Robyn vs Africa (Part Two) | My Epic African Adventure

Now, where were we in this tale of my trip to southern Africa and all the personal battles I faced…I call it Robyn vs Africa.

Robyn vs. Africa

Here’s the link to Robyn vs Africa (Part One) in case you missed it.

Robyn va Africa: My epic trip to southern Africa

By the end of my epic journey (which may be an epic memoir one day) where I determined to see EVERY animal in Africa I only missed spotting wild dogs and panthers. Perhaps I would’ve felt the sting of failure except I saw leopards.

Why is this important? Because the first time I went to South Africa (wayyyy back in 2001 and 2002) it was the only animal I had ever wanted to see in the wild. Ever. And I didn’t see it. And I was in Africa for a long time.

The crazy part is I sat under a tree and watched a leopard eat an impala. It was totally gross by the way. Like, gross. Anyway, the story behind this leopard is she wasn’t eating her kill. Yeah. Leopards hunt sometimes when they’re not hungry, and they have trees where they store their food in so mangy scavengers don’t steal it. The only problem is, other leopards can be mangy scavengers too.

So, I don’t know what happened to Leopard #1, the one who made the kill and stored her food for later. Perhaps she was tuckered and went to take a nap and then have brunch. Who am I to say, I’m no tracker.

Along comes Leopard #2. She spots the tree, spots the food, and thinks, “By golly I think I will make myself comfortable.”

But then!

She sees another impala. Except this one’s alive and she goes and kills it. However, the chase was quite long and by the time she won she was far, far from the tree. So what does Leopard #2 do? Why what any mangy scavenger would do: drag impala #2 back the 20 miles to the tree so Leopard #2 can enjoy both impalas.

No kidding. The ranger and the tracker followed the whole thing so we could have front row seats at dawn. By the time we caught up with Leopard #2 she was dragging impala #2 up the tree. Then she settled in and polished half of it off. It was totally gross. Did I mention that already?

However, it was also a pretty great experience because it wasn’t on TV. It was happening in front of my eyes and we were literally sitting under the tree taking it all in. We probably watched for an hour and a half, maybe longer.

You do get over the smell and sounds. Kind of. But you don’t get out of the truck. Not ever. No matter how much you have to pee.

A couple years ago I had an amazing chance to visit southern Africa for a few weeks and I made it my goal to spot as many different animals as I could.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

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Robyn vs. Africa (spoiler alert Africa wins)

A couple years ago I had an amazing chance to visit southern Africa for a few weeks and I made it my goal to spot as many different animals as I could.

Robyn vs. Africa

I’m kind of weird like that. Making goals and stuff. OK well maybe that’s not weird but my reaction to my goals is kind of…extreme. You see, when I make a goal it becomes my goal. In life.

Example: Seeing Africa animals.

My reaction: I’ve never wanted to do anything more in my entire life than see ALL the African animals.

You see what happened there? My goal of seeing “as many as possible” somehow turned into “ALL” when I repeated it back to myself. Even now, years later.

Good thing I was on the surprise adventure trip of a lifetime and had the surprise opportunity to see ALL the animals in southern Africa. Good thing I thought I was going to the beach.

I think this is the trip I realized packing lists are useless if you don’t know where you’re going. I kept a diary of the trip and I published it once, but I took it down because it was probably the most emotional, irrational, and ridiculous I’ve ever been. And I’ve been those three things a LOT. Just saying.

This counts as an animal battle because it was my own personal battle to see these wild animals. It caused me to do things a really shy and introverted personality wouldn’t tend towards.

My personal battle with Africa meant:

  • Bumming rides on VIP animal safaris at a five-star resort at dawn and again at dusk for seven days straight
  • Keeping a journal of animal names and check marks for three weeks
  • Suddenly being OK with blood and guts and live action animal fights
  • Bugging tour guides, rangers, and trackers to teach me about animal patterns, tracks, behaviours, and tendencies
  • Staying out of the safety of my tent when The Elements came to our campsites. The Elements being things like elephants, honey badgers, and scorpions (I will note I cried like a baby when lions were hunting nearby our campsite. You can feel those roars inside you)

Read Robyn vs. Africa part 2.

A couple years ago I had an amazing chance to visit southern Africa for a few weeks and I made it my goal to spot as many different animals as I could.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Packing List for Edmonton

This packing list for Edmonton, Alberta is kind of personalized for me but I hope it helps you figure out what on earth to pack for this city with ever-changing weather.

Packing List for Edmonton

Packing list for Edmonton

As usual, I’m going to Edmonton for work so this packing list is office casual.

Before writing this post I revisited my packing list from this time last year. I did this because I had the same travel plans.

Of course, last year at this time I was dealing with quite a bit more:

  • Travelling to Edmonton
  • Travelling to Dallas
  • Volunteering at the Olympics
  • Travelling to Nashville
  • Moving into a new home

This year I only have Edmonton and Nashville on the docket.

No big deal!

However, there was a little snag. You see, the airline I flew to Edmonton decided to start charging for a second bag (even though last year I distinctly recall advertising from this airline promising not to do this) and I was planning to take 1. my bag and 2. a tote for the work-thing I was attending. That’s two bags.

Therefore, I was encouraged to pack all my gear in my carry on. Thanks to hindsight, I now know this was said in jest. But me being me, I took this as the ULTIMATE challenge.

Here are the facts:

  • Duration: Four days, three nights
  • Dress code: Office casual
  • Situation: Two days involving travel, three days of many hours standing, one nice dinner
  • Weather: High of -16, lows of -30 and beyond. Projected 10 cm snow
  • Packing list must include: Computer, comfortable (yet appropriate) footwear, wool jacket

Quite the challenge!

Here’s my packing list for Edmonton

Anyway, I have this amazing day pack, which holds much more than it appears and in it I fit:

  • Five underwears
  • Four pairs socks
  • Two pants (plus one jogging pant and zero jeans)
  • Two tops (plus two tanks)
  • One cardigan
  • One pair tights
  • Running shoes
  • Dress boots (low heel and actually I wore these on the plane)
  • Toiletries, all under 50g and in a plastic bag

In my computer bag I brought my computer, notepad, book, and travelling purse (mini for journeys such as these).

Already knowing there was a gym in our hotel, I planned to double use my pjs/jogging gear and made a deal with myself I would go for runs at night but would not sweat. Very important when you only have one of things! Also, I banked on the towels/shampoo etc. at the hotel so skipped that stuff.

Usually on trips I’ll bring clothes I can wear interchangeably but I find it difficult with office clothes. So, I brought three complete outfits and just re-wore one for the fourth day. It worked out alright but I layered my tights under my pants and a tank under my top so I could feel better about wearing something twice. I don’t like repeating my outfits exactly. In high school I wondered if I should write down my outfits so I wouldn’t ever repeat them exactly.

I didn’t do it though. Too lazy.

Oh, I should say one day my feet hurt from a combination of wearing my boots and standing too much so I wore my runners with my office clothes. Major faux-pas I know, but my pants partially covered the shoes and I wore a bold print on top. I also did my hair nice (and wore hoop earrings) all in an effort to hopefully distract others from my fashion flaw.

And honestly I don’t care what it looked like. I saved my feet and felt like I was walking on air all day.

This was one of my most successful packing lists yet. Not only did I have everything I needed, but I had lots of room in my bag just in case I decided to stop into the “buy by the pound” thrift store on the west end.

I did stop in. I had to take the bus there and it cost $2.75 and took half an hour each way but unfortunately, I wasn’t inspired to make a purchase. Also, I managed to get to the mall (you know, that big one) on one of my breaks where I decided antique photos are AWESOME and bought some lip gloss. It was also Chinese New Year and there was a massive dragon parading around.

Of the six photos I took in Edmonton, three were on the bus and three were in the mall.

Slim pickings my friends. This is not exactly a “pretty city” in the winter. The words “dirty,” “brown snow,” and “bland” come to mind though.

Anyway, this time in Edmonton I learned these five things:

Top Five Things I Learned in Edmonton

  1. You can stay underground for quite a while when you’re walking
  2. You can get directions from nearly every person who happens to be walking around in -20 degree weather
  3. People actually thank the bus driver
  4. Shop keepers will let you wait inside their stores while you wait for a bus AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO BUY ANYTHING
  5. People there seem to have an affinity for small talk

All in all, pretty fun. Even if I didn’t really do anything. Or see anyone.

Do you have any additions to improve this packing list for Edmonton?

As usual, I'm going to Edmonton for work. Here's my packing list for Edmonton going for four days, three nights, office casual style and one nice dinner.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

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Moose Migration in New Zealand

This story is about the moose migration in New Zealand. I know, something you wonder about every day. Just how, exactly, did the moose migration in New Zealand happen? Glad you asked.

Moose Migration in New Zealand

Moose Migration in New Zealand

Back in the day, when world travel was relatively new, people thought it would be a great idea to introduce new species to areas. Like evil fat grey squirrels to western Canada, and the Canadian Goose to Europe.

And, interestingly enough, moose to New Zealand.

This was ages ago. Moose haven’t been spotted on the Islands in decades. However, there are people who firmly believe there is still a small herd of moose hiding out somewhere in the New Zealand bush…like the elusive North American Sasquatch, who roams the Pacific forests. Apparently.

Knowing of this New Zealand sasquatch-moose, Mark Sadgrove of The Canadian Moose travelling hockey club used this to get some attention on one of their tours down under.

“We call it moose-migrations,” said Sadgrove.

They made posters to advertise the team’s travelling hockey schedule. The posters said the moose had been spotted and would be seen at the game that night. Sneaky.

The Moose’s tour schedule is a bit confusing. Basically it involves free hockey clinics at local clubs in the day, and then paid showcase games for spectators to enjoy in the evenings. In the first years of the tours, there was varied interest but then a local hockey enthusiast Dr. Ashley Lye got involved. Everything changed.

Dr. Lye first crossed paths with the Moose several years ago when he volunteered to billet a couple players. They asked him to take four and he said, no problem. By the time he left the airport he had six Moose in tow and by the second night he was hosting 11. They had a great time but he decided the team needed a bit of logistics help and volunteered for the position.

He has been a part of the Moose ever since.

“I’m helping out any way I can,” said Dr. Lye. “I know the land very well, I have some skills at organizing. I know a few people, Mark (Sadgrove) knows a few people and it seems to work.”

With someone on the other side to help keep things organized, venues began to see increased patronage and games soon sold out. Word spread and now games sell out before the tour even begins.

And this year a promotional company in New Zealand has stepped in to organize and promote three professional-level games: Canada vs. US. They’re expecting 8,500 people to fill the stadium for each of the games.

Dr. Lye now lives in Newmarket and helps organize the tours, as well as plays for the Old Timers team on the Moose. He knows it’s only time before hockey in New Zealand catches on.

“New Zealand likes fast, powerful team sports. If people start to understand hockey, it will be a real natural for them. The key is to make it accessible for them.”

Dr. Lye said the best way to make hockey stick in the south pacific is education. And that’s what The Canadian Moose travelling hockey club is all about.

“It’s hard to duplicate this concept, but Mark has it working,” said Dr. Lye. “This is a great opportunity for hockey players to travel and play the sport.”

Past teams have included past and future NHL players. You can visit their website to find out more about The Canadian Moose.

Hope you enjoyed this random story about moose migration in New Zealand!

This story is about the moose migration in New Zealand. Just how, exactly, did the moose migration in New Zealand happen? Glad you asked.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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Have Skates Will Travel | The Canadian Moose

Have Skates Will Travel: The Canadian Moose is a travelling hockey club out of Newmarket, Ontario. As soon as I learned about the team I emailed a friend from Newmarket to confirm if this was a real team worth writing about.

Have Skates Will Travel: The Canadian Moose is a travelling hockey club out of Newmarket Ontario.

The Canadian Moose: Have Skates Will Travel

Turns out they check out. Not only is their name, literally, The Canadian Moose, but they’re a travelling hockey team. But it doesn’t end there. Not only was the team’s founder, Mark Sadgrove, drafted into the NHL for Montreal back when they made their run for the cup, but he was inducted into the hockey hall of fame a few years ago and has received letters from two different Prime Ministers! But not at the same time, obviously.

Of course, Mr. Sadgrove is quite humble and didn’t give me any of this information when we spoke a few weeks ago. No, another player for the Moose gave me the dirt. This is why we get multiple sources people!

But before we get into the dirt let’s talk about the team a bit, because it’s truly fascinating.

As we speak The Canadian Moose is recruiting for hockey players with Junior experience or higher to join them for a two-week New Zealand hockey holiday! I wish I played hockey!

The travelling team tours each year and has a passion to bring the sport of hockey to countries who treat this as a “minor” sport.

“Here’s an opportunity to give back and go to a country that’s underdeveloped in the sport and could use a handout,” said Sadgrove referring to past trips to Australia and New Zealand. “I get such a kick out of watching someone go to an ice rink for the first time. They’re in awe. They get on their hands and knees and touch the ice, can’t believe we can get on the ice and skate around—rugby’s their national sport. These huge guys with no necks watch us skating around crashing into the boards going ‘You alright mate? You’re mad!’”

To which Sadgrove replies “No you’re mad! You don’t wear padding!”

He said a lot of players don’t know how good they have it in Canada until they have a chance to travel to a country where hockey players lack ice time, coaching, and even equipment.

If you play hockey and think this would be something you’re interested in, check out The Canadian Moose online. There you will find an application form, photos from past tours, and more information.

You don’t have to be the best player on the team, but you do have to have the right attitude.

“Bottom line is it’s not about what we can do for you, it’s what you can do for The Canadian Moose and hockey down under. We are ambassadors for Canada and for the sport.”

Have Skates WIll Travel (Other Posts about skating)

Have Skates Will Travel: The Canadian Moose is a travelling hockey club out of Newmarket Ontario. And I confirmed this was a real team worth writing about.

One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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