Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Bethlehem is a walled city (more info as to what this means here:  Depicted here is a nativity scene that raises questions about what this time of year truly means to us.  

Define Peace.  Define Apartheid

We find ourselves wrapped up in the rhetoric of "peace" around Christmas time, but are we truly grasping the meaning of the word?  Peace - a fluffy, warm fuzzy word? A Utopian ideal? For the future? Unnatainable?  If we search and find peace around our Christmas trees as we gather with family, friends, and food... do we stop looking there?

I encourage you this Christmas to question "peace" ..what does it truly mean?  If this blog is meant to be my personal experience with learning about a very relevant and horrific reality in our world, I will be honest - I struggle hearing wishes and blessings of Peace in a world so broken, from mouths who claim to be the hands and feet of the one who came to bring peace - but seem to shy away from hard questions and hard truths.

Are we missing the point?

The very city that Christ was born into is broken.  And yet many of us sit by.  Whether it's the brokenness in your own home, city, country or further then that, peace is not yet attained - and what are we each doing to fight for the reign of justice - the hard, difficult work that is required to attain our "fluffy" dreams of "peace" - ?

This word causes me frustration.  It makes me angry, it makes me cry, it makes me smile when I see the possibilities in my community as to what a world could look like if it were as beautiful as some of the active relationships I see here in Waterloo. I swear I'm not just another emotional girl - I think these kinds of responses are pretty legit, if I do say so myself ;).

But peace will not reign until we - out of desire or responsibility - fight for it.

Peace will require a struggle; a hard, beautiful struggle - but it is not for others to fight - it is for you - for us to fight.  If we've got it why should we keep it to ourselves? If we don't have it, why not press for it on a whole and help each other out?

We are the answers to prayers for peace.

This holiday season - no matter what your beliefs - I hope that you experience peace in your own sphere, but also simultaneously desire that for others, understanding that the love that was brought to the world so many years ago is meant to be lived through us - it is our responsibility as humans to one another.

Let peace not be distant but something we do not give up actively hoping and fighting for this year.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

BWC Website is Down!

Sorry for any inconvenience but our site is temporarily unavailable!!

We'll let you know when it's alive again :).



Saturday, November 27, 2010

I'm a Noob.

Come with me…

I’m finding it hard to read what I read and know what I may or may not know, and sit still.

…I’m wrestling with my some stuff right now – you may or may not relate, but that’s cool.

First – I’m an amateur in most/all senses of the word.

Deux – I love academics but cannot just read and think without doing. I get passionate and angry and antsy.

Tres – I’ve already made it clear the financial strain this whole deal puts on me (like seriously), and my struggle with figuring out what self-sacrifice is “worth it” in the long run… moneymoneymoney.

Essentially, obviously I am no academic, journalist, expert – anything.  But as friends, professors, parents, strangers, classmates, etc... have told me…that’s OK.

Say what? :O Craaaaazy. Genius… told ya I was a noob. ;) (sometimes we have to make fun of ourselves a little, eh?)

Everyone has to start somewhere…

Here’s the deal.

I know very little about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict – okay, I know a lot more about it than I did 6 months ago, but seriously, obviously there is still/always so much to know.  But it’s struck a chord.

I'm inviting YOU.

Many of you have expressed similar situations to mine – where you don’t know much about the situation in the Middle East (and there are MANY reasons for why you don’t know, but I’ll get into that later, I’m sure :))…once again…

That’s OK!


So.  All I ask is that if you care enough to occasionally or faithfully follow a newbie – a white Canadian girl’s journey of learning (with two friends and company :)) … learn with me.

… I’ll try to be as unbiased as objective as I can – I promise, but it will still be personal; a perspective – it will be my reactions (hopefully edited to keep this family friendly), my thoughts, mixed in with thoughts and stories of the various people I meet while overseas.

This is my journey to get to know today… to attempt to get to know what’s really going on in our world that we are a part of and connected too.  This is my journey, taking the only thing I have – my own set of knowledge, and being open to learning about not another world, but a different part of our world.

This is our journey…

Join me?

All I ask is that you read, listen, humour, forgive me.  If you feel so inclined I LOVE it when you message, challenge, critique, yell at, laugh with me.

As Because We Can gets fully underway…learn a little with us… no pressure… whether you know a lot, a little, a nadda, everyone has to start somewhere…

Join us for the ride.

I’ll keep ya posted.

C (aka Nublet)

(p.s. e-mail subscription makes this easier for keeping in touch :) (left hand-side of the blog ;))

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Speaking WITH and not FOR

(p.s. I use “we” “us” “they” “our” etc. often here – be careful with these terms… learn when to take ownership, and when to be careful and not essentialise).

Words matter.  Yours, theirs – ours. Let’s pay attention to people’s words…

All right, so getting down and personal.

Lately I’ve been going through a bit of a struggle between the overwhelming amount of information soaking into my brain regarding not only Palestine and Israeli circumstances, but also the entirety of the global condition.

Here I am preparing to travel across Canada with my words on behalf of those who can’t… and I’m wrestling a little with it…

I struggle between being in tune with voices of people who are so unlike me in so many ways; feeling both unworthy and unjustified to ‘speak on their behalf’ - what right do I have to speak FOR those I know nothing about.  Can they not speak for themselves?

But then I struggle with the prospect of sitting by and doing nothing – knowing what goes on in the world and not picking something to lend my limited abilities too.  I cannot sit and watch people die (people so unlike me yet so similar in their rightful desire for vibrant life)…but who am I to think that I can affect any sort of change?

What am I really trying to accomplish…Feeling good and patting myself on the back? I hope not.  Changing Canadian policy? Let’s be serious.

What am I really trying to accomplish…

What is the point?

We are all so intricately intertwined to the beauty in fellow humans – the people we share this air with – and also to the horrors that we are committing against them and allowing to persist. 

My program (Global Studies) often leaves us walking away from our classrooms, laughing after we’ve debated Post-colonial theory, societal depictions of the “Arab Terrorists” (please note the sarcasm), conditionality, gender construction, etc., yet often walking away feeling hypocritical as we learn that who are we – white (don’t worry I know we’re not ALL white), ‘privileged,’ western university students to speak on behalf of people we have never met?  We will either go and work for or form an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) but never really make changes at the roots of issues (government and capital); putting band aid patches on dire situations just to see that we’ve done our part.  Do we actually accomplish enough with our tireless efforts? Things never really seem to change, and the voices of people still never get heard and their lives never cared about (trust me, this message does not end on a depressing note).

What right do we have?

We become jaded as people like us have had their eyes opened but refuse to see; so many of us are aware but refuse to change – claiming to believe in loving others yet refusing to step into what that actually might mean.

We become jaded as we have heated debates regarding how to deal with slave labour that we literally wear on our backs (GAP, Walmart, Nike, etc.), or military “aid” to Israel and Iraq that we support (Starbucks, taxes).

We become jaded as we learn that our freaking blessed society actually often does squat… jaded by selfishness.

We become jaded, learning that our fellow ‘privileged’ Canadians have to sign away their right to free speech…

We become jaded as we learn that our own voices do not do justice to those who we speak for – on behalf of those we are ignorant of…who are we to do this? But without our “power,” marginalized people with important things to say remain silenced – yet with our power their voices are changed, twisted, manipulated, through our lens and agenda, and in the end remain unheard.

We become jaded.

We are jaded.

BUT – we cannot be jaded forever.

The majority of the greatest movements in history did not happen through just one individual, but the thousands fighting behind leaders and ideas.  We must believe that if we can seek creative ways of getting to know those who happened to be born in differing situations to our own, that we can work WITH each other to achieve even small steps of improvement, with the hope that each baby-step ("What About Bob?" anyone?) will lead to an unstoppable movement of people.

Know that YOUR VOICE COUNTS, and that your efforts are significant.  You don’t have to drop-out of school, you don’t have to become a hippy and live in the Sahara or Amazon, you don’t even have to give up your cell phone….BUT… you do have to realize the amazing and beautiful responsibility you perhaps have been given (I say perhaps because I do not know the stories of all who are reading this).

You have been given knowledge.  What are you good at/like/have to offer?  Even if you still say "nothing" – I don’t believe you… know your place in this world, know that your story is important, and that so is the story of every other person on earth; whether you’ve met them or not….if you desire a great life, understand that others do too…and let’s help each other out.

Your story matters.  Their story matters.  Us and Them. We.

Let’s start asking questions, listening, and doing life together.  It all adds up.

On that note, I have decided (after much deliberation and discussion with others), that I am making the financial decision to attempt to do what I say in this post… This week I managed to buy a discount ticket to Tel Aviv to attend a conference on Empire and peaceful resistance, as well as to spend a couple of weeks a part from that with Palestinians and Israelis.  I am going to get to know them, hear what they have to say, and ask them personally what I should pass along to you.  If anyone has questions or comments about what I am saying or doing PLEASE comment/e-mail me/facebook myself or our group (link found on this blog)...

I’d love to talk and get to know you :).

Now… go and listen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"I am"

"I started wondering whether we could actually change the world.  I mean, of course we could - we could change our buying habits, elect socially conscious representatives and that sort of thing, but I honestly don't believe we will be solving the greater human conflict with our efforts.  The problem is not a certain type of legislation of even a certain politician; the problem is the same as it has always been.  I am the problem."
- Donald Miller

Too harsh, or just a hard pill to swallow?

The only actions we can actually change are our own...when we point at something we don't like or agree with, or things we identify as wrong - what are we doing to change it...

Takes a little bit of ownership and a hell of a lot of responsibility, but maybe that's what we all need...

I am the problem.

...Now what?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

B.W.C. @ The View From Here THIS Saturday!!

Check out FB details regarding our wee blurb during The View From Here this Saturday at The Branches!

We'll be speaking a little about the conflict, what we're up to, how you can get involved, displaying some AMAZING photography, and of course...enjoying your company :).

Details of the event via our Facebook page: !

Hope to see you guys there!


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Return Home…

So we are still in the pre-preliminary stages of our journey across Canada – our journey to spread life, break down some walls of ignorance with a large smidgen of common sense… and mush some love in and around it all.

After traveling for the first time together this past weekend to and from Boston, my own experience in this journey has taken a new turn. Not only did I begin to feel the common thread of pain that weaves through those who have already become aware of this plight, but also after flying back and reflecting on American-Canadian comparisons, I was reminded of what my heart cries out to see in these nations.

Slight side-note to point out - I must say it was incredible to see just how blessed we were in and around the city - through ridiculous amounts of free amazing, P-buttery food, the most randomly entertaining friends and company (providing philosophical conversations, memories of dancing shaman ghost dances, sharing massive amounts of old man clothes, etc.), family reunions, refreshing amounts of laughter – !! What a wicked taste of things to come...

BUT on top of all sweet it felt to return to my little shotty bed, to our little student community – to my little home that means SO much to me… after only four days of being away – makes me think… how nice home is…

Not only did this little mini-adventure solidify the three of us (so much the same and yet so distinctly different; a little normal and a lot crazy all mashed together) being put with one another for great purpose(s)… but our flame for the desire of Because We Can was re-fanned.  What began for me as a calling to join alongside passionate friends, support the building of peace in the world, and bringing education and community across such a thirsty nation stacked with potential, has morphed into a personal passion… not something I’m just joining because I know it’s the "right thing" to fight for, but because I couldn't see myself pushing for anything else right now...

I return home to study this cause (as I type that I am reminded that there are SO many other things I should be writing right now...but I don't care, I'll write to you instead haha), to work for it, to speak with the voices already crying out.  I return home - we return home, and I realize just how lucky we are to be able to do so.

Let’s bring ‘em home, guys!

p.s. many of you have been asking about how you can help out or contribute, and we are working on that so stay tuned!!  In the mean time, keep us in your hearts – there is still a monstrous amount to do and learn - your constant support is never unappreciated.

Stay tuned for…
-       “Because YOU Can” list
-       Recording of Brendan’s song about Palestine

Sweet, sweet dreams,

(that's for you, Brendan!)

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Why Factor.

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
-       Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Purpose precedes the Journey.

So here we are, a group of young (and seemingly slightly crazy) women launching our website about our upcoming journey across the diverse (ethnically and geographically) land of Canada. We, the ordinary, are on the verge of something bigger than ourselves, something simply unordinary yet simple at its core…

Biking across Canada? Really?  Let’s be serious here…


For the sake of keeping it simple we will begin this blog with the basics of relaying the meaning of the family of five ‘W’s’ and the single 'H':

Who – Julia Heyens, Hannah Carter, Sarah Kerfoot, Carolyn Gray

What – 3 bikers, 1 driver, and 1 blogger trekking over the mountains, across prairies, through forests, cities, farms, the Maritimes - with the simple purpose of bringing volume to the voices of Palestinians and Israelis who have already been crying out for peace.

When – July to October 2011.

Where – Across Canada – this country that stakes a claim to the image of peace, equality, acceptance, and open doors, with the purpose of challenging these words that claim to define the people that lie within it’s borders, and to encourage fellow Canadians that we the ordinary truly can speak for our fellow brothers and sisters overseas.

How – you ;) (support in whichever way you feel led...Peanut Butter included)

Okay, yeah… so why?

To bring it to the personal… my plan for the next 730 days of my life was drastically different even less than one week ago. But quite quickly, when faced seriously with such an opportunity to fill a need so perfectly molded to me, any other word but “yes” in response just didn’t make sense.

If you were asked to answer what or who do you live for? What would you say?

As of right now, the conflict in Palestine and the plight of the people there does not consume nor define my life – in fact nothing really does from the perspective of most people – I do not have what “they” might refer to as a “thing”. I am not an activist (by my standards anyway), nor am I a hippie (some would argue with me here – I like to think I keep it somewhat classy most of the time…I have lost the desire for dreads and I shower, ok?) who is running away from commitment or rebelling against the system.

However, overtime I’ve realized that my passions lie here in Canada – how blessed yet how consumed with ourselves and these blessings we’ve become (Everybody’s Working for the Weekend… Loverboy, anyone?).  We have knowledge but are ignorant.  We have money and think we are entitled to hoard it.  We are satisfied if we have achieved security and can remain content so long as our own sphere is kept in balance (the two family cars are oiled, we can organize the garage every spring and make a profit in our annual yard sale, make it to an all-inclusive every other year with the Jones, and treat ourselves to a new pair of shoes or video game every other week [depending on your preference]).

As a student here in the west my heart is overwhelmed at the potential I see in the personalities, minds, talents, etc. in people around me… I see individuals who possess the capacity to do great things for great things (not in the way that earns them 6 annual figures, or in the way that acquires lifelong stability to foster contentment…but real potential to use what makes them unique to build up others and our world in the process).  Yet how much are we, the supposedly top few most educated young people in the world… actually truly using the opportunities around us except to better our resumes and boost our pay-cheques? We have been given so much… why hoard or waste it all? Why, why, why?

To those whom much has been given, much is required…

What or who do you live for?


Let’s go back to the word ordinary.  Even from a western (gotta love that word) standpoint, I don’t have all too much:

-       No money (however TD and OSAP have been quite generous thus far….oh wait, what do you mean I have to pay you back, Uncle OSAP??!)
o   Alright so if we’re being honest with each other, I should really say I have negative money.
-       No degree
o   That’s right, I’m prolonging my degree even more… (I promise this is only temporary... I swear I love school)
-       We’ve already covered the fact that I’ve got no real special callings/purposes/niche (I’m making myself out to sound like a real winner, eh?)
-       I’ve not got a lot of years on me (she’s a youngling, this one…but still has right to the 80’s and will stand by that).

I’ve got a brain…
I’ve got a voice…
I’ve got freedom…

...(granted, my voice is small, young, uneducated, untrained, and abundant in grammatical, punctual, and linguistic error; I possess only a little knowledge and a passionate mind that thirsts for awareness but struggles with organizing the details; and freedom? One could debate if this is even real)...

Knowledge, advocacy, and freedom – a dynamic trio that can be easily wasted and too many let rot or misuse.  Let us love our fellow humankind by listening and supporting, and lovingly fighting for each other.

We are ordinary; simply the-girls-next-door – but we are driven strongly by responsibility to respond to what knowledge has been given us about injustice against our fellow human beings: to use our bodies (legs to bike, butts to drive, and hands to write), and our voices to advocate. 

It won’t be easy… there is much research and planning ahead, many tables to wait on, questions to be answered, countless needs to be fulfilled …but often good things are not easily fought for.  But they are worth it.

Why do we ride (etc.)? The message is simple.  We are humans loving humans (my non-hippy argument is not working very well, is it?).  Using what we little or much that we have, we ride; we teach; we drive; we write; we love.  We do it because we can.

Join alongside us (you are cordially invited)! Through this blog we’ll be updating the journey from its very seedlings through till the end. Feel free to read, write us, pray for us, support us – but most of all… keep your eyes on equality AND equity… and do what you can.

What/Who do you live for?


If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Mother Teresa

Keep it classy,

C (NOT a hippie …? No. I’m sticking to “ordinary” for now…even though who really is ordinary …I’d hate to be just ordinary.  Even an ordinary hippie.)

J. H. C.
Launch Night.