Tunes, Culture and Community fun at Aboriginal Days.

It was a beauty of a long weekend. On Saturday we headed over to the Hay River Dene Reserve for the Aboriginal Day festivities, to enjoy some cultural fun. It was such a stunning day with loads of sunshine, perfect for the events. It’s so awesome to go and check out these community events, it always ends up being a fabulous little social adventure, and it’s just so nice to see and connect with people out enjoying themselves.

We went straight in to check out the live music that was happening. I love any sort of jam session or live music events, no matter where in the world I am, so this was no different. Having the opportunity to hear some of my favorite local musicians was just another reason I wanted to go to the Aboriginal days. Nothing like some good tunes and local talent to get the ol’ toe tapping going. IMG_5427 After swayin my hips and tappin’ my toes for a bit, we made our way out to get some fresh fire cooked bannock.You can’t go to the reserve and not have Bannock?! It’s a traditional aboriginal staple, and something I grew up on as a child, not to mention – of course they will have the best bannock out here, made by someone who has lifelong experience making it. Celine was a little rockstar! IMG_5455 We had to dig right in, it looked way to darn good; and it was way too darn good! IMG_5433                                            As did everyone else. Just look at that sheer bannock happiness exuding from his face. IMG_5461 Delicious and greasy though(as any good bannock is), but this was not the opportune moment for this dilemma…. IMG_4478 Nope, not when there is no napkins on or near me and no place to wash my hands. Dang, I was a bit greasy, and it made picture taking difficult. Long behold though, there was the lake! The Great Slave Lake to be exact. IMG_4460 And it worked like a water filled lake charm. Back in business. None sticky business that is – No one is a fan of sticky business. It was worth every bite though!

Out back they had some canoe races going on – and one heck of scenic view. IMG_5446 IMG_5442 It needed a basking in. So I did just that. I basked in it, and it was awesome. IMG_5439 I so love the Native paintings and art work, they are absolutely beautiful, I could have easily bought one of those. IMG_5447 However, it was this little stunner of a purse that caught my eye. IMG_5450 It literally reeled me right in and hooked me. I didn’t even think twice about it. When you know, you know. Not only was it beautifully hand crafted, but Georgina the women who made it was a beauty herself. It had Petrena written all over it! IMG_4450 IMG_5500You could see the love that went into it, and I love supporting the locals everywhere I am. It checked all the boxes. The best purchase ever! Well one of them, that’s for darn sure.

We made sure to grab some Zen in the tee-pee while we were out and about as well. When in rome! Or in this case, ‘When on the reserve’. How can you not? IMG_5479

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Every time I went past the bannock table, they were cooking something new on the fire. It was amazing, and all just for anyone and everyone who wanted to enjoy it. That is true community event style. IMG_5465 IMG_5489 It was shaping up to be a pretty awesome day. Got to chat with loads of people, get to know more of the locals, enjoy some local eats and treats, and take home a piece of art that also has cultural history.

Wait! I forget to mention something.

I wouldn’t be me, if I wasn’t forever prepared for anything and a little more. So, obviously I would never leave home without my backstage pass. IMG_4527So I figured I would flash that bad boy and see where it got me. IMG_5498 Yup it worked like a dream. I was right back there with the band. No big deal, it’s just how I roll. IMG_5492 Culture, Community, History, and Art all in one day. Don’t you just love when you find everything your looking for all in one place?

Wining and dining on the deck.

Do you ever just get the urge to prepare a beautiful, healthy, love filled dinner at home? Well I know I do. As it often does – the mood to hang out with my little inner chef struck me. So I did what any person would do in that situation; I voyaged straight to the grocery store to stock up on some goodies to wow myself with.

Nothing too fancy and crazy. Just a nice veggie dish is what I was feelin’. In my mind I had decided I would make a Veggie Lasagna, accompanied with a Roasted Spaghetti Squash and Quinoa side dish. Once I was done perusing the store I ended up with Zucchini, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Eggplant, Spaghetti Squash, Ricotta, and some Tomato paste.  Upon returning to my little Zen pad, I opened the deep freeze and took out some northern mushrooms, that were literally picked in my back yard. Ummmm, did I mention – they are darn delicious!! Every time I return to Northern Canada, I always look forward to chowing on some delectable local mushies. I Grabbed the quinoa from the cupboard, and was ready to rock and roll. In order to do that though I needed music, so I got some toe tappin’ tunes going. Music always makes things more fun. I can’t imagine my every day life without it.

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There is nothing like eating healthy. It just makes your mind, body, and soul, so freaken happy and rejuvenated. Fueling my body to be it’s best.

Prior to my prep work I cut the Spaghetti Squash in half, drizzled olive oil on it and a wee bit of sea salt, and put er’ in the oven to roast, while also getting the quinoa cooking. I sliced up all the veggie’s, after which I salted the zucchini slices to get some of the water out of them. Otherwise it all comes out when it’s baking, and then you have to drain it, and well, with that also drains flavor…. So yes, I salted those bad boys and let them sit for a bit before I dried them with paper towel. 

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I spread tomato paste on the bottom of the baking dish, and started to layer the vegetables, adding a nice layer of ricotta cheese in the middle.

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I made two layers of each veg, drizzled it with olive oil and topped it with a bit of grated marble cheese.

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Swapped out the squash from the oven with the veggie dish.

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Baked it at 400 degrees for about an hour – and Voila!! Behold a veggie lasagna.

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I was having issues getting the sweet potato to stay on the top as the dish wasn’t quite deep enough. I pulled it together the best I could though. As you do.

Front deck ambiance? Or back deck ambiance? Decisions, decisions. After a coin toss with myself, it was front deck action that was in order. I checked my watch, and it just so happened to be Wine O’clock. Well look what time it is?? Being known for always being prepared for anything, I had a wine for exactly that time. The wine of choice was of course Canadian, as I always drink locally no matter where in the world I am.

The wine was a delightful Pinot Grigio, with notes of peach and apple, and the name was literally Wine O’clock. One of the best times, if I do say so myself.

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I set the table, and it was show time!

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Who needs to go for dinner when you got it all in your own yard. What time are you coming over?

Northwest Territories Kayaking Adventures.

Being outdoors, and kicken it with mother nature – is forever one of the best places to be.  Not to mention the beauty up in Northern Canada is endless. With the sun shining high on this glorious Sunday Funday, and the water flowing ever so beautifully on the Hay River, there was just no other way. This wasn’t a cross road, the sign pointed in one direction, and was clear on what to do. It read, ‘Get your asses into your kayak’s and down the relaxing, and soul soothing river’. 

‘Alrighty then’, we thought. Seeing as how the sign was loud and clear, we suited up in the finest kayaking apparel we could find.

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Proceeded to load our kayak’s into the truck.

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We then hit the road and cruised like rock stars,

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Venturing straight to the the starting point where we intended to begin our escapades.

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It was an absolutely incredible day on the water. Even better was that there were NO bugs! The NWT is notorious for the insane amounts of bugs in the summer. Something you never really get used to, you just have no choice but to become accustomed to it – or you would end up hiding out in your shelter all summer. Ummm, no thank you. I would rather suffer a little to enjoy ALOT! This year is off to a pretty darn good not to buggy summer start though, so I am enjoying every minute of it before they take over the show.

Once we got our sweet ass Kayak’s in the water, had a quick team chat(oh, and a good ol’ Canadian beer, drinking locally made products no matter where in the world I am) – we were off to be enchanted with our afternoon excitement of being awesome. No big deal. Why do anything else really?

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I never tire of the stunning Northern scenery, and never fail to be totally impressed and engrossed by it all. It’s just so freaken great. It is not uncommon to see wildlife on the sides of the river. Alas, today though, there was none out and about to be admired.

k8 k4 The only thing we forgot this time was to bring some snacks. We were just too dang excited to get on the water. Our stomachs did give each of us a reminder of being forgotten though! Note to self: the next time you go out to for physical adventures, bring some sort of fuel other then beer. Not that it wasn’t darn delicious and refreshing though. However, this kayaking day was just a warm up for some much longer trips. So being prepared will be key.

A few hours and a few team chats later….. k6  And we reached our destination point. Feeling incredible and riding our high from a chart topper of a nature packed afternoon paired with some physical activity, we pulled our kayak’s out of the water, and gave them a nice shady resting place while we waited for a ride to come pick us up.

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After just another epic day of loving life, and embracing a beautiful day of endless laughter and being awesome, we took it up to the next level. Or put that cherry on top so to say.

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A very palette friendly Canadian Vino, baked Brie, Olives, and Dips – and life couldn’t get much better. That is a pretty fantastic Sunday afternoon with a blissfully beautiful finish if you ask me. It has my stamp of recommendation, that’s for darn sure. Wouldn’t you agree?

Healthy treat anyone? A day with my dehydrator.

Putting healthy and whole food in my body is just something I can not live without. If you don’t love your body, it ain’t gonna love you back.  True story.

I am a huge believer in treating myself and my body as good – if not better as I treat other people.  It is so easy for us to go above and beyond for others, yet in the midst of it all, we often times never take the time to do it for ourselves.  I take myself of dates, I spoil myself, and I treat myself. In return my body glows with vitality, health and happiness. I encourage other’s to do these exact things for themselves all the time.

So it is no surprise that I have some of the best times ever preparing healthy treats for myself.

I had a craving. A craving for something sweet, crunchy, healthy, and ridiculously simple; Not the first time I have found myself in this situation.  

Looking all inviting on my counter was the dehydrator. It wanted to be used, and I wanted to use it.

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Not to mention, I had a bag of green apples that also needed to be used. So I set up my little station, grabbed a few super easy ingredients, and set off to continue being awesome and make an awesome and delicious snack at the same time.

Actually, let me start from the top again. I turned on some Spanish guitar music to serenade myself with – and right before I was off to the dehydrated apple chip races; I found myself in dire need of some thirst quenching and soul soothing sustenance for my ‘me time’ kitchen adventures – SO I made a superb(if I do say so myself) ‘party in your mouth’ kinda green juice. Pure veggie happiness. Once I was all equipped and ready to rock and roll – it was time to get this show on the road.

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Luckily I wasn’t in any sort of rush for this snack….. Or considering the fact that I was using the dehydrator; The waiting process could have became very painful, and quite hungry.

After I gave the apples a good little scrub and dry, I proceeded to slice em’ up. This knife was not the best tool for the job, but I am settling back into life in Canada, so not as equipped as I normally would be. Desperate times call for desperate measure, and sometimes it’s just whatever gets the job done.

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After I finished slicing the apples, I poured some Apple Cider Vinegar over them. I love ACV, and it has myriads of health benefits.

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Then I sprinkled a generous amount of Cinnamon on top.

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And, last but not least, liquid Stevia – for a little none blood spiking, calorie free, added sweetness.

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Gave er a good stir to get the apples all coated, and gracefully placed them in the racks of the dehydrator, sealed it up, and turned it on.

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6 hours into the whole process, I opened it up and turned the apples to make sure they were evenly dried.

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And boom! 6 more hours after that –  and I had me some tasty raw apple chips. Not sure it can get much simpler then this. Just a few easy ass ingredients, a bit of love, 12 hours, and happy snacking days!!

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The sun was shining, and the weather was darn sweet. Since it was 12 hours later – it was time to treat myself to another daily veggie juice, and, well, a ‘me time’ date on my back deck.  One of my favorite pastimes.

IMG_5329 IMG_5332 Some of the best adventure’s are in the middle of Africa – and others are in your own back yard. Literally!

Road Tripping in the USA!:)

The spontaneity of a random road trip across a few States in the US when I arrived thinking I would be in Houston for a week, was right up my alley!! Oh heck yes, I love road trips and I always thought it would be awesome to do a road trip across the States, so this was just the little toe dip for me to get a taste for it.  This particular cruise was taking me from Houston, Texas all the way to Phoenix, Arizona. I was totally gung ho for it! And got my road trip game face on. IMG_3448I am always excited when a little adventure pops up in those unexpected places. This was also going to give me loads of quality catch up time with my aunt Karrina, as she was making the big move to Phoenix and I was her Chauffeur.  So the day after I got there at good ol’ 6am, we packed up and hit the freeway, tunes cranked, Starbucks in hand, and laughter ensuing.  Let the good times roll.  IMG_3471

One of the first facts that I learned this time around – Everyone really does say Y’all, all the freaken time(and its awesomely typical, loved it). Second fact – Texas was much larger than I expected.  I remember being told for years, that everything is bigger in Texas(I have no idea how I kept hearing that particular line throughout my existence), and long behold, even the State itself was big.

Karrina wanting to make sure I got the full feel for Texas, figured we best make a pit stop at this ‘have all, and almost the kitchen sink’ store called “Buc-ee’s”IMG_3470 It had Texas written all over it. Literally. IMG_3468 IMG_3458 Even I couldn’t stop myself from having Texas written all over me. I love entertaining myself… What else can I say?? It’s pretty self explanatory. IMG_3536

I was amazed at how neat and organized the store was, everything was just perfectly in place.  You could get everything from souvenirs, coffee, any meat you can imagine, and endless hot sauces. You name it. IMG_3469 IMG_3453Buc-ee’s souvenir anyone? IMG_3467Or perhaps a hide?

Did I get a feeling as though I experienced a rough taste of Texas culture shock when I was bucked right into that escapade? You better believe it!

The Texas adventure’s didn’t stop there though.  A couple of hours down the road we pulled over in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, only to find a lost Chihuahua in a parking lot howling ‘Yo Quiero Taco Bell'(trust me,I was as shocked as you are). Well with no Taco Bell in sight, and no owners, Karrina was right on the case trying to catch the little fella so we could help him find his little way.  He ran away like the little wind and had her on a wild goose chase(or wild Chihuahua case), and as soon as I got out of the vehicle he came right to me and sat all pretty in my arms while he gazed up at me. Darn it, his cuteness got me, and I knew we couldn’t just leave him. So while we decided what we should do with him, it was only fitting to have a photo shoot.  As this began, the rightful owners of little Casper(as they informed us of his name), pulled up and were overjoyed at the sight of finding him, and we too were equally overjoyed that he was reunited with his little family! Although the thought of buying sombrero’s, adopting a Chihuahua and heading to Mexico did cross our mind…  and high five to teaIMG_3474m work on completing a good deed. Ok Karma, go right ahead and shower all over us.

Next stop on our road of adventure. ‘El Paso’!! IMG_3625Where I couldn’t help but think…Is this where ‘Old El Paso Salsa’ originated from? Can this be THAT place? Well I never did get my answer to that impending question, but driving through the area was pretty cool none the less.

IMG_3623 IMG_3622 I was quite taken by the colorful and artistic overpasses.

Good Bye for now Texas, Y’all were real great! Hello New Mexico! IMG_4964

Well with the sign promising enchantment, my expectations did rise.  Oh and it enchanted me all right.  Just when I took a turn towards a national park, New Mexico slapped me right in the face with a winery. IMG_4990photo (7)

How did you know New Mexico?? How did you know I love Vino & Vineyards so much? What a welcome you extended us! So obviously our course changed, and we decided it was a must to ‘Wine and Dine’.  Well sadly because I was driving, it really was just samples.  Typically I would try every wine I could get my hands on, but there are those moments you must keep your wits about you. Do I rent a hotel for the night? Or keep it classy? But just testing the fabulous flavors on my palette was still a treat!!

After hitting the New Mexico highway full of happiness from our winery experience, it came time to grab gas, and a ladies room. IMG_3480 What a relief to find a ‘clean’ one!  IMG_3481 IMG_4992

Not going to lie, I did like the old western ambiance they were giving off. It all felt so very American.

Another very neatly organized store full of random things.IMG_3485 IMG_3487  Poncho anyone?

Well New Mexico, you lived up to your enchanting promise. Especially considering my time with you was short.

My gut was telling me since the minute we left Houston that I was going to LOVE Arizona… Strange considering I had never been there, and only heard very little about it, but I know for a fact that I love Cactus’s, and I knew Arizona would have plenty of those on offer. As soon as I seen the sign, I felt the love inside me.IMG_3617 A nice reminder to always listen to your gut, it knows best.IMG_3507

The landscape rocked my world, absolutely stunning. IMG_4999 IMG_4994 Be sure to watch your step though.

We ended up cruising all the way to a little mountain town called Sedona. IMG_3630 AMAZING scenery, and a place with loads of activities, and near to the Grand Canyon. IMG_3633 IMG_4998 IMG_3635 IMG_3634

After an epic and random little road trip with spectacular company, I know I will be back to the USA to do some more of that for darn sure!

Upon flying back to my home Canadian turf, my drive back to my little Northern hometown provided some very different scenery then I was basking in, in the US. IMG_3578 IMG_3604 IMG_3606 Awesome scenery, and awesome wildlife. How privileged was I though to be able to appreciate the best of two totally different worlds. Happy road tripping days!

What not to do when face to face with a Bear:)

Every so often there are those little long lost treasures that re-surface in your life.  Sometimes it’s old trinkets, other times letters, photo’s, a song, a certain scent that brings you back for a moment to a special time, and even one of your first travel stories, before the days of blogging, like a little time capsule, eager to take you on a journey back through time…. Giving you a moment to reminisce, and relive the story for a moment.  In this case, to remind me of how my knack for self expression through writing began basically when I could physically pick up a pen and spell a word, and also a gentle reminder of how naturally awesome I was from a young age:)  Ok, and I am not being Biased just because I am talking about myself, I would think any kid whom wrote this was awesome.  It just so happens that it was little 12 year old Petrena who was the author.  Before we get to that though, let me tell you how I remember it.

IMG_2180Here we were, back in August of 1996, my parents and I on a fishing trip, on an island on the Great Slave Lake in northern Canada.  The first trip after their wedding, so like a pre-honeymoon trip, that l refused to be excluded from.  There was no party without me there, and that still goes to this day;)  Don’t worry, they did have their own trip together after they survived this one.  Even though this took place 19 years ago,  I can still remember it clear as day, and that day was clear, and the sun was shining as brightly as ever.

We had just arrived to the Cabin not long before the events ensued, my mother Rocky and I had just finished unpacking and were now settling in on the deck to take a bit of sun while Andrey was down cleaning up the boat, it was a Sea Ray Sports cruiser, to paint you a better picture.   Long behold he looks up and is pretty much nose to nose with a grizzly bear.  A massive one at that, who’s head was about 4 times the size of my dad’s and covered in cob webs, yes something like a scary Halloween mask.  ‘UH OH!!’ is clearly the panic stricken thought that slapped Andrey in the face.  Nothing like a good bear slap to make sure your alert in the morning.  With only thinking survival of the fittest, Andrey grabbed the first thing he seen, an empty cooler bottle and wacked the bear in the head, then grabbed the second thing he seen, which just so happened to be his fishing rod, and starting waving it around.  Now take note, when face to face with a bear, you are far better off to play dead then whack it in the head with a bottle, and try and intimidate it with a fishing rod, as pissing off a bear is not in your best interest, however that is also easier said than done when in that particular moment.  Luckily for Andrey, the bear was clearly as surprised to see him as he was to see the bear, and the bottle in the head also surprised the bear, as he just shook his head in what I am sure was bewilderment, got up on his hind legs and gave him piece of his mind in return,  then went up behind the cabin to re-asses the situation.  Which is exactly the moment Andrey, lept out of the boat and ran or possibly scrambled faster then he knew his legs could take him, straight into the Cabin before the bear came back.  Rocky and I were already in the Cabin going through all the guns and bullets as fast as we could trying to find a match in case this bear attacked Andrey, yet out of all the guns and all the bullets there was no match?! Seriously, how many un-matching guns and bullets can one cabin have.  Frantically Andrey and Rocky were looking for some means of protection, not with the intention of hurting the beautiful majestic yet hungry and angry bear, but just to scare it away, because if the bear is pissed off, our chances against it would be slim. The only thing keeping the bear from us was two glass sliding doors, which if Mr. Grizzly so chose to walk right through, he could do it without ruffling a hair or breaking a claw.

Understandably tension was a bit high, especially when the bear did decide to come up on the deck towards the thin glass doors.  Me being a young innocent animal lover, not understanding the danger that we faced, was standing back saying ‘Don’t hurt the bear!!!’, repeatedly, and well yes, I suppose annoyingly, since we were in the midst of serious trouble.  In the end, Andrey grabbed some very large rocks and started throwing them down on the deck to make noise and scare the bear, and it did just the trick.  The bear got freaked and ran off.  We all collapsed and had a massive sigh of relief.  Yup just another moment in life where I pinched myself to see if that just happened.  Although I am sure Andrey was pinching himself a bit harder.  We were all very happy though, that none of us, nor the bear was hurt that day, and our camping trip finished just as soon as it began.  However I do like the version that 12 year old ME told, and how articulate I was by even noting the time of the events that ensued.

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How to stay classy no matter what jungle your in.

What do you do when you just brushed the end of your life?! Laugh it off, pinch yourself, and keep your classy composure. Of freaken course.

Trust me for the amount of times I have had to pinch myself in my life, you would think I would have scars all over my arms that we could play connect the scars with – and when we finished, they would create a world map.  ‘Well would you look at that, Petrena, your scars create a world map!?’  Seriously though, the majority of my friends would not be surprised, and their response would be, ‘only you petrena‘.   Fortunately though, I am very adaptable, and so is my body, so it has gotten used to all the bumps, bruises, and skin loss – and it heals like a little Gem.   Although this particular bump, almost got the better of me…….

Here I was in English Guyana, South America, in Region 8, deep in the jungles. This was when I was a group leader on volunteer projects. My group leader partner and I had to visit the villages we were working in prior to the volunteers arriving, you know, to assess the work, and the living conditions, etc….

The only way to get to these remote villages is by a tiny third world plane, that seats 3 – 5 people, and has duck tape holding things in place. Up until that point in my life, I had a fear of small planes – but I am not one to back down from things, and when I say I will do a job, I do a job. As if me facing my fear wasn’t enough, I was so lucky to get invaded with an extremely bad stomach bug(oh the perks of loving travel so much). Maybe I should re-think the next time I blurt out that I like a challenge – as this was definitely that.

The morning we were set to leave I woke up with a dodgy tummy, of course I was given Pepto Bismol, but that was not going to cure this bug.  He laughed in Pepto’s face, and decided to wreak havoc on my insides.  Basically trying to chase anything that was inside of me, to the outside, and more, through any exit there was.  I am surprised my Organs were still in there by the end.  However, not so fast little stomach bug! I won’t go down without a fight.

The plane was delayed, so I had 5 beautiful(well not the most beautiful I have ever enjoyed) hours to stand out like a sore thumb in the tiny airport being the only foreigner in there, fevering and dying on the couch, and running to the bathroom room to be sicker then I have ever been in my life, every 10 damn minutes.

I refused to call in sick, we only had a week to get out there and back before the volunteers arrive. There was work to be done. Finally when I was sure an organ was jumping ship next, the plane arrived while I was in the ladies room, and I had my Group Leader partner yelling down the hallway to hurry up cause the plane is going to leave.

So I hauled ass,  quick splash of water in the sink, quick pep talk to myself, ‘Come on Petrena, you got this. Its only like a 2 hour flight.  Your Empty inside’.  And off I ran, only to get to the tarmac and see the smallest most beaten up plane of my life, with duck tape holding some things in place.  Yup, the stomach dropped so low, it basically fell out.  I knew I would lose something dang it!!  However! I made it. Barely. I borrowed some duck tape from the pilot to hold myself together.

Well after a very uncomfortable week of recovering in the jungle, and a 7 hour extreme hike from one village to the next, carrying enough stuff for a mule, we were on our way back to Georgetown to await the volunteers arrival.

guyana Here I was the day after that intense 7 hour hike and myself still recovering from being attacked by that stinken travel bug – I feel I masked it pretty darn well.

So the little plane arrives on the little red dirt landing strip to pick us up. The Pilot tells us he has to do some deliveries, so he will have to drop us off in another village, do his deliveries, and then come back and get us. So, off we went.  With all of us off the plane in the next village, he loads up and gets ready to take off, not before asking me if I would like to go on a ride though.  ‘Heck yes I do!‘. I was thinking this was going to be a great opportunity to see other remote villages that foreigners rarely see. Woop woop.

Yet what he actually meant was…..’Do you want to go for a RIDE?!’ We fired up the little plane, sped down that little bouncy red dirt air strip, and not any sooner than we had taken off and launched upward, were we going straight DOWN!!  All I could see was trees coming straight for us, and I had one arm bracing each window, and the only words coming out of my mouth were, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!!’.  Just as the trees skimmed the plane, he pulled back up, then we were upside down, then we were sideways, it all just meshed together really.  And throughout the whole time all I did was brace the windows and say ‘Oh my God!!’

Finally after that unexpected roller coaster, and so that’s what it feels like to have your whole life flash before your eyes moment, he straightened out.  Well obviously I was catching what breath I could possibly gasp for, and pinching  myself harder then I knew I was capable of.

The pilot turned to me with a big grin on his face and asked, ‘Soooo, how was it?’

Trying to be as calm, cool and collected as I could, I replied, ‘Haaahaaa(due to lack of air), ahhhh, it was fun(that was extreme sarcasm though), but please don’t do it again’, and I preceded to break the cement of shock off my face to flash him the best fake smile I could find in my pocket. ‘No worries’ he said while rubbing my arm, ‘it is totally safe’.  I just continued with my complacent smile, while thinking ‘HA, yah freaken right, so is the duck tape’ he was wrong, that was definitely not safe, and at the same time I was still questioning myself to see if I really did survive that. I have mastered the art of smiling no matter what my circumstances are, obviously freaking out on the inside.

gplane See, I had it so together I could even take a chummy photo with my buddy who nearly ended it all for me. All is well that ends well.

Three things came of this,

1 – Suddenly I was no longer scared of small planes anymore, because it all just happened so fast anyway, there really was no chance to be scared.

2 – I realized I should stop accepting rides from people in random places around the globe, because something crazy always happens.

3 – I also discovered, ‘Wow, duck tape really is amazing, and totally does hold things together extremely well’.

Although, after the whole project was finished, 2 volunteers and I were on board another tiny duck taped plane back to Georgetown, and we were blown away with the surprise of flying straight down face to face in front of these stunningly majestic falls, and all the way through to the end of the Gorge walls. Something that never would have been possible if we were not on that taped together micro plane. Yup, it made me feel just as ‘alive’ as surviving the tree skimming upside down ride.

gplane2

And that my friends, would be, how to stay classy no matter what jungle your in.