Monthly Archives: September 2007

Jandi in Vancouver

Jandi arrived in Vancouver earlier this month, much to everyone’s delight. We have literally walked her off her feet since then – seeing the sights, and getting help with our day to day routine. The weather has been fantastic, which is very lucky of this time of the year. Jandi even takes Charlie to the parents and tots playgroup three times a week here on campus (they tried to put her on the organising committee last meeting!) I will ask her to write her own post to describe the experience – I just couldn’t do it justice. Mum is now off on a trip with old friends around BC and Alberta. She comes back to us in early October and stays for a couple of weeks to help me out while Paul takes a trip to Boston and New York. She only left this morning and we all miss her already!

Jandi and the boys

Jandi Nina and Shumways

Put Put boat

Jandi in Seattle

Botanical Gardens

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Jamie at Preschool

At long last, Jamie has started preschool, Monday to Thursday afternoons. It is located about 2 minutes walk from home, and called Lluvia (pronounced you-vee-a appartently). His teachers’ names are Krista and Ward (a man teaching pre-school- fancy that!). Both seem to get along with Jamie well and ‘just love his little accent’ (who has the accent here!?) There are about 20 kids in the class and they seem to do a lot of playing mostly, but Jamie is so pleased to be going (he asks when he will go back again as we leave the gate each afternoon!)

wheels on the bus


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The students are back in town!

This week is the first week of teaching here, and the students are pouring onto campus in huge numbers. This weekend 500 students are expected to move into the dorms next to our apartment. So that means 500 students in 500 SUVs with 1000 parents in tow! It is an incredible sight to see. As far as I can see, the parents lug all the gear into their kids’ residences, and are then dragged through the bookstore, with their credit cards, to get everything students need to start classes this week. As soon as the parents have left, the students start to party. There was a procession of them through campus yesterday, wearing their graduation gowns purchased earlier by their parents (already?!) chanting ‘We’ve got beer, how ’bout you?!’ They didn’t actually seem to have beer, but that didn’t dull their enthusiasm! A second-year student walking next to me as they passed said to me ‘apparently I’m back at summer camp’. It was obviously all very beneath him!

The fraternities are a big thing here – kappa gamma whatever!



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Road trip

The trip to Edmonton was a busy time for us all – I had a conference to attend and Paul had the kids full-time (which is a job and a half!) Having the world’s biggest mall nearby helped!

We drove back to Vancouver through the Rockies – had one night in Calgary with my cousin Kate and Frank. They have a lovely house (very exciting to be in house again with a back yard!) and it was a great evening for us. They coped with our chaos very well. 🙂

Second night was in Vernon at the Best Western hotel. The front desk gave us a discount because they thought the kids were so cute (good grief!), and we discovered that the inside of the hotel is a pool/restaurant area that all rooms open into. It is strung with fairy lights – the whole thing was most surreal.

We covered about 1500kms in three days, and only had the threaten to leave the kids on the side of the road once. They were real troopers. Jamie wept when he discovered we didn’t get to keep the car and would be using the bus again when we got back to Vancouver. A new generation of environmentalist is born!

the boys



boys on the train
the boys on the train.

snack time

the mall
Inside West Edmonton Mall (second largest in the world)

Pirates are coming!!!


inside mall
Yes this is inside a mall, and this is only one of the amusement parks.




conference hotel room
Our hotel/university room at University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Now on the road..
boys at kate and frank’s house

Frank and Charlie

Basement playing


Into the Rockies

Lake Louise
Lake Louise

Vernon Hotel
Our hotel in Vernon in the BC equivalent to Central Otago, mountains, lakes hot summers, cold winters, wineries and skifields. This hotel was shaped like a big square with a rook covering the interior atrium, they made the inside like a giant pot plant haven, still quite cool and all the trees had pretty xmas lights on at night.

Looking down the valley to Lake Osoyoos – our street’s name sake. The hills in the distant are in fact USA, and this area is actually the hottest in Canada and the only Desert in Canada with cactus and rattlesnakes.

Visitors centre
Visitors Centre at Osoyoos.

When a truck comes into trouble on the steep Rockies roads, and the breaks are gone, what is a truckie to do but run his truck (presumably at full tilt) up one of these side run-off roads. They are everywhere and are rough as guts. Still beats plunging off a cliff.


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