• Archive for January 2008

    Mostly Davina

    Friday, January 18, 2008

    We have been asked to up load some photos of Davina so every one can see her and all the growth she has been up to. She is almost eleven months! And my baby is much to quickly growing away from new born into independence and childhood. She is sugar and spice tied up so nice. She is so bright Roger and I are always amazed at how much she gets. Nothing is missed by Davina. We have so much fun trying to trick her (which never works )With her blue eyes and strawberry blond hair, she is quite a treat for all the Asians. I think her photo has been sent around the world by now, seeing as so many people take them of her. We get stopped everywhere for people to look, take photos or simply rub her peachy cheeks. They all marvel over her blue eyes. We marvel also. Marion and Davina adore each other and greet each other every morning with hugs, kisses and pure glee. Marion has yet to complain about sharing or adapting because of baby. She is very patient and has taken to her role as a sister very naturally. I will hear them playing together and Marion teaching Davina or including her. Makes my heart skip a beat! Just the other day we were playing at the park and she saw Marion climbing up the slide. Well Davina was certain she could do it also. Crawled over and climbed right up. No pauses or set backs, pink dress and all! Davina is the essence of life and she omits energy, confidence, and joy.
    Marion is sweet and smart. Eager to learn. We are very challenged by her desire for information. She thinks about everything she hears and sees. She loves to travel, and adapts well to other cultures, foods, languages. She is very patient. We rarely have to tell her anything twice. The other day she was teaching Davina how to walk! Ofcourse Davina was falling, by the time I came to Davina's aid Marion was frustrated. I told Marion Davina could not walk yet, Marion then said " then why the heck does she have legs?" Marion is really looking forward to being four in a few weeks. She also is excited to learn how to read ( I told her when she turned four she will start to learn). She explains to me rather diplomatically what a set back to her life it is that she can not read on her own, that it would be much better if she did not have to wait until Roger or I could read to her. She is certain that life will be much easier for her when she can read on her own! I hope this updates you. Marion really misses everyone and is looking forward to having lots of fun coming home to Canada in the spring.

    This is Devi our wonderful nanny!


    Friday, January 4, 2008

    We are just home from Bali Indonesia feeling the peace and energy that comes from ten days off! We arrived at the airport in Bali to have our personal driver meet us and take us to the villa on the hill where we stayed for the first six days. It was spectacular! The Villa was huge and amazingly decorated all in Balinesian wood furniture, all the beds and windows were dressed with breeze white material, organic soaps in the bathrooms, tropical flowers in every corner of the house and yard. There was no window with out a view! It was an open concept villa with no walls in the living area, so the ocean breeze was constant. We had a private pool, butler, chef, driver and house boy! It took some getting use to being waited on around the clock!

    The first few days we traveled around, we went to a temple, the beach, drove up the volcano. Bali is spectacular! There is a lot to do in such a small place. We enjoyed a very low key christmas! Marion loved opening her gifts, she got a music box full of theater jewelry and a princess/bride dress. It was fun seeing Davina have her first Christmas in the tropics! Roger and I got each other watches so we felt even classier sporting swiss watches. We had three days of rain which was a huge disappointment, but when the sun came out again in all its splendor it wiped the rain from our memories. We then moved to the new villa which was right across the street from the beach. This villa was even more splendid then the last with vaulted thatch ceilings and outdoor bathrooms!

    On the 27th we were able to meet our Compassion Canada sponsor child. Her name is Rika and we have been sponsoring her for four years. from the very first letter we received from her she said she was praying that we could come and visit her, at the time we thought that was sweet but highly un-likely. When we heard we were we going to Malaysia we realized we could go and visit her seeing as Bali is so close. We first went to the school in which she goes to, we were met there by the project coordinator, who showed us pictures and told us about Rika and her family. She is the youngest of four children. Her whole family attends church and her mother works for the church helping young mothers and children. The Dad works stringing the wires on telephone polls. Her oldest brother is just completing college, her sister works and her sixteen year old brother is also finishing school and looking for work. We got to go to her home. When we arrived at the home we were greeted as royalty! Rika flew into our arms kissing and hugging us! Rika's mother hugged me for at least a minute or two. Her whole family had taken the afternoon off work ( a huge sacrifice ) to meet us! There house was tiny! But cleaned to perfection for us. They even had store baught cookies which you could tell was a luxury. Rika could not stop hugging us. The family was very friendly and a very peaceful. All four of the kids had very clear and sweet eyes, which was Jesus evident in there lives. That ofcourse was very wonderful for Roger and I to see.
    Rika who is eleven showed us her school records all A's she has just started to take private classes two days a week so she can get ahead because she would like to go to University instead of College, her goal is to be a lawyer. Both her parents work around the clock so that their four children can get an education. Education is the only way out of poverty in Bali like most developing countries. We brought Rika and her family gifts which was so fun to see them open. You should have seen Rika's face when she got all her things she had to close her eyes so she would not cry. She also showed us her room, she had only four toys which she said was from the four years of Christmas money we had sent her. Those toys were in perfect condition. I could tell that they were much to valuable to her to play with everyday. It was very hard to say good bye to her and her family. When we were leaving Rika's mom thanked me and in her broken english said that by helping their family over the years we were able to change the hope they had for a brighter future, she then hugged me. I will never forget that hug it was from a mother to a mother, it was a hug that communicated far more then words could ever say, it was hope and relief it was the answered cry of a mother for her children's future. It was joy that her family was going to make it, her kids would have the ticket to freedom through education. It was the emotions that every mother has all over this world that her child would be loved and find success.

    I left feeling rich, I left feeling overwhelmed with joy that my children were born Canadian and healthy. Blessed that my children have the brightest future. That there lives are already so much more fuller then ninety-nine percent of the children in this world. I left feeling sadness that Rika could and will never have what my children have. I grieved for every child that will never have a home or an education or hope. Some how, I felt the vastness of poverty, the loss that the world suffers when one child dies. I am grateful to God that he born me into Canada, that I can help a family out of poverty with a little over thirty dollars a month. I cry for every child who will never have such a hope. Anyway, I can't really find the right words to explain my emotions. It was amazing to meet Rika she is amazing and sweet and I love her so much.

    We continued our holiday with a lot more gratefulness! Had a few more wonderful days at the beach, enjoyed a traditional Balinesian dance and music. It was hard to say good-bye but we had a big surprise at the airport when Rika and her family showed up to say good-bye to us and bring us a gift. It embedded their family deeper into our hearts! We had a wonderful time just being together as a family and Bali is amazing! It is my favorite place on earth so far ( other than Salt spring and Prince Edward Island ) Ofcourse I can tell a hundred more stories, about the bugs and lizzards, the ocean and flowers, the spa, the people and their religion. But I must to go and count in the new year with Roger. We missed you all over Christmas. And love you all! Have a wonderful new year!

    Marion was enthralled by the whole experience. Look at her face!

    This pic is with Rika and her family. It was nice to see the other end of child sponsorship. It is so simple and as we discovered, so effective. The whole program their was run by Indonesians which was also nice to see. Compassion does child sponsorship very well. www.compassioncanada.ca

    Here are pics of the first villa we stayed at. It was very authentic. Cows would stroll past the field behind us and children would climb the trees. There was nice views of nearby villages and on the clear days we could see the volcano.

    Monkeys at the Uluwatu Temples

    Everyone in Bali drives a scooter. A family of three or four on a scooter was a common sight. Helmets were not so common.

    There are beaches everywhere in Bali. This is Dreamland Beach.

    More scooter families!

    Rice fields.

    Local crafts. Every village had a different specialty. Some were known for woodcarving, silver, batiks, art etc.

    Restaurant overlooking Kintamani Volcano.

    Breakfast at the villa.

    Jimbaran beach on a rainy Christmas Eve.

    Christmas Morning!

    Marion and her presents!

    Monsoon Christmas. It rained almost three days straight. We found a great donut shop though (to make up for my(Roger) mom's Christmas cinammon buns!).

    Pics from our second villa.

    Our favourite beach was Nusa Dua Beach.

    After Marion got her princess/bride dress, Daddy and Marion had to get married everyday.

    Balinese Dance

    Happy New Year everyone!