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

 

 

“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

Only 2 Days left to lay the ground work for my pending move back to Halifax after 25 years in the US, Africa and Ottawa. Loving all the energy and positivity in Halifax. But I do feel this photo represents this whirlwind of a trip: meetings, meetings and more meetings. So looking forward to this next journey.

In total I met with 30+ individuals to help understand the market space for a community development specialist, leader and communicator with a passion and critical knowledge and skills for stakeholder and partnership relations. I heard and learned so much to spike my optimism about the future and the role I can play both as an employee and volunteer in reducing poverty, building communities and in general increasing the appeal and sustainability of Nova Scotia, my home.