The Groom Wore Chains – Its Stahl Ave Again

English: The logo of the of Singapore.

English: The logo of the of Singapore. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Singapore Sling for me-1=

Singapore Sling for me-1= (Photo credit: Sheba_Also)

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful cocktail party to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of a couple who will do the actual deed in Singapore on December 21, 2012.  Celebrations by our family for decades, certainly since the 50′s (my memory span) have centered on the the joys of marriage and self congratulatory acclaim on the longevity of said unions – for those able to claim the longevity thing that is.

Now this party was the howdeedoo of welcoming a couple into that hallowed state of union since none of us present could get to Singapore itself, and since we were unable to attend, the host and hostess decided to do a solemn ceremony honoring the young couple.  The performance of said ceremony was a surprise not only for the couple but all the attendees.

Singapore Slings, the signature libation of the evening, complete with other drinks of choice got the party started.  Hors d’oeuvres of every imaginable delicious sort were provided through out the evening and of course the cake – can’t possibly party without cake.

The poor couple must have been asked at least twenty times what a traditional Singapore wedding entailed and finally resorted to saying they would keep us informed each step of the way as it involves a number of ceremonies.  Also in attendance was my world traveling nephew who had spent most of that last two years traveling Africa with his wife who traveled to 347 cities in 30 countries on their own personal mission for Wisdom Exchange TV and here for their Ignite Excellence site.  More on that another post!

Anyway back to the solemn ceremony.  Well it wasn’t too solemn as all mock weddings should shun solemnity.  The bride to be was whisked upstairs to be dressed in style and the groom was given a bow tie and chains for his ankles. (I just need a moment here as Johnny Cash sings…I got stripes around my shoulder I got chains around my feet)…..ahh that’s better.

Dec 3 12 031My  brother dressed all preacher like sporting a carnivore bbq apron, knitted hat and other accoutrements not at all related to marital bestowment read from a book on golf as lessons for marriage.  (He himself being wed for more that 45 years can be considered an expert.)

Aside from side splitting raucous laughter and mighty cheers this event took me back half a century when mock weddings were played out at regular times on Stahl Avenue.

During the second World War my grandparents bought one of those big two story homes with large front, back and upper deck porches.  It was the central meeting point at least each Friday when all the aunts, uncles, cousins and other ne’er do wells congregated for an evening of merriment.  It was the place we each took new dates to meet all and it was the centre for mock weddings.  It became customary that my parents and uncles and aunts had to celebrate the 15th wedding anniversary and the 25th in style.

This meant using curtains, lamp shades, quilts and anything else at hand to dress the bride and groom.  My uncle Dick usually was the minister and my grandfather hauled out his shotgun to oversee events and make sure the groom did not make a run for it.  My more talented cousins danced, sang or played the violin and guitar.

As children watching adults convulsing in laughter and delighting in the jokes we all grew up with what some might consider a rather warped sense of humour.

Saturday past was not special just because of the events, the celebrations, but because for a short time during the ceremony and the cutting of the cake I thought I caught from the corner of my eye other generations long gone now swirling around the room and laughing and cheering.  For just one moment they were all with us.

AFRICA CLICKS The Adventure Continues

Time is overdue for an update on Suzanne and Mike and their adventure in Africa and the launch of Wisdom Exchange TV.  My previous two posts on AFRICA CLICKS occurred at the beginning of their adventures in May when they were just launching.  Since then a number of interviews and presentations have been completed and can be viewed through their site.  
Suzanne and Mike gave up home and possessions to embark on this exciting year long Mission in Africa, a continent that Suzanne fell in love with during her years of travel there.  They are living their dream with long days of giving and learning.  
In July their Ignite Excellence Foundation gave out three scholarships!

Dear Chris

As a friend, family member, colleague, or supporter, I wanted to share very exciting news I received today.

I am very proud to announce that Wisdom Exchange TV (www.wisdomExchangeTv.com) is now is being viewed in 30 countries and on 6 continents. We may have a challenge getting viewers on the 7th :) We launched in May 2011 with our first interview. This demonstrates the power and influence of the African Women leaders and their ability to effectively communicate Leadership Lessons, Words of Wisdom, Leadership Legacies and Edgeness Insights. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa. Read, view, or listen to their perspectives and leadership strategies. We all can gain insight in HOW TO be more effective leaders and receive another perspective into Africa, its culture, its people and its opportunities.

Thank you so much for your support! Please pass to friends and colleagues. We have two episodes a month. Subscribe FREE so you don’t miss an episode. (top right of home page)

My husband, Mike Gingerich, and I are off to Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia on August 20, 2011 to interview more incredible women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV. If you have any interview recommendations please email us at info@wisdomexchangetv.com

The Wisdom Exchange TV is a resource to help African women to learn, lead and succeed in life, business, and community. It is a forum where women of all disciplines will be inspired from the achievements of African women in business, education, philanthropy and politics. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa’s companies, communities, countries and continent. They will inspire us to stretch our vision of what we can do, and what WE can be. New interviews and Expert Perspective blogs will be updated regularly with the insights of the women leaders of today for tomorrow.

Thank you for encouraging other to subscribe and for your continued support. Together we can impact the African leaders of tomorrow.

 

Suzanne F. Stevens 
Chief Edge Optimizer 

Ignite Excellence Inc. Group of Initiatives
Suzanne F Stevens – Keynotes & Coaching 
Wisdom Exchange TV – African Women Leadership web enabled program 
Ignite Excellence Foundation – Investing, developing & inspiring women in developing countries (We handed out 3 scholarships this week!) 
Ignite Excellence Inc. – Influential communication sales & leadership development company 
You Me & We – Join us on our Adventure travels through Africa 
African Business Women Connected Summit – International trade summit in Ethiopia April 2013 – unique sponsorship opportunities available

Follow us while we push the edge to our personal & profession potential 
Linked-in – FaceBook – YouTube – Twitter - 

AFRICA Clicks…Beginning..Suzanne’s Guest Blog

I am often asked the question, why Africa? Sometimes I would like to respond by saying, why do you love your spouse? The truth is sometimes you don’t know why, you just do. It is they way it is. You feel a pull to a person or a place and the ‘Why’ really doesn’t matter, it just is. 

I do however have a why. We hear so often the problems with Africa, and how ‘we’ can fix it. “There is so much poverty and corruption.” “AIDS is an epidemic worse in Africa then anywhere else.” “We need to help them.” 

When I am in Africa, although I see poverty and I have toured areas were starvation is definitely mission critical, I see something very different. I see happiness, contentment and giving. I have always said, “There is nothing that can warm my heart more than an African smile.” The children will often run up to you hold your hand, touch you, and welcome you. They run to you not away. When you visit a community or school you are greeted with song and celebration. When you go to a person’s home, they welcome you to their palace, even if it is a one room tin hut. They are proud, and they are not trying to compete in a material world. They seem to be satisfied.  Of course this is not everywhere and not every one, but this is my experience. I know Africa and every country in it is not perfect, but I also know that in North America nor are we. 

I do think we can learn from Africa. I think we can learn to be more of community focused, more giving to our neighbour, smile more, and cry less. I do think that we can learn to be satisfied with what we have and not be so materialistic. I do feel that we should welcome people with pride with a smile on our face and love in our heart. I think we should be a country, community and continent of WE, and not ME. 

We can teach Africa too. I am a very proud Canadian and I am blessed with what I have and what I have achieved because I am in a country of opportunity. But to some degree I am ready to leave that behind for now, to pursue something much more simple – genuine gratitude. 

As I embark on this journey I know I will learn more about the African culture, about my husband, about me and about we. For the last few months while I wind down some of my Ignite Excellence training and business responsibilities and preparing for the business and philanthropic journey ahead, it has felt like I have little time to breath. My goal over the last few months was to set a foundation for opportunity with new initiatives. Mike and I have sold almost everything and I am very aware that we need to have something to come back to. Mike and I are in our mid 40’s and I do want to be smart about our financial future. So although we are going to Africa with charity in our hearts, we are also trying to be practical about our future.

This is the first time we have worked together, spent every waking hour together and travelled for over a month together. This blog will focus not on what we left behind but what we are walking into – you, me and we.  This blog will encapsulate a true celebration of Africa, our relationship and my journey.

AFRICA CLICKS Wisdom Exchange TV

Yesterday I posted on a couple traveling and working in Africa. Suzanne Stevens and her husband Michael Gingerich. Mike is my nephew.

. PLease note the correction to the foundation addy!

Their project is Wisdom Exchange TV and they are looking for subscribers to the site which is free.

I am posting their letter in it’s entirety below. Please enjoy, subscribe, and pass on!

Jumbo Chris

As you know my husband, Mike Gingerich, and I are travelling through Africa for the next year interviewing women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV, amongst other philanthropic initiatives.

This is a pioneering initiative that not only are we excited about, but we believe will provide some fundamental leadership lessons for inspiring and already achieved women leaders.

Women are the change agents of Africa, and with higher education they can change many of the injustices that are done to women in the developing world.

We are asking you to subscribe to Wisdom Exchange TV and share the site with your friends. The subscription is FREE, and we will just inform you when a new episode is upload (by the way, this is quite the process in Kenya due to limited bandwidth).

The reason we are asking,

1. You will gain insight and perspective into Women from a huge continent.

2. You will also be assisting in helping us create awareness of the site, which will assist in gaining sponsorship for Africa Business Women Connected Summit taking place in Ethiopia in 2013 – promoting international trade.

The more people who subscribe, the more compelling to sponsors, the bigger impact we can make on women in Africa.

3. You will also help create awareness for the Ignite Excellence Foundation (www.igniteexcellencefoundation.org), where Mike and I are presently handing out three scholarships for under-graduates and post-graduates to invest in women leadership.

The belief is, the more women in leadership the more women will own land, be able to get passports, and will not be violated.

Please go to http://www.wisdomexchangetv.com and subscribe.

We appreciate your support and we look forward to hearing your updates on facebook, linked-in and via email.

Sincerely,

Suzanne F Stevens

Chief Edge Optimizer

Ignite Excellence Group of Initiatives

suzannefstevens@igniteexcellence.com

info@wisdomexchangetv.com

If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click the link below:

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Ignite Excellence Inc. 33 Bloor St. E. Suite 900 Toronto, Ontario M4W 3H1 Canada +1 (519) 488-7141

Michael, Suzanne, Africa..Help!

Michael, Suzanne and Africa..Help!

If you could do one thing in your life that would make a difference to the world..what would it be?

While you ponder the possibilities I’d like to tell you about a couple who decided to do just that. 

Suzanne F. Stevens is a world leader in leadership.  She is a leader in optimizing.  World wide.  You really need to look at suzannefstevens.com to understand.  

Her husband, Michael K. Gingerich has been a successful business man who has joined the cause.  He not only believes in The Cause but has devoted this year..maybe more, to a world shaking idea.  Now really when was the last time your world was shaken?

They both have given up life as we know it.  Sold their home, gave away possessions for the adventure of a lifetime.

My request of you who follow me, who are new to this site, or perhaps found me through some weird tag, please check them out.

suzannefstevens.com

http://www.igniteexcellance.org

youmewe.ca

Linked-in – http://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannefstevens

FaceBook – – http://on.fb.me/eEPF9T

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/suzannefstevens

Twitter – http://twitter.com/SuzanneFStevens

 Please step forward..and. Lord I know I know there are many causes out there…but just take a look..if for no other reason than burning bridges asks this,

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