The Hamilton Tiger Cats Game on Labor Day

Since I was a little kid I’d always watch the NFL and wish I could be at a live game. There is always so much going in the stadium, you just want to be a part of it live.
Fast forward to many years later and an even longer bucket list than I’ve ever had. I’m currently in Canada and even though the NFL is big here, they have a league called the CFL. Major towns have teams just like the US.
So I was excited when a friend of mine at work told me his uncle had some extra  tickets and he wanted to let them go cheap. I didn’t hesitate. Watching a football game live? Wow!
So the big day came. It was Labor Day and it was a sold out game. The Ivor Wynn stadium  where games have been played for close to a century was in its last year as it is being torn down to make way for a new stadium for the Pan Am Games. I was glad to have had the chance to be there.
The game was between the Hamilton TigerCats (home team) and the Toronto Argonauts.  It was hot and my empress and I had problems finding our seats. Apparently the tickets were for the away crowd so we ended up on the opposite side. Did I mention it was hot.
Then during the game they had a draw for prizes. I excitedly checked my pockets and guess what? I couldn’t find my tickets.

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In the end the Ticats lost but in exciting fashion if that counts for anything. The crowd, the food and the company made the experience well worth it. Even though the NFL game is still on my list I am glad I had this chance. Taking them as they come.

SN : Because I lost the tickets we couldn’t get on the free shuttles so we had to walk home. Next time the empress keeps the tickets.

Ainz

 

 

 

 

Reflections on my Leadership Passport Journey

Written below is a reflection I did as part of a program at Centennial College. It was considered extra-curricular and would give me extra credit and a distinction in Leadership on my transcript. The program called the Leadership Passport involves being apart of at least seven activities which ranged from working with the school to volunteering for anything that would involve interactions with as many people as possible. I chose a tree planting exercise which was very fulfilling for me.  Along with the seven it was required that we attend two workshops to be the foundation for what we have to do and also to give us an idea of how to write reflection papers and what they were looking for. we could either write a reflection paper for each activity or write one that would cover all. I chose the latter.  I didn’t ask for permission to mention any names in this blog but I want to mention that this program has helped me to grow as a person which is one of the reasons I decided to do it in the first place. Mission accomplished.

My reflection got some recognition and I was chosen as one of three to represent the program in front of the Board of Governors at the Centennial College. It was a great experience and I leave the school proud of myself and of the school who offered such a great program. Below is an edited version of the paper.

My journey for my Leadership Passport began when I came off the plane in Ontario from Jamaica.  I was in a new place and would meet many different people from different cultures. The culmination of all the experiences would change me into a not only a better leader but a better person. Never in my wildest dreams did I think my experiences would be so rich and so deep.  I will leave centennial College with memories that will stay with me forever.

I first started on the journey for my leadership passport after seeing the posting on the school’s website and immediately identifying with it and what they intended for the students who would be involved. I was excited. I immediately started sending letters to the relevant people but actually did not get to start because of the strike at the time. I kept on querying about it until I got a response. I went into the office where I met with Christine and the way the programme was presented to me made it even more appealing. I immediately signed up and attended the relevant workshops which would be my guideline to being a better leader.

By being an international student I qualified for the international education aspect of the program.  This for me was an international experience as I had never left home for so long or interacted with so many cultures.   I was required to work in teams for my course project management which also had a course called Project Leadership where leadership was taught not only from a Canadian perspective but an international one as well. The investment of time into understanding the cultures around is very important.  The interactions with people from Turkey, China, India and from many other places helped me to appreciate even more what I was taught by my parents to be tolerant of others and always look for the advantages of a situation.

As I write this portion I am actually staying with all my Indians friends overnight at their place discussing our cultures, the similarities and differences. Now you may say why did I include that but through interactions with them and others I have learnt that an effective leader understands the difference in culture and that understanding these differences and also the strengths can make him more effective in the way he leads.

My Canadian experience as a student has truly changed my life. At times there was frustration due to language barriers so one thing that I developed for sure during this experience was patience with teachers and students alike.  I also developed close bonds that helped in terms of networking and helped make my transition from home smooth.

My other experience as far as what is categorized on my Leadership passport had to do with working on campus which I did through volunteering.  I worked with the International Department on the occasions I was called upon to represent my country and also Centennial College. This experience was new for me because even though I spend a lot of time with social media I had never been involved with virtual meetings in the form of career fairs and web meetings.

I am a fast learner and within a very short period of time I was able to effectively and efficiently log on and contribute to the virtual meetings.  Another bridge crossed.  I was truly enthusiastic about the whole process.  Being able to help others in achieving their goals while achieving the ones you set for yourself. Isn’t that what leadership is about?  With the use of the school and its resources and making myself available I was able to do just that. It is important that as a leader, you set goals and follow through on them no matter how hard the task.  This is a trait of good leaders and proudly I can say I was tested and achieved what I said I would.  The fruit of your struggles will be always seen as was with the case while working with my beloved school. I have been asked to participate in upcoming events which will take place virtually along with other projects. What other evidence do I need to know that I have overcome and made a positive impact? Purpose is another word that is thrown around but with being given guidelines by the Leadership Passport, I was able to say I worked purposefully towards the goals that needed to be done to not only complete my Leadership passport but become an even better person albeit a better world citizen.

My volunteer experience happened during a time when I was feeling down because of unforeseen circumstances that threatened my course of study. Here is where my perseverance was tested. Would I be able to push through and finish what I started out to do?  Well, I was determined to make sure the answer to that was a resounding yes.  I did 40+ hours working at the Hamilton General Hospital along with a research coordinator who asked me to be in charge of the transferring of data as they were changing the way they handled information that came into their office.   They demanded a high degree of excellence.

My parents had always instilled in me that anything worth doing is worth doing well so that wasn’t the problem.  The challenges with the job were the tight deadlines and unexpected hiccups that caused frustration and exhaustion.  At this point it was one of two things, persevere or give up. I had already gone through a lot to be here in Canada and perseverance was the only way I saw out. You could say my mind was one tracked.

Working with the team at the hospital and finishing the project left me with a feeling of real accomplishment. So much so that this summer I plan to spend time volunteering there while looking for a full-time job. It’s definitely an environment that allows you to interact with a lot of people and at the same time observing different leadership styles.

My Service Learning experience took place at the Morningside Park on April 28th 2012.  I had grown up being a part of the junior naturalist movement but had never gotten the chance to be a part of a plant restoration before. I was extremely excited.   With things affecting the earth such as global warming, planting trees may seem insignificant but is exactly the opposite. Here is a chance to make a BIG impact I thought on the earth and its future.  When the opportunity came up I jumped at it knowing it is through situations like this that leaders make an impact. These leaders not only give orders but lead by example.

After watching Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth” and even experiencing the mild winter that has just passed I saw the urgency of the situation reinforced when we got there and it was explained that the area in which we were going to work had eroded because of the lack of trees. It was up to the group of us to save that area from total destruction.

Another good thing about the tree restoration exercise was the chance to meet up with people who were as passionate about what they were doing as I was.  We have a saying in Jamaica that “one one cocoa full basket” meaning that in this case everybody coming together will make a greater impact.  We as a group shared with each other. I left making new friends and having an even deeper appreciation of teamwork.

To sum it all up the traits of leadership that were observed during all these exercises were not new to me as I had seen them before exhibited at different times in my life.  What was new though were how they were presented and manifested themselves.  I went away from all of them with a paradigm shift in my thinking about leadership and its impact on each one of us.  Integrity, honesty, humility, perseverance, patience and the list goes on, were seen in all to different degrees but showed how important each one is.  None can be considered insignificant.

As I leave Centennial College, I leave happy I saw the post which asked for interest in such a program. I’m happy I sent that email and even happier I got such a warm welcoming reply. My only regret knowing that I have benefitted so much is that more of my classmates didn’t take up the opportunity to be a part of this great program.

Below is just a pic of the group of Project managers of which I was a part. Until the next blog, peace….

Ainz

Jamaica Blog Awards Nomination

Just writing a small note to let all the people who read my blog know that I have been nominated for the Jamaican Blog Awards in the category of Best Jamaican Vlogger. I’m excited and glad just to be nominated. If you want to support you can by clicking on the link AND voting for TheAinzlee.  I have one more blog before the end of the year but I still want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and the best for 2012. Link below for nominations…. Thanks again for all your support.

http://www.jablogawards.com/best-jamaica-vblog

Oh and if you haven’t seen my youtube channel that I got nominated for… Check below

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAinzlee

Where I want to go for the summer Update

Another wrap up of a previous blog. In the previous (i’ll paste link below) I pointed out that my lady and I had both made lists of places we wanted to go and we even had a contingency list just in case.

https://theainzlee.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/where-i-want-to-go-for-the-summer/

Well, it didn’t turn out as expected with more planning happening for after the summer ended than within the summer. We still traveled around but didn’t get to explore what we had our hearts on.  They say quality time is important and that we did have but as always as humans it’s hard to be satisfied, our insatiable appetites always wanting more.

I won’t go through the list of places we did end up but mention food stops on Spur Tree Hill and a lazy day in Treasure Beach.

From the Original List here is where we went noted by a complete beside the location.

Jan’s Picks

  • Mystic Mountain, St. Ann
  • YS Falls, St. Elizabeth *attempted but work complications*
  • Negril, Westmoreland
  • The Steakhouse, Mandeville (completed)   *Jan went to a business meeting here*
  • Truck Stop, Kingston
Ainzlee’s Picks
  • Lover’s Leap, St. Elizabeth (completed) *went but it was closed*
  • JamWest, Westmoreland
  • Dover Raceway, St. Ann  (completed)
  • JDRC Dexterity Competition, St. Elizabeth
  • Font Hill, St. Elizabeth *went to Treasure Beach instead*
Contingencies
  • Lil Ochi, St. Elizabeth (completed)
  • Another Beach – Maybe Montego Bay *went to Aquasol*
  • St. Mary or maybe Mavis Bank (see if we can cross it)
  • Milk River, Clarendon *road too bad*
The average cost of our trips were 3000 JA ($30+CA/US) so it wasn’t bad at all! Until the next summer list…..
Below is a video of the Treasure Beach Trip…. Would love some feedback!
Peace

Reaction 2011 : Off Road Edition Review

The event called Reaction 2011 : The off-road edition happened on Sunday the 24th of July 2011.  This is an annual event in Mandeville, Jamaica that has been on the scene for years and adds something to Mandeville’s sparse event calendar.  This car show is looked forward to every year as a family event where a new theme as far as the type of the cars that will be the focus is changed every year. We’ve gone through Classic, Trucks and Sports Car Editions to name a few

This year as stated before it was the Off Road Edition but over the years, the main focus which are or should be the cars has been lacking.  I’m sorry to say that this year was no different.  For me the wow factor at any car show are the cars.  The promoters  depend mostly on those who are willing to show off their cars .  ATL Motors did carry in some of their vans which helped a bit but for me and some who gave me feedback it wasn’t enough.

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Nocturnal Promotions though saved the day with a mixture of other attractions for the kids and Jerry “The Vibes Master” D for the adults. The show was very entertaining and made up for the disappointing turnout of the cars. Giving away prizes and holdig the crowd with his usual antics I can only say kudos to the man.  We were also treated to good mixing by Agent 47, a dance contest and a fashion show as well as a very good magician to top off the day. The show that started in the morning went on until after 9 when I left. LeftSide the Jamaican DeeJay did show up when i was leaving saying he was passing through on his way to Fully Loaded and quickly went through three or four songs before I could get to the car.

Another thing worth mentioning is the checks that were presented to Charity by the Noctural Group. My hats off to all of you.  Here’s hoping next year will have a greater balance of cars with even more of the attractions from this year. Actually I’m doing more than hoping, I’m praying!

Will be adding the videos of the event below as soon as I can. Four in all.

Peace.

Road Trip to Dover (CMRC Meet)

Dover! How I love the sounds of the engines and the screams of the masses as tyres squeal around sharp turns.  The excitement of Dover.

   (Easter Meet VloG)

I won’t waste any time but to say that after my last experience with Dover I was excited to go back minus having to contend with the traffic I had to deal with at the Easter meet.  Had to sit there in traffic, after leaving early (around 2) and didn’t get to the main road until minutes to five…

But the draw of the CMRC meet was too much to handle. I had to see the match ups and not second hand either.  So off we went on Labor Day heading to St. Ann from Mandeville.  We were all hoping to get some roasted yam on the way through Clarendon but everywhere we passed wasn’t ready for the Dover crowd.  Itz like they already made their millions so who cares if all these cars passing wanted yam or not.   We weren’t amused.  After about two hours and about a hundred potholes we finally got there and immediately sought food.  Jah know… a who tell we nuh fi carry foood..   all prices double up…

I’m saying this right now!!!! NEVER AGAIN will i go to Dover without carrying foood.  NEVER!!!!

We got there early so we saw the intro of the drivers as well as the ceremony.

(lots of footage here) http://www.youtube.com/user/ainsleydacres

It was a good day with lots of activities and the races were hype.  The anticipated match ups did not disappoint either.  My fave racer David The king made sure to show them who was boss and all the racers did well.  Big up SeaBoard for the sponsorship of the event.  Keeping racing alive means alot to many Jamaicans.

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At the end of the day the thought of long waits in traffic lingered but this time it only took about 50 minutes to an hour to exit because of the new exits and the control of the authotiries.  So no sour points this time to mention at all.

Well okay..  there was one… the YAM!!!!.. Even on our way back they had run out so they actually catered for those who left real early or reached late…  Maybe I need to open a yam stand on public holidays.  Show them how itz dun…

Well other than that I can’t wait to do it all over again.

for more photos check Ainzlee’s World on FB    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ainzlees-World/181694245212240

Have a look at the dayz vlog