Sunday, April 17, 2011

Guest Post: An Adventure in Ottawa, Canada

Hello there all you lovely people. 
My name is Aly and I am so excited me to be guest posting today. I'm sure you all agree when I say that I love Tracy and her blog! It's a real honor to be here.
Before we start I'd just like to point out that the photos in this post are of my teenage self. Yes folks that means crooked teeth, zits, poor style choices ( I don't know what I was thinking) and bad hair. Brace yourselves lol
When I was fifteen years old I went through a terrible bullying experience. Boys in my class would try and beat me up or try and trip me and girls were vicious with their words. I spent most days hiding in my helpers office so that I wouldn't get hurt. At the end of school I decided it was time for me to change schools.
That summer I was accepted to go on an exchange to Ottawa (Canada) for 5 days. I was so excited to be getting away from all the people who had hurt me and be on my own. Little did I know this trip was going to change my life.
We stayed in the dorms at Carleton University and it was great. I really recommend this for anyone really trying to save a buck or two but still have a great vacation. When school is out most Universities rent out their dormitories on the cheap.
The exchange was all about getting people with disabilities to be as active as possible. When I heard about some of the activities I thought "there is no way I can do any of these things." Boy was I wrong
Day 1: Sledge Hockey with the Canadian special olympics team. It looks easy but its really hard. You have to keep yourself centered or else you'll tip over. Needless to say I tipped over many times haha. You have to use mini hockey sticks with blades on the bottom to get yourself around so basically you are pulling your whole body weight around while trying to get the puck without tipping over. No goals were made and I did not get asked to join the team but I laughed alot:)

I don't if curling is big in the states but it is in canada. To be honest I don't really know alot about the game but basically you have a big heavy thing that they call a stone and you have you use a broom to shuffle it to the target area. You can read more about it here

Day 2: I never thought I'd rock climb. It was really stinkin' hard. I felt like I weighed 1000 pounds. I could tell that the man holding my harness was trying to help by pulling me up a bit. Once I got to the top I got really freaked about being so high and coming back down. All I was thinking was I'm never doing this again once I get down. The stubborn irish girl that I am had to go up one more time and do even better. I'm glad I did even though I thought I was going to pee myself haha

Day 3: A visit to parliament on Canada day. It was so cool to be in my country's capital on Canada Day (Our equivalent of July 4th) We got to watch the changing of the guards (those dudes in red suits) and then we went in for our tour of parliament where the government makes all their decision I thought it was pretty cool. When you go in you have to go through security and man on man did they put me through the ringer. I was using my wheelchair because their was alot of walking and gosh you'd think I was hiding a bomb in there. I guess I understand I am the after all

House of Commons where all the great debates are had
The hallway of all our past Prime Ministers

We partied it up and a fancy dinner at the uber chic Westin Hotel

Day 4: Tubing. All I have to say about this is fun fun fun!!!!! I loved it and would do it everyday if I could. we were going so fast I almost fell out haha. That would have been a smooth move huh?

Learning to play the bongo or whatever the heck this is called. We had to a solo on the spot and this was my attempt at pretending I have a rhythm.

Day 5: Ping Pong with the Canadian Ping pong team. Ping pong looks easy doesn't it? .... well you would not believe how hard it is to hit that little ball. I am good at shopping if only that was one of the activities. I would totally win!

Coach: "Are you a Winner or a Loser?" Me: "From the looks of things I think I am a Loser."
The final party: We had a big party on our last night there. There was lots of dancing and lots of fun. For the first time I met a boy who made my heart skip a beat and really made me feel special. Its so funny how we meet someone when we are least expecting it. Things didn't work out (jerk alert) but I am still glad I met him.

I think sometimes its so much fun to go on a vacation by yourself where no one knows you. It gives you a chance to spend time with yourself and really get to know who you are what you want. When I arrived I was a girl who thought life was always going to be terrible and no one was ever going to like me. I learned on this trip that there are ups and downs in life but things can change in an instance so we have to appreciate every experience we have good or bad and know that it is going to bring us to a better place. I was so afraid to start at me new school. I thought it was going to be the same all over again but my trip let me believe that there was alot of good coming my way and it did. I made so many friends and my new school and it was wonderful. I don't think this would have happened had a not gone to Ottawa because it opened me. To all of you out there reading this if you've ever gone through or are going through a rough I am here to tell you you are not alone and things will get better. Take the time to get know yourself even if its just going to starbucks on your own and reading book. You have all the power to make your life better. you are a shining star!
Thank you for having me Tracy! You are an absolute doll

lots of love

1 comment:

Aly @ Nothin But A T-Shirt On said...

hope you all like the post!!! thanks for featuring me Tracy! forgot to give a link to my blog
come visit!