Kate McKenzie

An Antidote for Black Friday Mania

The green coat in the window was stunning.  I knew it would look great on me, so I walked into the store filled with beautiful things to try it on.  On Black Friday, I find myself pulled into stores, onto websites or consumed with the thought that I need more.  It seems every news station, every advertisement is building a case against me to convince me I will be less valuable if I don’t purchase something.  Continue reading

Worldviews Project Hits the Road

?list=PL75044731AB3322D4 Check out our first steps on our cross-Canada journey.  We started in Calgary and have arrived in Saskatoon Saskatchewan! So excited to find stories of hope!

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Rocking Iran Style – Perspectives on Hijab

      Check out what me and Lucas wore in Iran!  Took me a while to adjust to figuring out how I was going to make my own style.  I was completely amazed by the women of Iran and their ability to wear a headscarf in so many different ways.

I’d ask other women how they kept theirs in place and try and copy their skills!  And we also had to ask how it was possible that some women wore their hair in what looked like a return to Prascilla Elvis’ beehive hair-do.  We’d try to get glimpses as they passed but finally had to ask a friend.  She quickly showed us it was all made possible by a giant “loofa-like” hair clip worn at the crown of the head so that they could wear their scarf just a wee bit further back.  It took the big hair look to a whole new level.

People have asked me if it was strange to wear a head scarf.  Yes in some ways but no in others.  I didn’t view it as a big deal since for me it was just about showing respect for their culture.  But it was also amazing to arrive in Israel and be able to feel the breeze against my skin after being covered up for so long!  Perhaps my favourite perspective on hijab though came from one of my former students who told me “I like wearing a head-scarf because when I’m wearing it I know that I’m not being judged on how I look but rather on what I say and my actions.”  Pretty amazing perspective!

Inspiring Youth in Pakistan

http://youtu.be/a1bqYo0ralU I just arrived in Pakistan and wanted to pass on a quick moment I captured on camera especially since today is World Environment Day. These youth were marching in 45°C weather to show support for the environment!  Inspiring!  All I felt like doing was finding the nearest air conditioned place and drinking as much water as possible!  Hope you all have a wonderful day and are able to find some small way to be grateful for our beautiful earth.


Film Competition

 Here was the challenge: Make a film and three photographs each on a specific theme, in a limited geographic area all in one day!  So after an intense brainstorming session over breakfast and coffees, me, Sadie and Hilary took off to put our Vietnamese, film-making and creativity to the test.  How could we come up with something creative, short (only 90 seconds) and something that reflected some of the humorous situations that were always happening in Vietnam?  Added to the challenge, we had to start with the sky, end with eyes, include a dress, a white shirt and a man searching for a woman in a shop somewhere in our film.

This video was our finished product for the Maraxuan Competition and voting will take place throughout the week at Eté Resto Cafe in Hanoi, Vietnam.  I would love to see this idea of encouraging creativity, exploring your own city and bringing people together used by more organizations! My hat’s off to Eté for coming up with such a great concept!

Unexpected Courage

Squat toilet

Courage can take many shapes and forms.  For me it did not take too much courage to go down class 5 rapids on the Nile River, it also did not take a lot of courage to record a song with Rwandan musicians or to start up conversations with people that I had never met.  Instead what took the most courage for me in the last couple of weeks was going to the bathroom! Continue reading

Responding to Kony 2012

As many of you know a film has been widely circulating on Youtube and through social media called Kony 2012 while I have been here in Uganda.  I wanted to respond to the film and to provide some tools and resources to others who would like to understand the multiple perspectives involved in such a complex issue.  These two films will hopefully help to shed some light on what my experience has been here in Uganda and what Ugandans think about the film.  Please don’t just take my word for it, I have included below some other links you should check out, including the link to the original movie that spurred all of this discussion.  Looking forward to hearing back from all of you!