Monthly Archives: October 2011

Apple in the Tree

Happy Sunday all!

I am so pumped to introduce you to an awesome Canadian artist named Duane Forrest.  Duane grew up in Toronto but his music stretches far beyond this country.  And by that I do not mean that he lives in Hollywood.  Duane has learned Spanish and has lived in places such as Mexico, Puerto Rico and Honduras where he combines his love for music with his passion for social justice.  Let me tell you first about his music, and then I will tell you more about his mission.

Duane’s most recent album is called “Apple in the Tree”.  The idea behind it is that the woman is an apple high in a tree and if a man wants her he has to climb up to get her.  I love the concept.  Duane alludes to the idea that in our society love has been cheapened to one night stands and people using one another to meet their own physical, emotional and financial needs.  In this album he yearns for us to go back to the innocence of love, which in his mind starts with an apple high up in a tree and a man earnestly trying to get to it (ladies, don’t you love the chivalry?).  He uses a mix of bossa nova, jazz and soul to convey this message.

In speaking to Duane and by listening to his album, I could tell that this man has a great deal of respect for people in general, but also for love in its purest form. His respect for people and love shines through not only in his lyrics but also through what he has chosen to do with his life.  I’m amazed that he has had the energy and dedication to set up an arts school  in Copan, Honduras, where children from grades 3-7 are given the opportunity to take free music, dance, cooking, drama and visual arts classes.  The school is completely funded through donations, so please check it out and do not be shy to donate if you feel that it is a project that speaks to you and one that you’d like to support.

Here are a few clips of Duane – enjoy!

Picture of the Week: Fall is upon us!

Happy Monday dear readers! This week I dug out one of my favorite fall shots taken a few years ago in the Byward Market in Ottawa.  I’ve really been enjoying this season over the past couple of years and though I haven’t been out to take many fall pictures this year, I thought that this one captured the beauty of the season.

What are you up to this week? I think that one of my favorite things about this time of year is that by now most of us have settled in nicely into our daily routines.  I am continuously amazed by how uneasy I am with lack of routine.  It brings me comfort to now have a regular daily and weekly pattern to follow.  Halifax is starting to become more and more of a home for us as we get to know the city and the surroundings  a bit better. We’ve also been blessed to have met some wonderful people here which has also made this place more homey for us.

Hope you all have a great day – and just so you know, this week on B&B I’ll be reviewing an album by an artist I was recently introduced to named Duane Forrest.  He is my favorite type of artist: a musician with a mission. More on that later!

Picture of the week – New Life

How wonderful is it to celebrate the beginning of a new life? This week’s picture is a celebration of new life from within my own family. My sister recently gave birth to a sweet and precious baby named Nathan Joseph, who I got to meet this week while home in Toronto for Thanksgiving. Welcome to the world baby boy!

An autumn twist on cobb salad

J and I have been making an effort lately to try to buy as much ‘in-season’ produce as possible.  I recently picked up some red cabbage and have been incorporating it into a few different dishes.

My most recent concoction is what I like to call an autumn twist on a cobb salad.  You’ve got your lettuce, sharp cheddar cheese and boiled egg, but I’ve mixed it up with some pomegranate, red cabbage and avocado.  This combination of flavours is delightful and I love how all the colours look together! I dressed with cranberry pear balsamic vinegar with olive oil,  which I picked up at this really cute store called  Liquid Gold. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Movie Review: The Redemption of General Butt-Naked

So I don’t do a ton of movie reviews on this blog, but once in a while I feel compelled to share a movie with you. I recently saw “The Redemption of General Butt Naked” at the Atlantic Film Fest and I have to admit that it was the best documentaries that I have seen in a long time. It was also one of those movies that you really want to sit down and talk about after you walk out.

The film takes place during and after the Liberian civil war and tells the story of a brutal warlord (General Butt Naked) also named Joshua Milton Blahyi. At the beginning of the movie we get to know General Butt Naked as he then was: a mass murderer. However, the bulk of the film focuses on his subsequent conversion to Christianity. In fact, not only does he become a Christian but he actually becomes a Pastor. He feels redeemed by his newfound faith and decides to face his past by confronting his victims and asking for their forgiveness. He also sets up a sort of rehabilitation camp for the child soldiers who worked under him and killed people during the war under his command.

As a lawyer and an international affairs junkie the movie appealed to me on so many levels: so many issues of faith, justice, forgiveness and post-conflict national reconciliation were brought out. At one very powerful point in the movie, we see Blahyi on the stand in front of the Liberian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. When asked how many deaths he is responsible for, Blahyi bows his head in shame and says “20,000”. The Christian part of me was amazed and inspired by how this man could do a total 180 and have the courage to seek forgiveness from his victims. The lawyer in me who craves for justice found it so upsetting for him to have ruined so many lives and expect to receive forgiveness. Finally, the international affairs junkie in me was watching the the process of truth and reconciliation unfolding and was fascinated by what I saw. Choosing reconciliation after such a terrible tragedy is often the only choice that these people have if they do not want to spiral into deeper conflict – but it doesn’t make the choice any easier.

I encourage you to see the movie. You may find it uncomfortable and unsettling at times, but I really think that these issues are worth thinking about. If you’ve seen the movie and have any thoughts, please do share – I’d love to engage!