Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Last Road Trip

A few weekends ago I rented my last "rent-a-prize" car in Edmonton (a sexy silver mint green Hyundai number which stunk of smoke) and headed South with my Amy... We were off for one last road trip (after a quick stop at a gas station for a Vanilla air-freshener on the way out of the city!), some quality time, and some goodbyes in Calgary. We were going to stop into Drumheler to see the 'Bad Lands' where all the dinosaurs where found, since I'd never been there, even though I've been meaning to go for 5 years!... But, that didn't happen, cause we spontaneously changed our course through Red Deer to visit some of Amy's friends at a camp in the back woods then arrive into Calgary through the mountain scenic route, yes, last time. It's my favorite stretch of Mountains, around the Colombia Ice Fields, and I was really happy I got to see it again! The most beautiful part is (see picture) mountains with a lake at the bottom... water makes everything-even mountains more beautiful :)

Further down the highway we saw a bear off on the side of the road! It was so exciting. And he was just so cute wandering around munchin' on food. We watched him for about a 1/2 hour... a great touch to our time in the Rockies :D

The rest of our weekend was spend visiting people! It was so great to to see so many and have good conversations, but it was tiring :) We spent the morning with Brian and Kath Blacklock (a special Navs couple originally from England), then the afternoon with Phil and Marcia Leskawich -an SIM couple that have been really special to me the past 5 years. In the evening we went out for dinner with Renee and Rachel -2 Calgary Navers :) It was great! The next morning, I had breakfast with Renee, then was off to church for one last service listening to my favorite prof from BBC :) I also ran into Matt & Leila, and Owen & Lauren! After goodbyes and thank yous at "the Swamp" (U of C Nav girls house) and the girls who let us crash on the couches we headed north on the highway! Only one last stop... in Red Deer to see Jenn & Rick Cochrane one last time :) It was a fun and exhausting road trip! Thanks for commin' Aim :) And thanks for risking your life to lean over backwards if our hot little car to take this picture of the clouds :D
Love you all...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

My Happy Place

I'm sure most of you are aware by now that I am moving home to Nova Scotia in just a few days... This post is a tribute to my favorite place that I've lived in in Edmonton-2 whole years!
Welcome to...
The living room -it's the new thing, a bed in the living room!
SO nice for movie watching!
Our very white kitchen
Many cups of tea and more than a few dozen "Christiane's Chocolate-Peanut butter Cookies" made here!
Our "beach theme" bathroom :)
(When a girl of the ocean moves to the mountains, she does what she can to keep "home" close! -too bad you can't see all our beach pictures! OH, but you CAN see my bright purple bath mat that I dyed in the kitchen sink!)
Pam's bedroom... a typical day... no comment :D
My "Farm Life Green" African room... I LOVE my room

I hope you enjoyed the tour!! I'll post pics of my next African RED room when I am home :D

Friday, June 15, 2007

Long Talks, Whales, & Ice Cream

Right after the conference I went to Victoria and Vancouver with Jeanette. I have to say that after 2 long years of being pretty out of touch, these4 days were a "my cup runneth over" time. I have missed her more than I can express.

We went to Victoria and stayed with her Grandma for 2 days, walked along the beach near the house, explored downtown, celebrated her birthday with family, stayed up late watching Anne of Green Gables, and had long talks :) Back in Vancouver we walked to Grenvel Island (i can't remember for sure the name :S), made supper at her boyfriend's apartment (he was out of town!), walked all the way downtown for ice cream -always a tradition with us, then stayed up really late talking on the porch looking out over all the lights of Vancouver. It was just a fabulous time. I think we both need it more than I had realized.

My favorite thing that we did -a dream of mine for YEARS- was whale watching on her birthday!! We went down town to sign up -and got our tickets 20$ cheaper than we thought (always nice!), but found out that no whales (Orca's -Killer Whales) had been spotted for almost 4 days... We decided to take the chance and go for it anyway :) I had been praying since we decided to look into it, as this would be my only chance- possibly ever- to see orcas in the wild! Now please, I realize how that sounds, quite similar to praying the Lord to provide something frivolous such as a parking space close to the mall entrance -not quite sure the Lord appreciates those sorts of prayers. However, I felt really strongly about this after a very long hard week of Laboring for the Lord, not that I "deserved" this by any means, but just that I would GREATLY be blessed and refreshed by a big display of His Glory, after all, these are HIS animals -He can make them to what ever He'd like :D They are my favorite animals (yes, "Free Willy" got to me as a kid) along with Lions, and as silly as it may sound to some of you, it's been a heart desire of mine to see them live and wild :) Anyway! We headed off in the morning, in the drizzle I might add, hoping and praying... It was SOOO good to be out on the ocean, going fast with salt air making a mess of my hair, ohh, my heart a so happy just doing that... I was singing and just loving the zodiac ride itself! We first came upon some rocks and a lighthouse, where 2 different kinds of seals where chillin' and fighting actually. They where all males (so our guide told us) and they were barking and making quite a racket... it was really cool. There was a bald eagle among them too. (if you click on the pictures it will blow them up so you can get a better look... and the one that looks like just water, if you blow it up, you can see the white spots of a whale under the water!) After that we headed our little zodiac boat (that only had 5 people including our Guide) out into the open ocean to see whales! We weren't out there too long before we found the "scout" for J-Pod heading our way... I'll never forget it. We were just off to the side of this whale's path and he turned toward our orange boat (our guide is says they recognize their boats, and his special signal he gives them), breaching every 10 seconds, then swam directing under the boat turning to the side to get a good look at us as he went by. AMAZING! But, that wasn't the end... the week before the papers had a front page article about the new baby addition to J-Pod, and wonder of wonders, we saw her! (I think it was a girl -they don't know for sure yet though). Honestly I couldn't believe it, but we saw mother and baby (who's white spots are a light orange) heading our way, they passed under our boat twice, it was SO amazing. The water had a wave to it, but was crystal clear on the surface. Unfortunately my camera has a ridiculous 5 second delay and none of my pictures are anything other than dorsal fins, but here is one picture I found online our our special little baby whale! We also saw them "spy hop" a few times which is when they sorta 'nose up' out of the water to look around, and even one jumped clear out of the water, turned mid air and splashed back down! It was just phenomenal... everything I dreamed and prayed to see, we saw. It truly was a Glorious display of God's Creation. I cried at one point -I know, I know, I'm silly :) We also saw this one named "Ruffles" who has a trade mark 'crooked' dorsal fin that really does took like a Ruffles potato chip (he actually appears in one of the scenes in Free Willy, I found him the other day!), anyway, we were watching him circle around and around, chasing something beneath the surface, when suddenly this big salmon (about 30-40 lbs our guide guessed) jumped out of the water and we watched Ruffles catch him in his mouth in the air! WOAH NELLY! Seriously, I couldn't believe my eyes! All too soon it was time to go back to the dock, our 3 hours were up... But what an amazing day. Our guide was totally pumped and was like "Wow, you guys, you saw everything today, it was classic, a perfect weather day... we haven't had a day like this in while!" I giggled to myself cause I know the One who orchestrated it all ;)

Then one more glimpse of God's Greatness as I flew home over the Canadian Rockies, praising the Lord for the time spent with Jeanette.

I love you, Shreddie :D (although I can't remember why I call you that...?)

Somewhere Else West 2007

Every year we have a big Navs conference in May, after all University exams are completed! Last year, as you may recall, it was in Southern Alberta in the foothills... this year we traveled 16 hours west into the interior of British Colombia, to Rock Ridge Canyon in Princeton BC.

On the way we stayed the night at Amy's house in Clearwater after a very long drive through the Rockies at night, eating Jelly Bellies and talking :D We made one pit stop the next day at a Waterfall (sorry, can't remember the name of it) before heading out on the last leg of the journey.

Before the conference started we had a weekend of preparation for the Student Leaders. It was nice to see people from years past, catch up, and get to know people better, or for the first time.

During the week we had worship times, main session speakers, workshops, really yummy meals, hours of fabulous free time every afternoon, and lots of activities that could be done around the property. Our location was this big Young Life camp in the middle of the mountains... the grounds were beautiful, although under construction in areas. The buildings were amazing... they made my much loved camp at home look like a bunch of shacks! (but, just for the record, I'd choose Malagash over this place any day!)

Our 2 main speakers were Mike Mutungi, from the Kenya Navs (Left in the picture), and Manfred Molomo, from the South Africa Navigators (Right in the picture). It was great to talk to them and have them with us for the week, making us laugh and challenging all of us to walk closer to Jesus. The dude in the middle is my friend, and the U of A Navs staff guy, Paul Tan.

This camp had the 2nd longest zip line in all of North America, so everyone who wanted to got a chance to go down it on Tuesday during the week. Did I go? Are you kidding me? I get my kicks watching other people having fun and screaming their way to the bottom... the zip line, or roller coasters, or anything of the sort is just not my style ;) (I almost cried doing one of the "kiddie" roller coasters at West Ed Mall !!)
The week was really significant is so many ways. But, I gotta tell ya... it's really difficult to explain on here... it more of an in-person sort of thing :) Let me just say that it was a very had week for me personally. Difficult in waiting on the Lord and learning yet again how to trust Him, especially with people that I love. I had the opportunity to lead one of the workshops during the week, which was an experience that I loved. The workshop was on Freedom, a theme for the year for our Edmonton Girls, and one that I have been very passionate about since last years SEW program. The Lord has done so much in my this past year and it was so nice to go through it and try to explain/present it to others. It was really challenging, but SO worth it. If anyone wants to me to email the worksheet to them just let me know -especially if this topic of freedom strikes a chord in your heart...

At the end of the week Jeanette was able to come for the last 24 hours, which was really great -so nice to be able to introduce her to some of the people in my life these past 5 years in Edmonton :) Over all the week was really hard, but really good. We serve a God bigger than we know.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


This is just a quick post to remind everyone to take some time to do random fun things in life...

Such as going all the way to West Edmonton Mall to bye the yummiest candied and caramel apples in the window display and eating them with a friend :D

Last day in Ecuador...

My last few days in Ecuador I tried to cram in as much of seeing people as I could! Between church meetings, movie night, and late night chats with some of my favorite people, it was pretty packed.

My very last day was actually a "Delgado/Fox Family Day!" :D All four men came over around 11 am, Lucho (dad) was going to cook lunch for us! Pedro, Lucho and I took their little beater car down the highway to the Supermaxi grocery store which was pretty funny, cause Lucho is just silly and this store was pretty "up-ety" if you know what I mean...we stuck out like 3 sore thumbs and I thoroughly enjoyed it :) We had a great lunch outside in the back yard...Lucho is a fabulous cook. After lunch we sat around for a while and just talked... the boys told stories about growing up, about Lucho-most of which he denied :P We listened to music and enjoyed the company... hours were running out and my love for this family, our family, made the day really special. We had an appointment for Coco that evening, to see an neurologist in the city (he's been sick for a while with migraines, blackouts, and a few other odd symptoms). We headed off, all 6 of us in the little car (sorta like a clown circus trick :P) only to get stuck in the evening Guayaquil traffic and take a wrong turn... Lucho was SO unimpressed, and really isn't a confident driver in tense situations :) We were all worried that we'd miss the appointment, but it turned out we just squeaked in! Afterward, we got ice cream, and headed back home... and to say goodbyes on the side of the highway :( Sigh... goodbyes with these boys are SOO difficult, the only way I could get through and not cry was to keep saying "I'll see you at Christmas." (which now isn't going to happen... I try not too think much on that...) Anyway, it was a beautiful day with them :D

During the day some others had stopped by, mostly to drop off love notes for other Canadians and for Tim and Lil for me to take home :) Ruth, Miguel Arrocito, and then in the evening a complete house full of youth from the church. It was lots of fun, and really good to have the opportunity to say goodbye to everyone. Janna and I stayed up for a while talking and packing, then got up really early for the last airport trip of the camp season... another year... done. I can't believe the time went so fast, but it was just wonderful. What a gift the Lord gives us, the people in our lives, and the ability to love them.