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Monday, 29 April 2013

An Introduction to Karen

My name is Karen Hollander.

I am 21, and currently preparing to go on a mission for my church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to Invite those in St. George Utah, and other parts in Southern Utah, to come unto Christ. I am preparing to share this good news and to be an example to all those I will find around me. (For more information see my mission blog)

I graduated from High School in 2009 from Monument High School or Hoerskool Monument, a duel medium school where 20% is English and 80% is Afrikaans.

Luckily my Afrikaans is not too bad as I actually grew up Afrikaans for the first 4 years of my life. But then my parents decided to put my sister (Deirdre) in the English section of the nearby Primary school and even since then I was brought up more English than Afrikaans.

Deirdre' & Me: My 1st Day at School
  My Mom is Afrikaans and my Dad is English. My eldest sister (Liezel) grew up going to Afrikaans schools, but because of the church and her sisters being brought up English she exceeded in both languages.
I won't lie that with the High school being majority Afrikaans, it helped my Afrikaans A LOT there were often times when I was trying to tell my Mom about my day at school and I could NOT think of the English word so I had to tell her the Afrikaans word and she would then have to translate.
Me and my Best friend on a Science Excursion to the Mines
In my high school years I didn't take part in any major team sports because despite trying to convince myself otherwise, I was completely useless at them. My mother and Liezel played Netball in high school and made it to the first team. I was just never fit enough for it, and I guess I just never had the knack for it. I DID however find something I was good at back in Primary school. Usually when it came to athletics days I would try out a few things and there would always be someone better than me. But, in Gr 5 at the end of the year when we were trying out for the next year I decided that High Jump looked like the most fun - and how cool would it be if I could just fly over that pole!!! So the day before I started doing "crab stands" you know, start on your back, hands facing the ground next to your ears and you push up. Ok that doesn't make the world of sense but that's beside the point. I would first go up for 10 sec then 9 then 8 and so forth till 1 sec. It worked!!! the next day after the teacher showed me how the run up worked I flew over the bar and ended up WINNING!! I beat the girl (the popular girl) that usually won the high jump event in my age group. That was the start of a new hobby.
Awarded 3rd Place with a height of 1.45m (Gr 9)
In High school I had some success in it, my prime was in Gr 10 when I jumped a height of 1.5m!!! usually 1.45m was my limit, but I only ever cleared 1.5m once. Which is not really high by international standards but It was my PB. I realize now I should have taken my fitness level more seriously and then maybe I would have been able to jump higher like the other skinny girls.

This Video Was taken in 2006 (I was 15) at D2 Champs at Bob Van Reenen Stadium. I think this is THE video where I clear 1.5m I cannot tell How HIgh it is from the video. could be only 1.45m cause I think I cleared 1.5 in 2007

But school is over and so is my high jump career I wish I could still go somewhere to jump, and there are some clubs round about the area but most are part of the universities. Problem is I just want to do it for fun - not really as a professional thing. Anyway.

My latest hobby is one of the best things I could have discovered at this point in my life. HOOPING!!! or HOOP DANCE. Yes I am talking about hula hooping. My sister (Deidz) introduced me to the world of the hoop about Two Months ago and I have not turned back.
Group Workshop
It is an escape from everything, it is also challenging, I try and learn something new or accomplish something new every time I hoop. I try to hoop for about 15min every day and if I have more time I will hoop for longer. I don't always get time to hoop at all some days like a Monday when I get home from work, eat and then leave for Dance class (Latin and Ballroom, my other love) I can;t wait to be able to fuse the two together. I would also like to learn how to do other dancing like free style, ballet and modern just so that I can incorporate it into my hooping. Unfortunately when I do go on mission I think I will have to leave my hoop behind as I dedicate my time to the Lord. But I know it will be waiting for me when I return.

Ballroom & Latin Dancing is my next favourite thing to do!! My instructor at the moment calls me the "spinner" even though I do not really know how to spot turn properly. This is a nice activity that I do with my sister Liezel. We have been dancing for about 4-5 years on and off. At church dances I would always be the "man" and she would do the "woman" steps, but its still fun. We land up doing that at pretty much every dance where we are together because non of the guys 1. Ask girls to dance 2. Know how to dance 3. Want to know how to dance.

My friends Christine & Austen have introduced me to Friday Night "Sokkie" evenings (Makiti Dans) Where you literally go to "Sokkie" (a form of social dancing in the Afrikaans Culture) and have a BLAST!!! It's a place where you DO actually get Guys that ask Girls to DANCE!!! Though every guy has his own style and often it takes a song or two to get used to them, but I feel the spinning is much the same as long as they have a good lead =D (and as mentioned before - I LOVE spinning!!!) My first experience was absolutely spectacular!! But we have decided it was because it was the beginning of the year AND we got incredible seats (right on the dance floor - people ask you to dance if they can see you!!) The last two time I went have not been that amazing. It does help having guys in your crowd though, even if they don't know how to dance you get onto the dance floor immediately instead of waiting for some random to ask you. And With my experience in leading Leading liezel at dances (even though we mainly "boogie" - the spins are the same) I often help the guys out and instruct them a bit. I hope thy learn what I teach them. I also Hope I can figure out moves as I dance with more guys. It is always exciting to learn to lead a new move (as a girl or a guy). It also helps going often - you eventually dance with regulars and they recognize you and will always ask you to dance if they see you :) BONUS. I won't say they are the best looking regulars but who cares if they can dance??? Ok I know some who care. But for me - I just love to dance!!!

In the past, I have also been a model for my sister (Deidz) as she was studying photography. She has also taken a few shots of me just because - and it gave her a bit of experience. I quite enjoyed it too I won't lie :P
I am also more proud of some than others. (Not all were taken by Deidz)

Here a few of my favourites:

Dad & Me

Taken as a gift to my parents (set of 3 Daughters)
My Matric Farewell
John's Matric Farwell
John's Matric Farwell
Just for Fun

Sister Missionary Shot

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