Sunday, March 28, 2010

Classes Begin Again

Sorry, that's a long time without an update. To be totally honest, there hasn't been much going on over here. We did get a bunch of new students in the end, somewhere around 45 I guess. I still don't know who they all are. I am once again a "serious teacher", haha, but it's not very busy for me still. We have 20 new Filipino tutors as well.
Somehow they have successfully managed to turn this place into something somewhat organized. The students all show up for classes, obey curfews and actually study for the first time I've been here. It's been 2 weeks and there seems to be no sign of it letting up either. Amazing.
Once again, as proof of how untouchable I am, I don't know anyone, don't really associate with many people and have a different set of rules. There is now a dress code and all staff have to wear pants. Except me :) I'd have a very hard time obeying that rule anyway. I only have 1 pair of pants and 1 shorts. I need to buy pants but, well, I'm not exactly Filipino size. I am slowly thinking about leaving. Funny how when your time starts to run out you realize there is a lot of stuff you haven't done yet. So I started to take advantage of the cheap massages here. 1 hour of massage, for less than what you paid for your first cup of coffee this morning....
I suppose the biggest news anywhere, is that Bre is leaving Australia and will be back home on May 4th. I was supposed to be going to Brisbane to meet up with her but I guess I'll be doing it on my own instead.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Update: Return to Vancouver (Brandon)

This is a long-overdue attempt to fill in the blanks after arriving in Vancouver from our stop-over in Holland in June '09. The popular question seemed to be, "How did you adjust to life after spending over two years in mostly third world, developing countries?" Actually, we started our "adjusting" beginning with the visit to Singapore. In my opinion, this is where we were "blown away" with re-entering the modern world. Spending two weeks at Ban's Diving Resort on Koh Tao Island, Thailand, and then another week spent in Holland completed an easy transition to life back in Vancouver, BC. I looked back on time spent in the Middle East, Africa, and Southeast Asia, pondering, "Did that really even happen?" There was the feeling we didn't even skip a beat after returning to Canada, however, driving a car daily and having sushi available on every corner were noticeable changes.

Checking in with family in both Vancouver and Seattle was a most enjoyable priority; meeting Skylar's sweetheart, Adriana, and her family and spending time with them; trips to Loon Lake with family and friends, especially during the Canadian Thanksgiving in October, and catching rainbow trout off the new dock; sending off Savannah back to Holland and Bre to Australia to be with "Best Job in the World" Ben; consolidating personal belongings from three storage units into one, giving/donating/throwing away many diverse items for the required downsizing; and, of course, all the while missing Ammon, were highlights and/or worthy of mention.

Maggie was quickly hired and found herself enmeshed with work responsibilities at the nearby Safeway. Because I enjoyed it so much in Cairo, I worked again on set, many times with the leading stars, for both TV (Fringe, Caprica, V, Smallville, Stargate Universe) and Movies (Charlie St. Cloud with Zak Efron and Kim Basinger, and the A-Team with Jessica Beal, etc.). The best times, however, were when working on set with Maggie, Breanna, and Mary Anne, (Maggie's Mum), who we convinced to give it a try while living with her in her awesome unit nestled at the foot of beautiful Mt. Seymour.

Savannah's return from Holland preceded separate trips to Vancouver first by Kees, Savannah's Dutch guy, and then by close friend Rhiis with nephew Clayton, both of whom spent time together with us in Egypt. It was with great pleasure that we were able to host fellow travelers, showing off the very impressive and abundant natural beauty of our "neck of the woods" in the world.

It was great to be home again for five months and yet the impulsive desire to move on was undeniable. So, in late November, the three of us hopped aboard a United A319 bound for Chicago on our way, once again, to Holland.... and the next chapter begins......