We are embarking on a great adventure, one of learning and teaching. We will embrace our new surroundings and grow in a new culture.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

New Year

Hello everyone,

We are starting the New Year and have many things to figure out and complete. We are well and can't wait to move on to the next step in our lives. Right now, I am finishing off teachers college and hope to be working next fall. Karina is working and helping me out. We are enjoying the cold weather but we miss the beaches we visited last year. Too all our friends around the world, we wish you the best this year and if you are anywhere near Ottawa, let us know.


Saturday, January 05, 2008

More holiday pics!

Galavanting at the cottage with my bro Christopher and my friend Kristen. Much fun was had!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years

To all of our family and friends we want to wish you all a fabulous start to 2008.

It's amazing how in one year so many things can change! This time last year Christian and I were in Vietnam, eating bananas and mangoes galore, riding around on scooters or in tiny little wooden boats, wondering what we would see and who we would meet in the next village, thinking about the future and what would be instore for us once we returned home.

We are now home, surrounded by meters of snow. For the past two weeks we have been enjoying our holidays. Our first Christmas at home in three years, and we spent most of the time at the cottage, away from the bustling life which has become the norm.

Feeling like little kids again with all this snow, we literally played outside for hours. Christian made his first quincy (kind of like an igloo), which might I say was a fine example of his engineering skills - enough room for 6 people and an entrance hall! How grande! Though the temperature at times soared to +4, we managed to get out onto the lake and go for a nice skate. It was pitch black and the snow was falling. All you could hear was the creaking ice and the coyotes in a neighboring bay.

When we weren't outside we were bundled next to the fire, reading good books, playing hilarious games, drinking fine of wines and eating tasty German treats!

Our holidays were shared with our family and friends. For those of you we were not able to see, you were in our thoughts, and we hope to be able to spend time together in 2008.

More pics to come!

All our love, Karina and Christan

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Life in Ottawa

Hey everyone! We are slowly adapting to life in Ottawa - we have been attending weddings, playing ultimate, relaxing at the cottage, studying and looking for jobs! Here are some pics from the last 2 months - picking Christian up at the airport in Ottawa after his 2 weeks out West with friends; at my best friend Lara's wedding shower; at her wonderful, perfect wedding with Christian in his snazzy Vietnamese suit and trimmed beard; and during the wedding ceremony. We'll put up some more pics soon! Ciao. K

Thursday, July 19, 2007

O Canada

Hello everyone,

We are safe and sound in Ottawa. The last month has been pretty busy with weddings and real life but we are adjusting. We are now looking for jobs in Ottawa. We are pretty busy with that and hope to make some money real soon. We hope to keep this blog going for while.

More pics to come shortly.


Christian and Karina

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Fiji Pics 2

We went on a walk at this beautiful resort called Bayside Resort. We loved this place and it was what we thought all the other resorts would be like. It was the Fiji we had expected before we got there. It was really small and the owners were really friendly.

Tim went spear fishing at night and caught 17 fish. We had fish for supper the next night and it was good.
A pic from the beach at bayside resort.

Karina loves bananas. They were fresh small ones of the trunk.
We went to see a rugby game while we were there and it was cool to see the different islands playing against each other. They play every week.
This was the dining room at Bayside resort.

Karina on the hike. It was a hot day.

Our last picture together before Karina headed home.
The boat ride back to the main island. It was a beautiful place to relax and it was really safe.
Us at the last resort before we set sail for the main island.
The traditional clothes the Fijians wore before the missionaries visited the islands.
Me and Gerry, he looked at look bigger in real life.

Fiji Pics 1

Hello everyone,
We are now back in Canada after spending 18 days in Fiji. We had a great time onthe Yasawa islands. We camped while we were there. It wasn't too hot though during the day, it was at least 30C. It was amazing and we had a blast. We didnt do much but sleep, eat, run and work on our tan. The people were extremely friendly and the islands were beautiful. He ate some great food. We had a lovo(food cooked under a pile of soil with glowing red rocks) a few nights. The first pic is of the cooked digging out the food from the pit. We ate some lamb, chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes and spinach. It was tasty.
This is a pic of us on my birthday celebrating with strangers. We had a great time and had a fun with everyone. It was a good 29th birthday.
A pic of Karina on the boat. Karina wasn't too impress with the storm that blew through on that night. It was a little bumby on the boat and were both trying to get over my birthday night.
Karina lounging on the boat feeling a lot better after another day of relaxation.
Us on the boat. The boat was alright but we all slept together in a dorm style room with 30 other people. The crew was really nice although it was really like just staying in an other resort. The best part of the day was our snorkeling trip with the Manta rays. The rays were enormous (4m wide) and such graceful creatures.

Me in the water. The water was really warm and we went snorkeling alot. We saw a lot of fish. They were beautiful.
This is a pic of our tent next to a bure. A bure is a traditional home in Fiji.

The beautiful beaches of Fiji.

One of the kids, we had fun with on one of the islands. The children are full of live and always smilling.

This was at the first resort. We enjoyed the pool although the resort didn't have the Fiji look we were expecting but the pool was nice since at low tide it was hard to get into the ocean since it was full of coral.
We spend a lot time in hammocks, reading and sleeping.
Another beautiful sunset in the islands.
Me on the beach.
This kid learned how to throw the disk in two seconds. He was really cute.

18 months and finally back in Canada

Hello everyone,

We are now in Canada. We have had a great time in Fiji. It was a relaxing time and didn'tdo anything at all but chill out on the beach. We enjoyed it alot and if you ever want to go to Fiji, we will let you know when where to go. Karina is headed home and I will be visiting friends in Victoria and Vncouver then off to Saskatoon to visit our friends. We will put some pics up of Fiji tomorrow.


Christian and Karina

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

One last time...onto our last country FIJI!!!

It seems like just yesterday we said goodbye to our family and friends and set off on our journey!

After close to 18 months, we are finishing our Asia-Oceania voyage. It has been the most excellent adventure, and we have learned so much about ourselves, as well as this great, yet complicated world we live in.

Our year in Jeju, Korea was a learning experience. We learned how to teach! We'll always remember the joys we felt when seeing our students, young and old, grasp a difficult English concept, or just learn how to pronounce the letters L, P, B, and R! Our life in Jeju quickly felt comfortable and homey thanks to our Jeju and Yale academy friends and family. We loved every moments spent at the beach, learning to surf, playing volleyball and 3-man, ultimate and rugby practices and tournaments, hand-and-foot card competitions, bike rides and hikes on beautiful Hallasan, and weekly feeds under the bridge in Jungmun, at the Panchan restaurant in Seogwipo, or of the most delicious indian food in Jeju-shi. We'll always remember our one year in Korea and we hope to meet up with our Jeju family sometime in the future!

We left our home of Seogwipo after a beautiful morning on the beach, how fitting! For the next 5 and a half months we would travel and explore. Through China by train, waiting at the stations with thousands of Chinese staring blatantly at the tall travelers and accepting random dried fish and unidentifiable foods while in our sleeping berths, walking the Great Wall with a back drop of an azure sky, and simply watching the million bicycles whiz by.

Vietnam we encountered our fabulous traveling friends whom we shared great experiences with all down the country - in Sapa, walking with the Hamong tribe women, drinking Bia Hoi and rice wine, bringing in 2007 around a huge bonfire in Mui Ne with good friends and cheap rum, renting motorbikes and driving with local kids to the sand dunes, and taking little rickety wooden boats up the Mekong Delta to Cambodia.

In Cambodia we experienced the real dichotomy of what life is like there - extreme wealth and extreme poverty, side by side throughout the whole conflict ridden country. Days were spent wandering or biking through the magical Angkor Wat temples. We could actually imagine what life was like in the Angkor empire hundreds of years ago.

Continuing along from 140kms of pot-whole ridden dirt roads in Cambodia to Thailand. We'll always cherish the time we spent with our friends in Mae Sot, experiencing just a smidgen of what life is like for displaced Burmese refugees living on the border. We were so lucky to go to the refugee camp. It opened our eyes to a reality that none of us could even fathom. From the North where we road a tiny motorbike through the elephant camps and dense forests to the silken white beaches in the South, we enjoyed it all.

The next leg of the journey was New Zealand, a country we soon felt at home in, thanks to the hospitality of our friends in Wellington. NZ for us was all about exploring the outdoors, and we did that both in the North and South island with fabulous weather, minus the chilly southerly winds from the Antarctic!. Hiking the Southern crossing, Kepler track, Abel Tasman, Queen Charlotte track and Mueller hut all at "John speed" gave us an appreciation for the stunning mountains and coasts of this unique country. With only 2 months in NZ we didn't have enough time to do and see everything, or spend enough time with our dear friends.

It was off to Australia, where we apparently needed a visa. With everything sorted out in the nick-of-time, we arrived in Sydney to hot summer weather. We shared our Eastern road trip with our trusty Speedy ghetto van, crocs, monitor lizards, wild turkeys, roos, poisonous snakes, box jellies and reef sharks! An adrenalin inspiring journey! We swam with the brilliant array of sea life at the Great Barrier Reef, drove long stretches of barren road bordered only by sugar cane, played in the ever-salty ocean, ran on squeaky white sand beaches, and surfed in turbulent waves.

And, alas, we are now at present time, staying with friends in Sydney. Incredible how fast our time has flown by! We are getting ready for the last country, tropical Fiji, and we can't really believe that this journey is coming to an end! Tomorrow we catch a plane to Fiji, then its off island hopping for 18 days in the Yasawas.

We just want to thank everyone for supporting us on this stupendous adventure of ours. To our Jeju fam, new travel friends throughout Asia, old friends whom we visited throughout our journey who made us feel oh-so welcome, and everyone at home who have been wishing us well the whole time, as well as keeping us updated on the real-world!

This will most likely be the last email from our journey, so WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Karina and Christian "big beard"

Pics down the coast

Hello everyone,

This is me with my beard and the new hat.

A mornning sunrise although we have been up for at least 2 hours and have already eaten and gone for run. Us on Straddie, we walked around the small island for the day and had a lot of fun.

We got many smiles from many drivers one they past us. I am pretty sure it's from we had on the backend of the van. They always seemed to be looking at me.

This day, we were in Coffs Harbour and we rented boards for the day. We had a lot of fun as the waves got bigger and bigger. We got up alot but the waves were crashing pretty hard and we tried our best. We still have alot to learn but as you see in the next picture. Karina is a natural.

We hope to a few more pics up before we leave.


Christian and Karina

Last days in Aus

Hello again and maybe the last till we get to Canada since we don't know how accessible the internet will be on the islands in Fiji. We are healthy and happy to have completed the journey down the coast. We have driven 4400 kms in about 25 days. We have camped in many different towns along the way. It has been a been incredible to see all the beaches and the different lanscapes in the North and the South. We have loved our van although at times it isn't the easiest since you never know if someone will wake you up in the middle of the night and tell you to move. It only happened once but it was a big shock when it happened in Byron Bay at 6h30 in the morning and they dtold us to move in 30 seconds or we would get a 150 $ fine each. We left in 10.

We have spent the last two days at Bondi beach in the east of Sydney. It is more of a glamorous beach but there was some amazing surf and plenty of people around. We parked on the streets at night and then would make our way back to the beach to relax and people watch.

Today, we brought the van back. We said our last goodbyes to our home. It didn't break down and we didn't get a ticket since we never really made over the speed limit. The whole trip was amazing and I can't wait to come back here to visit the west coast and the rest of the country. We have a blast and will be back one day.

Off to Fiji for 18 days and then back to Canada. We can't wait to see the islands and it all.

Christian and Karina