I was a little busy to be writing about my April 29 anniversary of leaving Iceland this year on the day on which it should be remarked. Catie and I were driving from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg on our way, eventually, to our new home in Calgary. I would never have predicted or likely agreed to such a change a few years ago, but if this annual report as shown anything, it’s that my life has become unpredictable year over year though the end goal never changes.
After assuming the role of Interim Manager of Programs and Outreach at the Forum for Young Canadians and seeing the ‘interim’ tag get dropped, I got hard to work on what I saw was the biggest task there: increasing the participation in the program. Together, volunteers and I drove over 20000 km and met and called thousands of people to increase the number of participants by 16%. That means 16% more young people who got to live the experience that clearly impacted me high school and beyond.
When I wasn’t busy with that, I became even more ambitious with my journalism getting involved with television covering the Ottawa Fat Cats and lots of hockey from atom to university level. In April, I even helped out with the web broadcast of the Women’s World Hockey Championships! Perhaps the most exciting for me was getting into radio. I was on a local sports talk show during the summer and around Christmas joined in the coverage of Ottawa 67’s games interviewing future NHL stars and the coaching staff.
While their on-ice season wasn’t great, I learned a lot and was happy for the opportunity.
Another exciting activity during the year was when I invited myself onto Canada’s national hot air balloon team. When you are willing to do what it takes to help people, they will offer you the opportunity. I was offered the role of theodolite operator – measuring the winds on the ground – and I was amazed at the level of competition over in Battle Creek, MI. Thanks so much!
As the year passed, it became evident that Catie would not find a librarian job in Ottawa. With deep cuts to libraries, there were simply too many people with over 15 years experience floating around for a new grad to get a job, great as she is. When a metadata librarian position opened in Calgary, Catie immediately knew it was for her and six months later, she has just started her dream job. At the time, I hesitatingly agreed to move with her if she found work, knowing what a difficult situation it was and that she wasn’t going to let go of her dream.
I’m here now, despite my initial anxiety, and excited for my own Albertan activities starting with being a windreader at this weekend’s Rimbey Hot Air Affair two hours north of town.
On our drive out west, we stopped in at Joel Fridfinsson’s new house for a great welcome. It felt like coming full circle as we celebrated four years since that time across the hallway from one another by sharing stories of the past. Yet, we also created new memories with a trip around New Iceland and recollections of our meetings since 2009. We hadn’t missed a beat. That type of friendship will be counted on from my rocky mountain home.