Saturday, 17 December 2011

Weeks 14 & 15 - The Countdown is on!

So here I am.  Three days from now I'll be arriving in Montreal, the halfway point on my journey back home for the holidays.  Before we get to that though let's see what's been going on for the last two weeks!

This is a random picture of the mail pickup truck.  I thought it was interesting to see the little modification to the tires so that there is a little bit more traction.  There is a massive amount of ice on the roads right now so this is probably a very good idea.

Last Saturday was our school Christmas party at Omerone's house.  It was an interesting evening.  The food was pretty good (Omerine and Raymond are an older french couple and definitely know how to cook!).  I'm glad that some of the younger people were there so that I had some people to talk to.  It gets a little awkward for me sometimes when I'm surrounded by older people and little children.  At one point though someone busted out their accordion and people started singing Christmas carols. This was my cue to hit the dusty trail...  Anyway, I had been warned that there would be massive amounts of food so I decided that I would make some Ciabatta as an accompaniment to the main course.  Everyone seemed to enjoy them and Omerine was quite happy to have the extras.

I think they turned out reasonably well considering I haven't made these in over 2 years.  Although they weren't as airy as I wanted.  Next time I'll have to let them rise more.

One of the interesting additions to our school was a new ornament designed by the art teacher called the Northern Lights.

It's a fairly interesting construct made from pieces of green and purple glass wired together.  It's quite nice when the light illuminates the glass.

Over the last couple weekends (last weekend and this weekend) I have been working on making Christmas cookies for all the students.  I thought it would be nice to have the teachers come down on the last day of class and get some for all their students.  I made them some sugar cookies, belgium cookies and mexican wedding cakes.  I think in total there was around 200-250 made.  This week Nancy came in and lent me a hand!  It was nice having her there since decorating the sugar cookies on my own generally becomes very tedious and makes me question my 'good ideas.'

Here is the Maestro in the middle of decorating some cookies.  She brought some of the kids in too and they have fun decorating too. :)

Finally, here are some of the interesting things I have bought while I've been here.  Some of these are made from soap stone, others are made from bone or some other type of stone.  It seems a little strange to me that no one carves things out of wood, but it kinda makes sense though since there aren't that many trees around here, and the ones we have are soft wood.

Anyway, this is it! The next time I post I will most likely be sitting in Delhi with a nice mug of hot chocolate and a cookie!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Weeks 12 & 13 - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Well, just like most of my favorite television shows, I decided to take last week off of posting.  Unlike the mass media, my inactivity was not due to the American Thanksgiving weekend, but rather the complete lack of anything of note happening!  Over the period of two weeks though, I actually did some stuff that was interesting.

On a personal note, I am quite happy that Movember is over since now I am able to shave off my ridiculous looking mustache. Although as my mom would point out, all I need is a sombrero, a poncho and a sash of bullets and I'll be ready for an old school Mexican standoff.

But allow me to back things up a bit.  November 26th was Heather's birthday.  We had a small gathering at Gillians house and made pizza for dinner.  Nancy also brought over the stuff to make Sushi and I made a tray of Eclairs.  Fortunately eclairs are very easy to make and really aren't too time consuming. 

 Everyone had a good time and a few people had a little too much to drink.  I hadn't thought that they had drank too much more than me, but they were in pretty rough shape the next day and I was fine (I actually went to school and did some work).  The highlight was definitely when Gillian spit her drink across the room.  I was watching her as she did it and I really wasn't sure what was going on.  Apparently she heard someone say something funny and she couldn't help it.  I also learned that some of my fellows have interesting talents.

Recently I have been going to the gym trying to get into better shape.  I usually go around 3-4 times a week although some times it is hard since it's so bloody cold outside.  Last Wednesday when I came home I looked up and noticed that the Northern lights were out.  It was pretty neat! I got a picture of it, but sadly I didn't have any sort of tripod and it was exceedingly cold outside making it hard to sit still and take the picture.

When I go home for Christmas I'll grab one of my SD cards for my other camera.  I bought an 8gig SD card from amazon for $15 but apparently my camera is too old to recognize the chip and I haven't been able to use it!  On a positive note though, it's only a little bit over two weeks until I jump on a plane and come home!! It's all very exciting.  I have seen a few people around here hanging Christmas lights on their houses as well.

This is one of the houses across the street from me.  It's nice to see everyone getting into the holiday spirit!  I'm thinking next week I will get started on my Christmas cookie workshop.  I discovered that on December 20th it is a day when classes have activities or Christmas parties so I thought it would be fun if we had cookies available that we could take around to all the kids!  Since there's around 200 students I think I'm going to have to get started early! I think 2 weeks should do it no problem though since I will have some helpers as well!  That fact is probably a good thing since decorating can get tedious and makes me want to shoot myself sometimes..haha