Showing posts from March, 2011

Goodbye See you Later

Well, I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog front this week. Monday was a pretty big shocker to me, and I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions about it. But, I’m still going to stay positive (as much as possible and with the help of my family and friends – both in Canada and Madagascar). My contract will soon be over, but I don’t feel like it’s my time to leave Madagascar just yet. I can’t explain why. It’s just what I want.

So, I’m going to try to find some different jobs in the company and/or country. For a few years, my “long term plan” has been to transition over to a non-finance role – something more operational, while still keeping my finance-minded thinking and experience. This is basically a blank canvas. There is no guarantee to this plan. Changing careers would be a big, scary step, but I would always have my finance experience to fall back on, if there's nothing out there for me.
I’m just looking for something a little different, and if Madagascar has taught me anything, it’s t…

Change of Plans

When I first took this job in Madagascar, I thought I would commit to two years and that would be END OF STORY, I'd move back to Etown, and continue on my life in my little merry way.

Then....I moved here, and found out that the world is a way bigger place....and that working in Madagascar for only two years isn't long enough. And that I needed longer to work more, give more, and learn more....and have some fun along the way.

In December, I had some pretty encouraging news that I would be staying here for another year in my current role. Today, I found out, that's not the case. Plans have changed. Like they often do. It's nothing personal...(although it's pretty hard not to take personal...:S)

I hope plans change again. I hope plans change so that I can work here at least another year. If that's not the case....I'm sure I'll figure out what to do....I always have, I'm sure I always will.

I have great family, great friends, a fabulous boyfriend. So …

Jumbo Jet lag

My flight path off/on the island is usually as such: I fly to St. Denis, Reunion then to Paris, then to Toronto/Montreal, and then to Edmonton.

But this rotation, both to save money and to fly with Louis, I left mid-afternoon on the tiny little company plane, then sort of spend the night at a hotel in Antananarivo (I say, sort of, because the flight leaves at 1h00 so we're gone by midnight), then to Paris, and the same route as above. And vise versa to come back.

With this new route, all my flight times/connections are different (and much better, actually), but so are my sleeping and eating patterns.

I missed a couple of meals while flying, slept at weird times (and not consistently), and I'm wondering if this has quadrupled the jetlag effects....if that makes any sense AT ALL ('cause doesn't everything always make sense on this blog?!?).

My schedule is just completely off. My appetite is all weird, my sleeping is even weirder, even when I take a (low dose doctor pr…

Will work for...

I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing true jetlag (like more than two hours) for over six months. There are expats that go back home to Canada every six weeks and I have NO idea how they do it.

After a eight hour flight to Paris, a twelve hour flight to Antananarivo (was extra long because of the Lybia no-fly zone), I look this gorgeous:  This morning I at least did my hair a little, put on a cute skirt, and some make-up.....but I didn't look too much different. To add to my beauty, we had no water this morning.

I'm freaking tired and hating jetlag. It's a fact of life and short term, but I hate it none the less.

Thankfully, I have a little help:

But I may have to take a second job to afford my habit.....

Quick weekend post

Well, it turns out Sergio Louis' family isn't made of monsters after all and the family meet-and-greet went pretty good (we've been dating long enough that I can use his real name by now.. :) ).

Somehow, I managed to speak like, REALLY GOOD French (or so I was told every five to six minutes :P), and I think things went well. On top of that Quebec City is gorgeous, I had a super brunch this morning at this rotating restaurant with amazing views, and stayed in a suite in Le Chateau Frontenac, a place I visited when I was 13 and thought it was the fanciest hotel imaginable. I also managed to spend some time with Louis and his girls (that are pretty fun and super sweet....and we aren't all a-w-k-w-a-r-d together anymore), and see some of the city  chaos caused by the Red Bull Crash Ice weekend.

I was pretty nervous when I first met the entire family (about twenty or so, including children, all awaiting my arrival :S), but they are extremely likeable and combined with two …

Rambling Updates

It's always hectic the day before I leave Etown for back home. And today was no exception. I renewed my car registration, had a work meeting, got my hair done, picked up last minute things I can't get in MG, picked up my passport, did 3 loads of laundry and packed my suitcase. Oh, yeah, and called the dentist because I'm in a bit of pain since my implant and it turns out I have to go back to the dentist BEFORE I fly out tomorrow morning. Sheesh.

My priorties while I'm in Canada are mainly spending time with family and friends and trying to relax as much as possible. This rotation was a bit different because my priorties were a bit more focused on getting the beginnings of a relationship with Sergio's daughters. He has two great little ladies, but these kinds of situations can be tricky.

To be honest, the first time I met them I was ridiculously shy and awkward. As the adult in the situation, I would have liked to say I lead by example and tried to make things les…


I've been skiing 4 times in my life. This includes one time in grade six at a ski hill and not a mountain. So, I'm somewhat impressed with my skiing abilities of this weekend.

Okay, so the first ten minutes I had like...a few freak outs. And a few falls. But then Sergio taught me this trick where whenever I feel like I'm going too fast, I try to ski UP the mountain and then I slow right down. I was still a little as I would go down the mountain, I would actually say, "Ski UP, Ski UP, Ski Up, Ski UP!". My self-talk would increase in volume the more scared and/or fast I would get. I'm sure I sounded like a crazy woman, but it worked and I actually was half decent by the end of the day, for a beginner, anyway.

The end of day one there was a bit of a miscommunication, so we had to ski down the entire mountain which included some blue runs (harder than just the basic ones). I barely fell, and only ran into one tree (and was already going pretty slow s…

Skiing Stats - Day One

Falls: 6
Tears: 0
Almost tears: 2
Frozen hands: 2

After not skiing for eleven years...and this only being my fourth time skiing, I think I pretty much rocked it. Can't wait until tomorrow.


Things I have done since I've been in Canada:
Renewed my licenseRenewed my passport Spent the weekend with my mom (although I suspect I was sleeping for a lot of it...)Had a family dinnerSpent way too much money on "things I need for Madagascar". (I'm still trying to somehow justify a purchase from Lululemon....)Started the next step in my dental drama (I'll be leaving Canada with a tooth!!! Which officially unclassifies me as "Trailor Park Trash". However, I used duct tape to fix my car, which may revert my ranking back to "Trailor Park Trash"....Went to the Doctor and got a clean bill of healthAbout nine hundred other errands.

All of the above make me very excited to go here:
As of tomorrow night, I'll be in the Rockies until Sunday with Sergio and his girls, with my cousin and his fiancee joining us on Friday night. Kind of a short mini-vacation inside my...vacation. Woohoo!!!

On and unrelated note...I'm like seriously hoping for f…


Just in case I forgot what winter was like.....

Yay Canada

I'm going on my third day in Canada, so I'm all over the map when it comes to jetlaggedness. I'm going through the wonderful, "Welcome Back to a First World Country" phase.

One part of this phase is how I get overwhelmed at all the choices I have available to me. In MG, I go grocery shopping 1-2 times per week (and we don't really cook that often for ourselves) and I have a very limited selection to choose from. Think a small town with one store type of choice. So when I come to the big city with it's big stores and whatever I can possibly think of and more, I get a little overwhelmed and can never seem to make a decision. I've only been grocery shopping once since I've been back, but I certainly didn't buy items that would make up a meal - I just bought things that I was excited to see, such as:
gingerale (and diet gingerale at that!!)almond milkspinach (already pre-washed!!! no soaking in bleach water like back in MG)bananas biggger than the…

Brrr Canada!

Well, I've officially arrived back on Canadian soil. It's been six months!!! (Side note, Sergio thinks I'm COMPLETELY wrong about the Aye Aye.)

I'm in the Montreal airport after taking a different route. Instead of flying to Reunion, then Paris, then Toronto, then Edmonton - I took the company charter plane to Tana (capital of MG), spent the night (sort of, the flight was at 1h00), and then flew to Paris, then Montreal, and waiting to go to Edmonton. This was my first time flying Air France and I am beyond unimpressed. I am officially a business class traveller snob. I'm used to flying Air Austral and they make you feel like a princess and everything is so fancy-fancy. Air France...isn't's kind of ghetto. But, it saves me at least $1500 (that I can spend on other rotations), so...I'm figuring a few glasses of champange and some fancy food isn't worth the $1500 and I'll suck it up.

Last night Sergio, I, and one of our friends went for s…


Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights I walk home (Sergio goes to the gym and he’s the one with the truck. He drives me if it’s raining, but it’s much quicker to walk to the village then it is to drive. The roads are still a mess).
Each and every time I walk home, there is this one part in the pathway where I hear rustling in the bushes and then I hear something running off further from the path. I saw something cross the pathway once, but it was when walking home one night when it was totally dark out (and I was too mad to be scared) but couldn’t totally see what it was. It was kind of like a giant rat, but weirder. 
Last night Sergio and I were watching documentary on National Geographic on Madagascar and they featured many local animals, one of them being the Aye Aye Lemur. When I saw this guy, I thought FOR SURE!!! That’s it!! That’s the thing I hear (and have sort of seen) in the bush!! According to Wikipedia (duh. I know this isn’t like the most reliable info…but it fits with my t…