welsh, was especially hard. This week I went to a talk with the aunt of another missing Aboriginal girl. Hearing her first hand account of what her family had gone through was heartbreaking. As was watching Ramona Wilson’s family honor her after she was murdered on the Highway of Tears. Where did these women go? Then John Kim Bell reminded us about our successes. I still remember going to my first Aboriginal Achievement Awards in Ottawa as a young girl – how excited I was to learn about all those receiving awards, seeing the amazing show and seeing what other Aboriginal people were doing. It was one of the first times I was exposed to new Aboriginal people to look up to. It was very inspiring to my young self.
At lunch we were all entertained by the crew from BluePrintForLife - the highlight, having two elders work the DJ booth.
The afternoon had great speakers Skawennati and BluePrintForLife – about community outreach that is culturally appropriate, reaching the youth in our communities – bringing communities together, in physical and virtual reality, through the arts.
So where is the hope? The hope is in programs like BluePrintForLife and in each of the presenters, who all have something to offer through their art, each reconfiguring their reality, and ours.
For our friend’s birthday we FINALLY had a meal at Oz Kafe. I have been dying to try this restaurant for a while but for this reason or that it just hasn’t happened. It was well worth the wait – the atmosphere was excellent (Disco Night was in full effect) and the food was delicious!
We started with the “sharing plate” which was artisan cheeses, almonds, pickled beets and onions and thin slices of baguette.
This was the small portion which was more than enough for 2 people to share. I loved this plate, it was fun to mix and match the pickled beets and onion with different cheeses or try things on their own. My favorite was the soft goat cheese with the onions.
M also has the soup of the day which was very good.
I had the Cornish Hen which was on special – the flavors were awesome. I loved how the hen was seasoned, the enoki mushrooms with the root vegetables was filling but didn’t leave you feeling like you’d had too much. I had my Holga TIM with me – which you can see in my shot and I hope to have the results of those up sometime soon.
M had the steak and Caesar which our friend recommended. I thought the portion was excellent. This is the 10 oz but it also comes in a 6oz. The smoked mash potatoes weren’t over the top – some places give so much potato it over powers the plating but I thought it was just enough and the very popular Caesar salad.
This was one of the best restaurants I’ve eaten at in a while. We were very full and did not have dessert but I will definitely look forward to trying what they have to offer in terms of dessert the next time I’m in.
Several people eating with us had the vegetarian bento box, unfortunately I didn’t get a snap but it also looked amazing. I definitely can’t wait to get back and try other things on this interesting fusion menu.
This year the Seniors Luncheon came and went quickly. I’ve been a part of the organizing team since I moved back to Ottawa. It’s a great event that celebrates Seniors in our community. This year our theme was love and Valentine’s day. Here are a few shots of the decor.
We received over 60 gifts to use as prizes for the event. It was a great day and I think all the seniors really enjoyed themselves.
The last few weeks we’ve been eating at our favorite Japanese restaurant, Suisha Gardens. First we were there for lunch, Mike had the Udon bento, which included tempura and sushi. I had the teryaki and tempura lunch.
Both were excellent. I love their teryaki and tempure which is pretty much what I ordered each time.
For Valentine’s day we had an early supper at Suisha Gardens where I had my usual. Mike got beef tataki and the Sashimi Combination (which is the chef’s pick, usually whatever is fresh that day).
Everything was excellent as usual. It was cool because we were there so early we got to watch as the chef prepared the rice for the sushi rolls. We’ve never seen this part of the process so it was interesting to see. They take a large portion of prepared rice and pour in a large amount of Japanese vinegar and then mix it around and leave it to steam.
Next time we might try the Sukiyaki which we haven’t had since being in Japan.
A few weeks ago some friends and I got together for a nice dinner at Town, on Elgin Street. My first impression of the restaurant was that it was small in size but big in personality. I loved the decor and the staff. We were not rushed through our meal and had lots of time to share some appetizers, like their incredible meat balls and cheese, and chat.
I had the half chicken dinner, this was a very generous portion, with mashed potatoes, sprouts and squash. The pomegranate was a lovely touch.
Two people had the chicken and two had the pork chop. And one had the meatballs and salad as the main course. Again, everything was lovely and very generous portions.
The highlight of my meal was definitely the sundae which featured caramel popcorn on homemade icecream. I’ve never thought about this interesting combo but it really worked out. I LOVED it!
Most of us had the sundae for dessert but two people shared the tiramisu.
Overall, great experience, great food! I would definitely enjoy another night out at Town.
Part of our Christmas tradition is attending “A Very Ayler Christmas” which is an avant garde jazz show that take Christmas carols and introduces them into the music of Albert Ayler (google him – interesting bloke!)
They have two more concerts to go:
Saturday, December 17 at 9:30PM at L’Envers, Montreal
Sunday, December 18 at 7:00PM at the UMI Café, Ottawa
It’s really interesting music, Ottawa Jazz Scene is going to post some of the video from the concert if you are interested.
Here are a few photos of the band
These are all taken with my Lumix, no flash