Summer 2016 – A Flash

I have to admit, my reflecting, blogging, and connecting to my online community has been limited over the past months. But it has not been because I forgot about you or that life just was not exciting enough to share with each of you. In fact, it has been exactly the opposite. Even the flash is not fast enough to keep up with the happenings of summer 2016.

So, let me bring you up to speed with a brief blog, mostly pictures this time around.

I strategically returned to Victoria BC, Canada in time for my favourite festival of the year, Symphony Splash. On this particular night, the Victoria Symphony sets up a stage in the inner harbour and plays for an audience spanning blocks. Each year I find a patch of grass to hang out on in front of the Legislative building, this year was the same. A few friends, my parents and I sat around listening to hours of music and ended the night with fireworks.

A view of Victoria BC's inner harbour

A view of Victoria BC’s inner harbour

The crowd patiently waiting for the symphony to arrive

The crowd patiently waiting for the symphony to arrive

A couple days later the Ismaili Muslim community in Victoria got together for our annual BBQ. In the past I have gone, helped a little, and then left early. This year I opted to participate in the volleyball game and played a little frisbee with some friends. It was perhaps the first time in my life that both my father and I were on the same volleyball court at the same time. He even mentioned he was impressed that I knew how to serve and set. I have to thank my junior high school coaches for that!

Saxe Point - a perfect BBQ location

Saxe Point – a perfect BBQ location

Our partial community group annual photo

Our partial community group annual photo

The next couple of days I spent with my parents. We ventured to Vancouver to go buy me some East Indian outfits. My mother spent much of her days cooking meals and packing my freezer (Thank You Mum!) and my father and I sat around chatting, running random errands, and spending quality time together with my mother. We were later joined by my brother for a few days before my family packed up their vehicle and drove off to Calgary Alberta. As much as I desired to go with them, it was time for me to return to my school work and well, the beach.

A view like this must be admired

A view like this must be admired

Sometimes I take my art to the beach

Sometimes I take my art to the beach

Other times I take school work

Other times I take school work

And when not sitting at my computer studying, preparing for this semesters course I am teaching, or fulfilling some of my new volunteer positions, a friend and I would venture out on hikes and outdoor swims. She swam and I read!

Admiring the view and Killarney Lake

Admiring the view and Killarney Lake, Victoria BC

Swimming at Killarney Lake, Victoria BC

Swimming at Killarney Lake, Victoria BC

We also escaped the Island and headed to another Island for a day. Salt Spring Island has so much to explore but our short trip only allowed for a stroll through the market, dinner along the water, a little bit of time in the harbour, and an extended wait at the ferry.

Dinner view on Salt Spring Island

Dinner view on Salt Spring Island

The next couple weeks were met with many hours at my computer, many more in the library studying, and a few hours checking out markets and festivals in and around Victoria BC. Each trip required its own ice cream exploration, live music search and often a few other goodies including some reusable snack bags, a couple pieces of jewellery, and some locally made snacks.

Live music at the Sidney BC Thursday night market

Live music at the Sidney BC Thursday night market

I was also lucky enough to have two youth visitors. These youth, from the 2016 Global Encounters family, and I had connected upon returning to BC. There is always so much to discuss with youth of such caliber; often times I end up being more inspired then inspiring. We visited the University campus as they are both in the midst of University applications and wandered into town for lunch and a stroll through the harbour.

Youth guest - they also taught me about snapchat!

Youth guest – they also taught me about snapchat!

A friend and I also checked out the annual Greek Festival where we indulged (well kind of) in traditional food and attempted to entertain ourselves while dances were going on. As much as I would love to give this festival two thumbs up, it perhaps was the upset of the summer. The festival is largely an eating event where you enter through gates and are welcomed by various tills to purchase what you’d like to eat. Overpriced and limited options had us almost turning around but we persevered. We watched individuals dance and after the third dance, one with the spotlight on a young man twirling a drum that had a glass of wine resting on the inside, we decided to leave.

The dance act at the Greek Festival

The dance act at the Greek Festival

Another day a friend and I ventured to the waters of Brentwood Bay. I had an urge to try out paddle boarding although I do not enjoy being in water nor had I participated in a water based activity in over six years. But, on what turned out to be a gorgeous day we hit the water on paddle boards, laughed enough to create an ab workout, and both managed to stay on our boards for the entirety of our two hour activity.

A little hesitant to stand

A little hesitant to stand

But don't worry - I got there!

But don’t worry – I got there!

Do you get a sense of how my summer went? I spent a lot of time studying, even though I have no photographs to prove it. But I do have a paper and a half to prove myself…in case you need some proof. But if you haven’t guessed yet, the rest of my summer included various other adventures including a trip to Goats on a Roof, Cathedral Grove, Sooke Pot Holes, and China Beach.

There was actually a goat on the roof!

There was actually a goat on the roof!

Surrounded by hundreds of year old trees at Cathedral Grove

Surrounded by hundreds of year old trees at Cathedral Grove

The calm of China Beach quickly turned into a whale watching adventure

The calm of China Beach quickly turned into a whale watching adventure

Observing the beauty of Sooke Pot Holes from above

Observing the beauty of Sooke Pot Holes from above

And more recently, in-between my swimming lessons after feeling as though I should be able to swim if I want to further participate in water activities, field hockey games, studying and teaching, a friend and I manage to get out for a hike at least once a week.

Caught in action - Field Hockey season is among us

Caught in action – Field Hockey season is amongst us

Our most recent spots have included Thetis Lake, Elk and Beaver Lakes, and Lone Tree Hill.

Lower Thetis Lake Walk

Lower Thetis Lake Walk

It is in moments of calmness that we catch our reflections

It is in moments of calmness that we catch our reflections – Thetis Lake

Almost there! Lone Tree Hill

Almost there! Lone Tree Hill

Morning hike at Lone Tree Hill with a friend

Morning hike at Lone Tree Hill with a friend

Oh wait, I have a little proof of some studying behaviours. Not to far from my apartment a new cafe opened up. Imagine Cafe is a coffee shop, art studio, and yoga studio initiative that offers organic made in-house meals, snacks, and a wonderful studying atmosphere. It is cozy and the owner is sure to make you feel welcomed with access to slippers, blankets, extra lighting, and sincere hospitality. So, if you are in the Victoria BC area and need a little pick-me-up, a place to meet a friend, or a quiet place to get some reading and writing done, I highly suggest you check out Imagine Cafe!

Looking in on the cafe action

Looking in on the cafe action

The bar - where all the food magic happens

The bar – where all the food magic happens

Now that you are all caught up on the happenings of my summer, I hope to return to my regular blogging. I look forward to sharing some resources to move from a state of health to healthy, return to my collection of Books to Build Solidarity, speak to some of the new crafts I have taken on, and bring back my Hump Day Adventures. Be sure to stay tuned – I have a feeling the next few months will be just as exciting as the summer has been (plus a lot of studying!)

But if I had to say anything, I have to say that this past summer was all about rejuvenating my mental health and preparing for what is sure to be a challenging academic year ahead. Sometimes we need to give ourselves the space to care for ourselves so that we can conquer those big things in life!

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