Well as the title suggests I now have a puppy that was generously given to me by my host family! I think I named her Chai but for these sorts of things I am extremely indecisive. There are multiple reasons why I chose the name Chai and a few of them are because it means tea, I love tea, it is one syllable, she is kind of the colour of Chai and Chai remind me of a lot of people I love. Overall pretty simple and straight forward but at the moment the landlord doesn’t allow pets so that’s a problem that will hopefully be changed soon so I can train her properly. Any advice is welcome. With getting a puppy I know it will help my mental health, which is extremely important while I’m living abroad and should give me more motivation like I had prior to traveling.
On the topic of mental health, in my home province, Alberta, the suicide rate went up 30% this past year, which is likely due to the disruption in the prosperous economy. Needless to say, I think intervention and awareness of mental health is really important. In a affluent, free, and yet largely apathetic society like North America it doesn’t seem like the urgency or importance of the matter really reaches people. Even in my life various forms of mental illness have been something I have had to work through and is a daily reality for multiple people close to me. The prominence of dealing with it didn’t strike me until a close friend of mine committed suicide; it hit me so unexpectedly it was like getting packed in the face by a volleyball. It shook me. I’m not sure if I’ve processed it completely. It has taught me a lot, forced me to grow up, and mature to become more aware of people reaching into my life. When I realized people reaching in a paradigm shift had to occur where I had to start reaching back. I probably fail to do this consistently but it’s a growing process. I try not to merely reach back but to hold on tight and reciprocate so I’m not taking that relationship for granted; especially for the people I care about.
That’s probably enough seriousness for a blog that’s generally about travel but I like to get real sometimes and having a puppy is somewhat an adventure. Below are a few quick shots of Chai to bring you back up from the low you might be feeling. Since writing this post she has been given permission to come inside and I hope to be able to get some good quality photos of her once I train her a bit better. If anyone reading this wants to further discuss mental health or really anything feel free to contact me and I will do my best to quickly reply!