This is my blog about me and my life as a 13 year old girl

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Madison's Be The Change Project

In my last post, I explained my Social Studies Be The Change project. My friend Madison did her project on racism and prejudice and she started a new blog with her essay on the project. She is an amazing writer and she did a great job writing about her project. Please take a few minutes to click here to read her posts explaining her project. Thank you!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Be The Change Project: Darfur

In Social Studies these past few months, my grade has been working on a Human Rights project called Be The Change. We each had to pick our own topic, and I decided to do my project on the Darfur region in Sudan, a county in conflict. For our project, there are 3 components, research, social action, and a report. For my social action component, I want to raise awareness of the crisis in Darfur by writing about it on my blog. Please read this and share it with others so I can reach lots of people! Thanks for reading and for caring!

Darfur is a region in the country of Sudan that was home to 6 million people pre-conflict. The conflict began in 2003 when 2 rebel groups, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) rose up against the Sudanese government, accusing them of favouring the Arab Darfuris oven the African farmers. The government was quick to try to crush the rebel groups by sending out armed militia called Janjaweed. Janjaweed is Arabic for "evil men on horseback". The Janjaweed are blamed for many killings, rape, and abductions. Refugees describe them as gun-wielding men riding camels or horses who burn villages and steal whatever they can carry. The fighting between the government and rebel movements is rooted in the government's exploitative leadership and an unequal distribution of power and wealth.

- an estimated 400, 000 civilians have been killed due to war related violence, disease and starvation

- about 2.7 million civilians are internally displaced, and about 250, 000 live as refugees in neighboring countries

- 4.7 million conflict affected people live in desperate need of aid just for daily survival

The Sudanese government has obstructed UN peacekeeping forces, refused to prosecute people charged with genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, blocked international aid, used aerial bombing and ground assault against civilians, and extended its attacks beyond Darfur. Some attacks have even targeted international humanitarian aid workers.

The August 26th 2008 attack of a Kalma refugee camp is just one of the many similar attacks on refugee camps. These 90,000 people in the Kalma camp already had escaped the government militia that burned their villages and killed their families, and even though they had escaped, the danger was still present.

In 2010, the Sudanese government and JEM signed a peace deal, including a ceasefire. However, accusations have been made that say the Sudanese army launched raids and air strikes against a village, violating the agreement.

Only 7, 000 African Union troops have been sent to try and keep peace, and those troops lack what they need to protect those at risk of death.

There seems to be no end in Darfur's horrible conflict, murder, rape, assaults on displaces persons camps, or village destruction. This started in 2003 and has not stopped. There are still millions of people living in terrible conditions in refugee camps. The crisis in Darfur is still continuing, but the media is not reporting it any longer. We need to raise awareness and concern about the genocide in Darfur so more people will try to bring about peace, and so the senseless suffering of  millions innocent people will stop.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Our Florida Home

One of the things that made our trip to Florida so great was that we stayed at an amazing place. We had a big, updated, comfortable condo to stay in and the resort was filled with fun things to do. There were two awesome pools, one with a splash pad and one with a pirate ship that we all (admittedly even I) enjoyed. There was often live entertainment, games, and contests on the pool deck that anyone could participate in. One of my favourite things in life is watching our friend Pierce, who is 5, hula hoop. Other than swimming, which we did quite a lot of, there was lots of time spent playing ping pong, minigolf, Foosball, and eating ice cream. We all agreed that we would be fine just to spend all of our time at the resort and bypass Disney entirely.

The Reimer's room was right next to ours and if you peeked inside in the morning or in the evening you could often see us playing intense games of Dutch Blitz, or even a couple rounds of Cheese Touch. Pretty much every day when we were eating breakfast or packing for Disney, Cohen, the Reimer's middle child, would poke his head into our room and just stare at us with that open mouthed smile. I made the very good comparison that Co is like a puppy. He runs around with tons of energy, always smiling, always happy, knocking things over and messing stuff up but you can never get mad at him.

After awhile in our Florida home, it really did start to feel like home. We had our little routine each day and we didn't want to leave. And now, for your enjoyment, pictures!

Our first hula hooping contest, which Sasha won.

Our loyal Disney companion, which we often forgot in random places. We named him Strolly.

All the girls have normal faces, all the boys have crazy faces, and some downright strange. 

All the kids who went on Space Mountain, Ellie included.

Our classic Disney picture.

Here's Strolly again.

In "Canada" at Epcot. Apparently we all live in Alberta or BC.

Our cook at the Japanese restaurant at Epcot, with a Mickey Mouse made out of onions below. He must get, so, so sick of making Mickey Mouse. 

My dad, Co, Auntie Tan, and Peirce on Everest. My dad unimpressed and Pierce loving it. 

Pierce hula hooping! It may look like it is falling but it actually spins at that angle for him. 

Here is Ellie at Cocoa Beach. We went with just the Penner's.

Me and Ellie having a blast in the waves and Sasha looking not so sure. 

Ellie really enjoying those drums at Epcot.

Here we are at "Sketch Club", taught by expert Uncle Shawn. 

Here is the oldest Reimer child, Zach, drawing our subject of choice, Mickey Mouse. 

The expert and his much superior Mickey.

All of us concentrating hard. 

We had such an incredible trip to Florida. I can't wait until I can go again!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Favourite Part of Disney

One of my favourite things to do is riding on scary/fast/interesting rides. I don’t know why I enjoy zooming down a track hundreds of feet in the air. I don’t know why I love going upside down and being extremely scared. But I do. Disney World has a lot of awesome rides. This is my list of the Top 7 Best Rides at Disney with 1 being my very favourite.

1. Space Mountain at Magic Kingdom
I love this ride! I really, really, love it.  I rode it 3 times over the course of our holiday and loved each and every moment of it. It is amazing! I love the dark, how fast it goes, the drops and turns, everything!

2. Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom

This ride is so fun! I love when it goes backwards in the dark and when it does the long, steep drops. I like that it is mostly outside because when it goes up high you can look down and feel even more scared! I like how when you are waiting in line it really feels like you are getting ready for a trip up Everest.

3. Rockin’ Roller coaster at Hollywood Studios

Such a cool ride! It is so crazy how it just takes off from the ground. It is so fast and I really like all the lights. It also goes upside down, but you can’t really tell since you are in the dark the whole time. The story behind it is cool too; I like how at Disney they create huge buildings with lots of details and back stories just for the rides.

4. Soarin’ at Epcot

This is a simulated ride where you feel as if you were hang gliding above mountains, beaches, cities, the desert, and many other places. You sit in this long bench like contraption, elevated in the air in front of a giant circular screen onto which the images are projected. It really feels like you are actually above the Golden Gate Bridge, about to hit some trees, and skimming the water’s surface. It is so incredible!

5. Big Thunder Mountain at Magic Kingdom

This is a smaller and way less scary version of Everest. I enjoy doing roller coasters that aren’t as thrilling because they are still fun and you can relax and just have a good time. Big Thunder Mountain is still not for the faint of heart. It features some pretty cool drops, crazy turns, and steep hills.

6.  Test Track at Epcot.
In this ride, which is essentially a giant ad for Chevrolet, you can design your own futuristic car (which is fun, but not the best part), and then ride through a series of tests which are testing the efficiency, capability, responsiveness, and power of “your car” (not really). But it is fun to zoom around the track, avoiding trucks, driving through a thunderstorm, and the best part, testing the power! You speed around the building at top speed with the wind blowing you hair everywhere and going down drops and turning at crazy speeds!

Now, you might be wondering, “But Hannah, where is Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids? Those are some pretty awesome rides!” Yes, I bet they are, but I wouldn’t know for myself. Those two rides were closed the days we were in those parks, and they didn’t look like they would be opening any time soon. It was kind of disappointing, but we still had a lot left to choose from.

Remember how before I was saying I don’t know why we like going on crazy roller coasters? Well, some of us don’t. My mom and Ellie are the two people in our family who do not, and I mean DO NOT like scary rides. We convinced Ellie to give Space Mountain a go, and she instantly hated it. Mom and Ellie also decided they could do Expedition Everest. Again, both instantly hated it. At least they tried, right? Ellie's shining moment was Big Thunder Mountain, which she actually liked! My mom, well, not so much. She hated it less than Everest though. 

There are many more great rides that I definitely enjoyed, but not quite enough to make it on to the list. Even with all the great rides at Disney, there were a few not-so-great rides (and some were just downright lame) So, here is my list of the top 5 worst rides at Disney, with 1 being the very worst. 

 1.  Stitch's Great Escape at Magic Kingdom.

I don't even know what to say. It was boring, you don't even move really so I can hardly call it a ride, it wasn't remotely interesting which is the same thing as boring, and it didn't make much sense to me. I can't even describe it! I am never, ever going on it again. 

2. The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios

This one is like the definition of lame rides, although Ellie loved it. Basically you're sitting in this car, with a narrator guy and you ride through these scenes from famous movies. Now, it could have been interesting. But the narrator guy was annoying, and although the robots were very well made, especially the Wicked Witch of the West, there was no real suspense and it wasn't very interesting. 

3. Dinosaur at Animal Kingdom (used to be Countdown to Extinction)

Many people actually like this ride, including most of my family. I hated it, and I can't really give a specific reason for it. It wasn't overly scary or boring, I just didn't like it.

4. Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom

A lot of the younger kids wanted to go on this ride and that is the only reason I even went on it. It's like go carts, you are controlling the car, but you are on a track so you can't pass people. It goes so slow, you keep bumping into the track thingy in the middle, and it is really unresponsive. It just wasn't fun.

5. The Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom

This ride is a roller coaster that would actually be a fun ride if it wasn't so short. It's for younger kids, but seriously, it's only 20 seconds! 

I don't want to end on a bad note, so I'm going to end this post by saying that I had more fun at Disney than I thought I would!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Finally, a Post!

      It's been about 3 months since I have written on my blog. I keep putting it off because, well, I just don't have time to write a post (which is code for I just don't feel like it).  So when my teacher told me to write a small journal of my family's time in Florida for homework while there, it was the perfect excuse for me to start writing on here again.

      Our vacation started off with a morning drive to the Grand Forks airport which was pretty uneventful. We just watched The Bridge to Teribithia again, which is one of my favourite movies. It always makes me cry. The Grand Forks airport makes the Winnipeg airport look enormous! The first thing that happened was that my dad locked his keys and his wallet in our van. We called a locksmith and waited for about half an hour inside while he worked on our van. After that, we boarded our plane and settled in for the next 3 hours. 

     1 book, a ball of yarn, and 15 wine gums later, we landed in the Sunshine State. We got our rental car, ate supper at Chile's, and headed to the hotel. We unpacked, looked around our awesome room, and went to bed. The next day was beautiful, so we decided to explore the grounds of our resort. We looked around the lake, saw the mini golf course, took a peek at the basketball court, Foosball, and ping pong, and swam in the pool. It was a great first day! Our really good friends from Ontario came in the evening to join us. They have 3 boys in grades 4, 2, and kindergarten. We all love being with them. The next day was to be a Disney World day, Hollywood studios to be exact.

     Our friends had been to Disney once before and they told us we had to do Tower of Terror and Rockin' Rollercoaster first! My sister Ellie and my mom are absolutely not scary ride or fast rollercoaster people, so they sat out while the rest of us headed on to those rides. I really loved Rockin' Rollercoaster. Tower of Terror was fun too, but not really my type of ride. We saw some cool shows (I loved Indiana Jones, I remembered seeing it on the Disney episode of Full House) and of course we did It's a Small World. That song is so annoying! 

The next day we all headed to Magic Kingdom. We had a little...mishap when my dad took a wrong turn and we couldn't get to the parking lot. But it ended up all right. Magic Kingdom had some great rides. Space Mountain is incredible! We convinced Ellie to go on, but not my mom. Ellie hated it with a passion. Splash Mountain was closed unfortunately, but we all (minus Ellie and Mom) had a good time on Big Thunder Mountain. We did some other rides, saw some other shows and had lots of fun at Magic Kingdom.

On our 4th day, we decided it was time for a break from Disney World. While the moms were off shopping, the rest of us were playing many rounds of Dutch Blitz in the morning and a mini golf competition between the families. Team Penner won, of course. The second half of our day was spent at Epcot. I loved Epcot because it didn't feel as Disney as the other parks. We did some awesome rides like Soarin' and Test Track. Soarin' is a simulator ride which makes you feel like you are hang gliding hundreds of feet in the air. It was probably one of my favourite rides of all time. Test Track was a super high speed racecar type ride which everyone did. All I could hear on the fastest part was Ellie's high pitched shriek in my ear. We ate supper at a Japanese resturant where they cook the food right in front of you. Our chef was funny and our food was great! That meal was one of the highlights of my trip!

At this moment, I am sitting by the pool enjoying our complete day off from Disney. Later today we will go to the Cheesecake Factory for supper. Today was filled with swimming, ice cream, Cherry Coke, and hula hooping contests which my family dominated. The pool is awesome and the weather is perfect. Got to go now - the hot tub is calling my name.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mish-Mash #2

I know I haven't written in a long time, and I don't really have an excuse, except that I was busy with school, which isn't much of an excuse. I thought I would post this picture of the first day of school. Sasha looks really excited, and Ellie...not so much.

School is going well, I really like most of my teachers and so far nothing seems very difficult. Well, French is a little tough, but nothing that I can't handle.  I've became friends with a new girl, who isn't my class, who is from Australia! Why anyone would move from Australia to Winnipeg is beyond me.

Sasha has a reading log she has to fill out each month, and in September the goal for the class was 100 minutes. She read 615 minutes!

I have discovered I really like key lime yogurt. Unfortunately, Ellie and Sasha do too.

In my dance class this year, I am with 7 other girls. They are all older than me. Much older than me. The two ages I know for sure are 16 and one in grade 12. Other than that, I am really enjoying dance. It is much more relaxed than last year.

We listened to one of Stuart McLean's stories in Language Arts (or ELA or English). It was so awesome and funny.

Yeah. That's it for now.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Winkler BIble Camp

On August 6th to 10th I was at Winkler Bible Camp for the sixth or seventh summer in a row. I really love camp and I always wish it was longer. I came to camp with my friend Madi, who I went with last year. We had so much fun together. This year I was in Intermediate camp for the first time. I was in cabin Hope and my counselors were named Brenna and Brooklyn. I really loved intermediate camp and thought it was so much better then juniors. We got to have parties and special things after the juniors went to bed, longer and better chapels, and we got to pick our own activities. We got a slip of paper with different blanks in it for each activity time, and then there would be tables with the different choices we could sign up for at that time. I liked that because if you don't want to do an activity, you don't have to sign up for it. For instance, I don't like the bikes activity, so I didn't sign up for it at all. But I love the climbing wall, so I signed up for it 3 times. The climbing wall is one of my favourite activities. I successfully climbed Face Lift, the 4th hardest one on the second try and attempted Crevice, the 3rd hardest one that I climbed about halfway. Anyway, I really loved the nighttime parties we had. One was at the beach where we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, and one was in the barn loft, where there was different slushie drinks, snacks, and dancing. They don't keep any animals in that barn by the way. Those were so fun. We also had a really fun night game that was kind of like capture the flag. Everyone wore black and it was really dark outside. You would have to make it to these different stations and try to complete these challenges to get a coloured rock. Then you would have to bring the rocks to the middle of the field without being caught. The whole time there are counselors trying to catch you and take you to jail, where you have to complete a challenge given to you. I only got caught once. While we were there these boys had to sing a song for the challenge and they sang boyfriend in these really creepy voices. Me and my friend stayed just to listen to it. It was so funny! After the game was over we had fireworks. The food at camp was mostly good, they are not getting water from a well now so the water doesn't taste like blood anymore. The best meal was the baked oatmeal for breakfast. The songs were so much better then last year. The theme song was especially better then last years Suit Up. I really enjoyed the songs in the intermediate chapel a lot more then the songs in the regular chapels. I had a really awesome time at camp and I can't wait to go back next year!