My real life hero: Karla Castle (my vicarious tour guide)
When you first meet her, she seems unassuming and quiet. Don't let that fool you. This lady has a brilliant mind, fabulous sense of humour and a thirst for the quirky and the unusual. Not surprising that she is married to Paul and that they travel and discover together. She documents all their adventures on her blog, whether that be food, places around the UAE (Fujairah these days), or on their many travels. She is a open, honest and great company.
Like all my heroes, I sent her the questions and here are her responses. Have fun getting to know her. One thing though - she hates physical expressions like kissing on the cheek - so be warned. She tolerates it from friends she has known for a while but then we just do it to tease her. (I can hear her giggle as she reads this). Who needs a kiss on the cheek when you know when she is happy being with you or not. A good and true friend to have on your side.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I’m one of those people who gets hung up on the meaning of “inspire.” It opens a whole can of worms. I don’t know what that means or if I am inspired. Everything I do is based on the Christian value system. I believe in “doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.” There’s a hefty dose of Puritan work ethic in there, too.
Who is your hero? Why?
Frances Elizabeth Willard. I discovered “Frank” when I was in college history class. She was a feminist in the Victorian era. She never married. She was involved in higher education for women, the temperance movement, and suffrage for women. She worked as president of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union without compensation or salary, living in poverty, until this was discovered by others in the movement. She was a servant in all she did. She wanted to make the world a better place. She worked to help unfortunate women get off the streets and obtain training and legal occupations. Thousands of people attended her funeral, because she had impacted them in such positive ways.
If you had a choice of becoming one of your (all time - dead or alive; real or fiction) favourite characters, who would it be and why?
I think I’m going to go with a fictional character on this one – Killashandra Ree. She was written by Anne McCaffery in three science fiction novels. Killashandra (in addition to having a really cool name) is confronted by disappointment after years of training to become a professional singer. She is told she will never be the best because of a flaw in her voice. However, opportunity knocks and she embarks on a rare career using her perfect pitch voice in cutting crystals used in technology. It is risky, death defying, and rebellious. I’m too old and broken down for death defying acts, but I do like a bit of adventure in my life.
When are you happiest?
Unfortunately, I was trained in my formative years to see what is wrong with everything, not what is good. It is much easier for me to say what makes me unhappy. What makes me happy is sharing experiences with my husband, making something beautiful with my hands, cuddling with my cats, reading a good book, and eating great food.
What pisses you off most?
Stupidity. I have very little tolerance for people who don’t stop to think or who don’t value knowledge. There IS such a thing as a stupid question.
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
I would look for a remote corner of the world where we could live cheaply and do something valuable for the community. I would want it to be something that I could do hands-on like establishing a community library or sewing clothes for poor children.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
In high school science class, I unknowingly sat in a big wad of chewing gum left on my chair by some evil prankster. This was made worse by my “friend” who saw it and burst out in uncontrollable laughter, disrupting the entire class
What has been your most sublime experience?
Embarrassing my step-daughter in public. There’s a certain benchmark a parent reaches when they accomplish this. I have failed miserably at being the evil step-mother, so I revel in having at least been embarrassing.
Like all my heroes, you can connect with her on Twitter and follow her blog. She's a lot more private when it comes to FB but give her time to get to know you too.