Since this is my first official blog entry, I’m going to make it a doozy, so allow me a bit of latitude.
Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always been a little “off”. While my friends were playing house with their Barbie Dolls, I was off making dresses for faeries in my “fortress of all that is mine” (A hollowed out Lilac bush)….or scheming with “the boys” on the best way to “gross out the girls”. (Our favorite tactics usually involved a bucket, a handful of worms…and the odd Garter Snake)
I have since evolved from a worm-bearing tomboy to a rather eccentric, jack-of-many -trades. I’ve work as a certified Dive Master, Belly Dancer, a Sales Assistant and now, I’m working in marketing.
I’ve traveled…I’ve lived in several very interesting and, at times, challenging places…and, from this, I have learned to never take anything for granted!
The town I grew up in is a small town of a mere 1,000 people called Oyama. It is nestled between two gorgeous lakes and is surrounded by beautiful apple, peach and cherry orchards. Even though I spent the first 14 years of my life there, developed and left my dancing career there, I want to move onto my experiences in Costa Rica, since I feel it is those experiences that made me who I am today.
I moved to Costa Rica just before my 15th birthday and attended a small international school. I’m not kidding when I say ‘small’ and ‘international’….the school had 150 students from pre k to senior year and 32 attending nations; my largest class had 12 people! This exposed me to all sorts of cultures and experiences. In fact, that’s how I got into diving. As part of my biology class, the teacher planned a marine biology trip to Belize. As part of that trip we had the option to try diving, as soon as my butt hit the bottom of that training pool I was hooked!
From there I went on to get my Advanced Diver, Rescue Diver and not too long after my Dive Master Certification (I was delayed a year and a half because PADI wont certify you until you are 18). Even though I didn’t have my certification, I was fortunate enough to have a friend that owned a small dive shop in a small town off the Caribbean coast who let me work and assist on dives. It was awesome!
Every school vacation or long weekend, I was there cleaning equipment and setting up and assisting on dives. The night of my 18th birthday I sat the exam and passed!! I was officially a Dive Master! After I graduated from high-school, I moved up to the small town and started work as an official Dive Master.
>>Remember that part when I said I’ve lived in some challenging places? How I don’t take anything for granted? Here is one example:
Since the town we lived in had very limited resources, water especially, all of ours had to be reserved for the ‘shop’ (washing stations, compressor, etc) which left little for the actual house. When I wanted to take a shower, for example, this was the usual routine:
– Get out of my dive gear
– Rinse off salt water in washing station
– Hop into the shower
– Hope like heck the pressure stays long enough so you can rinse all of the shampoo out. (rarely happened – the usual scenario was me running outside in my towel, slipping all over the place to kick the pump to get it going again, then rush back in to finish rinsing my hair!)
But even with these, and many other challenges I would say that that was one of the best times of my life. The people there were fantastic and the whole area was beautiful.
Unfortunately, due to an untimely turn of events, I wasn’t to keep that up. Shortly after returning to the city, however, I was offered the opportunity to start working as a sales assistant with a luxury condo development off the Pacific Coast called Los Suenos. I learned a lot about the world of high end real estate, sports fishing and the people that go along with it. I met some very interesting characters and even had the opportunity to help organize one of the most talked about fishing tournaments two years in a row.
In fact, one of my most memorable public speeches took place at one of these events. One of the women on the tournament staff was something of a writer and at the previous tournament had written a story so popular that people were calling offering to pay up to $1000 to get a copy!! What she does is writes a two page story using the names of all of the boats participating in the tournament. (EX: Rum Runner, One Eyed Jack and the Barbara Jean would be turned into; Barbara Jean fell in love with One Eyed Jack the Rum Runner)
That season, ESPN2 had come to cover the second half of the tournament and, last minute the host decided the story should be read to the crowd, since it was so good. What wasn’t clear was who was going to read it!?
Guess who happened to walk in at the particular moment in time…yup…me! So, in a matter of 5 minutes I was thrust this two page story (which I hadn’t even seen yet) and told to go and read it to the crowd!
So, the host introduces me and I climb up onto stage (still desperately trying to pre-read as much of the story as possible), I get behind the podium and get ready to speak. With four different spot lights shining into various parts of my face I delivered the story (much better that I thought I was going to) and got a hardy, rather inebriated roar from the audience. It was quite a rush!
It was shortly after that night when I was offered the opportunity to move up to Vancouver.
Bruce Counts, president of Indicator Minerals Inc. (and family friend), was down visiting around the time of the tournament and offered me the opportunity to work in Vancouver, Canada. The decision to move wasn’t easy, and the packing…worse! Between my mom and I, we packed a blender, a full set of pots and pans, many trinkets including a 24 test-tube shot glass holder (with all 24 test tubes), clothes, cutlery and of course, my teddy bear!
I’ve had a blast since I’ve been here. I’ve seen Phantom of the Opera, two Cirque de Soliel’s and had my picture taken with Tabu from Black Eye Peas! Even though it hasn’t been easy and my learning curve has gone from steep to practically inverted, I’m having a great time and look forward to more challenges!
>>I would like to also add a quick blurb about a very special person, my beloved boyfriend, Dariel. He is a wonderful person who has enriched my life in so many ways! I didn’t write about him, and I won’t write about him in detail because he is an aspect of my personal life. Though this blog is going to contain many stories of my experiences, I’m not going to delve into any of the personal or private aspects of my life. I just wanted to mention, or introduce rather, this wonderful man as he will be a recurring character in my stories! He is also a very important participant in my life and he should be known as such.