Attending the United Way Halifax Local Love Halifax on the waterfront one could not be remiss to notice all the red shirts, like the red army. This army was comprised of VOLUNTEERS committed to making our city a better place for all. As JFK said “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” My hat is off to everyone that made the event wonderful to attend; not just the brave (nuts) that swam across the Halifax Harbour.

Just as important as the red shirts were all the athletes that gathered to swim the harbour in Halifax and around the province. These individuals represented so many parts of our communities; reminded us that together, and only together can organizations like the United Way achieve their mission to End Poverty Together.

For more information on the great work of United Way Halifax visit them at:

United Way Halifax

 

 

Over the last few months I have been empresses with the work of Halifax Partnership. The love for the city exudes everything they touch. Today I had the opportunity to enter their Connector Program and meet their team. I look forward to many opportunities to work with Halifax Partnership.

The overarching goal is to help people connect, collaborate and prosper. As a returning resident the program will help me grow my network with individuals to assist me in learning more about the city and province, identify employment and volunteer opportunities and in general, grow my network.

Down the road when I am settled, I will then become a mentor to the connector program. I specifically requested to support new immigrants to Canada (Nova Scotia) having worked in the field of international development most of my 30 year career. Through that work I gained incredible insight on cross cultural communications and in ways to help people tell their own stories which would be so beneficial in helping them find appropriate employment to maximize their training, education, experience and passion.

Halifax Partnership Connector Program

“Home isn’t a place, it is a feeling.” Cecelia Ahern

For years I had been considering how to best express my national identity through a tattoo. I have wonderful memories from my childhood Growing up in the US. It was a truly middle class experience; with a twist.

Our family moved between Ohio and Missouri as my father left the military after Vietnam and went back to university and became a professor of business. We settled in St. Louis and spent those years involved in sports, school, and travel.

The travel was amazing. Every summer during the university break the parents packed us all up in the car and headed off to explore America. Some years East, some years west. Some of my best memories. Seeing the Atlantic ocean for my first time in Maine, spending days playing in amazing tidal pools, trying fried clams and watching my sister scream when her lobster came to the table. Or when we travelled west and had the most amazing lightning storm in Kansas, all night the sky was lit up.

Colorado was a common part of western trips as my mothers sister and brother all ended up there. The sisters as I like to say because the followed John Denver, my uncle because he was in the Airforce. We saw that state inside and out, many firsts. Mountains of course, white water rafting (not my fav at that age), horseback riding…

Through all our trips and other experiences through life, including going to Ohio University for grad school I collected a lifetime of memories and connections. Some of my work during grad school offered me insight into white poverty, I had seen so much urban, mostly black poverty in St, Louis, the experience in Ohio was an eye opener. Clearly a post on its own one day.

So then I moved to Nova Scotia at the ripe old age of 13. I went from being the only white kids in most of my classes to a school with lest than a dozen visible minorities. A school in a very affluent part of Halifax. The first year was a bit difficult to find my way around on many levels, but what started with this move was a passion for the ocean and the people of Nova Scotia. What is said about these Bluenose folks is all true.

The one thing I will never forget was our first night camping in Nova Scotia. We headed for Cape Breton and came face to face with blackflies. We had never dealt with such….

I’m truly rambling. The point is the tattoo I wanted was to reflect that I am a man of two nations, influenced by a lifetime of experiences through the people and the lands. I decided that I am Canadian , thus the maple leaf, and I have a love for MY America, thus the fill.

Works for me. It also allows me to focus on my next tattoo now, one that will capture the seeker and lifetime of travel around the world.

The tattoo was designed and inked at the Halifax location of Adept Tattoos by

Adept Tattoos

RIP Anthony Bourdain; Brother. Our loves entwined though we never met, our passions drove us around the world as did fears. I still have my three knives, know why never to cook with expensive oil or vinegar, and above all else, slice garlic. Your first book is like a bible to me on living or giving up. I will cherish Cooking Confidential forever. So sorry the 3 headed dragon won.

I was give the book at a time in my life where I spent so much time traveling in Africa, the Americas and the Caribbean. In all these locations I would be exposed to so much wonderful food, cooking styles and people looking to share their secrets. Cooking became a huge connection between me and the people I would meet.

Food, cooking and entertaining is the same all over the world. People cook out of love, love for food, but more important, love for those they cook; family, friends and yes, strangers from afar.

I found food and talking of family was a great way to get people to open up. Anthony made me understand this, made me reflect on my own family coming together for dinner. Food is so powerful.

In his memory join me in watching a scene by the Godfather that he recommends if you want to gain the most from garlic.

The best way to cut garlic:

Goodfellas Paulie Chopping Garlic

What distinguishes Canada from so many other economies, ocean coast lines, lots of it. The announcement today will go a long way in positioning our coastal economies to better research and extract rewards from our great oceans.

Along the way let’s hope that sustainability is paramount, otherwise these resources could be depleted just as fast if not faster than those on land. Sustainable development of our oceans will provide greater rewards for communities than traditional extractive economies. Let’s hope government, communities, academia and industry walk the talk.

While funding is critical to create space for all to communicate, research, test and market services and products, we need to also create space for those citizens in our rural coastal communities to contribute to the discourse. Only in that way will they be able to retain their youth and attract new people.

Federal government names winners of $950-million ‘supercluster’ funding