Showing posts from October, 2011

The Good, The Bad Ah, who cares, I'm on vacation!!!


The Good: In general, I've had okay luck with travel. Other people have had it MUCH worse (delayed in London for four days over Christmas, one guy was refused entry due to customs error and had to fly back to Paris from Reunion – a mere 10 hours), but the month of October is NOT MY MONTH FOR RELIABLE TRAVEL.

The Bad: First, it was the Kenyan tour. Ok, REALLY not a big deal….although I’m still fighting for my money back….I got a pretty good deal out of it and am spending a full week with my BFFs that I haven’t seen in a year.

This little Turkey expedition. A quick four days, but I was looking forward to it. After I contacted the travel agency, they told me they couldn’t book it. This is now TWICE in ONE MONTH where I have been burned by this company. (I’m in the process of getting MORE than just the funds for my trip repaid! This, is, The Ugly!).

Anyway, I’m keeping my Turkey flights and hotels, but I won’t have anything organized. After talking to a few expats, this doesn’t se…

Sunday Demands- Yo Da laeeoouuu!!!! (is that how you spell a yodel?)

I had the best Sunday that I've had in a REALLY long time. I even took PICTURES of the day. I was all set to do a regular post, like in the good ol' days, where day-to-day life was interesting and worth while posting pics.

However, my night has gotten a bit tense.

I'm leaving in two days. Flying to Paris with Louis and then meeting up with my BFFs that I haven't seen in NEARLY A YEAR.

And then I hear on the radio that Air France is on strike.


There's been a few times this kind of stuff has come up and I've made the best of it. Not this time. I'm getting to Paris, I don't care how.

I could have just cancelled my ticket and flown through Reunion and then to Paris - except I can't book it on line and it's a National holiday Monday and Tuesday.
I can fly to Johanesburg to Frankfurt. BUT I'd have to figure out a way to get to Antananarivo tomorrow.

To this point, Air France's message has been, "Keep checking back and see t…

Geography and History Class

Original Trip Plans:
October 28: Leave for Antananarivo
October 29: Leave for Nairobi, Kenya. Spend a couple of days getting spa’d.
October 31: Begin camping/hiking trip up Mt Kenya (I’m too scared still for Kilimanjaro. The altitude sickness thing freaks me out.)
November 7: Return to Nairobi. Sleep in a fancy hotel.
November 8: Return to Antananarivo and then hop on the charter to Toamasina

Revised Trip Plans:
November 1: Leave for Antananarivo
November 2: Fly to Paris, take train to friend’s place in Belgium
November 5: Spend the day in Brussels on a history/beer tour (still working this one out)
November 8: Take day tour to Canterbury, England.
November 12: Leave for Paris, drop off suitcase and spend the day at EuroDisney. (Have no idea about this one. I could not stop thinking about freaking Euro Disney!! I was even trying to get there a day earlier and spend the night in the park).
November 13: Arrive in Antananarivo
November 14: hop on the charter to Toamasina

Revised Revise…

As a Matter Of Fact

A couple of weeks ago, I read a super good quote. "Those that matter don’t mind, and those that mind, don’t matter." This made me think about a few comments I’ve received.

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the past two years in Madagascar. Working for an interesting company, with interesting people, in a verrrry interesting environment.

It’s rarely easy (but what job is). To add to the…challenges, I’m away from my homeland, where I’m familiar with the country, the culture, and generally how things work. Example: going to the grocery store. In Canada, I’d never give it a second thought. In fact, I think most of us grocery shop on “auto-pilot”.

The first time I went grocery shopping here, I clutched my purse with every muscle I had and was scared for my life. Well, maybe not my life. Well. Ok, maybe I was pretty scared.

In this new-ish life, there are so many unknowns in a process that I used to do without thinking. I think, that for the most part, by now, I’ve figured this out.…

International Oil

A few weeks ago the power was out when I got to work. But it was only in some areas of the building. I work on a laptop so for the most part I don’t care. But it was the morning, which means I need hot water for my Starbucks VIA. So I cared

I walked around the building a bit into another department. I have no idea what department this is, I don’t know anyone, I just wanted some hot water from the water cooler (which is clearly marked “Safe for Babies to drink”. So people buy water that isn’t safe for babies to drink?). I go into this new area, I find a water cooler and start to get my hot water.

It’s pretty desolate, most people don’t show up for work for another hour still. And I see a Malagasy guy sitting at a computer. And he’s wearing AN OILERS HAT. I first think, ok, he must no So-And-So, who rightfully pimps out the Oilers-wear, as he’s a proud Edmontonian. :P

As I pass him on the way back, I tell him, “I like your hat!”.
“Really???” he says. I’m not so sure why he’s …

Remember when there was....

Cupcakes, mixed lettuce, berries, milk, almond milk, muffins, self-serve fro-yo, drive thru coffee (preferably Starbucks or Second Cup), brushing my teeth with tap water, reliable telephones/power/internet, going out on Saturday night and sleeping on my friend’s really gross & dirty couch, spinach smoothies (spinach, frozen banana, milk, peanut butter – don’t knock it until you try it!!), movie popcorn, fountain pop, slurpees, Walmart (I know, I’m pathetic), spinach, Sobeys (so much cool stuff available to buy…), fresh mushrooms, green onion cakes, paralyzers (oh, it’s been too long!!), hot tub parties, spin classes, doctors that didn't think you "may" have a parasite in your toe (hopefully this will be the last that you'll hear of this), oven yoga, LuluLemon (my bank doesn’t miss this one), red/yellow/orange bell peppers (and eating them like an apple), baked banana oatmeal, electric toothbrush (it’s on the list for next week’s trip), a sort of clue what was goi…


I’ve just recently learned how to use a feature of the Google Analytics.(I know what you're thinking, Get with the times already!!)

At first when I used this tool, I was amazed by the randomness of countries where people read my blog. Or why someone that doesn’t know me would read it (even though I read people's blogs I don't know!).

A month or so ago, I found that you can also see what words people were “googling” which resulted in them passing across my blog.

These are my favorite of the week:
insane woman lazy+garbage little halloween chocolate bars normal people worry me quebec wet t-shirt the cons of johnson and johnson tear free shampoo wet tshirt contest australia homer chocolate city fake smile cry haircut alcohol in the fridge why are they my favorite? I think if I had to sum up my life – these eleven google searches are a pretty good fit (okay, maybe not the "wet-tshirt" ones. Sweat-t-shirt perhaps!)

Ich mag Deutschen.

Three German Contractors that work on the project,

As I passed you yesterday on my way to work after breakfast, I heard you speaking an unfamiliar language. I’m quite intrigued by languages and was curious as to what language you were speaking. I made the bold assumption that you did not speak French, and after we passed you, I asked my boyfriend, in French, what language you guys were speaking.

Please, please keep in mind, that up until 2009, I lived a fairly sheltered life.

When my boyfriend told me you were speaking German, I was excited, as I am (somewhere down the line) from German heritage. So excited, I used my outside voice and said, “Ah, Bosch!!!!”. Bosch, you see, is my last name.

I’m sure you could understand my confusion and disbelief when my boyfriend embarrassingly told me that I had just, very obviously, insulted you. I agreed that it may not be perhaps the most couth thing to yellsay loudly. But I really had no idea that Bosch was a derogatory word for Germans.

I kind…

Twenty-two Pictures that Sum up my Hawaii trip


Blue Skies

Pictures taken a few weeks ago standing in our driveway.

Random Updates and I'm going to buy a purse.

iTunes is going to make me broke. When I lived in the camp, I couldn't download anything. Now that I'm in the village, I'm realizing the potential that I have. $0.99 here, $2.49 there....may as well take half my salary now.I was able to eat today. Very little. But this is progress!I wonder why when I'm sick my face goes a grey-ish color and my lips go a purpley color. It gets me a lot of, "Wow, you don't look so good" comments. It reminds me of something off of Law & Order (which I watch too much of, thanks to the internet I have in the village).I'm not sure if I'm more excited to go to the UK for the first time ever, or to go to Tesco. Pathetic, yes. But, shopping becomes a totally different thing when 75% of the local stores here are grass/bamboo huts.My contract is up in seven months and I'm not yet panicking about where I'll live and what I'll do. Yet. I hope this continues for at least six more months. I tried pineapple Fanta …

Fate got tempted

Oh, I don't want to blog. I have nothing to write about. Everything in my life is just so damn perfect...

Remember that? Like 24 hours ago?

The SAME night, I wake up sick and choking. I have a crazy night full of insane dreams, and wake up not feeling well at all. I had to sit down once while I was getting ready. I thought, this is nothing that a Starbucks VIA won't fix. I finished getting ready, joking around trying to convince myself I.WAS.NOT.SICK. I couldn't each much breakfast but managed some toast and juice. Big mistake. I will not be drinking orange juice anytime soon. Possibly ever.
I got to work, still feeling a little wobbly, and decided to drink a Diet Orange Pop and take some Pepto tablets. For some reason, Pepto tablets and Coca Cola are like some kind of magic potion, but we didn't have any Coca Cola.

An hour passes by. I am feeling worse, getting sweaty, and running to the toilet frequently.

Another hour passes, I am feeling near dealth, have a super …

My Love Affair With My iTouch

So. I have a ton of awesome pictures from Hawaii. Some of which are already uploaded onto blogger (which can at times be a challenge with the internet here…). However, I have little to no desire to post them. I have little to no desire to post…anything.

Nothing is wrong. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I haven’t been this content and calm in a long time. I have bouts of anxiety about the future, or about situations at work, but I feel like I worry less. If there was a Worriers Annonymous, I totally would be a candidate. So perhaps I’m in worry-recovery mode.

In the evenings, I feel short on time in the evenings and don’t feel like logging on to a computer.

I check my facebook and personal email from my (new) iTouch (which is friggen amazing!), and that’s about it.

I still do fun and exciting (to me, anyway) things.

I still corrupt the local staff (like teaching them the word "@$$hole").

I still worry about world Malagasy hunger.

I sign obscure and random songs in the morning (…

Next stop, Kenya Belgium!!

A fairly mentally unstable person I once knew wrote a fairly mentally unstable email to me, and he ended his email by writing: "Life, is magic..."

Well, turns out the crazy ol' bastard guy was right.

I haven't written much about it, but I was scheduled to leave Oct 29th to Nairobi. I was going to spend a few nights there and then join a group tour and camp and hike up Mount Kenya. I was crazy excited for this once-and-a-lifetime vacation. I had booked super swanky hotels pre and post-hike, and, I kinda missed camping and was ready for a different kind of vacation.

And then there was some trouble in Kenya. And then, I was having troubles securing my "tour" with the travelling agency. I found a back-up camping/hike trip to take, but I wasn't as excited about that one. I was supposed to find out today if the original tour was still on. I called and there was STILL no news.

Practically at the same time, magically I get an email from my BFF that used to liv…


I have a lot of pictures to post from the vacation but don’t have the patience to post them yet. I think this vacation recap will take me a month or so.

So onto today.

I have a super wonderful fantabulous person that reports to me. We’ve both taught each other about our cultures, traditions, and the differences and similarities we have. I truly enjoy our non-work conversations as much as I do working with her.

Every so often I have the privilege of teaching her something really important about Canada. Like how to swear. And for some reason (you can use your imagination here), I used a bad word today: a$$hole. She is in Advanced English class, so her ears perked up when she heard a word she didn’t recognize. I went on to explain the meaning of it. We laughed.

And then, she told her husband about the bad word.
And then I had to go through the process of explaining when/where they can use the word.

Yesterday’s post was all “The world here is so sad and I want to contribute but don’t kn…

Jetlag jumble


I’m scared to say write this. I could be tempting fate.

But today marks the 4th day in Madagascar and I have had ZERO. STOMACH. SICKNESS. Could it be? Could my stomach have decided to man up and like NOT get sick the moment I set foot here?

I’m having mega sinus pain but nothing that this liquid that you squirt up your nose won’t fix (um, no, not like liquid cocaine or anything. If there is such a thing).

So. Yeah. I’m back in Madagascar. Annnnnnnddddd I want to give all my money away.

Louis’ driver has to take fifteen days off work for a medical condition. He actually is contracted out through another company – and this company won’t pay for his time off. So…when Louis wasn’t looking I gave him 65 00 MGA ($32.50 CDN = 30% of his monthly salary). I knew that Louis would not appreciate/approve of me giving his driver money… but the driver has a family…and he won’t be paid for nearly half of a month’s salary…
However, handing out money like that tends to create a negative cycle. …

Cave, Waterfall, and Lagoon Trek

And let the start of the Hawaii vacation posts begin.

I'll start with the first day that I was off the ship because...well...the days I was on the ship weren't exactly my best....

I had signed up for a Cave, Lagoon, and Waterfall Trecking Adventure on Hilo, the big island.

After we got off the ship (and I had my little incident with my wallet), we got on a tour bus. I'm not a huge fan of tour buses... but here we go.
The wallet!! (I took this picture later on that day....not before I re-joined my travel mates :P)   And the tour started. In the pouring rain.
 More rain...
 Okay, that sort of looks like sun...
 That's better.
 Some surfers catching the waves
And we stopped by the side of the road to take pictures of the "waterfall". I'm thrilled, as you can see....
Although the scenery was very pretty.
 Okay. Wasn't this tour about some....trecking???
 Last time I checked, "trecking" didn't include paved pathways with hand rails...
But I can't…