Tuesday, January 5, 2010


As I sit in my bedroom in Canada, my nephews have just gone outside to play in the snow, and I'm trying to ignore my stomach, slightly rounder than usual, after a couple weeks at home eating delicious food. Thanks to a week of blizzards and then a security breach at Newark airport my flight was cancelled and I'll remain at home for another week of snow, food and adorable nephews :)

It's amazing to think I have fewer than 3 months left as president of WYA. My life for the past four years, including vacations has revolved around WYA. What needs to be done next? What did I forget to do? What will explode if I don't address it immediately, and what can I postpone doing for a little while longer? I've started to write down all the things I've learned to pass along to Francois who will replace me. I'd hate for him to make as many mistakes as I've made! Haha, although he may not have as much fun as I did, since I've tried to put structures in place to prevent anyone besides me from bellyflopping in so many situations.

I'll never forget my embarrassment when I first took over and people would ask my opinion about what's going on in whatever country and I had NO idea where that country was located - yes, stereotypes of North Americans' geographical knowledge are actually mostly true. Wikipedia was, and remains, one of my best friends!

The first time I gave a speech, I wrote it down word for word and was terrified! I went up to give the speech and was given a mic to stand in front of everyone. My left hand held the papers which looked as though they'd been caught in a hurricane, my right hand held the mic and looked as though I had advanced Parkinson's. Needless to say, my notes got dropped, I gripped that mic in a manner that would have made a Boa Constrictor jealous and passed it off to the MC afterwards flooded in my sweat. I've improved slightly since then...

I grew up vegetarian and encountered most animal innards on the dissecting table. Many cultures worldwide eat animals and parts that are considered "revolting" to a western former vegetarian. As a polite guest, I ate a small fish whole and tried not to think about how the little guy had swum around till recently or how he felt when caught, or about how his scales felt going down my throat, or if his eyeballs liked where they were headed... I've ignored the tendons of numerous animals as I gnawed my way to bone after bone and I've even eaten foods that could not be identified, and after eating them I did not wish for them to be identified :0

There are so many things I will miss about WYA; working with the best people in the world, traveling, working every day to promote something I love and believe in fully - what's not to miss? At the same time, numerous details and extraneous tasks arise that I've barely thought about what I'll spend my summer doing.

And so, since I mostly blog when I travel and rarely find my thoughts between trips interesting enough to share, I will consider these last three months as president a trip in itself. I promise to blog and see what happens as someone else takes up from what I've done and brings WYA to the next level.

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