Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Back in Canada!

Greetings from cool, rainy Alberta! As I type it is 14 degrees Celsius and the rain is drizzling down outside. Poor me isn't used to such cold weather and fleece jackets are my best friend!

We are happy to report that we arrived back here safely. We were roughly 30 hours in transit and with 3 flights we touched 3 continents in those 30 hours! We were so thankful that the kids traveled exceptionally well. Our longest flight from Paris to Toronto, this was our view.

plane

Paul and I enjoyed the peace and quiet for the 7  hours and caught a few winks of sleep ourselves and read, watched the movie, etc. In fact, this was Bennett the entire flight, whereas Arielle only slept for half of it.

plane2

The Paris airport gave us two memorable moments. The most expensive pay phone call (2 minutes to Canada was $50) and the most expensive cup of coffee at $8 for a medium plain latte. Thanks for nothing Paris! (I still love you, but your airport needs some work!)

Once we arrived in Toronto and had a 4 hour layover, there were other things to occupy us. I took pictures of Tim Horton's for a friend back in Niger, but myself I sought out the Starbucks with glee! Paul went straight out for a mountain biking magazine. The kids were happy to plant themselves in front of the big windows and watch the planes come and go.

airport

Once we arrived in Calgary we were met by lots of family and friends and were so excited to be back and off an airplane! One of our pieces of luggage didn't make the last flight, but was delivered the following day. So overall we had a very uneventful flight home. Thank you to all of those who prayed for us!

Now we are back here and it is amazing how normal it feels and how in many ways it feels we were just here a month ago. The first few days in Calgary we enjoyed the sunshine and outdoors. Bennett loved goofing off at the parks.

Goofy

Concentrating

Arielle and Bennett are both so thrilled to spend time with family!

smiles

Personally I am loving both the availability and variety in coffee. No more grinding and prepping it myself, having only one flavour, etc. There are so many options and easy coffee stops. Yippee!!

Blissful

coffee

We got to have dinner with Paul's grandparents on their 62nd Anniversary.

GrandmaandGrandpa

We are also fortunate enough to be puppy-sitting our old beloved dog Sanka for his new owners. We love spending time with him and taking him for walks and snuggling him!!

tired

We also got to see our very dear friends Mark and Teresa who live in China but were home for the birth of their first child. How exciting to meet this little beautiful girl Jael. Teresa and I have been best friends for over 20 years now and every chance we get to spend together is so awesome now that we live far apart.

frentz's

Me and Jael

withJael

So what else is new? Well here is a list of some of the things that I am really enjoying/ appreciating about being back .

1. Hugs everyday from family

2. Cooler weather

3. Wearing pants everyday instead of a skirt, wearing jackets, sleeping under thick blankets and breathing cool air. All a wonderful change of pace

4. Variety in food. Oh how we missed deli meat, cheese, BBQ anything, broccoli, fresh milk, steak, and many other things. Each meal is just another chance to eat something we haven't had for a year! Thankfully I am taking it easy and haven't gained any weight! lol!

5. Working out in a state of the art gym. There are so many machines, cool air and a weights, etc. Such a change from Niger where I ride my recumbent bike in the heat of the house most days and can't run outside without considering a skirt and head covering. I love the gym!

6. Green. Green trees, green grass, flowers, etc. Need I say more?

7.Clothes fresh from the dryer that are soft and smell good. So much better than fresh from the line goat and dirt smelling in Niger.

8. Special events. We got to celebrate my grandparents anniversary, meet my niece Jael, and we have another baby shower for a cousin, meeting my nephew Derek for the first time, my grad party and other family events coming. All wonderful blessings considering we live so far from everyone!

9. Haircuts! Man did Arielle and I ever need them!

10. Shopping! SO many choices! We are also bringing home luggage and shopping items for 3 other families, so it is fun filling their lists too! I think Walmart  saw me everyday last week! haha!

 

Now tomorrow my mom and I have a "date day" together. We are headed to Edmonton to spend the day talking, shopping and hanging out. I can't wait!

All of our medical appointments are so far going well. Arielle's psychologist was really pleased with how much progress she made the past year, even though there are still a few troubling things to work on. We have learned a few interesting things in regards to Arielle and doors are opening to get more information. Thank you for your prayers.

Well, that's all for now! Stay tuned for more updates from this side of the world!

4 comments :

Scuzzlewump said...

I'm so glad you all got back safely. It's wonderful how you are finding joys in so many things here....so much we take for granted, eh?
Tell Theresa congratulations for me! What a beautiful baby. :)
I wish I lived closer and could see you, but unfortunately, the closest I'm going to get is a whirlwind trip to the Edmonton Ex in a few weeks.
Enjoy your time home, and keep the blog posts coming! :)
Debbie

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart for your diligence in always keeping us updated - no matter where you are - or how busy you may be. So good to see you arrive safely and that everything is going as hoped. Hope I can see you on the 19th. heather

Di said...

Chantelle, welcome back to Canada.
thank you for comenting on my blog a while back, I am ever so slow at getting back to answer your question about who I know working in Niger, Lisa Rhorick. Small small world. Enjoy your coffee. Will continue to pray for you and your family, home assignment is often more work than being in the field.
Di

Carrien said...

Sigh, I knew I would feel wistful seeing you and Cheese together again and you holding Jael. Sigh, someday, we'll all get to hang out together again.

Love you.