6 months, 10 exams, and a lot of fun later I am back in the land of the beaver and maple leaf- Canada, to be exact.
I finished my first year of school- working towards a diploma in Adventure Tourism Management. It was a great 2nd term, learning all about weather systems and planning trips, risk management, and even accounting (Wow, did that get the wheels movin in the brain or what!). We even did a Pre-hospital emergency care course, which was great. CPR anyone- just ask me ;)
My good friend Bruce and I went on some great trip- including being stuck in the big earthquake in Christchurch. We were going to go see my very sick Grandmother but our flight to Wellington was cancelled- This then turned our simple 3 day trip into an extreme road trip up the coast to Blenheim and an impromptu flight on a dinky-toy plane from Blenheim to Paraparam, where my mother and Auntie Sue picked us up. We were able to have dinner with my parents and auntie and uncle- less than 24 hours later my Dad flew back to Canada! It was great to see him, even for the little bit. The worst part was we then had to do the whole trip back down the island! I am going to put this out there: I think it is impossible for me to have a normal trip- but if you think about it- if it was normal....would it be any fun?
My sister was back in hospital, which was really hard for me as I was so far away. She now has an Ostomy bag for the rest of her life due to her Crohns disease, but this surgery went much better than the last and she is doing great! She is the bravest person I know and is out as active as ever: climbing mountains, biking, and playing golf. What a superstar!
It was really sad saying goodbye to everyone in New Zealand- It is hard leaving everyone every year! My last week we drove my big truck, named "Marvie", out to my mates farm, Ban Falconer. Ben did biathlon for a season in Europe, and has a great farm in NZ- we drove around the farm and played with some lambs and saw lots of little baby cows. Marvie is filled to the brim with my New Zealand life- hold up Marvie, I'll be back soon!
The day I left was tough. As I was driving to the airport to check in, my family called and told me my grandmother had died. Although we knew it was coming, it is still really hard to hear it. She is in a happy, better place now, but I will miss her a lot. I took a breath and cleaned myself up and went to check in- wow, I felt awful for the check-in person- as soon as he said I had to re pack my bags as my 36kg ski bag is not allowed to fly that heavy and he was going to have to charge me $200, I burst into complete tears and could not stop. As I was re packing, weighing, getting my boarding tickets sobbing- he took me over to customer service- well, due to the fact I was about to miss my plane (and maybe the waterworks) they ended up not charging me. Yahoo!
As I ran through security, I was able to give Bruce one last hug, before being the last onto the plane. The poor family beside me thought I was having some sort of fit- in my frantic, crying state- I managed to pretty much inform the whole flight I was fine. Awkward....
My flights were all good- everything went smooth. Everyone, please read that last sentence again....everything went smooth! The air host even brought me a pillow from 1st class! WIN! I missed seeing my mother by 30mins as she took-off from NZ to her mothers funeral. I will see her soon though.
Now I am back in Canmore, hoping to sleep well tonight, and get into training!
Take care, have fun and smile!