Monday, December 25, 2006

That HAPPY time of year....

Hey everyone,

I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I am back home with my family and everything's good... My sister is home from school and it's nice for us to all be together again for a while (even if I only get four days off from my crappy pizza-making job...). So far nothing too crazy has happened; we're all just waiting for New Year's Eve to party like it's... uhh... 1999?

All the best!
Heather

Saturday, November 11, 2006

howdy everybody! And happy Canadian Rememberance Day! For those who don't know, we celebrate Nov. 11 every year (Rememberance day) as a reminder of the courage and bravery of those Canadians who fought in the two World Wars... We all wear red poppy pins (read the poem "In Flanders Fields" if you haven't already) and go to ceremonies and stuff... Anyway, this holiday is the reason that I am sitting in front of my computer right now instead of working today, so I am very thankful! This is the first Saturday I've had off since I started working here, and I really need it today. Things have been really crazy for me lately, thus why I haven't been blogging as much as I should. Sorry about that everybody; I really should be better at keeping in touch with you all.
Anyway, I've been working the same part-time minimum wage job at the Salvation Army Thrift Store (basically it is a used clothing store, run by a Christian Social Service agency) since I moved here. It's been an okay job, but unfortunately it just doesn't pay the bills. So last week I finally found another job, a full-time gig at a "pizza cafe", paying just over minimum wage (which is $7.15 Canadian dollars here) . I started there for a couple of days last week, and it's definitely a crappy job as well. After four years of university I'm back to fast food, baby! It's kind of disheartening that I can't seem to find anything better than this at the moment, but at least this job allows me to work only Mon-Fri, from 10am- 6pm, which is really the ideal shift, very hard to find around here. No weekends or evenings for me! And it is just enough money for me to live on comfortably, so things aren't too bad. And I did get a call from a bank about working a call center job, so hopefully something more lucrative will come from that...
I've been reminded of the island a lot lately, not just from reading your blogs, but from other things as well... Do all of you know about the show "The Amazing Race"? It's an American game show where the contestants do a race around different parts of the world, and apparently one of the shows was recently shot on Mauritius... I didn't see it myself, but a friend of the family's caught it on TV, so I heard about it after... My parents advised me to watch it the next week, which I did, and indeed, they started from Mauritius!!! I was so thrilled to see even the arial shots on TV: the beaches and landscape so familiar, but yet missed so much... Unfortunately, the contestants were only in Mauritius for the first five minutes of the show, as they moved on to do their challenge in Madagascar, but even that five minutes was enough to send me reminiscing about the good old island days... They showed all the racers arriving at the airport in Mauritius, and booking their Air Mauritius flights over to Madagascar. And even seeing the airport made me teary! I had so many horrible experiences in that airport! And oh, I miss it so!
I also got an email from Seeven the other day. Apparently he has graduated from the uni of Mauritius, and has just landed a consulting job with a business magazine. Can you imagine!!! He says he doesn't see much of the other guys these days, which was kind of sad to hear. I wonder what they're all up to... ?
Outside of work, my life is still good here. As always, I'm enjoying the music and cultural scene of Halifax... Sadly though, I do feel like I have lost a lot of the spirit that I had when I got back from the island... My confidence is definitely not where it was, and as much as I struggle and try to get back to that place, I can never quite seem to do it. I guess I just need to give it some time, to build back up slowly... At the end of the year I'm hoping (as I think I've mentioned before) to do an internship in Africa somewhere, so I really think that would be good for me. I think traveling again, getting away and experiencing a different reality would be a big help. I guess I just have to wait and see. What perhaps depresses me most is that I feel like there is no way I can ever live here, in Halifax, permanently, as I think I want to. I really love this city, but Nova Scotia is one of the poorest provinces in Canada, and though it may sound strange given that Canada is a rich country, we just don't have the infrastructure and opportunities that are available in so many other Canadian cities. All the best people are taking off in droves to live on the west side of the country, where the jobs are so much better, and you can get more than double the pay for the same job. So it's a major challenge, and it gives me a better appreciation for the situation in developing countries, which face the same problems on a much bigger scale. This world is such a sad place sometimes.
Anyway, I hope you're all doing well and are happy out there. It's really nice to hear from all of you. Keep blogging.
Love and miss you all.
Heather

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Home in Halifax

Oh my goodness! I can't believe how much has happened since my last blog!!!! And I finally have Internet access, in my OWN HOME! Good lord, hallelujah! I can blog again! It's nice to have a telephone too...
So yes, after all my travels and wanderings I am back in good old Nova Scotia (Halifax, the province's capital city), and I will (at last) be staying put for a while. While I was on the West Coast I somehow just felt strange and out of place. It was like the bizarro world to my precious East Coast, and even in all my hopes of finding a place to settle during my little Western Canada road-trip bonanza, I eventually knew I just had to come back home, get my feet under me again, before I could do anything else. Seeing the West was nice, and it might be good to go back there sometime, but for now I'm happy to be where I am. It's the first time in a long time that I've lived so close to my parents, but now that I've been out in the world, far away and independent for so many years, I find it's kind of nice to be within driving distance of them again.
This city has so much going on that I love. I love the music here, the culture, everything. You all remember my love Joel Plaskett, right? Well he plays around here regularly (along with many of my other favorite musicians), so what more could a girl want? Still, it has been a big adjustment living in a city this big (many of you would not consider Halifax, a city of 300,000 people at best, big, but for me that is much bigger than I'm used to). I get overwhelmed and stressed and tired sometimes, but overall I'm happy to be here. There's always something cool to do! I've already found a job (though it's only part-time and minimum wage) at the Salvation Army thrift store. I don't expect it to be thrilling work, but at least it's something to start with. I'm not looking for anthing more than a crappy job to pay the bills this year anyway, so at this point it's not a big deal that I haven't landed a career-type job... I think I will have more job options soon, hopefully something full-time, but I've only been here for a week so I'm not too worried yet!
I really like my new apartment as well. I'm paying a little more than I'd like to for it, but it's in a very ideal location, close to downtown and a couple of other key areas in town. It's also in a very student-dominated area, which makes it interesting, yet it is still quite quiet and safe. My two roommates, who I didn't know before I moved in, are really nice; we get along quite well (so far at least, and I expect this will continue).
Anyway kids, I think that's all the news I've got for now. Hope all's alive and kicking with you folks (I know it is!).
Miss you all so much!

Home in Halifax

Oh my goodness! I can't believe how much has happened since my last blog!!!! And I finally have Internet access, in my OWN HOME! Good lord, hallelujah! I can blog again! It's nice to have a telephone too...
So yes, after all my travels and wanderings I am back in good old Nova Scotia (Halifax, the province's capital city), and I will (at last) be staying put for a while. While I was on the West Coast I somehow just felt strange and out of place. It was like the bizarro world to my precious East Coast, and even in all my hopes of finding a place to settle during my little Western Canada road-trip bonanza, I eventually knew I just had to come back home, get my feet under me again, before I could do anything else. Seeing the West was nice, and it might be good to go back there sometime, but for now I'm happy to be where I am. It's the first time in a long time that I've lived so close to my parents, but now that I've been out in the world, far away and independent for so many years, I find it's kind of nice to be within driving distance of them again.
This city has so much going on that I love. I love the music here, the culture, everything. You all remember my love Joel Plaskett, right? Well he plays around here regularly (along with many of my other favorite musicians), so what more could a girl want? Still, it has been a big adjustment living in a city this big (many of you would not consider Halifax, a city of 300,000 people at best, big, but for me that is much bigger than I'm used to). I get overwhelmed and stressed and tired sometimes, but overall I'm happy to be here. There's always something cool to do! I've already found a job (though it's only part-time and minimum wage) at the Salvation Army thrift store. I don't expect it to be thrilling work, but at least it's something to start with. I'm not looking for anthing more than a crappy job to pay the bills this year anyway, so at this point it's not a big deal that I haven't landed a career-type job... I think I will have more job options soon, hopefully something full-time, but I've only been here for a week so I'm not too worried yet!
I really like my new apartment as well. I'm paying a little more than I'd like to for it, but it's in a very ideal location, close to downtown and a couple of other key areas in town. It's also in a very student-dominated area, which makes it interesting, yet it is still quite quiet and safe. My two roommates, who I didn't know before I moved in, are really nice; we get along quite well (so far at least, and I expect this will continue).
Anyway kids, I think that's all the news I've got for now. Hope all's alive and kicking with you folks (I know it is!).
Miss you all so much!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Great Retreat

Howdy-ho everybody....
Here I am back in sunny and colorful New Minas, Nova Scotia, home of my parents and my cat, and me, for the moment.
Well, only for a brief moment it seems... That's right, got back from "French boot camp" as it has come to be known, last Sunday, and I'm taking off again tomorrow for even sunnier and more colorful Victoria, British Columbia (on the west coast of Canada, as I unnecessarily explained to Nachi earlier today! "I know where BC is!!!")...
Being at French camp was good, but I definitely needed a break by the end, so it's good to be home relaxing now, and will also be nice to chill with my friend Maria for a while out in BC, which has the nicest weather in Canada...
After living in Quebec for about two months, I have to say that I really really liked the lifestyle and culture there... it's really different from the rest of Canada, and I'm really starting to like speaking French. I'm thinking about moving back to Trois Rivieres in September, possibly for a whole year of immersion... (that's if I don't move to India, right Nach?) Anyway, we'll see what happens. It's all up in the air right now...
But I'm sure you'd all be interested to know that I had a dream about being back in Mauritius last night... it was very strange. I saw Havish on the street, and then some of the other guys, and realized that a lot of things had changed since I left. I was cool with that, but I also wondered what I was doing back there, and felt strange about being there and not being at the uni anymore...
I think what prompted the whole dream was the fact that I had a major craving for dholl puris last night... My parents had some people over for dinner and we were all talking about Indian food, and then I just remembered dholl puris and wanted some really bad. More than the craving was just realizing that no matter how bad I want something from Mauritius like that, I just can't ever have it... I could search far and wide on the streets of Canada for a dholl puri vendor and will never never stumble across one! It really kind of made me sad to think about. I miss the island, and I miss all of you! Jess, you HAVE to come visit me... even if we can't have dholl puris, we can at least talk about them together! :)
Anyway, I know I haven't written in a long time, and there should be more to talk about than this... but believe it or not, there isn't. Despite my jumping around from place to place, life hasn't been overly exciting these past couple of months... I'm even missing all the good concerts by leaving here so quickly! Oh well...
I hope you're all doing well out there, wherever y'all are.
Take care and I'll write soon from Victoria!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mon ami, Gordon

Heya toute la monde,

Major apolgies for missing the actual date, but know that I was thinking of you, Gordon, on Saturday, while I was walking around in the rain all day in Quebec city, wishing I was anywhere but there! Happy birthday!

I wish I could come for a visit in Tanzania to share a piece of birthday cake, but miss you lots anyway and Mauritius would not have been even close to the same without you...

Make number 27 the best ever, my friend!

Cheerio!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

To My Favorite American Gal...

Hey there everybody,
I just want to wish a quick (but HUGE) HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my fav American friend Jess... I wish I could be with you to celebrate again, but alas, I`m stuck here at French boot camp in Trois-Rivieres :(

Right now I`m on a short break from class, and being careful not to be caught writing in English, but Jess, I hope you have a great day and a great year. Kick some ass! I know you will.
Miss you and love you lots!

Friday, May 05, 2006

And Here I am...

Well, I owe all you guys a big apology for being so aloof these days. I have such a back-log of things to report that I don't even remember it all. In the spirit of our good friend Nachi, here's a quick list of everything that's happened...
- I'm finished school! What a weird feeling to be completely finished with my university education (for now, at least). When I finished the last of my work (a couple of weeks ago), I didn't even know what to do with myself, it was so strange. I feel free, yet kind of weird and freaked out. I guess that's normal...
-I'm leaving good ol' Peterborough, Ontario, and Trent University forever tomorrow morning at 8:50 am. Where to next? Trois Rivieres, Quebec, for another five, maybe six, weeks of French schooling. I expect to learn even more this time, seeing as nobody in Trois Rivieres speaks any English. At the same time, getting the university credits is not important this time, so the classroom stuff will not be so pressuring for me. And this time I know more what to expect, so it's good in that way. So yeah, I'm catching a Greyhound Bus for a good day-long journey into the "Belle Province", so wish me luck!
-And after that? Well, at this point... who knows?! I should find out any day now if I got an internship with the Coady International Institute, which would put me in Africa somewhere for five or six months doing some type of international development work (Gordon look out!). I'm not too optimistic about my chances at getting this though, as my phone interview did not go very well at all. I totally bombed on several of the questions, and the internship positions are highly competitive... but oh well... I chalk it up to experiece (while still hoping for the best). The other (perhaps more likely option) is to head out to Victoria, British Columbia, to hang out and live with my friend Maria. If this option becomes a reality, I will look for a (normal) job in BC and basically just bum around, taking it easy, for a year. It's apparently much warmer out there, so no worries if I don't get the internship!
As of now, I've pretty much been hanging out, sitting in the sun (it's getting so warm out!) and drinking. Living the good life! I've been saying goodbye to lots of people who have already moved away for the summer, who I may not see again :( On the brighter side though, my parents came to visit me over Easter weekend, which was really nice. It was great to see them, especially since I have no idea when I'll be back in Nova Scotia again... My friend Nathan from Toronto also stayed with me in Peterborough a couple of times during the last month and a half, and we had some good times while he was around.
So that's pretty much been my life, more or less. Mostly less, but you know...
Anyway, I'll try to blog when I get to Trois-Rivieres, but don't hold your breath (you know those Frenchies and their French)...
Adios, amigos! (Au revoir, mes amis!)
Bye!