Mexico Trek!    MONICA: Interview
When and where were you born? September 15, 1973; Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.

Who did you grow up with? My mother Christine, who plays the flute and clarinet, my father Sam, who was born on St. Patrick's Day and sings tenor, my sister Carmen, who is majoring in music and is studying in Prague and London, my sister Sylvia, who is in high school and competes on the wrestling team, two gerbils, Holly and Jolly, and a hamster, Nicholas.

Do you have any pets now? Yes: an Indian ring-necked parakeet named Willy (because he's escaped twice and returned twice), two cockatiels: a white one named Molly and a gray one named Ollie. Ollie is blind.

Who's going to take care of your birds while you're away? My family. I wouldn't be surprised if I came back to another pet. We like to say that Willy comes from heaven: he flew into our backyard one day. . . and now stays in our family room with us.

What do you like to do with your friends? Go bowling. I usually don't get over a 70, but I have lots of fun. . . relax at the beach with with fish tacos and some music. . . cycle for miles through the hills and valleys.

What things are you afraid of?  Of people who are deliberately mean.

What is your favorite food? Adobo and pancit (Filipino dishes), sushi, giant burritos, blueberry cheesecake, lentil soup, spinach, papadums, corn on the cob, and my favorite: homemade chocolate chip cookies!

Where is your favorite place? In front of the piano, practicing different songs.

Are you going to bring any musical instruments on the Mexico Trek? No, because I don't think I'll have space to pack as much as I'd like.

What is your advice to young people today? Learn as much as you can -- try to learn something new every day.

Who or what has had an especially strong influence on the direction of your life? My parents. They raised me to be honest and to search for the truth and meaning in any situation. Even when times have been hard, or I've felt sorry for myself, they've encouraged me to learn from all my experiences. My parents have taught me that everything that happens, regardless of how good or bad it seems at the time, is part of the ultimate plan for my life.


Shawn . Silvia


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