A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: CanadaKid

Just Another Thursday

With A LOT of snow!

snow -24 °C

Sharlene and I met for coffee on Whyte Ave Starbucks. We meet for coffee every couple of weeks at different places around Whyte Ave. It's so nice to have friends like Sharlene that you can meet with regularly. Our schedules just happen to work well together!

Sharlene said she wanted to take more pictures this year, so we had a mini photo shoot.

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It was REALLY cold out - like -24 degrees celsius, with lots of snow! But we braved the weather to get some cool shots in this fun neighborhood.

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Posted by CanadaKid 13:59 Archived in Canada Tagged people snow winter canada coffee Comments (0)

So much SNOW!

People are calling it "snowmaggedon"

snow -19 °C

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I guess we aren't going biking any time soon...

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Posted by CanadaKid 14:46 Archived in Canada Tagged snow canada bike Comments (0)

Christmas Celebrations in Edmonton

snow -10 °C

Nathan and I went out to The Copper Pot Restaurant overlooking the Legislature for a special Christmas meal.
The food was excellent and we got a great deal through Book A Table with a $75 gift certificate for only $50.

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We took the train downtown, wandered around the Legislature to look at the lights, then went inside for carolers and free hot chocolate!

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It was so beautiful and definitely put me in the spirit of the season!

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Posted by CanadaKid 18:30 Archived in Canada Tagged winter lights christmas canada edmonton Comments (0)

It's been a while...

Our adventures in Part TWO.

semi-overcast 22 °C
View 2009 Adventure Parte DOS on CanadaKid's travel map.

It’s been way too long since our last blog update. Boo us.

Well, we are now in London after completing a 2 week cruise across the Atlantic. We left Miami on May 4th in the midst of Swine Flu fears and headed towards Bermuda. After 2 days at sea, we landed in Bermuda. The first day there, we walked around a bit but then the weather turned bad and we headed back to the free food and hot tub on board the ship. The next day, we rented a scooter and drove around the island. It was amazing to travel like this on the small island and we saw so many amazing towns and beaches. The one problem was that in Bermuda, you drive on the left hand side, AND it was Kristy’s first time driving a scooter. We headed to one of the famous pink beaches and pulled into the parking lot. As we made the turn, Kristy tried to slow down, but didn’t stop in time, took the corner too fast, hit the curb, and we fell. The scooter got a little scraped, but Nathan got it the worst. He had quite the road rash on his back. Then, we realized we were actually in the parking lot of the fanciest hotel on the island, and had just made a huge scene there. After we turned around and left and found the beach we were looking for. When we went down to the water, the beach was covered in scary blue jelly fish, so we didn’t last long. We drove around most of the island, visited some caves, then headed home for a nap. After Bermuda, we had 5 days at sea. Kristy got sick with a cold, but was so happy to not be sea sick. There was a storm just north of us and at some points the swells were huge, but we were happy relaxing and playing on board. Soon we arrived in Portugal and toured around Lisbon. It was an amazing city that we are definitely planning on visiting again. The next day we visited a city called Vigo in Spain. Not quite as impressive as Portugal, but we were happy to hear Spanish again. After another day at sea, we arrived in France (Cherbourg). We did lots of walking uphill. The day after, we arrived in the UK. We were a little sad to leave the ship and all the people behind. We met and experienced so many interesting people, mostly quite older than us, as we were some of the only non-seniors onboard. After making our way from the ship port to London, we spent a day in the Camden Market area which is full of punk/hippy/goth market stalls and delicious food from all over the world. We also did a quick Tube tour of some of the sites, but as this was our second time in London, we just did a pass through.

Tomorrow morning we fly to Istanbul, Turkey. We will spend a few days in Istanbul and then our plan is to continue on to Athens, then take a ferry over to Italy to visit Pompeii, stay a night or two in Rome, then ferry to Barcelona. We will have about a week in Barcelona and Madrid before we head to our next project in southern Spain.

We will be working on a project with Sunseed (www.sunseed.org.uk) in a village in the south of Spain on the Mediterranean. Because of the ever increasing deserts in the world, Sunseed exists to create and improve technology and sustainable ways of living within those deserts, especially for those living in poor areas of the world. The village is made up of a community of people living in this sustainable lifestyle after the original people abandoned their home due to the changing environment. We will be living in communal dorms, sharing all our meals of organic vegan food, using composting toilets, off the grid (only solar and wind power) and generally being hippies. (We will blog more and put up pictures of the project when we get there so this has more details and is clearer) Nathan will be doing some projects with construction in eco and traditional models or perhaps some more work with heating and cooling. Kristy will only be working part time (because of also taking courses) and will be helping out in the various areas around the village such as gardening, solar cooking tests, lab work, and many other random tasks. We are really hoping this project works out, but are also very sceptical after our experiences in Ecuador and are not tying ourselves down to anything at this point. We are really excited, but also terrified as this will be a really challenging experience that could either be really great or really bad (ie. Ecuador part 2 haha). It is also a very intense living arrangement where we will either sink or swim.

We are planning on this (with a trip or two more) will take us to mid August and then we will come back to Edmonton.

We will let you know when that changes ;)

Nathan and Kristy

Posted by CanadaKid 18:26 Archived in England Tagged backpacking Comments (1)

Listen Closely

Ok, so pretty much everyone I talk to is totally and completely confused about where Nathan and I are actually going and what the plan is for the new year. So I thought I would just sort of summarize it here. Just be aware that these are the plans of the moment and are really due to change at any second.

So it looks like on Dec 29th we will be flying from Edmonton to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. We are going to be staying there a few days, as its always been a dream of mine to go whale watching there. We are then going to fly down to Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico which is in the very south. We are then going to head overland to Guatemala to attend language school in a small town, only reachable by boat. It's called San Pedro La Laguna and its right across Lago de Atitlan where my Dad and I went last time we were in Guatemala (and where i got horrible food poisoning... haha). We will be staying with a Mayan family that will teach us Spanish (oh, the irony... and slight bitter sadness). We are then going to head down through Central America, basically making up the trip as we go along. We will continue like that until near the end of January.

(are you still with me?? haha)

Then, from wherever we are in Central America at the end of January, we will be flying to Quito, Ecuador. We have both gotten internships, amazingly with the same organization! It's an NGO called Verde Milenio (www.verdemilenio.org) that does sustainable development and eco-everything. We are so excited about this!! I am going to be doing some office work for them for a couple weeks - updating their website, editing english, building a client database, etc. Nathan is going to be working with an Architect on a water sanitation project. So we will be living in the capital, Quito, for a couple weeks. We are leaning towards renting an apartment, but are thinking about living with a family as well.

THEN, Nate and I will be heading out to a tiny village called San Miguel, near the coast of Ecuador. Here, Nathan will be researching and implemented the water sanitation project (which I will also help with). And I will be doing some anthropology and ethnographic research, compiling data on the community, making some contacts, and hopefully doing some teaching. Because Verde Milenio hasn't done much community research in the area, Nate and I will be working very closely and helping with each others projects, since they are so interrelated. We are so excited for the opportunity to meld our engineering and anthropology skills! We will be back and forth between Quito and San Miguel for about three months.

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San Miguel is an amazing place! It's right on the edge of a massive eco-reserve called Cotacachi-Cayapas, which is one of the top ten ecological hot spots in the world. They are currently trying to develop sustainable eco-tourist efforts that will help support their community, as well as the environment. To get to San Miguel, we have to take a bus almost all the way to Colombia, then follow along the border to the coast, then down to a town called Borbon. From Borbon, we take a canoe to San Miguel. There are no roads in and out. There are two distinct people groups in this area - the Afro-Ecuadorians and the Chachi Aboriginals. We will most likely be working with both, but our focus will be on the Afro-Ecuadorians (this is SO SO SO exciting, as I've always wanted to do fieldwork in this site). There will be little to no electricity, and very basic living conditions. We will probably be eating fish and shrimp for every meal (which Nathan is feeling pretty negative about haha). We will definitely not have any internet access, but we will be able to send updates whenever we are in Quito. I can't WAIT!!!

After the three months are up, there is talk of heading to Spain for a bit, and then to West Africa for a month. But this is so far from our minds at this point. It has taken us so long to come to this point with Ecuador, that we will worry about that later!

So that's where we are at. Today at least..... haha.

Posted by CanadaKid 18:37 Comments (0)

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