8 06 2011

Well… I’m home.  Home in Canada I mean.

It’s always a little exciting getting on a plane coming home although this time, I was a bit hesitant as I was leaving Joe behind.  I had to come earlier to work on wedding stuff and Joe doesn’t get enough holidays so here I am and there he is.  Poor guy – he’s probably the one that needs the break!

A few things I’ve enjoyed over the last week:

  • caesars – oh how I’ve missed them
  • roads that don’t crack your back while you are driving
  • shopping – both fun shopping and everyday life shopping (there’s so much to choose from!)
  • steak that doesn’t take you 10 minutes to chew one piece
  • catching up with family & friends
  • lightning fast internet, or at least that’s what it feels like
  • TLC & HGTV
A few things I’m not enjoying:
  • the lack of humidity and my shrinking & shriveling skin
  • my mother’s ridiculously cold house
  • no access to the beach
  • trying to catch my husband on skype calls and usually never succeeding
  • missing out on all of the coffees, parties, gatherings going on in POG without me!
All in all, it’s nice to be back and I’m happy to have more time this time to see friends.  I’m sure I’ll be sick of driving but it’s all worth it to catch up with those I’ve missed.
And one more note:  I have the most amazing husband in the world.

Engagement ring #2 - Exactly the same as the first in every way. It's like nothing ever happened!


Sandwich Anyone?

29 01 2011


Joe and I were on our way to the Chinese restaurant a few doors to the left when we looked up and noticed a new canopy over a shop.  Joe jokingly responded, “Are we getting a new restaurant in town?”

Home Sweet Home

3 01 2011

Heading home for Christmas provided a unique perspective for us and we looked at Canada in a whole different way.  I suppose that is one of the benefits of travel, you really learn to appreciate what you have or in our case, had.

-Us Canadians are nice.  Actually, not only nice, but polite.  People wait in proper lines, hold the door for you, say excuse me, even smile at you if you make eye contact.  As I stood aside at security in Vancouver airport while Joe’s bag got searched, I noticed how many people said ‘Thank you’ after having their own bags searched or being patted down.  Who else would say thank you for that, other than Canadians?

-Ahhh Walmart.  I’m not even a Walmart fan and I used to avoid going there at all costs when living in Canada but when Joe and I made our first trip to stock up on supplies we both stood in awe at the variety, prices and selection of all goods.  (Given, this was the Walmart in Kindersley and on average there are 20 people in there at a time.  Had we stopped in Edmonton, I’m sure our experience would have been different.)

-The internet is fast!  In Gabon, we tried to download a season of Mad Men for a month and we only got 60% done.  We started it up when we arrived home and the entire thing was completed in under an hour!

-Canada is COLD!  We were greeted by -23 degree weather and we left with-23 degree weather.  Neither of us enjoyed feeling like giant sausages every time we went outside, even if it was just to jump in the car.  I listen to the Europeans complain about winter in their home countries where the temperature plunges to -10 degrees… I’d love to watch them get off the airplane in Saskatchewan mid-January.

-All public washrooms look luxurious compared to those I see in Africa.  Even the airplane washrooms are more appealing than those in the actual airports here.  In Gabon, I make sure to use the washroom anytime we are leaving the house.  I prepare like I’m heading on a road trip with no rest stop for hours because you never know if there will actually be a washroom or what state it will be in.

So of course, we enjoyed our time at home and we didn’t even dread returning to Port Gentil, even after having a little taste of Canada.  We hopped on our flight dreaming of the beach and Joe, anxious to try out his new snorkel gear.  The second we landed it was like Africa slapped us in the face and made us pay for leaving.

We arrived in Libreville late and our bags were no where to be seen.  We missed the connecting flight to Port Gentil and had to deal with a rather stubborn woman who was sure our bags must have magically landed in Port Gentil.  (They didn’t, and it took 4 days to get them.)  We sat around the airport for 4 hours and finally got on a flight to PG.  Exhausted, we got in the house and everything looked pretty normal.  Tons of mosquitoes had taken over but that was expected.  And then, Joe noticed our stash of money was taken.  (I know some of you are wondering why we keep a stash of money kept in the house… well, this is a cash based ecomony so when trying to make a big purchase, you must have cash and you can only withdraw so much from your visa at one time.  We did apply for a bank account here for petty cash but it has taken 3 months to get the card!)  So, all in all, we ‘lost’ about $2000.  Nothing else is missing and we can’t find any point of entry.  We’ve reported it to Halliburton, the locks are being changed, and the guard company will be called to investigate.

Welcome back to Africa!

It’s funny… neither of us mind living here at all.  It’s not the most luxurious place and things certainly aren’t easy but we generally like it until we have to deal with crap like that!

On the upside, we did take a stroll down the beach yesterday in the pleasant 30 degree heat.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas from Canada

24 12 2010

With Christmas just around the corner, our visit home is coming to a close.  We’ve enjoyed our time visiting with family and friends, drinking caesars & Canadian beer and eating more than we should.  We fly back to Gabon on the 29th and we certainly didn’t get to see everyone we wanted on this short trip but we do want to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011!

2 Weeks In

11 08 2010

We’ve survived 2 weeks in Port Gentil and are settling into life here.  We spent a week or so looking at various houses and have settled on one.  It is in the paperwork process right now.  We really hope this deal doesn’t fall through, as they often seem to do here.  It is out of our hands now as the company real estate division and the owner of the property work out the details. 

 My days are long and can get a little boring while Joe is at work.  Our hotel is located away from almost everything except Joe’s office so it isn’t easy for me to venture out.  I’ve had a lot of practice hanging out in hotels as of late so I find ways to occupy myself.  (For those of you that are wondering, I’m finished book #4.  Thank god for my Kindle because I sure didn’t have room in my suitcase to lug around books!)

 Joe and I usually go out for dinner.  There are a lot of restaurants here so it has given us a chance to try out a lot of different places.  People eat very late here (restaurants don’t get busy until 8:30 or 9.)  We try to ward off our hunger as long as possible before heading out.  Sometimes ordering can be a challenge as we aren’t always entirely sure of what we are getting but we are learning as we go.  So far, neither of us have gotten sick so I suppose that is a good sign!

 The beaches are the best part of living in Port Gentil.  There are 2 beach areas: Sogara (where the first house we tried to get was located) and Cape Lopez.  The pictures on the previous post are from Cape Lopez, which is probably 20 miles or more of unspoiled, undeveloped beach.  People drive out, park their cars, and hang out virtually undisturbed.  Sogara is a little different as houses border the beach.  Sogara is also located within a bay so the water is a lot calmer.  There is a restaurant there as well as a locals beach club further down.


 We spent Saturday afternoon at Sogara.  Just as we laid down on our towel, I felt something warm and wet on my hand so I shot up to find a dog sitting beside me.  There are a lot of stray dogs in PG but most of them could care less about the people around.  We aren’t sure if this one might have been a pet because he was so friendly.  He sat at Joe’s feet for quite awhile and would join us in the water or follow us if we walked down the beach.  Had we had a house, we might have seriously considered taking him home.

 Below is a picture of the damn lizards that haunt my existence here in Port Gentil.  Sometimes I think I’m getting used to them only to have one take off running beside me and I get startled and am on edge for the rest of my walk.

Welcome to our new blog!

13 05 2010

Hi everyone!

I’ve created this blog to keep you up to date on our life as we embark on this adventure overseas.  Add this link to your bookmarks and click on the “Sign Me Up” button on this page in order to receive emails when we’ve added something new.

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