Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Really Wonderful Person

Today is Rochelle's funeral. Terry posted this pic and it is exactly the way I think of them. Rochelle always had such an infectious smile. It is hard to believe she is gone so young. Wanted to drive down but just got to nervous about the Pass with the snow. Anyway, can't wait to see her again in the future.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ALMOST Had a Good Hockey Game Last Night!

Being the Activities Director for the college too (besides teaching), means I get to arrange fun things to do. Last night Portland came here to play. About 20 of us showed up. Unfortunately, it seems most the rest of the city thought it would be a good game to see too, so there was standing room only left. Yikes! Standing for two or three hours. :-/ Nobody was quite into that. Anyway, hopefully there will be another Friday or Saturday game coming soon because it would be fun to do that. Next item on the hit list is arranging curling lessons for the students...and me. :-) Sounds kind of fun. I borrowed the movie "Men With Brooms" to give me a bit of an idea what to expect. I have to say after working at this college, and having so many Saudi students, which is much different from what I have had before, I think they are just great...not the best studiers :-/ ...but just very fun people to have around. Okay, everyone have a wonderful weekend! Love to all, d :-)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Flip Culture

This week is the start of a new semester. Complete freshness. Just like outside. We’re having the biggest snowfall of the year so far and it is gorgeous. 15 inches in one day. I parked on the street by the college and actually got snowed in - some nice shovelers and a plowman though helped with getting me out. ...It is always exciting on these days to see the new faces when I walk into the classroom too. I think in the afternoons this semester I will be teaching Pronunciation and Reading as electives.

Someone asked me the other day, now that I have been back in Canada for a few months, what is the hardest adjustment? After thinking about this I have to say that it is connections with people. I used to hear brothers and sisters overseas and other expats say that after living in a flip culture (complete reverse of your own), going back and trying to connect with people is one of the hardest challenges. People are great in Canada, so that is not the problem. But I do know what they mean now. A person can’t help but change a lot when living in a completely different environment. In my case it started with living in a 10x10 apartment, and seeing all my friends do the same. You start to look at material items and what a person really needs, differently than before. A person spends a lot more time thinking about life, and developing their relationship even moreso with Jehovah…because really…when no one else in your area speaks English and your congregation members are not close by, He really does become your confidant. A person also gets used to a lot of peace in their life...not a lot of drama. And then seeing many friends in foreign lands live such simple lives. And then there are the lessons of values. You talk to someone who had their fingers ripped off by a cookie machine because the employer didn’t provide safety equipment, or someone else whose arm was sucked into a roller and broken badly. Or someone’s Bible study is taken to the emergency room because her fingers have turned blue because of no heat in their truck container home at –15 degrees. Or then there was the sister I worked with in service who told me she knows others don't understand why ones work overseas away from their families, but then told me they too wanted enough money to feed their children or take them to the hospital when they are sick. It's one of those 'walk a mile in another's shoes situations I guess. But all these things helped me put things into perspective and become more empathetic. It can’t help but alter the way a person starts looking at other’s lives and their own life. Breaks it down to what is really important.. …But these are the thoughts that I find one really can’t share with many others because ones may think you are being self-righteous, but that is not what is intended or what it is about. I know myself it has also just changed my perspective on how I look at things and react to situations permanently. Meeting these ones overseas and seeing their lives has reinforced what and who I really want in my life too. For instance, back here in Canada, I recently heard of a situation where there is a group of people planning a big event. I couldn’t believe how mean and awful they were treating each other. I really thought about this, and this is one of the things I react to differently now. At one time I would have just let those situations swirl around me, and even engage them if I had to, but now I just distance myself, because I can’t see having that stress around me anymore, or people who treat others badly. I know some people think it is okay because people are imperfect, so they tolerate it, but I just value my own peace of mind and happiness more now. Something else I have learned to appreciate is not having showy displays - even with gatherings, that’s okay for others, but now I think about ones who don’t have a lot, and the showy stuff really bothers me. I guess I have learned to be empathetic toward those with little. :-/ Reminds me of something I said to my mom last week, “my friends in the Philippines have very little, but when they send their pictures, EVERYONE in the picture has the biggest smiles on their faces”. :-) I am not perfect by any means, but I am glad I went away as it really did open my eyes and help me make changes within, so for others contemplating it, I do recommend it - - but just be ready for some changes within you probably didn’t expect either. :-) Anyway, regardless of the feeling a bit like the odd duck out at times… that is okay because good friends always accept you the way you are :-) …and likewise. And I do very much enjoy the company of spending time with my parents again. :-) …So there were great advantages and lessons learned from living abroad that are irreplaceable, but there are some great perks about being here too.

Anyway, I hope my thoughts are not garbled or offensive to anyone, I just tried to put them down the best I could on this subject. And sorry for the bad grammar moments as I was typing at the speed of light. :-)

Much love to everyone! And have a wonderful week!
D -)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beautiful Weekend Here

Hey hi everyone, :-)

I thought I would show you a couple pics of the boardwalk here in Kelowna on an icy day. Very pretty scenery. As you can also see Harvey and Otto are walking on a splitter. This was their first day. The initial mile was a bit challenging but then they got onto it pretty good. I am babysitting Otto until April, and I like to walk them but three leashes going every which direction drives me crazy so the splitter is the perfect solution. Hope all you had a great weekend too!

d :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

We Just Had A Most Delicious Breakfast!

At my school this morning one of the classes made eggs and bacon and muffins for everyone. What a wonderful treat! I have to say I really enjoy this school and position. Everyone does work as a team and it shows in the students' progress. It is really nice listening to the students' stories, because often they end up with everyone having a good laugh. So even though we are teaching, there is a lot of learning about things other than book work too. I recently had a young man tell me that being in Canada is quite a change for him because he used to just pay the teacher for the grade he wanted, but now he actually has to study! And then there are the ones that work sooo hard because when they return to their home country their English will affect their university marks, and affect the career they are aiming toward. These are often the extremely diligent ones.

I have one young man that was studying here but left 4 months ago. He kept my card and called me the other day. I asked him if he had time to take a comprehensive Bible study course to understand the Bible, and he said yes. So, this week I am going to introduce him to a pioneer in our hall. One thing about positions that work with people, some REALLY nice people cross our paths, and you can see how they could be potential brothers and sisters one day. I hope it works out this way for these two. :-)

Well other than the above all is absolutely great and nothing new is going on. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

d :-)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

More Pics

2011 Off To A Great Start!

Hey hi everyone! :-)

The first great thing about 2011 is that my meetings have switched from mornings to afternoons. I absolutely love sitting on my bed Sunday mornings studying my WT. Just a nice slow moving day.

There has been lots of activity around here the last few weeks. Marcelle, Ava and Matea, (and Coco and Oscar), and (Mike on weekends) have been visiting and then yesterday Tyler, Janelle, and Haylen came. Haylen sure looks like her mom at this moment, but it will be interesting six months from now to see how she changes.

My old congregation in Korea had their family night recently and I included a picture here. Each member of the congregation participated in the Sound of Music. They rented a hall and put the play on for watchers in other congregations and family members. Here is a picture of the background choir. You can see that they must have got a sale on a certain striped material so that all their outfits are identical. I think it is so cute. They filmed it too, so if I get the video of it I will post it too. My friend Matt there said that EVERYONE took part. He played the piano with a sister for the singing.

The second pic is of the expat Bethel members in Korea. Gabby and Andrew (centre) have been there a long time, but are now heading back to Australia, but it is hard to imagine them there very long as they have been in the Phillipines, Africa, and Asia...and maybe some place I don't know. Gabby has such an interesting background. As I remember, her parents packed up their children and went and lived in a tent initially on some remote island living where the need was greater. Both fantastically interesting people.

Okay every one have a super lovely weekend.
Love to all,

d :-)