Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sssshhh....


This is what happens when David is painting and I'm not around.

(In the end, romantic as this was, we opted to paint the whole wall brown.)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Home again, home again, lickety-split (again)

And now - home to Oakville! We left Shaunavon on the 20th to fly back to our home and all the Kantors and the Dhas' and our house and all its boxes. We've been back for a few days now and have had lots of visiting time (but are anxious to see our friends in Toronto) and unpacking time and, now, painting time (we figured that, while the house was already in disarray and we still have one week before we go back to work, we should paint - why not?).

Sitting in the Calgary airport and on the plane to TO, we kept saying to each other, "I can't believe it's over." That's it - this is our last flight on our itinerary. How quickly this has all gone but how blessed we have been on each part of our trip... touring Europe and seeing old friends, walking the Camino, living in Australia and working for WYD, and spending time on the farm. We have loved it all and we can't pick favourites (we tried, but we can't). To sum up... we are glad.

Amen.





We're home! It looks just like it did when we left... except with the addition of flowers (thanks Mom and Dad K!).

Our first weekend back and we made it home in time for a party. Here are the Flahertys (Happy Birthday, Bill!)


And the Bodners (Happy Birthday, Laura!)

And this is what a Lily-pie looks like. Cuu-uute. Lily was so small when we left and now she is heading off to College tomorrow. My, how fast they grow.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

We're updating our blog...

... at the request of my sister, Michelle, even though she was sitting across the table from me at the time and could have asked me any number of questions in person.

So, Michelle, after arriving in Saskatchewan we spent some good times on the farm wearing a number of different hats. Farmer hats. Visiting hats. Camping hats. Auntie and Uncle hats. Now we have hat head.


Soon after arriving on the farm, we were greeted by this cutie-patoot. Ireland. She has changed sooo much since January (if you go back to the January New Year's entry you will see her in all her crazy-haired glory. Now she is walking and jabbering and her hair is under control.


And Ireland is also very social. We enjoyed some visits to see Grandma in her new digs at the Shaunavon nursing home. David and I went back there a few times... we showed her pictures from our trip and brought her a Frosty Treat cone. We really like our Grandma Time.


Here's Grandma chatting with Ireland.


And there was also Farm Time. Ireland and Papa Gerald were checking out Papa's watch to figure out how long they had been working (Papa Gerald worked longer than Ireland).


A grasshopper on a Canadian Thistle. Just what every farmer wants to see.


And peas. I took this picture just seconds before Dad plowed over them with the combine (I am a person and not a pea so I was able to get out of the way in time).


Another part of our trip home was camping in Cypress Hills. We had this event planned with Becca and Matt since last summer, when we had an overnight campout in the backyard. This year - on to bigger and better things = one night in Cypress Hills doing all the things that we would do when we were kids.


Like paddleboating. We also went to the beach (in the rain), mini-golfed, walked on a trail, ate hot dogs, got ice cream, and drove on the Mickey Mouse hills. A full trip.

And while we were there, Becca turned 12! This is her Birthday Kraft Dinner on her birthday eve.

And the next morning... a present with breakfast. Happy Birthday, Becker-doodles! Circles and squares!

Here's the aftermath of mini-golfing. All 3 of these guys won free games. To be used next year when we go back.

David, Matt, and Becca, stomping on Lookout Point.

Okay - now a trip to Saskatoon. This was a fast one. David and I went up for the day to visit our friends Ryan and Nicole and all the Molyneuxs (that's the Molyneuxs above). It was a good day and we miss all these people already. And we welcome visits to Oakville.


Just a couple more shots before we go... here are Michelle, the blog requester, and Mumsies.

And here's Ireland playing in the sandbox. Somehow this got interpreted as "Auntie Gill let Ireland eat dirt." Not true. She didn't ask permission.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Home again, home again, lickety-split

We're here! We're here! We flew into Calgary last night and enjoyed the gracious hospitality (and delicious food!!) of Auntie Alice and then, this morning, drove home to Shaunavon. (David had to listen to me saying, "hurry up, hurry up" for five hours) and NOW WE'RE HERE!!


So, we have a busy week-and-a-bit ahead of us... we'll tell you more as it happens.


We're home.

The Peake Family Christmas

Home and already socializing... indeed a tough life. But the night we got home was planned long in advance to be the Peake Family Christmas (in August). The PFC is usually held (1) at Christmas and (2) at the Peake's house and (3) and with Rachel. But schedules are increasingly difficult to coordinate so - voila - the Peake Family Christmas in August. And so this is mine, Cindy's, and Devonna's shout out to Rachel - we love you and miss you and can't wait until we can all be in the same room at the same time.

And to Devonna and Cindy - I'm so happy you could come over for visiting and giggling. We're 30 but how good it is to have friends with whom you can still just be a ridiculous, giggly girl. Thank you for letting me be part of your weddings, even if I showed up months late.


And, hey Rachel...

video

It's so good to be home.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fun Fun in Bora Bora

Well, what better way to relax after World Youth Day... some fun and sun and ocean time in French Polynesia. Let's take you on a tour...


Day one... this is Tahiti. We flew in and were greeted by Joseph (he's on the right), whom we met through Sr. Mary Rachel - a really good man who had found us a place to stay and introduced us to some of the members of Marie Jeunesse (a religious community from Sherbrooke who have been in Tahiti for seven months). We spent the day in their company, Joseph drove us around the island, and we got a really nice overall picture of this beautiful island.


And the next day... here we are in Bora Bora. It's a 50 minute flight from between the islands, and then a ferry ride from the airport to the mainland. On our first day, we decided to walk from our hotel to the main town... we thought it was a lot closer than the 8 km it turned out to be.

We stopped for lunch - and some delicious juice. Pineapple, grapefruit, mango... it was all delicious. I could have just lived off the juice the entire time we were there.

Here's David. Doesn't he look relaxed? That's what this holiday is about. Relaxing.



Our hotel and home for the next few days.


The view from our hotel beach. We sat in those chairs. True story.



David's daily swim in the blue, blue water. We don't have pictures of some of the most gorgeous views... we took kayaks out to an island and coral garden where the waters were an incredible turquoise and the fish were colourful (and friendly).


And one day we rented bikes and rode the 31 km around the island. The bikes were great, if not a bit small for David.

One of the island locals. This crab was crossing the rode and we helped it not get run over by a truck. You're welcome, crab.


Everywhere you go, there are women with flowers in their hair and wearing beautiful painted fabrics, like this one.

An everyday island sight on an everyday island stroll. (Those are coconuts, not bowling balls.)



A banana tree (the bananas were so sweet and delicious)... the purple flower grows down from the bananas and the sweet bananas grow up. The things you learn about bananas.



David and I are not pictured above. These are some of the dancers that entertained us at the hotel one evening. Their hips move super fast (maybe they do that to distract us from the fact that they are only wearing coconuts as tops).

And that was our trip... beautiful from the first sunset we saw on our first day there...

... to the last sunrise on our last day there. Maaruru, Bora Bora. See you in Canada.


Friday, August 1, 2008

See you later, Sydney... Hello Bora Bora

August 1... one flip of the calendar to a new month and suddenly faced with a huge goodbye to the city that was our home for five months. In the week between WYD and packing up our bags, we said a lot farewells at various parties, meetings, and dinners with friends. In fact, what we once though would be a chance to travel to see other parts of the world turned into a "let's stay here and spend time with good people" week. We will miss our new friends and look forward to having them become old friends.

So, August 1 and the taxi was at our house at 5:30 a.m. We had a flight to Tahiti at 9 a.m. and wanted to be first in line to get the good leg room. But... we thought we were allowed 3 pieces of luggage, all 10 kg. Nope. Two pieces at 20 each. So, off we went to a corner of the airport to repack. Then back to the line. Wait, wait, wait. Then, nope, one bag was too heavy - please repack. So, rummage, rummage, rummage. FINALLY at 7:30 a.m.... we checked in.

Now we're ready to fly back in time, over the International Date Line, and relive July 31 in Tahiti.

Good bye, Sydney. We'll miss you.


One of many parties... this one looks like a crazy dance party and it kinda was. The Event Planning and Operations Department needed to cut loose after all the WYD events, so we did with dancing, guitar hero, and a bouncy castle...

... and Sr. Mary Rachel participated in all three. This is our "crazy disco" shot.

And the last party at Punchbowl with the International Longterm Volunteers. Party's not complete until we participate in Lorenzo's "Grab the Chicken" dance.

David and me at Runa and Anthony's house. I worked with Runa in the Workforce department and she has wanted to cook us an Indian meal pretty much since we arrived. I guess she had been cooking since then because there was SO much food.



The Kantors with Bishop Fisher at the final Staff Mass and luncheon.

And then the Kantors posed with Cardinal Pell.

Gillian with some of the Workforce Team... Liz, Elena, Libby, and Hannah.

And after all the parties, we said goodbye to our neighbourhood. A sad goodbye to our Maroubra beach...

... And (after a long flight) hello Bora Bora!