Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Day Of Congratulations

Well as we wake up this chilly day, and dust the snow from our belongings we can also see congratulations are in order times two. It is a special day for two people today. A dear friend of mine has accomplished a life long dream in the last couple of days. I remember growing up with Diana T she wanted to be a nurse. It was her life long ambition to help people. She started many years ago by helping take care of her Grand Father when he became ill. Then take care of her Grand Mother when she was terminally ill. I stood back at a far, and marveled how well she handled things. I had just went through my own time of experiencing sickness and loss, but I was not as good at the nurse duties as Diana T was I am sure. Not only that she looks better in a skirt! LOL There is a lasting image a big hairy ape in a white nurses uniform! Now talk about lasting images. That should be worth about 2 years worth of therapy. Anyway I digress... then Diana T went on to work in the area of special needs. I can say that she was one of the main reasons I joined the industry when I did. Then she took the next step and obtained her LPN. She worked as a very accomplished LPN for a few years, but that was still not enough. She had that desire to continue in her quest for her dream as a nurse. Well as we awake from our slumber once more a dream has come to be, and Diana T has realized that dream. She is now a nurse! For that I send out a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! I am glad to see you accomplish your dream that you have always longed for. You are going to touch many lives over the years, and for that your patients are going to be better for that. The last time Diana and I talked she had not made a decision as to where she was heading for her first position, but I am sure where ever she heads the patients will be better for it, and the care center is going to have a top notched nurse joining their staff! Congratulations again my dear, and all the best in your new placement, and new career!

Now like I said there was two people that was very deserving of Congratulations. Well as promised the documentary of Ethiopia is in the can as they say in the industry. I would like to send CONGRATULATIONS to Kyle Bakx on a job well done. I have seen the 5 episode documentary on Ethiopia. Not only was it informative and entertaining it was touching. Kyle is a very good producer, and I am sure this is only 1 of many documentary's that he will produce in his career. Now he sat down and answered a few questions for the old Ape, but before we get to them as promised Kyle wanted me to tell you this:

The "Medicine Hat Magic" documentary is finished and ready to air.
The half-hour Chat TV special tracks the efforts of a group of
volunteers with relief organization Canadian Humanitarian. The
documentary will air on Chat TV on Tuesday, December 16, at 7:00.
Chat is on Shaw Cable channel 3 and Bell Expressvu channel 248.

We're just finishing up the covers for the DVDs. For those wishing
for a copy of the DVD, it is easy. Call the front desk of the station
at 403-548-8282. The cost is $25 and tax. For those living outside
the beautiful city of Medicine Hat, don't fret, we can mail the DVD to
your doorstep. We will only be taking orders till around Christmas
Day. The DVD's will then be ready to be picked up/mailed early in the
new year.

Enjoy the documentary!

Now as Kyle says don't forget to order your DVD as a keepsake of that documentary hi-lights Medicine Hat people making a difference in Ethiopia. Now as promised I was also lucky enough to get Kyle to sit down long enough to answer a questions as to who Kyle Bakx is, and what was it like doing something like this:

Q Who is Kyle Bakx tell me a bit about yourself?

A I went to school in Winnipeg, graduating with a journalism diploma at
Red River College and a communications degree at the University of
Winnipeg. While going to school, I worked as a radio news broadcaster
for a radio station in Steinbach, MB, then as a TV reporter/producer
for Global News in Winnipeg. After finishing college and university I
made the move to Chat TV as the municipal affairs reporter,
predominantly covering politics and business. Outside of reporting, I
have a strong passion for traveling and being in the great outdoors. I
enjoy athletics of all nature -- including being an active triathlete.
I volunteer for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in
Medicine Hat and at the Tongue on the Post folk music festival.

Q How did you first hear about what was going on Ethiopia?

A I completed my first triathlon in Okotoks, AB, this past summer.
After the event, I picked up a pamphlet and saw that a Medicine Hat
charity was the recipient. I thought it would make for a great news
story, so I met with the executive director. After learning that many
Medicine Hat residents were going to travel to Ethiopia on an
expedition with the organization, I pitched the idea to the TV station
and to the organization, to track the efforts of the volunteers by
filming a documentary. The organization loved the idea and so did
management at Chat TV.

Q Is there any more trips like this one that we can see from you?

A Hopefully, but nothing on the horizon for now. Although I seem to
always have side projects on the go...

Q What is the biggest message you would like to convey from a trip like this?

A The thing that stuck with me the most is the pride of the people in
Ethiopia. Most live in homes made of tin that are only the size of a
mini-van. Most Ethiopians are classified as living in either moderate
or extreme poverty. Almost 80 per cent live on less than 2 american
dollars a day, while, a quarter of the population earn less than a
single dollar. The situation in Ethiopia is conflicting -- on one
hand, a middle class has slowly begun to emerge over the last decade.
But on the other hand -- economy has made the situation worse for the
poor -- as inflation has doubled and tripled the cost of food. It's
financial pressure that's hard for many parents to burden.

But the people are so proud. We would visit their homes and they made
sure to sweep the dirt floors and make the beds. They couldn't
believe that a white-person would actually take the time to see their
home. The people are very happy as well, despite the hardships.

Q What can my readers do to help the cause over in Ethopia?

A Go on the next expedition -- there's two every year! The organization
is excellent and any contribution goes a long way. Visit the website
on ways to help out -- www.canadianhumanitarian.com

Q Walk me through a day that transpired on the trip?

A Everyday was completely different. One day in particular began with
us volunteers breaking up into small groups to conduct home visits --
where we would visit the homes of the children enrolled in programs
with Canadian Humanitarian. We would make sure that the children have
a safe home, where they are encouraged to go to school and do their

Q What is the biggest thing that the people of Ethiopia are missing?

A It's very hard to say, beyond the necessities. For many, food is the
main concern. Inflation has doubled and tripled the cost of food.
For others, clean water is a major concern -- not only for drinking,
but for washing and bathing.

Q If there was one wish for the people of Ethopia what would it be?

A It's as basic as food.

Q If you could compare the children of Ethiopia to the children of
Canada do they have any similarities? Differences?

A They are identical. They laugh at the same jokes, play the same games
and have the same potential as children in Canada, but don't have the
same opportunities (school, work, sports)

Q What role do you think our Gov't should have if any on trips like this?

A The Canadian government really lacks when it comes to foreign aid.
Not only do they not meet their funding goal -- but most of the money
is spent in Canada, not overseas.

Q How different is the media's role from there to here?

A The media is very well respected in Ethiopia -- but the majority are in jail.

Q You talked about a group of kids that we seen that were sponsered
compared to all the other children that were not. How were those
children picked to be sponsored?

A Canadian Humanitarian choses which children can be enrolled in their
programs based on the most need. That is where the biggest impact
will be made. Children in CH programs receive medical attention, a
hot lunch everyday, help with homework, and much more. But, the kids
must attend school and show commitment to their education.

Q What negative issues did you see from the people of Ethiopia?

A Aids has eradicated the social structure. So often we would see
families with only single mothers supporting the household. They are
then forced to work long hours to put food on the table. A
consequence is that the children don't receive enough attention.
That's why the children showed such great appreciation when us
Canadians would play games with them, or just simply help them read a

Well I hope you enjoyed reading about what Kyle experienced n Ethiopia as much as I enjoyed writing about it. As Kyle reminded to you that special is tonight at 7PM. Again don't forget to place your order for your own copy of the special or better yet buy a few copies and give them away as stocking stuffers or gifts to someone special on your Christmas list.

So in closing Congratulations to Diana T and Kyle Bakx you are very special each in your own right!

From The Big Ape

Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a
horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?

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