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My Journey to an Amazing Weekend in Ottawa

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to host an event in Ottawa as the Master of Ceremonies. "Ishaka" is the name of the group that put together the event that they called "Beautiful Africa". It was a showcase of African dance and art. I was really looking forward to it.

We left Toronto early in the morning on Saturday. Our predictions were that we would be in Ottawa by 2pm the latest. We had a GPS with Snoop Lion voice as our guide. It was so funny to hear him say "woo, woo, slow down man!"

By 2.30 we were still on the road. We could not understand why we were not in Ottawa yet. Our GPS was showing exists that we could not understand, and we thought it was going crazy. You can't trust the machine all the time, right? We thought Snoop was high lol. Guess what! He was right. We had missed our exit. Do you know how we figured out that we were lost? We saw a sign saying "Bienvenue au Québec" (Welcome to Québec). We were in Montreal!!!!

A quick phone call to the hosts of the event, and we were back on the road again. We arrived at 5.30 (and the show was starting at 7pm !!!).

The ladies at "Ishaka" were ready. I was treated like a VIP man. They had a package ready for me with all the information I needed, they had a lodge for me, a professional producer and stage manager I was going to work with, some snacks and soft drinks (I guess they knew about my passion for food). In about 30 minutes, I was ready to go.

What a show!! It was breathtaking. I have never been in something like that in my ten years as an MC. Never! Ishaka is top notch. I was speechless. It was a sold out event and many who came late couldn't get in. The venue was awesome! I cannot say enough about these people. I was simply amazed.

All this time, something was nagging me. A few weeks ago, I injured myself playing Basketball (I took a sharp elbow in my chest). I was almost healed, but for some reasons, on Saturday I was hurting again. Just before the event, my chest was hurting so bad that I thought that there would be no way I could do the job. It was so bad. I could hardly breath.


As soon as I hit the stage, the pain was gone. Absolutely gone. For two hours, I felt nothing. Even two hours after the event, I was still good. And then...BAM. The pain came again. Even now as I am writing this blog, my chest is hurting so bad. I am about to go to the doctor's. I have spent three straight sleepless nights because of it.

As I was sharing yesterday with a friend of mine how the pain was gone when I was on stage, he simply went: "It's because you were doing what you love to do". As simple as that, he was right.

When I do things I love to do, time stops. I am simply in the moment and it is like I am on another planet (I guess I become high like Snoop on our GPS). That is true man. Passion is the cure of everything. You don't think about any other thing. You don't worry about your bills or anything.  The "now" is the only thing that matters. It is an amazing experience.

My hope for you is that you find something you are so passionate about. Something that you feel like you were born to do. It is a great experience once you are in the zone, when nothing seems to bother you any more.

I have to warn you though. Most of the time, living your passion comes with a price tag. Are you willing to pay the full price? I hope so.

A big thank you to Ishaka. Thank you for letting me be part of this amazing event. I will be forever grateful

Moral of the story? Do you want to get rid of your chest pain? Just do what you love to do and you will miss your exit.

Always a pleasure
The Journeyman


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