Showing posts from January, 2010

Unforgettable 30th Birthday Party

It's going to take a few days before I can gather all the photos and even begin to write about this past weekend.

I've always thought the big "3-0" should be a big, unfortagettable bash - and that it was. I had an incredible trip, maybe just a few tiny tears, and a thousand laughs.

I danced, I drank, I swam - all with a group of amazing people.

Two quick things:
1. There is this quote I once read...something like, If food fuels the body, then laughter fuels the soul.

After this weekend, my soul is stuffed....

2. A fellow expat brought a booked called "Lost in Africa" with him to read on the trip. I think he was tempting fate a bit....

I'll post pictures and stories as soon as I can!! For sure by my real birthday, anyway.

Ungratefully thankful…

Here’s how it is.

Yes – I truly believe that I am one of the luckiest people in the entire world.
I am in MG, I have like…THE best friends imaginable in MG, great friends/family back in Canada, am healthy (most of the time…or some of the time), and I am a mere twenty four hours from having like…one of the funnest weekends ever with the funnest, warmest, friendliest, most amazing people this side of the Atlantic (and I don’t even know what side I’m on at this point. Seriously…what was I doing during Social Studies in school!? Did I have an out of body experience or something each and every class for like…twelve years!??! Geography completely confuses me. Side story – in grade six or seven we had a geography test and were given a blank map of Asia. Not only did I do horribly on the exam – but - I got North Korea and South Korea wrong. Like...uh....North = up; South = down. I swear I’m not…slow. Anyway….).

While I'm feeling so incredibly lucky, fortunate…blessed….I still feel li…

Even though it hasn't been good to me...I'm going with my gut on this one....

I've talked about it before....I am a HUGE baby when it comes to dentists. And...haven't always had the best luck. I had a really tricky root canal...that required me to see a specialist....
Fast forward five years later...I'm living in MG...and the ENTIRE tooth falls out...

I had to get it put back in (here), and then anxiously waited to get back to Canada and everything checked out. The short story of it all - I'll be back in April to for a visit to my Canadian dentist to get some work done.

The Canadian dentist also told me that if my tooth fell out again, that I should go to an MG dentist and get it cleaned up so that I wouldn't be at risk for any infection. (Okay - no more details on dental work....I know some of you may already be getting least I am...)
Surprise, surprise...the tooth fell out. And...the dentist I originally went to last rotation - is gone (WHAT is with everything being gone this rotation???? Internet and cable in the compound, l…


Us gals thought we'd better dress for the occasion....but what does one wear to an Australia Day party??? Especially living here where resources are limited.....

Thankfully Miss "Chook" (if I remember correctly??) came up with a great idea. Blue eyeshadow, red lipliner, and white oil paint.

We were all presented with a certificate of temporary Australian citizenship.It was an honor to be considered an Aussie (...even if just for an evening.)

My Aussie name? Duct tape Nichole.

(Never going to live that one down. Maybe I don't wanna either?)

Happy Australia Day!!!

Since I'm a rotational expat, I'm fortunate and lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel the world…every six weeks or so.

I chose to go back to Canada my first rotation…just to make sure I was okay; and my second rotation fell near Christmas,but now….I’m off for a real vacation!!!

In honor of Australia Day ( Canada Day...but for Australia??), I thought I'd tell you all how I'm spending my next rotation.
I hadn't ever expressed an interest in Australia….but any country surrounded by water has to be a great place for me to check out. Coincidentally - the town of Tamatave in being overtaken by what seems like dozens of Aussies in the last few months. If Australia is where all of these (affectionately termed) crazies originate - well - that merits a visit on its own...

My First Expatriate Vacation
Stop #1:
Reunion, France.This tiny island is a two hour flight east of Tamatave and I'm there for one and a half days.

Each and every time I’ve flown to/from…

Happy Saturday!

Thank you for everyone's super nice and encouraging emails and comments about my shitty rotation. One of my favorite comments was, "As an expat, it is normal to be extremely annoyed and sometimes discouraged at least once a week. This is nothing to be ashamed of." has to be said, I have such amazing friends and family....all over the world.
AND - I'm feeling like a real human finally! Eating...even managed to get a real yoga session in last night.

I just wanted a quick post...because I have something fabulous to look forward to next weekend.

Next Saturday, me and 23 of my expat friends are going here:

Staying in these:

To celebrate this:

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Golfing and beaches

I am in a huge fight with Madagascar. Normally on the blog (and everywhere else) I just use MG. But I’m so mad that I'm using Madagascar – like when you’re a little kid and your mother calls you by your FULL name.
I’m having a SHIT time this rotation.

Let’s see.

Week ONE: I get here – there have been crazy storms that have knocked out power, internet, servers, etc. And...its year end. And...I can’t work. But I have a crapload of work to do...that I had planned to do on my holiday...but instead I just tried to enjoy my (very busy) time OFF of work. So...that was a little stressful. Oh – and no more internet in the camp. Some storm knocked that out and it could be up to two months before we have internet service in the camp again. This sucks. I don’t miss my family as much if I know I can at least try to skype them or email them or msn chat with them whenever i want to. is a little works like... 25%-50% of the time.. But that's no longer an optio…

Check out my doctor's office....

I know what its like to see someone that you love be in pain...or worse be a few hundred kilometres away from them while they are sick... but I can't imagine what its like when someone that you love is really sick and over 15,000 kilometres away.

I finally had the chance to post The Sickness Diaries, but my family was "fortunate" enough to hear about it last week while I was still in the Expat ER...and...I've received....just a few....concerned emails. Especially since I'm a bit remote and a bit far away from Canada. And...I can be a bit difficult to reach. Power outages, internet outages and sketchy cell phone service....they don't help the worrying back in Canada either....

I know it helps my family know that I have an incredibly generous expat family - that takes such good care of me (and each other). But maybe visiting the ISOS website will help (a bit??) to worry less (and anyone else interested in seeing why I was comfortable coming to a third world count…

Canada is one of the world's coldest countries*

*Please note that this is what I think only...I'm horrible at geography. But after having recently experiencing an evening of -56.8*C with windchill....its what I think.

Anyway - Canada is one of the world's coldest countries - most major cities, you have to the most....FIVE blocks to find a store that sells a slurpee? And its not just seasonally - this is year-round. During the cold spell I went through over Christmas, I drank slurpees and ordered Iced Caps and no one thought anything of it...

And now I live in a country most days are +29*C to +35*C...but I would have to FLY a good five hours to find a slurpee.

Life just doesn't seem fair right now.

(The blog's not all about life analysis and surfing times, you know... :P)

Sunday, January 17 - The Sickness Diaries

It feels like it has been forever since I’ve done a blog feels like forever since I’ve done a lot of things actually. So...I’ll be making up for it in length. Anyone that has a short attention span – the summary in point form is:

I was sick. It sucked I’m getting better now but still not quite healthyI'm really ready to start enjoying this rotation For those that have a little more time on their hands, here goes:

This week has been a rough one. I’m writing this as I lie in bed. (And for some reason – maybe it’s that I usually blog in the early mornings instead of the evenings before I go to bed – but as I begin to type the past week's events, I’m hearing the song from the closing credits of Doogie Howser M.D.. Also, the doctor theme works with this post...)

Okay – back to my week. It’s been rough. I wasn’t feeling up to par Monday – blamed it on the moon; Tuesday again – not great, but hey – its week 2 of MG...and I never feel 100% on a Tuesday...
I go to bed and am awok…

Copyright Infringement Post :P

Might be a little "out there", hippy, Malacrazy, or whatever…but I wanted to share this.

I won’t get in the habit of posting things other people have written. But – I have had this kept away for awhile…I read it every now and again…and there are quite a few points brought up….that really seem applicable to MG-me…and what I want from my MG experience.

I'm not sure where it even came from?? It was sent to me awhile ago without the name of the author... maybe that makes it even better - that it was written by some random anonymous genius... or perhaps its not and the author is well known and I'm breaking some kind of copyright infringement or something. ;) But it's worth it...and...really....they'd have to fly a really long way to find me.

Whether you live in Canada, Australia…or St. Petersburg…these ideas are applicable to everyone.....if you so choose.

(Every so often, I go back and read various blog posts…and this will be one of my favorites…(even though I di…