CANADA: Lest We Forget

The sounds of my son’s footsteps echo as he runs from one end of the enormous space to the other. From time to time he stops, distracted by the sight of yet another wondrous artifact of history.

After a pause, he’s off again, barely able to contain his excitement at seeing everything in this place. And then, finally, a magical moment arrives. He is taken up a stairway, and at the top, his father lifts him up and lowers him into the cockpit of one of the planes.

This isn’t just any place, and it isn’t just any plane. We are at the Canadian Air & Space Museum looking at the World War II planes that were built in this very space back in its day as an aircraft manufacturing plant. The plane that my son is now seated in is a full-sized replica of the Avro Arrow, a plane that revolutionized Canadian aviation history before the government of the day abruptly pulled the plug on the project and ordered the entire beautiful fleet destroyed.

This museum—which pays tribute to Canada’s part in the war, thanks the veterans who came back, and honours those who didn’t—is about to go the same way as the Avro Arrow. It is being evicted, and the building which is itself an artifact of (more…)

Kirsten Doyle (Canada)

Kirsten Doyle was born in South Africa. After completing university, she drifted for a while and finally washed up in Canada in 2000. She is Mom to two boys who have reached the stage of eating everything in sight (but still remaining skinny). Kirsten was a computer programmer for a while before migrating into I.T. project management. Eventually she tossed in the corporate life entirely in order to be a self-employed writer and editor. She is now living her best life writing about mental health and addictions, and posting videos to two YouTube channels. When Kirsten is not wrestling with her kids or writing up a storm, she can be seen on Toronto's streets putting many miles onto her running shoes. Every year, she runs a half-marathon to benefit children with autism, inspired by her older son who lives life on the autism spectrum. Final piece of information: Kirsten is lucky enough to be married to the funniest guy in the world. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Be sure to check out her YouTube channels at My Gen X Life and Word Salad With Coffee!

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NEW JERSEY, USA: A Lost Piece of Americana

My grandmother is in her 90s and lives only 35 minutes away from me by car in New Jersey, USA.  I don’t call her enough, and I don’t take my daughter over to see her enough.  It makes me feel guilty, but here’s why.  My day is filled with constant pressures of taking care of my daughter, “Mommy, I have to go potty”, “Mommy, I’m hungry”, “Mommy, I’m thirsty”, “Mommy, can you play frogs with me?”, “Mommy, can you make a play date with Ava?”, “Mommy, I don’t feel so well”,  etc.

Then, I have a husband who works ridiculously long days, which means that I pick up more of what’s supposed to be our shared household chores.  On top of that, I’m just trying to get through the day with my eyes open because I’m 4 months pregnant and struggling with fatigue.  And, I write when I get the chance to keep myself sane.

So, why the heck do I want to pick up the phone at the end of MY day to hear my grandmother complain about her arthritis and why I never call her on top of it all??  Sometimes I just can’t take anymore on my plate, and I’m too overwhelmed.  As everyone seems to say these days, “It is what it is”, right?  But then, I got to thinking about my grandmother’s life, and I had an epiphany…


Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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