Thursday, August 27, 2009

Made it!


I'm back in Taiwan now after a long flight. We had some "technical problems" on the flight, so once we finally boarded, we ended up sitting on the plane for almost 3 hours! It was a little disconcerting to look out the window and see a bunch of people with ladders, flashlights, and tools working on the wing of a plane that is about to carry you over the ocean...but obviously they got the problem fixed, and I didn't end up on any mysterious islands except the one I'm supposed to be on. Did I mention that the air conditioner for the plane doesn't turn on until the plane is in the air? It got pretty hot and stuffy inside...maybe it was to help me prepare for the Taiwan heat, since summer is still in full swing here!
Anyways, I AM back now, and fighting jet lag as best as I can. Some of my classes will be starting next week already, and the rest, the following week. I should be over the jet lag by then! Actually it isn't that bad this time around, coffee works wonders! It's wonderful to see all my good friends here again too, I feel like the reunions never end! But the best one of all was when I took the MRT about 30 minutes to go see Hope! She's going to come to Yilan with me this weekend too, how exciting!

Monday, August 24, 2009

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On the Road Again




Well my updates have been few and far between since I came back from Saskatchewan, but here are a few things I did:

~Spent time with my family in Alberta, went to my Dad's dragon boat practice, and got caught in a freak storm.

~Went to Calgary and reminisced about high school and college days with Melissa, Shelly, Joella, and Carmen.

~Flew to Vancouver to hang out with Amanda and Dwight and got to meet Krystal's adorable boys.

Fun, fun times. As I head back to Canada my heart is filled with thankfulness at how many incredible people I am privileged to call friends, and at how they'll go above and beyond to see me, drive me around, feed me, and give me a bed, couch or floor to sleep on!
This has been such a memorable trip home, probably one of my favorites since I've been in Taiwan.

There are about 300 pictures to show, not including the wedding, and I'll be posting some here and on Facebook (don't worry, I'll link to the album).
I feel like I haven't stopped talking all month, and I'm sure all of my friends must have sore throats! Now all that's left is to wait for my 2:20am flight..and I must say, that's a really RANDOM time to fly! Better than 5am, I suppose, but that's when I'll arrive!
So goodbye temperate summery, Tim Horton's hosting, wide-open-spaces-and-long-drives motherland.......sweaty, vibrant, technology-filled homeland-of-cheap-food-and-goods, here I come. (Did I mention it's late?)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saskatchewan


This week, I returned to the province that I fondly remember as a cold white place, and saw it in a way I rarely did when I was going to school there! It's been a week full of great reunions! It all started with an eventful Greyhound ride. The bus was an hour late, and then when it arrived in Medicine Hat, they took a 30 minute break. When we finally got on the bus, the air conditioner wasn't working! We stopped after about an hour of driving in an increasingly stuffy bus, and got off while they tried to reboot the bus computer. It did start working again eventually. Then because of all the delays, by the time we got to Swift Current (originally the dinner break) the store and bus depot were all closed up, and happened to be situated in the industrial area of the city where there were no other shops around, so there was no food, drink or bathroom to be found! I finally made it to Regina around midnight, but the original arrival time was 10:30.

I spent the evening and morning with Kris, my sometimes across-the-hall-mate and Brazil team member and we did some reminiscing as we looked at her scrapbooked pictures. Then we met my old roommate for lunch. Johanna, whose wedding I was in two years ago (actually to the day, I stole her away from her husband on their anniversary....oops!) who drove in from Manitoba to see me. After hanging out for awhile, we went back to Moose Jaw and ended up staying in the Pilgrim Inn in Caronport, just for old time's sake! We talked for hours over walks, coffee, more walks, more tea, and a game of Scrabble Sentences which was kind of a flop, no wonder we'd never heard of it!

I went back to Regina the next day as Johanna needed to head home, and spent more time with Kris and had dinner with her and some relatives I haven't seen for a few years. Then we met Vanessa, who happened to be in Regina for a birthday party and I went back to Nokomis with her. I kind of just got passed from friend to friend on this trip! I'm so thankful for everyone who let me stay with them, and who drove me around! At Vanessa's we took some walks, visited the museum where she worked for a number of summers, and played with a new kitten that her mom rescued! Her name is Sadie, and amazingly Vanessa and her mom both came up with the same name on their own! I was able to explain the Chinese idea of "mo chi" to them, which we really should have an English word for! It describes people who are of the same mind, or on the same wavelength.
I found out that Colleen Taylor, an old prof, friend and scrabble buddy of mine from school is now living about 30 minutes from Vanessa, so I suprised her with a phone call, and we ended up going over there for dinner! It was a lot of fun, and we got to hear about a new children's series she is publishing. I took a few books to bring back to Taiwan. You should check it out! BlueBeary
Vanessa was kind enough to drive me south, and we stopped for a little frolic along the path we used to walk and a visit to our old dorm. And now I'm in Swift Current where I'm hanging out with friends from high school, Adam and Erin, and playing with their adorable children! Which reminds me, I should go take some pictures of them!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Wedding Time

My younger sister got married last Saturday! We had a crazy busy week beforehand doing preparations, including making the wedding favors, having a bridal shower, and a couple of trips to the beach, which happened to be right next to the place where they got married. Here's a picture from the shower with Sarah sporting a glowing "Bride to Be" button.


You can also see the favors which were some ceramic spoons from Taiwan with Hershey's kisses on them. The tag said "A spoonful of kisses from the Mr. and Mrs."



The night before the wedding we had a rehearsal at the B&B where they were getting married, and a rehearsal dinner BBQ. Then the girls stayed the night there.
As you can see in this picture, the grounds were just beautiful!

We did nails until the power went out. Actually, I shouldn't say "until" because they just kept going by flashlight and cell phone light!
We spent the next morning getting ready for the wedding at 2pm.


It was beautiful but very, very hot! I think it was something like 36 degrees. Here's Sarah walking down the aisle with my dad. And a picture of the groom and best man waiting. It was quite a family wedding actually.
My two brothers were the best man and jr. groomsman. I was the maid of honor and my aunt and younger cousin were both bridesmaids as well!


After pictures we went to a beautiful hotel for the reception where we had dinner and dancing until about 1am! I think all of us were exhausted for the next few days, but we also had a gift opening the next morning, and then cleaned up. It was fun to see family, and also see my dear little sister looking so beautiful and marrying a guy she loves! Congratulations, Sarah and Toby!


As usual, there are more pictures here in this facebook album!



Me and my youngest brother before the reception.



Me and my mom before the ceremony.