Showing posts from March, 2012


The internet is a magical thing.

I think Google Analytics is the coolest thing. It lets me see that someone reads my blog in Moscow? Cool! Hi Moscow!

Another cool feature is I can see which words were "Google searched" that eventually lead to my blog.

Here are some of my favorite of the week:

homer in chocolate land - I know this comes from how I felt when I was in Brussels on a Walking Chocolate Tour. That was seriously one of the most incredible days in mylife. accidental wet tshirt - Not a pretty sight. Either caused by rain or sweat.Most likely sweat. antelope god Ghana - What??? Antelope god?!?! big pig cartoon - Hopefully this leads to the Pig Roast I went to June 2010. 'Cause I know I can be a pretty big pig when it comes to anything chocolate. can chickens incest breed - WOW. There are some seriously WEIRD people in the world. You're trying to make chicken brothers and sisters make chickies? cow slaughter - I know this comes from the time I watched a zebu sacrif…

Holy Crap!

Last December I paid a ridiculous amount of money to have my data from my (broken) external hard drive to a new external hard drive. Just recently I went through some of the restored pictures.


I can't beleive how much has happened in the last two and a half years.
The life-lessons I've learned (sometimes the hard way).
The new people in my life.
The people that are no longer in my life.
The places I've been.
The moments that I've missed because I've been so far away.
The opportunities that I've had.
The things that I've seen.
The experiences I've had.

Back in the day (pre-Madagascar), I had no idea that so many things could change and so many things could be so un-perfect and that I'd still be happy.

Ramdom Post about Coffee

When I was 20, I lived in Vancouver for a semester. (My parents had moved the a couple of years before and I thought I would give it a try. I failed miserably, but that's for another post). Vancouver has a Starbucks™ on every single street. Like, no joke, in the downtown/west end area, you can't walk ten steps without seeing a Starbucks™. I thought their coffee tasted like CRAP. I thought their espresso drinks were deplorable. I could tolerate their Frappuccinos®, but...well, not really a drink to have on a wet day (which is all I really remember about Vancouver).

Fast forward (gulp) twelve years later, and I don't think I go a full day without dreaming about the next time I'll visit a Starbucks™.

I remember my first couple of days in the office. I didn't know where to even find coffee. I emailed someone I knew that was in Tana (300km away) to ask them what to do. Wow, how times have changed. I can't beleive I actually emailed someone to ask where I could fin…

Road to the Future

I've run/walked/drove past this sign on the camp walkway a thousand times For some reason last week I found it hilarious.
 Why? Well, the road to the future leads here:
A dimly lit (on good days) unpaved road, with rocks and bumps, and holes big enough that after a good rain could be used as a swimming pool.

And then, the road to the future takes a left, and then another left, and then another left, and ends up...
...right back where I started. I think this road needs a new name.

My Granted Wish

I have a lot of work to do this week. So much, that I wish I could lock myself in my office until everything is done.




Even better - I am locked in Plant site! Again!

Yesterday morning Louis got an email from his boss asking him and everyone else in his group to come to work prepared for a 06h30 meeting. Most people arrive around 07h00, so it seemed a bit odd. We were both trying to figure out what was going on.

Later in the day, we found out there was going to be another protest and it would begin around 06h30 Monday morning.

Since I didn't receive any direction from my management, I came to work. After I was already at work, I found out that only Operations and/or critical staff needed to be inside the plant before it was locked.

I'm neither Operations or critical staff, I guess I should have stayed home. [Just so we're clear here, everything is P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L. I am totally safe. It's not like super fun times but it's really no b…

My Really Crappy Hobby

I have a few hobbies, some of which are:
Running (although it's kind of a love/hate relationship I have going on)Blogging (I've decided this can be a legit hobby)Travelling (at least while I'm a rotational expat. I don't think I'll be able to keep up my travelling as much when I work in Canada).Shopping at Walmart (This must be a hobby because I go there at least three times when I'm in Canada. Sometimes I just end up buying a water, but I love seeing all the cool and super cheap stuff they have)Worrying
Yes. Worrying is my hobby. It's not one that I'm proud of. I could be classified as an expert worrier. I may even be able to go pro if it becomes more mainstream. I've read books, talked to doctors, taken medication, talked to cousellars, taken herbal supplements, (Did you know people that are anxious are lacking Magnesium? I read more about that and found it incredibly interesting!), done yoga, and done accupuncture. Just to name a few.

But I'm s…

NM in MG?

Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it??

During my couple of months as an old married lady, I've been asked this question roughly three hundred and four times:

When are you going to change your name?

It's a valid question and I totally don't mind people asking it, I just am always clueless in my response.

The short answer: Sort of.

The long answer: I always thought I would want to instantly adopt my husband's last name. It even has a nice ring to it. But...I don't know.

I know this sounds like the most unromatic thing EVER - my passport doesn't expire until 2015. I'm not in Canada that often and when I am...trecking around Edmonton and finding government documents, waiting in line at Canada place, and well...right now it's just not something that's terribly important to me.

I guess for at least a few years, I'll have two names. I don't mind at being addressed as Mme/Mrs Martin if I'm out in public or on wedding invitations, …

Perfectly Timed Post

I can't even begin to recall how I found this post. But I love it. And not because I've realized that I have starting using curse words quite frequently.

Today, of all days, I needed this.

The Complete Guide to Not Giving a F*ck, borrowed from In Over Your Head

(and I apologize in advance to the author, I'm mega lame and put in $, *, and ! to replace a letter in the curse words. Kind of goes against the author's point in general, but I can't always be perfect).

FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.

Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not. What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behaviour, but so what?…

Calm Protest Day

It of "those" days yesterday. I got to work at the same time (06h30), started off with my same routine (coffee, vitamin, read a few blogs, check personal email, get to work). The rest of the office comes in at either 7h00, 7h15, or 8h00, depending on their contract, who they are, where they live (camp vs. in town).

Except, just before 7h00, we had a group of protestors lock all of the gates from the outside. (Just so everyone is clear - I was in ZERO danger). Which meant that anyone that had planned to arrive at work any later than 6h50 was locked out.
LUCKY FOR ME, I was at work early enough to get locked in.

There were three people in our office.

I called a co-worker who was driving through the depths of the bush to find a way in and somewhat lost. I called Louis he was able to find a back entrance. So the count in office went up to four.

But not before the truck ran over a local person's fishing net set-up, making the owner very angry (but less so after he wa…

Restaurant Review

Sunday Louis and I tried a (new to me) restaurant for supper.

I think we have been playing "old married couple" for...well...longer than we have been married because nearly every Sunday goes like this:

7AM: Nicole wakes up.
7AM - 9AM: Nicole watches crappy reality TV shows.
9AM - 11AM: Nicole naps until Louis wakes up.
12PM: Louis and Nicole eat lunch at camp.
1PM - 3PM: Louis and Nicole laze around, watch tv, somehow lose track of time.
3PM - 6PM: Louis and Nicole go to the village pool.
6PM: Louis and Nicole eat supper at camp.
7PM - 9PM: Louis and Nicole prepare for the next week and watch TV.

Annnnnnnd repeat.

I'm not complaining about it, it's actually quite a nice day.

This Sunday we got all freaky on our regular routine and went out for supper with some friends. They had been to this Chinese restaurant, had really liked it, and most important, DIDN'T GET SICK! Maybe I had a little China on the brain too!

Welcome to Restaurant Pacifique!

It had some cute decor.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I can't figure out what's more odd about this post. 

A. That I feel the need to post odd pictures of myself?
B. That Louis took these pictures as if I was asking him to pass me the salt? No questions, no reactions, nothing.
C. That my favorite clothing ever to sleep in is this old, disgusting, bleach stained shirt?

D. I needed to take the picture where I was showing that yes, even this odd-looking, you can still find a man to marry you?

E. That my two neighbors (we share a common area) saw me like that and acted like absolutely nothing was different about me? (Am I really that odd, or were they just being polite? And my neighbors are so awesome that they deserve a post of their own in the future)
F. That this is the most creative thing I could think of for St. Patrick's Day?
(And the thing on my head is because I was doing an overnight hair mask and I didn't want it to get on my pillow).


Alright. I like to try and keep my posts like, non-depressing. But the truth is, I’ve been pretty moody lately. Or maybe I’m always moody, but more so lately. While I am beyond excited for the change in my career, something I’ve been talking about as my “in 5 years goal” (for more than five years), I’m kind of feeling sorry for myself about leaving my current job.
In general, the role of an expatriate in a startup project is to come in, get things set up, get everyone trained, get everything going, and then leave. It’s time for me to leave. It’s hard not to take this personally.
I see a need for me to stay, and I don’t want to let go of it yet. Although I think the change will do me good in countless number of ways, I kind of have the same feeling as if I was getting fired or laid off. Sometimes I think if I did things differently, I think about the "if only"s, etc, that I would still stay in Finance and run a smoother ship.
The truth is, although I make jokes about me "r…


This China trip has come together quicker than I could have imagined!
It turns out that we have an employee that is stationed out of China. A couple of emails later, I have the trip planned out!
For a lot of the places, a travel agency or tour guide isn’t required. I know what I want to do and how I want to do it. Expedia, Cheap Tickets, they can do the rest for me. But in China? I want something similar to my safari experiences: a guide, some meals, and transportation door-to-door for each leg of the trip.
A guide is crucial in China, where street signs are going to look like this: 发送时间. Also, I can’t understand train stations/bus stations/airports. Trains and busses are extremely stressful for me to figure out. And airports? I’m totally fine in any new airport because I ask for directions every one hundred meters. (No, I'm not joking).
I’m all for "the more the merrier", but when it comes to travelling?? Um. No. I don’t want an actual group tour. Yes, I’ll go to places wh…

February 11, 2012

I've had these pictures loaded for awhile but I keep forgetting to "Publish" the post. For those of you who aren't on Facebook, here's some pictures from the Surprise Wedding!

Louis got to the Tiki Bar before me. He was the best wedding planner ever.

I have to admit that I was really nervous when I showed up. Everyone was taking craploads of pictures of us. I didn't really like all of the attention.

The Malagasy officials were very nervous to be in front of so many vazas!

Everyone was kind of ready for the ceremony to get going. It was a good time to have a wedding. The cyclone was coming and there was nothing to do but wait. Everyone was ready to party!

I wish I remembered what we were talking about here!! I know that I was dripping sweat and that I kept having to wipe up my face. Half way throught the ceremony, I had to ask a friend to get me some napkins. It was COOKING outside and super humid!

A full house! I was so happy to ha…