Monday, June 21, 2010

Medicine Hat - Floods of 2010

It has been over a year since I last did a trip south to the city of Medicine Hat to visit friends. I decided this past weekend to do the drive and get into some trouble with my former roomie Laurel and supervisor Jenn. We had planned to do a trip over the Saskatchewan border to the town of Maple Creek to visit a winery there and take in the beauty of the southern corners of both provinces.

Little did I know how much trouble I was going to be in, but it had nothing to do with going to the winery or getting out of control with the girls. Unbeknownst to me southern Alberta and Saskatchewan had been hammered with rain the last few days, leaving areas completely flooded. Our trip to Maple Creek was abruptly stopped as the TransCanada Highway into Saskatchewan had been closed due to flooding. Maple Creek was being evacuated and Medicine Hat was feeling the effects of flooding as well.

Saturday all we did was get in our cars and drive from bluff to bluff looking at the rising floodwaters from the various rivers and creeks that weave their way through the city of Medicine Hat. Luckily the city mobilized their crisis teams early but there was still a lot of damage from the weekend and the rain is not slated to stop for the region for another few days.

It was a great weekend despite the disaster and it was so good to hang with the girls again. Thanks for rollin' out the red carpet ladies!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Relay for Life 2010

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? Perhaps while studying for that final exam or madly finishing that 20 page paper that's due at 9 a.m.? Maybe you've stayed up all night partying with your friends or visiting with a loved one.

This past weekend I pulled an all-nighter that was completely foreign to me. I participated in the 12 hour Relay for Life that raises funds and awareness for cancer research. Joining a team lead by one of my favourite researchers and professors with the faculty I work with, I spent Saturday evening into the wee hours of Sunday morning, walking around a track, thinking of the different ways cancer has touched my life.

We had amazing weather for the entire event and I had the pleasure of sharing my walk with some amazing people, some merely participants, some actual survivors, all affected by the disease in some way.

Here are just a few pictures of the team I had the pleasure of participating with this weekend, the campers that set up their little home for the event and the group of survivors being led by bagpipers on their "victory lap" before our evening of walking began. I have been truly touched by the stories I heard on the weekend and feel blessed for the life I have.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

2010 World Cup Fever!

Only the second day in to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and I'm addicted again! I was up early this morning to watch my favourites, South Korea, defeat Greece 2-0.

Reminiscing over my experiences living in South Korea, in particular, I remember the summer of 2002. South Korea co-hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup with Japan and it was a crazy summer! Not only did my friends and I take in a match at Incheon's Munhak Stadium (Costa Rica vs. Turkey), but our beloved Taeguk Warriors (South Korean team) defied all expectations and eliminated team after team until they were one of four left in the championship.

It's hard to describe the pandemonium, excitement and overall joie de vivre that gripped the Korean peninsula that summer but it was magical. I remember the street parties, the late-night phone calls my parents must have received as I exuberantly shared the details of another Korean win and the lack of teaching at my school that summer. That kind of feeling can never be duplicated.

Good luck to my favourite team, the South Korean Taeguk Warriors!
** Sorry about the poor photo quality

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Edmonton Fantastic #2 - At the races

No it wasn't quite a day at the horse races like I had gotten used to in Australia. There were no pretty frocks and gorgeous hats or fascinators. Nope, this was an evening at the drag races in Nisku, AB at the Castrol Raceway. Regardless, I think it was just as fun/exhilarating as going to the horse races.

Natalie and I had been invited by our friend Renee to "Leduc Night at Castrol" as she works for the city of Leduc and was asked to sing the national anthem. After she belted out Oh Canada, we settled in for some ear-splitting, dirt-spewing, crash-em-up excitement. After, we headed back to Whyte Ave. to cap off the weekend with a celebratory beverage. I love summer weekends in Alberta!