Friday, May 26, 2006

Charitable Status!

Hey, did you check out that attachment on that email that I sent out a month or so ago? The one about fundraising for the Guatemalan family this summer, for a sum of $1000? In that letter, there was a paragraph that noted how at that time, Global Shore Opportunities had not yet received its charitable status, meaning we could not issue tax receipts for donations.

As of last week, however, we have been granted this status and can now issue tax receipts! Yay! To find out more about this opportunity, see the link on the right, entitled "Donation Info". The invitation is still open (to date, I’ve received 10% of the target), and I would like to emphasize that none of the money is for me, all of my costs are covered by the program, so 100% of the donations will go straight towards the materials needed to build a home for a family, and English teaching supplies. It is truly a unique giving opportunity!

Thanks for reading, love Kat.

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Twelve Amigos

Here we are! First team photo, bottom row we have Kris, Kat, Jenni, Char, Nicole, moving up counter-clockwise is Nick, Steffen, John, Jenna, Charrisa, Greg and Kevin. Coming from all over Canada, this is one stellar team, really REALLY amazing people. God is building such healthy relationships between us, ones of encouragement and uplifting. It is a priviledge to be part of this team. Each person brings personality, and I am learning so much from the differences that we have and the wisdom that is brought by people from different walks of life. The guys are hilarious and the ladies just are constantly laughing at their antics. Looking forward to my first family of twelve.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rural Ontario and the Great Lake

Well, I have to dedicate an entire blog entry just to the beauty of Ontario. It is truly astounding. To all the BC-ers out there....we are far too arrogant in our province, "Beautiful British Columbia", oh how true, but there are certainly other forms of beauty in Canada aside from mountains and oceans, even in the plains of Alberta through to Ontario here. Perhaps I have a unique appreciation to the great outdoors after my truly horrifying experience of living in Abbotsford for the summer two years ago, in our third-floor story condo, without an inch of green space to my name. That was truly tragic, having lived in the country most of my life, and than inhabiting an island for three years, and THEN to move to the middle of a city was a bit of a shock to the system, one that was intensely felt during the fine sunshine with no lawn to lay on during the summer of 2004. All of that is to say that I am thoroughly enjoying being back in the country again. Fields of asparagus, fields of cherry trees, fields of everything, and beyond those fields, great big Lake Erie. ASTOUNDING. I have never quite seen a body of water like this one.

I like to go for runs down the road to this cemetary, which has become a little sanctuary for me. I have an appreciation for cemetaries if you don't already know, so I like to frequent this one, and wander around it 'til I run home, and the other day I wandered out the back of the cemetary, through an asparagus field to get a view of the lake. Hear me when I say (or type...) that I have never, in all of my life, even when living on the ocean for three years, seen a body of water look that beautiful. If I had to write a one-liner on Lake Erie, this is what it would be, "If God were a body of water, He would be Lake Erie." I'll try and describe.

The weather at that particular moment when looking at the lake was overcast and it looked like a storm was coming. The lake is aptly named "great" because it's simply water all the way to the horizon, but it's unique because there's not a single boat on it. No boat streams disrupting the water, just glassy. The blue hues from the overcast were muted and soft so that I couldn't distinctly separate the water from the sky on the horizon, and there were patches of lighter, turquoise almost, and closer to the beach it was sandier colored, and then this beautiful muted blue color. I wish all of you could have seen it, there just are not adequate words other than to say that I couldn't help but just sit in quiet awe for a good fifteen minutes.

Other than the lake, there are wind turbines all around where we live, which is great, and the sunsets are gorgeous, and there's a rooster that crows obnoxiously whenever I'm within earshot, the birds twitter, the trees line the roads and are in full bloom, and walking through the cherry trees is just wonderful. So. You get the picture, I'm loving being a country girl again!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

From Barista to Buncher

Hello All! Grrrrrrrrrrrr, I'm a little cheesed because my whole message was just lost and now I have to retype it. Boo technology, what good have you done the world????!?!? alright, now that that's over, let me try and recall. So. I have started my new job in the asparagus plant. It is interesting. Work starts at 7:00am, and the team and I walk across the field and join the hundred or so other asparagus employees. That's right, you heard me, a hundred, this is quite the operation they have here. Ironic really, I use to be mildly amused when driving down the road at 5:15am on the way to work at Starbucks, up before the sun, up before the rest of the world all in the name of coffee! And now, I do similarly outrageous things but in the name of aspargus.

Allow me to describe to you the very complex job that I perform as a buncher. So you see, I stand at the buncher machine all day, the white square thing in the photo. I load it with an elastic, grap a "bunch" of asparagus, press it through the hole where it is elasticated (new verb????), reload the buncher, and elasticate for the second time. I then find the appropriate box, and begin the cycle anew. This all happens in a matter of seconds, assembly work is fast-paced, let me tell you, and everyone has to keep up or everything gets messed up. DID YOU KNOW: there are around 30 different grades (sizes) of asparagus???? Short, tall, skinny, non-fat, with whip white chocolate mocha...whoops, I'm regressing here, I meant short, tall, skinny, fat, jumbo, tips, etc. Quite remarkable really. So this is what I do, i bunch asparagus all day long, but not just for your typical eight hour work day, ho no, the norm right now is a 12 hour plus work day. Yikes! The first long day was a little rough, I actually burst into uncontrollable hysterical laughter at the nine hour point when discovering we would be working for another three hours, but now I seem to have acclimated nicely to the hours, and am faring well.

And my prediction was correct, the prediction that I would eat asparagus a lot. Every dinner, asparagus is for the taking, and here is how you all should try it. Cook it, shred some cheese on top, dribble a little hot sauce on, and sprinkle the secret ingredient to every meal on top. (in case you don't know what that is, it's salt and pepper). Try it, it's great! Alright, that is it for now, I will wait to share more delightful news on life in aspara-land some other night!

Good night! Love Kat