Dear WestJet, You (almost) blew it.

Remember when we returned form Winnipeg back in September and WestJet sent our bags off in a different direction than us, and we were super pumped because they offered us a voucher of $100 each if we came and picked-up the bags ourselves once they did arrive?

Remember that we were so thrilled we high-fived each other right there at the service desk, then proceeded to blog to the world that WJ was fantastic? (And now ensure we check baggage every time we fly in hopes they will loose it.)

Remember all the positive publicity I gave them?

Well... I almost take it back.

This morning I was curious as to whether we had to fly within that year or just simply book within the year, so I e-mailed, then had to follow up with a phone call, because this is what I heard:

Clickity, click, click, click click-clickty-click
"Sorry, but that voucher has expired."


"You only had 3 months."


Ummm, no. We were told 1 year because otherwise we would have used them at Christmas. Then, oh then, I hear...

Clickity, click, click, click click-clickty-click
"Also, you are only eligible for one voucher, not two, because they were for the same address."


{I distinctly remember the cheerful customer-service lady telling us at midnight that we were "super lucky, because we were booked under two different bookings so we each received a voucher." (And I did book us separately, remember? Tom flew in a few hours after me on Friday night. We couldn't have been on the same booking.) So, um, what? Imagine if we were siblings, booked under two different tickets and because we lived at the same address, only one of us received a voucher for $100.}

"That can't be right..."

Clickity, click, click, click click-clickty-click
"Well, it says that Mrs. Scatliff was picking-up both bags, so she receives the voucher."


"Well, if you'd like to book a flight with WestJet today, then I can probably get that one reinstated."

Oh, sure, let me pick a destination at random...

"But, I cannot give you two, all I can do is give you an 'extension' on the one you have for another 3 months."

My response: "Thank you very much, I appreciate it. However I won't be booking a ticket today, and my husband will be calling back very shortly."

They didn't stand a chance.

We now have a year from today to fly, another 3 months to book, for 2 vouchers, worth $100 each. Thank you WestJet, you did a very good thing.

On a Break

Ah....Spring break is sweet.


Maybe I should be a flight attendant?!?

So, soon I will be a big girl. All grown up and graduated. But what do I want to do (eventually) when I grow up??? Tom and I recently found out that flight attendants, pilots, and those who work at travel agencies get *free* flights. Free??? Well, I can't even fly a kite, never mind a jet, so being a pilot might be out. But a flight attendant? (Have I told you any of the amazing waitress stories I have....lol! I laugh everytime I try to picture my-waitress-self from the customers' eyes. lol!) So...maybe that won't work either.

How about an Airmiles-Reward Miles lady? I've been talking to them a lot lately. And Airmiles are fantastic...they can get you from Montreal to Winnipeg for a wedding, from Montreal to Winnipeg for Christmas, and now, from Montreal to Winnipeg for a birthday!! Seriously guys, if you don't have a card - get one!!!! Or, at least, make sure your parents have them...;)



I tried a few times to draft somthing up about lent. It's a season in which Christians and non-Christians alike have many views, and often misguided views. I'd invite you to read Phil's post about lent. He typed out what I was trying to say.

This year, it's chocolate for me. If you think this will be easy, then check out my previous post about the wonderful goodness of chocolate.


"Yes, we accept this 'mission'!!"

Now that the plans are being finalized and agreements made, now that the primary stakeholders (aka moms and dads) have been notified and situation assessed; we are ready to share. I doubt if the following will come as a surprise, but it is exciting non the less (to us, at least :)

We are going as missionaries to Costa Rica for a week shy of 7 months.

We are leaving the first week of November.

This is for real.

Yes, we are returning to our beloved town of Tuis, Costa Rica. A place we fell in love with at the end of our visit last summer; a place that has been tugging at our heart strings since we've left. When we propo
sed a 6-month visit to serve the community and surrounding area, the mission organization (Voz Que Clama) reciprocated our enthusiasm about such an arrangement and we've been making plans ever since.

Among a span of opportunities to serve while there, they have asked Tom to focus on adapting farm equipment for the residents with physical disabilities, and to run a men's bible study from our home. They have requested that I aim to balance resources allocated to the rural indigenous communities while optimizing diets of the residents living at the facility; additionally, I have been asked to run a women's pre-natal nutrition class within the community of Tuis. Both Tom and I will be highly involved in researching for, planning, and initial management of the farm (if not underway by the time we arrive).

As you can imagine, many challenges lay ahead of us. Operating in a foreign land, culture, and language will place significant strain on any relationship, including ours. The length of the trip requires us to indeed *live* in the community, not grim-and-bare situations until 'we can get out of here!' The trip will be nothing short of financially impossible because we will not be earning any income during our stay, but will be required to pay for all accommodations, flights, Spanish lessons, transportation, food, supplies, etc. We fully believe the good Lord will provide and we will be able to do this. We are unwilling to get hung up on money.

Please, join us in prayer for direction, strength, and patience. Please ask for adequate preparation before going, that my schooling will be completed in a timely manner, Tom's employer will have understanding, and we will be able to handle the stress of leaving Montreal (potentially for good), traveling to a new land without income, and having no place of our own to return to in Canada.

The year that lies ahead of us will be challenging, but we feel very blessed to be faced with these challenges and know we have a good people that will have our backs.


i have no sense of direction

I mean literally, not in, like, life or anything. No, no, no; in life, I have to work on following one direction at a time. But that's another story. Back to being directionless...

When I worked for a research lab in Winnipeg, sometimes I'd be assigned to our equipment at the Health Sciences Centre. Although I would get to work with some pretty neat stuff, my day would be considerably longer because of the time it would take me to get in and out of that place. I would *have* to take the same bus and same route everytime, or I would never get in. The same path, over and over, or I was doomed. Even though this path wasn't the shortest, easiest, or best, is was the one that I could follow consistently. When I strayed from that path, often due to grand intuition as to a shorter way, I would eventually land up walking aimlessly (and in extreme frustration) trying to find my way again. Ugh.

Here in Motnreal, metro (subway) stations often have more than one main exit, which always poses as a threat to me. Some, like the ones in the heart of downtown, often open up into large underground malls, which are fantastic if you are capable of navigation becuase often you can get much closer to your destination without baring the elements outside. I once found my way successfuly from the metro stop to McGill, which has had me trying to repeat the venture a number of times since. Minimal success. My latest tactic has been to spot student-like looking people and follow them. People with backpacks must be students, right? McGill is the only major university downtown Montreal, right? (FYI - NO!) So here I was yesterday, stalking these poeple as they got off the metro. In the hustle and bustle they are all making their turns. I have to pick my person, so I do and off we go. We walked through this amazing grand mall, passed food courts and strips of beauty salons. Its so large in there you can't believe you are underground, there are escalators to the different levels and everything! Eventually, my 'guide' finds a main exit and we are up and out onto the street. Some unknown-to-me street. I look up and there are skyscrapers all around. Oh, nuts. This is *not* the university. Here we go again. Thankfuly Montreal is centered around a mountain (Mount Royal, get it?) and McGill perches itself along a long side of it, and this baeutiful location has bailed me a few times. I simply find a street that's heading uphill and off I search. Usually this works. If not, I text my street corrdinates to my loving husabnd who, with the help of google maps, finds me and gets me where I need to go.

Did I ever tell you I was a delivery driver once? Can you imagine how great I was at it?!?! lol


Does this ever happen to you?

Have you ever dealt with an organization or business in which you had to inquire information from and while doing so you hit major communication barriers with the person on the other end of the phone? And, upon struggling to explain what you mean, you're put you on hold so they can clarify something with someone and, upon return, still don't understand, so then frustration sets in they escalate the call to their manager with whom, sadly, this process takes place all over again and then all of a sudden you are on the phone with the boss of the company who thinks you are some sort of an ogre-client giving their employees a hard time when really you have a simple question?!?!


This has happened to me twice this past week with the same organization. I sure when they see my number on the company's call display they are like "It's her again." I'm not usually a cranky person, really! When the boss-man picked up the call he was like "Yes, Candice, what can I help you with this afternoon?"

Just me, then???

Wordless Wednesday

Tuis de Turrialba


Monthly Update

New Year's Resolution progress:

1. Exercise
  • We go to the gym once a week (I know, I know, once is peanuts, but it's still better than not going at all!).
  • So, I guess we get a 6/10?? (I want to be more positive than 50%!)
2. Read More Scripture
  • Well, sort of.
  • The 'Devotionals for Couples' still hasn't been touched; I'll admit it! Tom's time and my time for reflection and prayer are not on the same schedule, but are still working for both of us, so I don't feel a need to try and force them together. My prayers have increased as the end of the degree approaches. We want to follow whatever the good Lord has in store for us. If you're looking for more prayer items to add to your list (yeah right, eh!?) please include our future and willingness to listen and follow.
  • Maybe a 5/10???
3. Get Involved
  • We are still taking Spanish classes every Wednesday night. Still fun, still challenging.
  • We are now (highly!) involved with the youth at our church. It's not your usual youth group, you can be sure of that, but it is full of searching kids and loving leaders; we will learn a lot! I'll admit, the workload we took on is waaaaaaay larger than anticipated or wanted, but hey, if that is what's asked of us, that is what we shall deliver. As highlighted by Lyla in a recent post, scripture instructs that those that have been entrusted with much; much will be asked.
  • I'm a new leader in a book study for adolescent girls. We had our first meet last Tuesday and this coming Tuesday is the first study day. Should be interesting. We are reading "Jesus wants to save Christians." I've heard interesting reviews; I think it will be good.
  • We had a get-together here a few weeks ago, we ensured to visit our loved ones on the west coast, I'm doing lunch with the some of my co-worker girlfriends during the week, and am making another good friend with the Colombian who moved in next door.
  • Considering we now have every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, most Friday evenings, and some Sunday evenings booked with relatively new involvements, I'd give us a 9/10!!

So, overall, we're operating at 67%, not bad! How's everyone else coming along?


Oh, Victoria

Well, it was a walk down two memory lanes that ran parallel at points, but never crossed until years later.

As it turns out, T&Me have both gone on a number of family trips to the west coast - both via air and land. Tom, however, has done this more so in his adult life (or maybe it's because he has had more adult life), and I've probably only reached the coast once since turning eighteen. His family is more centered around Victoria, and I've always continued the journey up island to my cousin's in Ninimo. It was fun to talk about our numerous previous trips, but it was amazing to have one of our own.


We stayed at Tom's Granny's for all three nights. She is a wonderful woman. I went in with some pre-conceived notions of how amazing she would be based on everyone's comments and love for the woman, but even that didn't prepare me for the stories she shared, jokes she told, and just pure love that shone through her. And no, she doesn't read this blog, so that's not why I'm saying this! How can it be that you're only somewhere for a few short days and leave with more family than you arrived with? I honestly feel that I have another grandparent now.

Tom also has numerous cousins, aunts, and uncles on the island, which we were able to get together with for Sunday night dinner. The size of my family expanded (or should I say 'exploded'?) again. Maybe we have to move out to the west coast now???

Aside from all the visiting, we were also able to get some photography lessons from my father in law. Not only is he really knowledgeable in that kind of stuff, but our camera used to be his, so he know exactly how she works. Which makes things really handy. I never cracked open my work once --> it was a true holiday!

We also, of course, took in seafood a plenty (I love crab!), the scenery, and the seals at the marina. We drove up the Malahat to take in the view, caught a waterfall, and grabbed some lunch. We visited my in-laws beachfront trailer, drank good coffee, played with Dave's (Tom's cousin) silver Olympian medal, and learned a lot of history. I enjoyed hearing stories from the far past as well as the recent past. I really feel like I grew closer to my relatively recently-acquired family.

In conclusion: We had a wonderful, wonderful time. Lu and Tim, thank you for an amazing weekend.

Pics to come - I'm just in class right now!


An eveing at the beach - FOR REAL!!!!!

Guess where we are off to in just a little over 4 hours?

British Columbia!!! Well, the beach just an hour from Victoria, to be exact. I'm pretty excited, considering I just (re)booked our tickets. Here's a funny little story about that...

Two days ago we decided we wanted to head to Victoria, after Tom got the go-ahead for some time off work, I booked tickets yesterday: leave Saturday at 10:00, get there at 3:30 and head back on Monday. Then, to my *horror,* this morning before a huge meeting I just happened to check my e-mail and saw that the subject of our e-tickets from Aircanada stated: Your Flight from Winnipeg to Victoria - Feb 7. WHAT??? WINNIPEG? NO!!!

If you could believe, Aircanada refunded the entire amount we paid for the flight out of the wrong city. I was able to book us tickets again, except we are now leaving in a few short hours, not tomorrow like originally planned. How exciting!

So, there's the happy ending --> over a period of just a two short days we decided to go to Victoria and leave right now.

Why are we headed to the other side of the country, you ask? Well, that's where Tom's 93(!!) year old grandmother lives, whom I've never met. Plus, his parents are there right now visiting (for over a month!) and have a place on the beach, so, with their support, we figured this was the best time as ever to get in a visit in.

Oh boy I'm excited to use my camera for some of that scenery!


An evening at the beach!

The invitation went something like this:

love Costa Rica.
I don't love getting older or cray cold weather.
We're having a Costa Rican/summer themed party to shadow the fact that I'm getting older!

Be sure to bring your summer cloths, as the apartment's heat will be cranked to bring us back to the joys of summer! Shorts, tanks, or anything of the sort is welcome (bikinis, on the other hand, are not!) Remember your shades, hat, suntan lotion, or whatever else reminds you of better-weather days.

Pineapple "margaritas" will be served along with some probably-not-themed food!!!

And so we did, and it was **FUN**!!

We were all in our summer threads, and Tom even projected a video of a Costa Rican beach onto the wall. The 'waves' kept crashing onto the shore all night as we played Cranium and explained the traditions/customs of Canadian 'parties.' It always amazes me when I actually take a second to look around and realize everyone's background. Montreal is *very* multicultural. When I was at the University of Manitoba, "international student" was a synonym for "student from China/Japan." Here? We don't even bother saying 'international student,' because that's pretty much everybody. Here it's more like, "Oh, you're Canadian??? Neat!"

For example, these were the first three ladies to arrive on Saturday; A Colombian, an Iranian, and a Nigerian. {No, this is not the start of a joke!}

Thanks for making my birthday so special everyone!


Um, I would like to graduate please....

Well, as some of you may have noticed, it's been a while.
"What are they up to..." You ask?

Well, trying to follow through with the non-existent New Year list is half of it, the other half has been b-day celebrations, and the *other* half being...GRADUATION APPLICATION!!! Can you believe that his degree may be wrapped up by the end of the summer? In.Cred.I.Ble. Incredible!! Seriously, can you believe it? I Can Not.

When we moved out here we thought this venture would take us 3-3.5 years. At the time, the plan was a double masters thesis degree with field work, and we knew that was going to eat up over 3 years of our lives. Then, oh then, out paths changed. I became a little ill last spring and had to take a leave from school. Concurrently, the project started to take longer and longer (phase I, which needed to be completed before phase II, which was mine, was already 6 months delayed). Tom and I had a lot of time to have big long chats about life, about what matters in life, about what we thought we should be doing with our life... and our perspectives changed. Life is short!

My health returned. We met with my supervisors and discussed our concerns/ideas and they were more than accommodating. Along the theme that 'life is short', we asked for field time in Panama so we could get some international experience and exposure to field work in remote settings. We spent the rest of the summer doing just that. When we returned to Canada the decision had to be finalized: stay with the original option, or switch programs??? I loved the field, I was feeling much better, but our visits with mission organizations during our trip completely solidified our decisions. We want to get on with this!! Yes, we were itching to get back out there, yes for sure, and the thesis project would have brought us out there for 8 months, but we knew then that we wanted to returned with our agenda, not McGill's. So, we did it. I switched. I cried. I cried. I cried.

But now? I've never been happier. Seriously! This program (rooted from the Faculty of Human Nutrition, but options for courses in parasitology, water and sanitation, global health, food security, policy and poverty, etc.) has been fascinating and completely applicable to what I really want to do in the long term. It's more holistic and offers a wider range of knowledge. So, not only has this switch been waaaay better from a personal growth in required knowledge point of view, I've also made some incredible friends from my classes and...oh....AND... we're out of here in HALF the amount of time. How exciting is that?!?!?

The only snag was my funding. Would my funding agency accept our change of heart? In the end my proposed project for this program also fit their bill and it all worked out splendidly. How blessed are we!!???!!

So now, we're looking down a very dark 6.8 month long tunnel (dark must mean working hard!) and then a white sheet at the end. A blank, white sheet....What will be be doing in September???? We're working on it people. Oh, we are working on it. ;)

All I have to do now is graduate!!!!!!