Natalie Karneef
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Natalie Karneef is a copywriter, script writer and journalist, whose work has appeared on the CBC, City TV and Discovery; and in Lonely Planet, enRoute magazine, and The Montreal Gazette. Find out more about her at

Entries by Natalie Karneef

Cappadocia: Utterly Magical, Authentically Turkey

(1) Comments | Posted October 31, 2016 | 4:52 PM

It's 5:30 a.m. and I'm climbing out of a van in the middle of a large field in central Turkey. It's still dark, but I can see the silhouettes of half-filled hot air balloons scattered about on their sides. We watch a man inject the closest one with air, and...

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Welcome To The Island Of Beautiful People

(2) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 11:46 AM

Bronzed bikini goddesses gaze through mirrored sunglasses over ocean waves.

Bleach-haired surfers with six-pack abs you could see from space look as cool and unperturbed as Roman statues.

You are in Bali.

Specifically, you are in Canggu, Bali; and currently, you are at the beach with your friend...

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Mothering Uganda's Generation Of Orphaned Grandchildren

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2016 | 3:14 PM

Imagine a life where a saucepan is your most treasured resource.

Where having access to a single a garden hoe can make a world of difference to your family's livelihood.

Where that family consists of several orphaned grandchildren, many of whom are HIV positive. And you, an elderly grandmother, are...

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From Farm To School Table, Feeding Disadvantaged Children In Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2016 | 1:33 PM

A school feeds its entire student population with fresh, healthy, nearly organic produce, grown two kilometres away.

The school is in rural Uganda. The students are some of the most impoverished in the world.

Fifteen years ago, Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, a native Ugandan, was living the American dream...

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Why We Volunteer (And How You Can Too)

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2016 | 1:44 PM

Growing up in Toronto community housing, Venessa Douse felt that the city's youth didn't have a voice at the table. So when her community introduced a new Youth Tenant Representative position, she campaigned for 3 months, and won. Which is even more impressive when you take into account that she...

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Saving Daylight: Let's Be Grateful When We Spring Forward

(0) Comments | Posted March 9, 2016 | 10:41 AM

Gaining an hour of evening light: for us, it's a springtime blessing -- one that almost balances the annoyance of losing an hour's sleep. But for students like Aminata Kamara, it would be hard to think of a greater gift.

"We live in a dark world," she says.

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Empowering Ugandan Teens To Make Informed Sexual Health Choices

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2016 | 1:35 PM

It is 1960 in Uganda right now.

At least that's what it feels like in a bare, windy classroom in Nyakagyezi, a rural village 400 km from Kampala, where volunteers are imparting sexual health information that would be considered basic knowledge, or even archaic advice, to most Canadian teenagers. There...

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Hopes For The Future Of Black History Month

(0) Comments | Posted February 2, 2016 | 6:51 PM

Meet Marie Jeanne and Martha. Marie Jeanne and her six siblings were raised by their single mother. Martha comes from a family of five.

It was only through financial assistance that Marie Jeanne completed secondary school. After graduating, she was destined to join her brothers and sisters, who work in...

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What I Learned Spending Time with Orphans in Rural Uganda

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 1:44 PM

I spent May and June of 2014 in rural Uganda, volunteering as a blogger, videographer and teacher with the Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project, an organization that supports children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, their guardians, and their community. This happened on one of my last days there.

On Friday, I...

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Why I Never Felt Beautiful and Now I Do

(1) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 12:55 AM

First you are born, and everyone says it.

Most of them probably don't mean it. Let's be honest: you look like a prune crossed with an English bulldog. But the people who made you, and the people who made them, believe it. Plus, you don't know any better, or care.

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What I Learned at the Rocky Horror Picture Show

(6) Comments | Posted December 21, 2012 | 5:59 PM

I am wearing my underwear in the middle of downtown Montreal, with my friend Dawn, who used to be my friend Phil. No, this is not a dream.

I met Phil at 14. He was my first guy friend, and, before he moved away in the summer of 10th grade,...

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Why "Trying" Is Different Than Having Sex

(8) Comments | Posted October 9, 2012 | 1:00 AM

I've been afraid to write about this for a long time.

First of all, I work freelance. Essentially, this means I'm always looking for a new job. I know that someone might read what I'm about to write and not want to hire me, especially as what I'm about to...

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My First Real Life Big Fat Greek Wedding

(0) Comments | Posted August 16, 2012 | 9:11 AM

Saturday, my husband, my mother-in-law and I headed to an official Big Fat Greek Wedding.

My husband, Tony, is of Hellenic origin, and although we've been together for six years, this was my first wedding as part of the family. (Our own, with an outdoor ceremony conducted by a Unitarian...

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My Love Letter to Montreal, 10 Years in the Making

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2012 | 1:42 PM

Ten years ago last Sunday, I sat by a window at a breakfast restaurant on de Maisonneuve, ordered a plate of pancakes, got out my journal, and wrote:

"What have I just done?"

I'd been in love with Montreal for years. From the night I'd arrived for a weekend visit...

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Higher Ground

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 1:00 PM

We bear our children at the feet of mountains.

Not literally. I mean, some people might. Personally, I'm still on the fence about giving birth any further than 10 feet from a spinal tap. But figuratively, everyone is born at base camp. And it's only uphill from there.

We give...

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Learning to Swim at 33

(14) Comments | Posted March 24, 2012 | 5:21 PM

I didn't learn to swim until more than 10 years after the day I almost drowned.

I'd loved being in the water as a kid, but had been a terrible swimmer. Where I grew up, the swimming levels were ordered by colour, so as we learned to dog paddle and...

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How to Travel Light

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 1:13 PM

Yesterday, I found myself in a 2000-year-old theatre on the side of the road.

I'm in a small seaside town in Turkey, where I've come to spend a week writing. I know, idyllic, right? For example, before I got to the theatre, I was taking a walk along the shore....

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Things My Husband and I Argue About When We Make Pizza

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2012 | 2:17 PM

The other night, my husband Tony and I decided to make pizza, a tradition we've begun ever since we found pre-made gluten-free crust at a nearby health food store. Except that when Tony went to pick up the crust, the store had run out. Apparently a woman has started coming...

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