Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Boas Entradas por Todos!!

Well 2007 is here everybody and, since we are already a full two weeks into January, I thought it was about time I put up the first blog posting of the new year. I trust everyone enjoyed themselves this holiday season, whether you were at home surrounded by familiar faces or in a distant land with new companions. Despite all the hype that goes along with New Years celebrations, I do genuinely like to ring in the New Year with a group of friends, do the countdown, pop the bubbly, have that awkward (or awesome!!) first kiss and then stumble through the singing of Auld Lang Syne (of which nobody actually knows any of the lyrics!!).

Last year I spent my New Years relaxing on the sunny beaches of Mozambique and sleeping in a farmer’s field. This year I was home in Canada, shoveling myself out of the 30 centimeters of snow that fell on our city on the night of the 30th. It took my father and I almost four hours to clear off our patios, walkways and backlane and to dig my car out of the front street. Whereas 30 cms of snow would bring most cities to their knees, Winnipegers simply grit their teeth, lace up their winter boots and head out into the elements with a shovel in their hands.

2006 was a good year for many of my friends and family, with people starting new jobs, finding new relationships, moving into new houses and tackling new adventures. One of the things I like most about coming home to visit is seeing all the great changes that are happening to my city and the people there that I love. Of course it is also reassuring to know that certain things stay the same, like reminiscing at a local pub over a few Mooseheads, turkey dinners with the family and singing songs out of the Mennonite Hymnal at church.

Looking back at my time spent at home, I think I was able to visit with nearly all of the people that I needed to see. I got to have dinner and speak “portanhol” with my dear friend Rebecca, who is still living down in Colombia and has recently taken a job as a Policy Analyst for Latin America with MCC. She is a woman of immense passion and endless potential who continues to inspire me whenever we see each other, even if that is only once in a blue moon!! I also got to take in a concert of my friend’s band “Andrew Neville and the Poor Choices”, a rowdy country rock group with a certain affinity for Jim Beam, truckin songs and train wrecks. 2006 saw them survive their first Western Canadian tour and learn more about high impact lifestyle of rock stars living the dream. Keep given ‘er boys, I’m looking forward to the new album coming out soon!!

Of course, returning home also brought a few surprises for me. The first of which came as I was out for lunch with my former girlfriend Kristjanna, whom I dated just before I left for Mozambique at the end of 2005, and was introduced to the shiny engagement ring on her finger. Now of course I am happy for her as she is in a wonderful physical and spiritual space but I could not help but feel a few mixed emotions about this woman who was such an important part of my recent past. However, as life goes on I guess we cannot dwell on what “could have been” but rather remain thankful for the people that we are blessed to have spent important seasons of our lives with.

The other big surprise came from my cousin Crystal who announced her pregnancy at our Christmas family gathering. Given our family’s propensity for joking around, this announcement caught us completely off guard as our initial reactions ranged from “Ha ha yeah right!!” to “You bloody well better not be!!” Once we realized by the tears welling up in my cousin’s eyes that she was indeed serious, we all erupted in hugs and congratulations. This will be the first child of the “next generation” for our family so obviously it is a pretty big deal.

And the best Christmas gift I received this year was hands down the ski trip that my parents and I took out to Banff in the Canadian Rockies. We were blessed with fantastic ski conditions as the slopes at Sunshine received 20 centimeters of snow over the two days prior to our arrival. It had been nearly 7 years since my dad and I were on skis but we had an absolute riot exploring all the different runs, chasing ski bunnies and pretending like we were professionals. The first day we were there we were fortunate enough to have a brilliantly clear day in which we could see for miles and miles over the snow covered mountains. Since she never did like strapping on skis, my mother elected to spend her holiday between the Spa in the Banff Springs Hotel and the countless shops that line the streets of the quaint little town.

So after spending nearly three weeks in my cold homeland, I was ready to get on the plane and begin the long journey back to Mozambique and begin the new year there. I believe that 2007 will be a fantastic year full of new challenges and new directions. I had a friend dub 2005 the year of “hope and miracles” and 2006 the year of “new discoveries.” Therefore, I am declaring 2007 the year of “courageous action”, both at work and in my personal life. I hope all of you can feel emboldened this year to achieve your goals and follow the path you feel called to pursue.

Blessings and Peace in 2007

Jp

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pbthhh... You didn't even mention the almost seven and a half hours of good solid jamming with your good friends that got recorded. Ski trip? Well, I see where your loyalties lie! :)
Glad to see you got back safe. Did those discs work out for you? I've been having problems with my burner recently...

Roddy

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

You certainly did have a good time, didn't you!!!! We loved having you home visiting with family and friends but it seems those three weeks went by way too quickly.

Hope the flight back wasn't too grueling.

Miss you

9:23 PM  
Blogger jpmozambique said...

shoot roddy you're right, i'm an idiot for forgetting the killer jams we had with the cardboard robot/hotel whiskey...simply amazing stuff dude!! Ya those discs are great, I can't believe how much good music you managed to put on them. A perfect gift my friend!!

Keep the jam alive!!

Jp

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Suzan said...

HI Jared,
My name is Suzan. I too am a Winnipegger heading out to Mozambique in a couple short weeks to work with the Aga Khan Foundation. I wondered if you wanted to meet up sometime? I currently work with Leanne Cooper, who I believe you know, a CIDA project officer for the MEDA project in Moz. She told me about your blog which I have been reading for a few months now and you seem relatively normal so I feel comfortable asking you to get together since it seems we have so much in common already.:-) She also told me you would know the fun places to go so I am relying on you to jump start my social life. Hope that's ok!! :-) Anyway please let me know if you are interested. My email address is supersue25@hotmail.com. Hope to meet you in a few weeks.
Suzan

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Dad said...

Jared, it was so good having you home for Christmas. The three weeks gave us lots of time to hang out together, enjoy family gatherings, relive the Christmas traditions, share stories up the ski lift, do battle on the squash court and challenge each other in many different ways.

All the very best in 2007. May your year of "courageous action" see you live your Life to its full potential and leave a positive effect on those with whom you come in contact.

Love,
Dad

9:03 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

Too bad you guys didn't come skiing at Tremblant we had 30 runs of pure ice open.. Glorious! Wes and I are bummed you didn't make a trip to see us too, but maybe if you ask him nicely, he will send you one of his homemade postcards anyway =)

C

10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny... my friend dubbed 2007 "the year of the bold move" - so it looks like we're on the same page again!

I, too, hope that your flight back wasn't too grueling, though I'm sure you slept the WHOLE way ;-)

Leah

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me gustaria que pusieran toda la informacion en espanol para que lo hispanos tambien conozcamos de las otra tierra

3:32 PM  

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