Archives for June 2011

Happy Canada Day / Bonne Fete du Canada

Keepin’ it bilingual.

It only took moving to the other side of the world for me to make friends with Canadians. Living just a short distance from the US/Canadian border for 5 years didn’t seem to do the trick. Turns out, they really are super nice and don’t wear denim on denim as you might expect.

To my favorite Canadians: Happy Canada Day!

And to my non-Canadian friends: Let’s learn a bit.

xo, jill

The feeling is mutual.


Thanks, Nikki!

I miss you too, Washington! (And Oregon!)

Two weeks!

xo, jill

Pomp and Circumstance

Heavy on the pomp.

The school year has wrapped up for my sweet little students. Unfortunately for me, I have a few more weeks of sitting around in a dismantled classroom. The week before last we sent Grade 3 off with a nicely planned but loooong graduation ceremony. (My school only runs KG-3 so the students are “graduating” to Grade 4 at a new school).

I had been dreading saying goodbye to my girls all year. I taught them for two years and they were my first official classroom of students who were all mine. We went through a lot together. Laughing, crying, screaming (there were some bad times, ok?)…

A few days before their graduation the girls began to get extra lovey. One student drew a picture of herself crying and explained to me, “I am sad because I go new school.” Then she joined the crew crafting out this message:

As their graduation approached, I was nervous. I didn’t want to cry in front of all my students, their mothers, and the staff. Turns out, it was much easier to see them go than I thought. Somewhere between yelling at them to stop playing with the copy machine and their disregard for our practiced song formation, I started to feel a bit relieved. Honestly, if we had gone on for a third year together… someone was going to get hurt. (Figuratively, don’t worry!)

[Full disclosure: I did cry a bit during a rose ceremony where the girls stood up and thanked certain teachers, including me, while placing roses in a vase. It was super sweet.]

The ceremony itself was quite the production. There was recitation, singing, dancing, acting, costume changes, slideshows, gifts, and cake. Boy, was there cake. The most amazing cake I’ve ever seen. A giant cake made from 6 individual cakes. With a student’s face on top. Oh. Yes.

Also worth mentioning was the gift giving portion of the ceremony. Every student received a gift from the school. Every teacher received a gift from the Mothers Council. Individual students gave gifts to their classmates and their teachers. It was a bit out of control. My personal haul included: A bouquet of 4 roses from my entire class, a bouquet of a dozen roses from a student, 2 roses and a tea set from the Mothers Council, a necklace, fake flowers, potpourri, a gel candle, and a picture frame all from students. Excessive, but sweet.

Masalama, Grade 3!
xo, jill

Mailing chocolate in May

A cautionary tale.

My kind friend took a trip to Canada recently. She was thoughtful enough to select some novelty snacks to mail to me. Unfortunately, the weather got the best of them.

My package was sent to a new collection location. As soon as I saw it, I knew why. My package was quarantined! The chocolate inside completely melted and began oozing out the side. Oops!

The Aero bars are completely flat!

I don’t think I’ll be sampling these snacks, but I’m sure they are delicious.

Thank you for thinking of me, Nikki!

xo, jill

Kiva Loan: June

6 down, 6 more to go!

Logging in to my Kiva account was especially exciting today! Sos Mary, from April, has already repaid her loan. Wow! Sos Mary’s repayment combined with other repayments totaled $32 ready to go back out in the form of more loans. Awesome.

For my June loan I selected Pabla. Pabla lives in Mexico and runs a paper store. She needs capital to fully stock her store before school starts in the fall. She wants her customers’ children to have all the school supplies they need. I definitely support that.

Photo from Pabla’s Kiva listing

Any exciting news from your loans?

xo, jill

Inside the burj.

Bright and shiny.

Despite being told our reservation for tea did not provide access to the rest of the hotel, we did a little bit of exploring. How could we not?

Once you enter and ascend the escalator, you immediately notice the atrium, the “World’s Tallest Atrium” to be exact.

In the center of the atrium there’s a mesmerizing fountain. The water is so perfect it doesn’t look like water! When it sprays out in tall arches it looks more like clear plastic tubes. Every 30 minutes a column of water is supposed to spray 32 meters up in the air. Unfortunately, if anyone puts their hands in the water the schedule is disrupted and pushed back another 30 minutes. Since everyone is trying to reassure themselves that the perfect water truly is liquid, many hands were in the fountain. No big spray show for us.

We sneakily took an elevator up to the 25th floor. That’s high. Looking over the edge was pretty scary for me. That’s when we realized what we had thought was the ceiling of the hotel, was actually the bottom of a restaurant. We had gone several stories above it

Top photo: looking down at a restaurant
Bottom photo: look up at the underside of a restaurant

During tea our view faced toward the mainland. Here you can see the bridge that takes you out to the artificial island the hotel sits on.

Everything inside the hotel was beautiful but I was especially fascinated by the floral arrangements. Very creative.

I can’t say that I took away any decorating ideas for myself, but the colorful atmosphere was a nice complement to our afternoon of luxury.

xo, jill

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