Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dear Niger....

Oh how you are ingrained into my heart. I left your sandy roads three weeks ago tomorrow, and every day since have thought of you. I have tried to process my visit, to figure out  how to share, what to say, what to show. You are so different from home, from all things familiar. How do I explain, how my time with you changed me, how deep the impression you made on my heart.  I have been at a loss for words, but yet know I have to come up with some, then it hit me, words.  
2 or 3 days after I was home a friend asked me for one word to sum up my experience and I came up with HUMBLING.  So why not one word to match one experience, that will work. Over the next few days I will do just that, match one word with one experience.

FUN  relaxing  creative   FRUSTRATING
Humorous   startling   Rewarding
sights sounds   

one thing for sure it was all uniquely African! Niger, I will ever be thankful for our time together and I look forward to the next time. Thank you for sharing yourself, each and every experience, but most of all thank you for sharing your people, they are forever and always in my heart.

Friday, September 30, 2011

One word....

I was asked yesterday by a friend to sum up my trip in one word.

One word? Seriously? 

Try it, one word to sum up the last month of your life.

It is not easy!  I did manage to find one word to sum up this experience that took me from home, for almost a month, to the other side of the globe, via 4 different airports, 6 planes, several time zones, way too many languages to count, to a totally different culture, HOT climate, to work with people you have never met, to see one of your best friends on her turf, to do things you have never done, eat things you have never eaten, and just plain a long way from home...... One word....   HUMBLING

I live in a country listed as one of the richest in the world, with listings as the best cities in the world to live in.  Yet all around I see discontent, people wanting the next newest this or that, not really sure of what is of real value.  A country where many people do not know their neighbours, where family is not valued as it should be.  A country with more options for groceries than we truly need, with soil that will grow almost anything, and a climate that makes it possible. 

I visit a country listed 3rd from the bottom of UN's human development list , the people have next to nothing, the streets are littered with garbage, goats, cows, sheep and young children roam the streets at all hours, a country where people rarely have the opportunity to travel, where even basic education is a luxury.   Goods are available on every street corner, but funds to purchase such goods is scarce.  However in the midst of this extreme poverty the people are gracious, kind and generous. Family is valued and communities are depended upon. They have joy. in the midst of it all.   Experiencing and being on the receiving end of that was truly HUMBLING!
 I will never be the same after Africa......

The girls.... MY Girl!

I have left a smattering of heart pieces all over the city of Niamey, Niger, West Africa, that is no surprise as part of it was already there.   About a year ago I was asked if I would like to be a prayer partner for one of the girls attending the Niger Vocational Training School (NVOC for short) and I accepted.  I received an email containing a photo and a brief blurb about MY GIRL, her life in  etc.  So for the past year, I have prayed, for health, happiness despite hardship, that she would be a good student, that her family would have food to eat, and her parents would have work. I have prayed extra hard that she would follow through on her commitment to the school, and complete the 2 years, and NOT marry.  I have prayed that she would discover her worth as a young woman, and that she would not believe that the only worth she has as a young woman is when she marries and has babies as is the custom  in the area.

I prayed for this somber faced girl who looked so serious and almost sad, and when I met her she was none of the above.  Zeina is full of life, a little cheeky, laughs easily and later in the week poked fun at me.  She takes charge and works hard, sometimes getting in others way while doing so.  What a blessing to be able to meet her in person and to invest in her life up close and in person.  On our last day there she came into the classroom and gave me a little hug, this was HUGE, hugging is not something that is done in their culture, and for her to take the first step was way out of her comfort zone.  I love this girl, she has one of the fragments of my heart for sure, she had my heart even before I arrived there.  I continue to pray, now I pray that the time I spent with her would be something she values as well.

Home since Monday

4 days home, and I miss Africa.  I miss the people I met, I miss learning and seeing new things, I miss being able to help, I miss the energy of the girls, I just miss it.  I guess what 'they' say is true, you either love Africa or you hate Africa!  Don't get me wrong, I am happy to be home to all that is familiar, to my family & my friends, to my life here, but processing the whole trip is tough.  Finding perspective when I have been, only by luck of the draw, born into one of the richest nations in the world, and my new friends, by that same luck of the draw, have been born into one of the poorest.  Where is fair in that? 

That is where my head is at processing all the things I saw, heard, learned and experienced.  This trip was so rich, there is so much to share, I had hoped to be able to write more while I was there, but I was too busy living the experience.  So now I will write in retrospect, picking pieces from my journal, adding a few of the 1000+ photos  &  fill you in on all of the adventures.  I hope you enjoy it just the same. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

First impressions....

Here are just a few of the sights

Can you tell who has the right of way?

Visitor at breakfast - thankfully outside the screened in porch

Garbage piles everywhere, crazy huge piles. People
living by them, scrounging in them & goats & sheep
eating from them.

Street market.
Typical African road -
hard packed, washboard,
sandy streets.

Working with my first set of girls.  What an amazing
privilege to be here and share this time with them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Do you hear what I hear

What I hear when I just sit and listen....

Languages I do not understand

Car horns

Children playing in the streets

Babies crying

Doves cooing

Goats or sheep blatting

Donkey's braying

Cows mooing

Roosters & chickens

My dear friend chatting.... Oh how I love having the chance to be at her house having a chance to visit, to hear her world. To share breakfast on her screen porch and just simply listen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A strange thing happened on the way to London.... they lost a terminal. Wel,l I guess they did not loose it, but demolished it instead... the terminal I had listed for my flight to Morocco, is no where to be found. So the question is now where to go? Thanks to the very helpful Heathrow volunteer I found where I was supposed to go only to find that I can not check in untill 3 hours before my flight, which is 6 hours from now.

The other thing I noticed that flights do not get assigned a gate until 2 hours before a flight. I am told this is a security procedure. Makes sense I am guessing, cuts down on bad things happening to big planes... less time to plan, that works for me.

So here I sit... watching people, listening to babies cry and wondering where the other 2 gals who will be on the flight to Morocco are. Given lack of gate number I guess we will not be getting to know each other in the 6 hours of waiting.... So goes the adventure.

I am here in London safe and sound. So it's all good.
Oh and on a side note the people watching is great... so is my chex mix!

P.S. I did eventually meet up with the other 3 gals that shared the flight to Morrocco. 2 by random walk by, the third had smartly plunked her self down in a coffee shop, knowing that in all likely hood others would opt for food at some point.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The best layed plans. . . .

Life never seems to happen as planned, however it always seems to work out.

I had planned to leave home at 2:00, go and get Royd from work then head out to the airport.  In reality I spent  spent the 20 min past 2:00 looking for some papers I needed to bring with me.. UGH.. I need a better filing system than my dining room table. Thankfully, I had printed duplicates, that I did find,  and I can write in the car -I filled them all in AGAIN and it all worked out.  Traffic was light, and my hubby never drives slower than the speed limit,  in the end  I arrived at the airport only 15 min schedule. It all works out.   I should know this, and relax a little but I get worked up at myself and have conversations in my head about how I need to be better organized, how I should have had all the things I needed in one place blah blah blah.... Yes I talk to my self, no it does not really do much good.

The longest line I have stood in today was for coffee, and that was only 2 deep. That would include the bathroom and all check in lines.  Things are working out just fine. Boarding calls have started, but I am not travelling with young children, or in need of assistance, however I must add that needing rubber gloves to put on socks,  had me wondering if I might just need some help.  I hope that the socks help keep the swelling down, I will be a happy camper....

Now I am wandering YVR looking for this guy who is living at the airport for the next couple of months - My adventure has officially begun! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Watch your......

I just read this on another blog and was hit with the enormous truth of it. 
We truly do have control of our destiny and it starts in the small recesses of our brain, it is my prayer that my thoughts would be worthy of my destiny.

Watch your thoughts they become your words
Watch your words- they become your actions
Watch you actions-they become your habits
Watch your habits-they become your character
Watch your character it becomes your destiny

May that be your prayer as well.
Have a great Sunday

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1st..... big changes in our house.

With the modern advancement of digital TV we are now living in the truly dark ages.  As of August 31st we no longer have ANY TV in our house.   Yes we still have the box, which will remain as a Movie viewer, but there is no longer any stations being fed into our home. It all happened before our very eyes, one minute we were watching something, the next we were watching snow fuzzies.... and so ends the era of our 2 free stations.  For our entire married life (coming up 24 years) we have only had cable for 18 months and only then because it was included in the rent.  I think that there were several months there where we did not have a viewing device either... so knock that down to about 12 months. Our first viewing device was a 13 inch black and white number complete with rabbit ears and get this.... manual controls.  Not a remote in sight, we actually had to get out of our chair to turn the dials.  Ah the good old days. 

We have survived, and will continue to survive I know that to some this would be suicide, but we will make the best of it until such a time we change our minds.  Or buy a TV that will give us a few free digital channels.
Thankfully we have just a few movies around when the mood stirkes.

Are we alone in this or are there others of you out there who are now the proud owners of a simple movie viewing device?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Exciting day all around....

I have my ticket in my hot little hands.  I have the required items for my "new" wardrobe, Niger is predominantly a Muslim country, so ankle length skirts are a must, as is a head covering anytime we are in public. I added 2 new to me skirts to the wardrobe yesterday for a whopping total of $8.00, Abbotsford has much better second hand prices than here in the lower mainland. Reality is setting in, up until this point  I have been excited, BUT have not allowed myself to get really EXCITED...  I am starting to get REALLY excited.

I have had lots of people ask lots of questions or make comments that require a response.  So I am going to attempt to answer a few of those here....

Lets start with the basics
How long will you be gone?
I leave on September 7th and will be back on Canadian soil on the 26th.  That is a total of 19 days.

How many hours of travel?
I leave here at 1755 (5:55) on the 7th, and arrive in Niamey Sept 9th at 445 (4:45 AM) Via London and Casablanca, Morocco.  Sounds exotic, however I am sure that after that many hours I will be totally bagged and ready for solid ground.  

What will your family do with out you?
This is not the first time they have been without me.  However 7 days is the longest stint. This is slightly longer than that.  I have no doubt that they will survive quite well. We are working on menu plans, they are all very capable of Laundry and dishes and the daily running of things.  With a little planning I am sure things will run smoothly.  A new alarm clock may be needed, but that is minor.  I will miss them it is true and I hope they will miss me, however we will all survive and have stories to tell when we are together again.

How many are going with you?
No one I know first hand - but the team going consists of 7 women. I am the only one going from B.C., the rest are from Alberta.  I already consider them new friends, the fact that we all have the desire to go and work with these girls gives us common ground upon which to grow strong friendships.  My Grandma had a plaque that hung in her kitchen and it now hangs in mine it reads
Make new friends, But keep the old
For one is Silver the other Gold.
I have found this to be very true through all aspects of life, especially with things like this.  

Are you nervous to travel alone all that way?
Knowing that there will be a familiar face at the end of the journey helps tons. However this is not the first time I have travelled alone, I love all aspects of it, the anticipation, flying, even sitting at airports.  Airports are the very best place to people watch, well that and the P.N.E.  The first time I headed out alone, I was 17 and heading to Australia. (that is a story for another time).  For the most part I am not worried about the getting there or the coming home, when there is only myself to be concerned with it is fairly easy. 

I will only be alone for a short time. The travel agent told me yesterday that I arrive in London 2 hours before some of the girls from Alberta, then from there we will all be on the same flights through to Niger.  I will not be alone in any of the new unfamiliar airports.  Which means I will not have to eat alone on the lay overs.  That is always a plus.

One sweet soul at church told me I am so brave and that she could never do that. My response to her was, it is all part of the adventure, to which she responded - "still, your either crazy or brave, I am going with brave."  Bless her heart. However I think most would side with crazy.

How are you funding this?
For the most part this is an out of pocket expense.  I am grateful for work over the summer months that has certainly helped in this.   I have been working on a few items to sell where the profits will go directly to the school (I am hoping to have some photos up very soon of these items).  In addition to that I am very grateful for supportive friends and family members, who see the need to educate young women to break the cycle of early marriage, who trust me and have given funds directly to me in order to make this possible.  For those who have specifically asked, if you would like to donate, please send gifts directly to me.  Words can not express adequately how thankful I am, it is a humbling experience to have people give in this way.  I will ever be grateful.  

What sorts of things are you going to take with you for the girls at the school?
I have asked that question to Chantelle

What sort of things are you worried about?
I am not one to worry much.  However I am concerned about the heat.  For the most part I do not do well in the heat, heat stroke is a strong possibility,  but knowing this and being prepared - drinking lots of water will be key.  I have to trust that I will survive.  I am praying that my body will adjust and that there will not be too many issues. 

There is the aspect of unknown cultural differences that will be a challenge.  One that I know of is that being left handed I will be challenged when eating with the locals.  In Africa the left hand is considered the 'dirty hand' and when sharing a communal plate it is VERY offensive to eat with your left hand.... YIKES, 45+ years of eating with my left I could be in trouble. I will be sitting on my hand with someone sitting next to me to give me a good elbow, hopefully this will work.  The last thing I want to do is offend someone because I am ignorant.

Language will be an issue, they speak French and a variety of tribal languages.  Let's just say my French is limited and leave it at that.  I am sure I will be very grateful for those who are gifted translators.  It will be interesting to see how much I pick up in 3 weeks. 

One thing I know for sure is this will be an experience I will never forget, and there will be amazing stories to tell along the way.

Friday, August 5, 2011

It IS a small world after all....

(so do you have the tune in your head?  te he he, sorry!)

A LONG time ago I was part of a circle journal group and the topic I chose was "It's a small world" - I loved hearing the participants small world stories.  My own story was one that happened while I was in Australia in 1982.  I was riding on a train and a girl walked past that had a Canadian flag patch on her back pack, I stopped her and asked where home was etc.  To make a long story short, it turned out that she was from North Vancouver and lived in the building that my Grandmother manages.  Small world indeed! I find it happens often if you are willing to talk to people and ask some questions and take the time to hear their stories. Six degrees of separation often applies.

Last night was no exception - We were at a BBQ at our pastors home.  The gathering was taking place to meet a fellow from Cuba who is travelling and speaking through Canada this summer.  It is a rare thing to be able to hear first hand since for many Cubans international travel is near to impossible.  There were several people there from our church, and a few others that had come because they had heard that Yoel was going to be there.  I love how pieces of puzzles work together, simply because we open our mouths.  (O.K. for those of you who know me well, you will know that I put my foot in my mouth often too. Fortunately this was NOT one of those times)  One couple that came are visiting the Lower Mainland from Fort St John.  
I pipe up with.. Oh you live in FT. St. John.. do you know.....
Sure enough they do,  1 degree of separation.  Small world indeed!
I love that when connection can be made that make people feel at ease instantly.  A new friendship is forged.  God is good like that. 
As we continue to talk and get to know each other, my up coming trip to Africa comes up.   Your going to Africa... where?  Niger, how cool, do you know Lisa.. , um, yes, I will be staying with her, she is one of my most favouritest people in the whole wild world (yes I do mean wild....) Turns out that this new friend had my dearest friend stay in her home the last 2 times she was in Fort St. John. 

It truly is a Small world after all!  I love it. I love finding that connection, I love hearing stories, I love how God brings all these seemingly little things together. 

And just in case you have forgotten the song... here you go enjoy.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting shot and the reaction that followed

Niamey Niger West Africa - Not to be confused with Nigeria
Niger borders Nigeria on the North is the largest Nation in West Africa. 
Ranked #167 out of 169 rated countries on the 2010 UN's Human development index. 
(Canada ranks # 8)

Simply put Niger is second from the bottom of poorest places in the world to live.
The average number of years people attend school is 1.4 (expected years = 4.3)
(Canadian average is 11.5  (expected years = 16))
Average life expectancy at birth is 52 years
(Canadian  81 years)

And this will be home for 3 weeks - And I am excited to go live in this sub-sahara desert region. That being so, there are several precautions I need to take to ensure optimal health while I am there and when I return home. Simply put I had to get shot... 345$ later I should be healthy as a horse while I am there.  I am covered for...
Yellow Fever (must have this or you will not be allowed to enter the country)
Booster of  Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella
Typhoid (oral to take 1 week before departure)
Hep A & B
And anti Malaria meds for when I am there & when I get home.
Thankfully my Tetanus is up to date but of course I would be one of the 5% who have a reaction to the shots.  For 2 days after I was poked I felt off, then the bumps showed up, they were itchy little bumps too & there were TONS of them everywhere. So not cool, esp when they last a whole week, the worst was the little bump under the nail of my pinkie finger. You really do not appreciate your pinkie until it is out of the game due to injury.
Praying that the orals I have to take closer to departure will not have any lingering affects, I certainly do not want to fly feeling less than 100%. I am a little apprehensive, the last time I had a Typhoid vaccine I was so out of it I fell asleep at a concert - nice date I was- that would suck if I had to fly sick.

Friday, July 29, 2011

How it all came to be.....

One of my most favorite people in the whole wide world lives and works in Niger, each time Lisa is home we talk about the "one day" when I will come and visit her at her house. First it was her African home in Benin, then she moved to Niger so our "dreaming" was about visiting there - Thinking ONE DAY.... likely a day far off when my girls were all done with school, self supporting and independent, then maybe we would make the trip.  ONE DAY was a far off & distant dream, never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would be going this soon, or going alone, without my husband - funny thing is that God had that planned right from the beginning..... 

Four years ago our church was planning a missions Trip to Cuba.... I was interested in going.  Cuba would be cool, I had never been and I would love to go help the people there in what ever way I could. They had just been hit with some very serious hurricanes, I am good in emergency situations, and am willing to work, I could be useful in that situation.  I attended the information meeting feeling hopeful, then left that meeting kind of sad.  The dates they were planning on going would not work for me as I would be recovering from surgery at that time.  That was Cuba trip #1 - down and out of the question for me.

The next year Cuba trip #2 was being planned, I thought, great another opportunity to go and serve.  I went to the information meeting knowing that my health was good, that there were no surgeries on the horizon, the dates could work, maybe this year was my year to go.... Nope, God made it pretty clear that Royd was to go, so I would be staying home with the girls.  Cuba trip #2 - down and out for another year for me.

Late last year the plans were in the works for Cuba trip #3 - surely this would be a good year for me to go.  As I was praying, I kept getting this impression of Africa, my initial thoughts were... Yes, one day I would LOVE to go to Africa, but right now Cuba is the opportunity at hand, it sounded good to me.  Africa came back to my mind again and again.  I kept thinking Cuba, I am willing to go, I want to go.  Then Royd came and said, I think I should be going back to Cuba and I kept thinking of Africa....  O.K. I get it God.  Royd is going to Cuba and I have to wait and one day I will go to Africa.  Cuba trip #3 - 3 strikes and I am really out this time.  

At first I was a little ticked, I was willing to go, but it seemed that God had plans for others to go that did not include me....I admit I pouted inwardly about that for a little while, I can throw a pretty good pity party when I let myself.  I really wanted to go, to meet the people Royd had met the previous year, to see the sights I had heard about, sigh, it simply was not meant to be.  Then I really started to think about the 3 no go's to Cuba and the whispers of Africa - and finally I said, o.k. God do you want me to go to Africa?  Once I stilled and truly asked what the Africa impressions were all about, I got it - God wanted me to go to Africa. I just did not know when and to do what, but I was willing, whenever that happened to be, to go.  Still thinking several years down the road.

Within days, of me saying to God "I get it" I received an email from Chantelle, the director of the Niger Girls at Risk School.  Chantelle was extending an invitation to come to Africa and help her and her team with some extra projects at school with the girls before the school year officially starts.  She was looking for women to come to Africa to help teach sewing classes / projects for 2 - 3 weeks in September.   It was like a little light came on and I could see the sign on the wall that said... "see daughter I had something planned all along, something tailored just for you"  Africa, a dream come true, needs that fit within my skill set, with girls the same age as my own, at the school where I have been paired up to pray for one of the students for the past year. The pieces of the puzzle were falling into place, the timing and 3 strike outs with Cuba made sense now.  I was going to Africa..... it took a bit for it to sink in but I am going to AFRICA...  it still seems a little surreal, it is how God works things out and grants us the desires of our hearts beyond what we could ever imagine.  
I am AFRICA bound.....

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dreams come true.... AFRICA here I come

I remember the exact moment in 6th grade, when the travel bug hit.  I was sitting listening to Tawney Owl (my brownie leader, yes that is really what we called her) talk about being born in Australia and the wonders of her homeland - I can see exactly where I was sitting, what I was wearing, what photos she was showing.  I knew there & then that one of my life goals would be to visit this amazing land I was hearing about. 

That dream came true in 1982, the year I graduated.  It was during that adventure that my desire to travel was ingrained in the core of my being.  I love everything about it, anticipating, packing, having a passport, long car rides, long bus rides,  airports (best place ever to people watch), flying,  all of it is fascinating to me...not to mention, new places, new people, new foods, sights, sounds, it is all exciting. 

I started dreaming of places I would love to visit.... Newfoundland & PEI, Rocky Mountains (done, Canada & USA) , Swiss Alps, Israel, Spain, Africa (planning stages), Paris (done), China, Norway, Italy, Antarctica... basically I decided way back then that I would pretty much go anywhere if the opportunity presented it's self.

I would love to be able to say that I have stepped foot on every continent & seen the 7 wonders of the world before I die... we will see if that ever comes to be, in the mean time I will go... I will take advantage of the opportunities presented and I will be thankful.

One such opportunity has presented it's self and I am jumping in with both feet and totally excited to be doing so.   Early in September I will be boarding a plane and heading to Niger West Africa for 3 weeks.  An opportunity of a life time and I am so totally amazed & excited that it is happening.  I will be helping at the Niger Vocational Training School (Girls @ risk school) teaching sewing projects, and what ever else needs to be done.  I can not wait!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Work continued, holidays happened.....

A few days of work turned into a few more, then those few more turned into a few more, it's all good.   I am certainly grateful as Summer is the perfect time for me to pick up some work.  No worries about calls from school needing me to be there ASAP to pick up, take home or to doctors.  It's all good, BUT blogging gets sidetracked, life happens  and is happening there is much to tell but time seems to be at a premium.  I miss writing, I miss blogging.  My mind still runs a mile a minute with TONS of ideas to blog about, I just never get here to put it down. 

So here is a nutshell version of the past few months...

June - Final Dance show of the year (Ashlynn's final dance show ever = a little sadness), school is out,  July 1st Canada day celebration fast approaching, worked for a few days. Burnaby Farmers market starts, I sell KICS Lemonade, a few Saturdays.  Got several shots in prep for Africa - reacted mildly,no surprise there, recovered, all is good. June flies by.

July - July 1st = Canada day celebration at Church = crazy insane time at our house for a few days.  Worked some more, holidays come . . .
6 days spent with friends at their cottage at Shushwap lake = fun despite the lousy weather.  We love spending time at the lake.  We taught a few new games and played many rounds. Read lots, watched a few movies and did not let the lack of sunshine ruin the fun. Laughs, movies bad weather does not hinder our fun, only the swimming.  My new swim suit did not get used.   The up side of rainy weather = AMAZING rainbow.  Sadly I was in the car at the time and my camera was back at the cottage, but you can trust me it was totally AMAZING, stretching from one side of the lake to the other in a vibrant colourful double arch.  Spectacular!
Home for about 24 hours to do laundry and re-pack then pack the car, add a tent and a few other supplies and we are off for another 5 days.  Creationfest Northwest 2011 here we come.  Please God no rain.... it rained the first night AFTER we set up our tent and had it well tarped - this I can handle.  The next day was slightly sprinkley then the sun burst out and shone for the rest of the festival.  Perfect!  Now we are back home, I am back at work, will be back at the Farmers Market this weekend, and life feels busy.  I feel like I need another vacation and I have only been back for 2 days.  July seems to have flown by as well. 

My grandma was so right when she said, time flies faster when you get older.  I knew she was one smart cookie! 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bad blogger...

Or maybe I should say distracted blogger....

Life distractions -Coming up to the end of the school year, dance year.  Spring cleaning.. or at least thinking about it, patio reno, gardening when the weather is co-operating.  I have been working for a few weeks, that is about to end (that was the plan from the beginning so no worries there) Doctors visits - I have 3 active teens - this too shall pass, for now it seems the norm. Hubby was away for a week, I am looking seriously at a trip to Africa in a few months, friends in crisis, family and friends coming in and out of town.... Canada day is coming.... just a few distractions!

Blog distractions - I have been blogging here It is market season again.  This is a friends company, seriously the best lemonade!  She asked for some marketing help so I am helping, as well as doing the Saturday Farmers Market in Burnaby every other week.

I have also been blogging here - This one is my baby, couponing has become a hobby of sorts.  With the added benefit of saving us money,  it has been a huge blessing in our lives.  Not working full time I look for ways to cut corners and save some moula - this is one of the great ways I have managed to do so.

All of these things add up to not too much action here.  I have plans to change that, it is not like I do not have things I want to write, I just find it hard to find the time.  Next week when I am done work for now... then I will get my act together.  I especially want to talk about Africa!  SOOOOOO EXCITED!

Monday, May 2, 2011

I love living where we live...

For the most part, I love living where we live, especially at this time of year.  As the weather changes, and the cherry blossom trees are displaying their skirts of pink my neighbours start to come out of hibernation.   Reconnecting with those we share walls and driveways with is one sure sign that spring has sprung. 

We laugh often in our house, that the car that goes in and out of the drive way the most lives at the far end.  We also have the oldest kids,  meaning they are no longer of the age where they play "in the middle of the road" most of our neighbours have kids under the age of 10 so on any given day there can be almost a dozen kids out there "playing in the middle of the street"  - They are like little robots when they see the big red van coming.. Jumping up, moving hockey nets, bikes, sidewalk chalk, sprinklers (well not quite yet), scooters, balls to name a few.  Toys moved they stand aside and wave smiles on their faces, usually, and heave a sigh when I go past and they can pull out their toys once again.   The funny thing is when it is one of those drop off pick up turn around sort of days, when just as the nets are back in place here I come from the other end, I do not seem to get as many smiles and waves then.  Hmm wonder why?

The parents joke that I should send my household schedule out at the beginning of the week so they can schedule the times their kids are out in the street.  LOL  - it is all in good fun.  Wonder what they will be saying this summer when we add 2 more drivers to the mix.  The saving grace there will be that despite the fact their may be 4 drivers we still only have one vehicle. 

All in a day's fun here.