Wednesday, March 24, 2010

INUKSHUK



I have been back from Canada for over a week now and it is usually during this time where I look through the photos that I took and recap, as it always feels so surreal while I am travelling. It has been a whirlwind month for me as Mr. Gay World 2010 and I can already feel this is going to be a year I will NEVER forget! It feels monumental and something I will look back upon and think WOW!

The 10 days I spent in Whistler was not a holiday but a serious mind opener in so many ways. I was able to take to mind the fact that I had won a World Title - just an ordinary person born in Bloemfontein, South Africa and now Mr. Gay World 2010. I have met so many people along my travels in Canada and made some good friends. This has made me realise that the way I see the world was about to change and expand more than I ever imagined.

Whistler is beautiful, a quaint town of about 10,000 people where everybody seems to know everyone. The locals soon made me feel like part of the ‘family’ and at our first ‘Après Ski’ that the friendships were solidified. During the Winter Olympics each country had a ‘House’, a kind of safe haven, where people could go to get a touch of familiarity and socialise. It was appropriate that the LGBT community established a ‘House’, which would lead into Winter Pride. The Pride House hosted various activities during the week such as Wine tasting, Oscar night and Education on various topics pertaining to the Global LGBT Village. The House, run by Dean Nelson, his partner and an incredible team of volunteers they offered a ‘home away from home’, and I found myself hanging out there regularly.

I was fortunate enough to have a set agenda of activities and flexible schedule, which enabled me to take part in events such at Dogsledding, Zip-trekking through one of the oldest rain forests of Whistler and the Blackcombe Mountains. A particular highlight was taking one of the longest Gondola rides up the Mountain, approximately 20-minutes, to try out some snowboarding! I would love to say that I succeeded, but well let us leave it at that! Winter Pride ended off with an incredible evening on top of the Mountain at The Roundhouse, where we had World Class entertainment and food. My final days were spent sight seeing and I was able to witness the Paralympic Flame as it made its way through the Town en route to Vancouver. Once again, I had a sensory overload and if I had to relay everything about my trip, I would sit here writing in detail everything possible to explain to you, but one thing I take with me is the diversity of our global village! The village I represent in all its glorious diversity!

I would like to thank every person who made this trip possible! Eric Butter, Tore Aasheim and Dean Nelson and the rest of the Mr. Gay World team - you people are amazing! Carlos Melia, thanks for sorting out all the travel arrangements. Then to Gavin B, my Manager, for holding the fort, thanks so much, you are a star!

I leave you with the message of INUKSHUK- May it be you guide for a safe journey through life’s travels and let it always lead you HOME!

Till later
Charl 

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