I'm writing you from the Caribbean where I'm warming up after a cold stretch in Canada during the holidays. The sunny weather gets me into writing mode. Many of the songs from The Woman In Me and Come On Over were written in the tropics so it's a good place for me to be creative.
I wanted to give you a peak at some of the footage Fred grabbed during my trip to Ontario over Christmas and New Years so I put together a montage of bits and pieces to share with you.
There were many highlights, but the key ones were sitting by the tree singing old songs with family, hanging around in comfy clothes and doing nothing but enjoying a relaxing evening by the fire. It was cold and snowy outside, warm and cozy inside.
My cousin Kenny and I kicked a few songs around as we tried to remember how they went. The jamming is pretty rough, but real, and thought you would appreciate the authenticity of it, even if it is poor, home quality.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the Olympic torch along its journey to the final stop in Vancouver, BC for the winter Olympic Games was an energizing opportunity. I was worried about the length of the run as I didn't want to embarrass myself by arriving at the cauldron out of breath. It turned out we were ahead of schedule, and I was asked to take my time and even stop periodically so I didn't get to the cauldron too early. When Eja saw me after the run, he said, "Mom, it is called an Olympic torch run because you are supposed to RUN, not WALK!" The temperatures were pretty low so running the whole way would probably have, ironically, kept me warmer. In any case, it was an awesome 300 meters and I will cherish the honor forever.
Another highlight was hosting a national radio show called "The Current". The focus of the segment was on underprivileged children. I interviewed Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan who shares an interest in helping underprivileged children through education on an international level. Her initiative is called "1Goal". She is doing amazing things in her effort to bring equality in education to all children of the world. I asked her to speak with us on "The Current" to discuss our mutual goals on live radio, in hopes of heightening the awareness to the general public.
I also interviewed Raffi, a world-famous children's songwriter who has created the Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island, B.C. On the flip side, I had a conversation with rapper Cadence Weapon, who had an interesting perspective on how rap music can affect children in a positive way and talked about his interaction with children through his poetic music.
In a joint effort with the Canadian Red Cross, we were also able to raise over $120,000 for a program they have created to help educate underprivileged families about the prevention of child neglect and abuse.
I was also able to interview two experts, Katreena Scott, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, who shared insight relating to their individual experience in their respective fields regarding underprivileged children. They gave engaging input on the various issues surrounding the matter.
You will note on my website information about a program that I'm personally creating to help underprivileged kids through education - Shania Kids Can. You can read more about the program by clicking on the link www.shaniatwain.com/shaniakidscan.html.
Overall, my Christmas holiday trip was fulfilling, inspiring and enlightening in many respects - a wide variety of activity between family time, winter weather pleasures, local culture and sport, charity and music.
I hope you enjoy the recap. I hope your start into 2010 has been a good one, and I will be in touch soon with more news on what's happening on my end.
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