Free Trip to Egypt – the movie

Image result for free trip to egypt ottawa


See Official Trailer here.

Muslim, born in Halifax, raised in Ottawa, Tarek Mounib, dons a Make American Great Again cap, attends a Trump rally and asks:  Would anyone like to take a free vacation to Egypt and see what life is like in an Islamic country?

Eventually seven Americans  accepted his offer. An Arizona single mom, a Kentucky beauty queen and born-again Christian, an African-American police officer, a soldier and one of his friends, and a retired school teacher (and her husband) who said she was a former liberal scarred by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“I’m so racist now, I can’t stand myself,” Ellen Decker says when she introduces herself during the film.

Mounib paid for the Americans to spend 10 days in Egypt in the company of local hosts. A film crew captured 250 hours of footage skillfully edited to create a film of not quite 100 minutes.

What began as a interesting documentary, morphed into a profound study of human nature and the similarities we share no matter where we live in the world.

I thought the film would be interesting. It was much more than that. In fact, audience members left the theater in tears (well, the women, that is). And we all stood in the theater lobby discussing the film before we reluctantly departed.

From the Ottawa Citizen: The film’s early focus on Mounib disappears as the Americans and Egyptians engage. There are a few tense moments, but more moments of bonding that seem both ordinary and remarkable. A heartstring-tugging episode or two movingly demonstrate that a common humanity greater than any cultural divide can provide much-needed consolation.

Jasper, Alberta, Canada – Part 2 – Introducing our granddaughter to the Rocky Mountains

As children, my husband and I were fortunate to spend many holidays with our parents in Jasper. We made sure to take our children to the mountains often over the years.

This trip was the first for our granddaughter. She loved it there as much as we did. And we loved sharing our experiences with her.

We stayed at Miette Hot Springs,


Hiked to the source,

Enjoyed a dip in the hot pool and built a fire to roast marshmallows.

In the town of Jasper, we spent a couple of hours scouring the gift shops (the munchkin had money burning a hole in her purse).

Bear Hugs from Jasper

and another couple of hours at Athabasca falls watching the rapids and falls and then crawling through the canyon at the bottom.

See Here


The munchkin and her mother rode the Jasper Sky Tram too.


And grandma couldn’t resist buying her a second bear. After all a girl can never have enough stuffies.

Finally, we stopped to view the town of Jasper from the bottom of the Sky Tram.

No matter how many times we’ve been, we never get tired of Jasper.





Jasper, Alberta, Canada — Part 3 – Look what I found.

Me: We’re taking the munchkin to Jasper for a few days.

My ultra ursaphobic friend: Watch out for the bears.

Me: Hey, girl, I know you’re terrified of them, but don’t worry. We have bear bells.

My ultra ursaphobic friend: Bells! Ha! They’re just an invitation to dinner.


Tell me this isn’t the perfect shirt for her!!!


La India Bonita – oldest restaurant in Cuernavaca, Mexico

Established in 1933













































































































La India Bonita – learn more here

Mexico – more than a beach

A short drive inland from the beach brings you to lush mountainous terrain with rolling valleys.


No pictures of the valleys as we missed the “view point.”

But, here are a couple of pictures of Compostela, the capital of the municipality. It’s the churches that always grab our attention.


In the jungle the mighty jungle,

the iguana sleeps tonight.

Pink flamingo and his partner were born in 1978. They can live to be 50 years old.

A parrot grooming himself.


No, this little guy is not a toy, but rather a poisonous dart frog.

And the gods watching over it all.




Victoria Butterfly Garden more here

Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?



Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?

See a baobab tree and you’re instantly intrigued. How can something grow and survive with its roots in the air? Not only do they survive, they are instrumental in the survival of humans providing food, medicine, shelter, and material to make cloth, ropes, baskets….

The baobabs in Mali fascinated me and it was logical to have a boabab play a role in the parts of the story set in West Africa.

Searching for a picture to use on the cover led me to: the fony baobab tree in Madagascar estimated to be over 1000 years old. (photo by David Thyberg)

Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?

and this: A hollow 3000 year-old baobab in Zimbabwe (photo Christophe Poudras) which can house up to 40 people.

Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?

and this: Avenue of the Baobabs – western Madagascar (photo Dani-Jeske)

Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?

and my favorite: In Mali.

Why is there a baobab tree on the cover of my book?

To learn more about these amazing survivors in the harshest of conditions click here. 

And to see what happens under that baobab on the cover of my book go to my website.