Wow, has this pas year gone quickly. When I think back to where we were last year at this time I can’t really believe it.
Mongolian prayer flags in the countryside.
The past year has held lots of adventures, ups and downs, new friends, old friends, travelling, and adjusting to new surroundings.
Jen trying to stay warm at the Eagle Festival
in February, 2009
At this point last year Jeff and I were freezing our buns off in Mongolia. The temperatures there stayed around -35 Celsius for most of the winter (read: the beginning of November to the beginning of April). Add the wind-chill on to that and you never want to leave the house. Lets just say that I was able to get a lot of knitting done last winter. Winter back in Ontario is quite refreshing and not so bad compared to winter last year.
Mum & Dad Dawson riding camels in the
Some of our family came to visit us in April. We were lucky enough to have my parents and Jeff’s sister travel halfway around the world to see what our lives were like in Mongolia. The trip into the Mongolian countryside was definitely a highlight.
Jackie climbing rocks with a Mongolian child.
After our contracts with our school in Mongolia were completed we spent eight weeks travelling around South East Asia. I’ve never been one for travelling, odd, I know. I love living in different countries and taking short side trips, but the idea of living out of a backpack, sleeping in different beds, and not being able to cook for eight weeks didn’t really appeal to me. See more of Asia and learning more about the continent did appeal to me though, so we made the trek. There were rough times, but it was really fun and totally worth it in the end. The experiences we had and the things we saw were amazing. Not to mention the neat people that we met along the way!
House on the water in Halong Bay, Vietnam.
Arriving back in Ontario at the end of August meant looking for work and trying to get into the swing of things in terms of being back in Canada. Jeff began work as a tutor and snuck in some much needed ultimate. I was able to find work at a school teaching Core French. After that contract was finished I found another. I’m still trying to adjust to the school system back in Ontario. While there are many things that are the same (in terms of the actual teaching), there are also lots of differences that I have been trying to sort through. It’s nice to be employed, but I must admit that I madly miss my class from last year. They were so precious and enjoyable.
December was certainly a busy month for us. Our first Christmas home in two years meant that we had a lot of catching up to do! Christmas parties, hanging out with friends, shopping, and working filled up December. It was certainly lovely to have our families around this year for Christmas. The past two years we decorated our plants (Norman in Korea, Oliver in Mongolia) with Christmas lights and the two decorations my parents sent us and put presents under them. This year it was nice to have a proper tree!
I’m sure that the next year will hold lots for us. I’m excited to see where we will end up.