Daniela Ginta, The Mindful Writer

Freelance Writer and Photographer, Author of the Mindfulness Blog

Tag: Kamloops Page 1 of 6

Weekly Column: We have it so good here

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Tuesday August 6, 2019.

There’s no other way to put it. Being away from Kamloops for a few days makes it ring true, yet again. It happens mostly when I am stuck in slow traffic as I approach the Mainland. Once you leave Hope behind… I know, the pun that so many cannot resist, but it is a bit like magic. Just not the kind that leaves you mesmerized, but the kind that makes you wonder how on Earth can the same thing happen again and again on the way to the coast.

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Weekly column: Kamloops must become better at caring for visually impaired people

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday July 22, 2019.

Do you remember what you were doing on the morning of May 16th at 7.45 or so? Todd Harding does. He was walking downtown to his work with his guide dog, Luke. The pair stopped on the sidewalk near the intersection of Columbia and 5th Avenue, waiting for the voice prompt before crossing. Harding is blind, therefore he never crosses before making sure it is safe to do so. Plus, Luke is an experienced guide dog and has so far done a stellar job at taking his owner safely to where he needs to go.

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Weekly Column: Driving is fun, but it comes with responsibilities

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday June 3, 2019.

The distance between my car and the one that swerved out of the lineup of cars waiting at a stop sign became very small, very fast. The driver had likely waited for a while (like everyone else in that long lineup waiting to turn right on 10th Ave. from Lorne St.) but his patience expired and he opted to break the line and turn left into incoming traffic. That was me, and the rest of the cars following. His maneuver was quick, and illegal too.

It was scary, though I was alone in the car. Had I not swerved the car to avoid impact, the passenger side would have been smashed quite badly. ‘What if’ is not a good question to have to ask while driving midday through town.

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Mindfulness in Action – Lessons From a Failing Hard Disk Drive

It started unequivocally: ‘Mom, my computer is making a clicking sound.’

Sasha bought his laptop almost two years ago and it has served him well so far. The said clicking marked the end of that period. A lesson in itself.

His online search for reasons that would make a computer click revealed two possibilities: a failing hard disk drive (HDD) or dying fan, the second being the cheapest to fix. Spoiler alert: it was the first.

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Weekly Column: Search and Rescue Funding Must Be Included In Provincial Budget Planning

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, February 25 2019.

I have never been in a situation where I had to be rescued by one of the SAR groups in our province. But like everyone else, I have been hearing and reading a lot of stories about people needing rescuing from all sorts of sticky situations, including the recent one of the snow-biker near Lumby. While unfortunately not all of them have a happy ending, the fact remains: Search and Rescue volunteers are out doing everything they can.

Our local group, Kamloops Search and Rescue KSAR, had 42 calls last year and 72 multi-day searches, amounting to 3500 hours. That’s a lot of time away from home, family, work, or sleep (for some volunteers it is all of them combined.)

I wrote about it before – either arguing for the need to know what we’re heading into when we make plans to be in the great outdoors, no matter the season, and recently about the heartless break-ins at the Nicola Valley Search and Rescue compound.

Lately there has been a string of new stories involving various Search & Rescue groups. Every time a story like that shows in the news, we have to remember two things: that this is a free service by volunteers who put a lot of time and energy into it, both during training (not a one-time thing) and when called out for a mission.

The recent post-budget conversations have been diverse and, to be fair, we have yet to see a calm ending to the budget communications. There is always room for better, to put it kindly. Needs are constantly increasing and they are growing more diverse as the population increases; there is hardly a sector that will say they have enough to cover everything.

But when I read that so far, no money has been set aside for the SAR groups across the province, it made me uncomfortable. Let’s hope it is an oversight that will be corrected as soon as possible. Many people’s lives have been saved by these people and many people’s loved ones have been retrieved from treacherous circumstances where few of us would venture.

The calls have increased dramatically in the last years. From people seeking adventures in the backcountry, to people suffering from dementia who are getting lost, the calls keep coming and they are answered. Selfless is the word.

To be sure, we are not talking about a handful of volunteers doing what they can when they can. According to BCSARA, there are 2500 SAR volunteers in 80 SAR groups across the province, who are completing over 1700 tasks a year. There are prevention programs in place too, in collaboration with Adventure Smart. Since we are at it, please note that there is an Adventure Smart Trip Plan app, available free of charge on iPhones and Android phones.

Neither training nor rescue missions can be done without money. But… funds will run out on March 31st, unless the province reconsiders. Let’s hope they do. Because if these people live with the belief that every life and every call matter, no one should tell them otherwise.

From a practical perspective, the less time is spent fundraising, the more is available for the training and rescue. An important detail about fundraising for these groups as it appears on the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association (BCSARA): ‘Neither the BCSARA, nor the Search and Rescue groups recognized by the province as part of the Public Safety Lifeline solicit funding by telephone.’ Yes, there are some out there who are not afraid of bad karma and occasionally they call and ask for donations to support ‘search and rescue’ groups. SAR group never solicit by phone – please spread the word about this heartless scam.

Let’s hope the provincial government will reconsider and correct the oversight. If not, I believe we should all be ready to help as much as we can to ensure that funds are in place for these services to continue to exist. I cannot imagine a day when a SAR group would be forced to reconsider a mission due to lack of funds. Let’s make sure it never happens.

Weekly Column: Any Day Is A Good Day To Start on Resolutions

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on December 31, 2018. 

As 2018 is ending, there is a funny thing happening: the resolution machinery is put to work. Open any big box store flyer and you’ll be reminded of resolutions, particularly the fitness ones. The distance between today’s you (somewhat heavier and poorer you after Christmas eating and shopping,) and the better you of tomorrow (possibly fitter but just as poor or worse if you give in to promises and buy promises shaped like fitness machines,) is ultimately yours to decide on.

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Weekly Column: Gratefulness and Christmas Wishes To Come True

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday December 24, 2018. 

It was 2am when the dog started growling in that way that means one thing: someone is too close to the house. Shortly after the growling, light beams started flickering through the bedroom curtains. We got up to look: someone was running through our backyard with a flashlight. Admittedly, that was strange. We live in a safe neighbourhood without too much rowdiness or crime. When the back alley light shone on the man’s back we realized he was part of the police force.

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