School started up again yesterday and in spite of the fact that our month break was rich and full and productive, we are both pretty happy to be back in the routine of work.  Steve is teaching the same courses as last semester and his classes are a bit smaller so that will, at least, mean a decrease in preparation and marking time.

It is awesome to look back over this month and think about all the joys that we experienced inspite of being half a world away from our family and friends.  Our two weeks in Cambodia provided us with a new understanding of their history and culture, opportunities to see amazing sights, meet people who challenged our hearts and make some connections for our future ministry in that country.

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We returned to KL on Dec 21st for a Christmas Party with some staff and friends, hosted by fellow Canadian expats, Bill and Kim.  Following two days with a nasty flu bug, we celebrated Christmas Eve with Steve’s Malaysian co-worker, Rowena and her family.  We had a great dinner, attended the Christmas eve service at their church and even got in some carolling with the family.

Christmas day we had a quiet morning and then went to a lovely “High Tea” at the home of an Australian friend, Fiona, where we met some of her friends and co-workers.  Then on to one of our favourite restaurants, Ole-Ole Bali, for “Christmas Dinner” with the Taylor’s Canadians, and back to our apartment for coffee and snacks and a lovely evening with friends.

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The 26th and 27th were work days for Steve as each lecturer at Taylor’s is required to “volunteer” three days of their vacation to be available to counsel incoming students and their parents.  I spent a couple of days nursing my “bug” which had by now turned into a nasty head cold.

 The 28th was a hard day for us as, it being the 27th in Canada, was the day that the Carter family were all together at my brother’s home celebrating Christmas.  It was a joy for us to know that our kids were all home in London sharing Christmas with family and it was so much fun to talk with everyone on the phone while they were together.  However, it was also Benjamin, our grandson’s, first birthday and as he was born on the day of Mom’s funeral, it was a very difficult day to be so far away. 

 New Year’s Eve was a bit unique in that we had the 16 Canadian’s over for a BBQ at our condo, which is home for the five couples who are here.  After a fantastic meal of steak and chicken, we hung out at Bill and Kim’s until it was time to go up to our swimming pool,  and bring in 2008 watching the fireworks all around us.

Thanks to our favourite carrier, AirAsia, we got free flights to Penang an island in the north of Malaysia so we spent three days on a beautiful beach area called Tangung Bunga.  Relaxed, saw yet another amazing part of Malaysia and returned ready to work.