Well 2009 has been a year of lots of new beginnings and new challenges. I began my new career path in March as an Account Manager with Emerson Clarke Printing. This new career has challenged and satisfied me in many ways. Challenges I have faced are: learning all about print, what press prints what, different types of varnishes, foils, die cutting, emboss/deboss, etc. Then the challenge of learning stocks so I can suggest different paper to clients and I am learning to identify what stock to use for what project and what weights of stocks are good for different projects. But learning about print and presses and digital printing vs offset printing and what papers are available etc has been fun. I truly enjoy being part of the end result and love to be able to make suggestions or come up with different ideas for my clients.
I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is working with people. Developing relationships, growing relationships and learning to work with many different types of people. The most challenging part of my job is gaining new clients. I have been successful in meeting new clients through friends or contacts as well as new clients have call in for quotes. But it is very difficult to go from point a to point z working a cold call to a client. The challenge of doing this has taught me many skills in working with people and that you need to keep your chin up high and stay positive.
What else has happened this year? We went on an amazing holiday to Peru with my family. The journey began with Wes, Mira and I leaving Calgary and Mom, Dad and Yuri leaving Vancouver. We met in LA where we all boarded the plane for Lima. We landed around midnight and the adventure began. Mom and Dad were supposed to stay in a different Hostel that night since they told us ours was sold out, but when my parents arrived at their reserved hostel, no one would let them in. So in the end they were brought back to our Hostel and given a slightly bigger room for the 3 or so nights we stayed there. The Hostel was very warm and inviting and was in the nicer part of Lima known as Miraflores. We enjoyed our few days there but were ready to leave after 2 days since the pollution was outrageous and the culture we wanted to experience was lacking. We joined our tour group at a little hotel in Lima to embark on our journey the next day to Cusco. We landed in Cusco during a strike and it was chaos at the airport and instead of being picked up at the airport we had to walk with all our luggage for about 15 mins or so to where our van was waiting. We were then transported to our hotel to settle in and meet our guide. The elevation in Cusco is approximately 3360 meters above sea level. So this evening and the next day we spent relaxing and trying to get used to the altitude. Most of us felt the lack of oxygen but were able to reduce the effects with chewing Coca leaves, candies and Coca Tea.
We then were told that our bus to Ollantaytambo would be leaving in the evening since there was an agriculture strike on and they had all the road barricaded with rocks, stumps etc so you could not get through. The strike by law was to end at midnight. So we left around 6pm and had to take so many different routes and deal with people trying to chase us and prevent us from getting through and at one point we reached the place where we could not drive further. We had to wait at that point till just before midnight when they removed enough of the stuff on the road for us to get past. We arrived at approx 1am at the hostel and had to be up and out of the hostel for 7am. The drive usually takes about 1.5 hours not 6.
The next morning we ate breakfast and went and checked out the ruin quickly and then headed to the start of the Inca Trail. Once we arrived at the Inca Trail we had to show our passports and get stamped to make sure we were regsitered. Wes went to get his stamped and they said no, your passport expired and has not been changed. We had emailed a few months before the trip with the new passport info and then again in Lima and Cusco Wes provided the new passport info that they were supposed to pass along the line. Percy, our guide, did some sweet talking and was able to get Wes on the trail. Phew.
The for 3.5 days we hiked and camped along the Inca Trail. We saw amazing views, ruins, people and got smellier by the day. haha My poor mom had Altitude sickness and was sick most of the hike. Mira was also sick for much of the hike. But they made it The hike was amazing and we met some pretty incredible people, two great friends from Edmonton and one great friend from Australia. We have visited with all three since being back from Peru. The day arriving at Machu Picchu was busy and hectic but beautiful. We got there to watch the sun go up from the Sun Gate and then moved to walk around Machu Picchu. It was pretty incredible but we were disappointed with the amount of people that took over the place that took the bus up the mountain. It took away from spiritual and peacefulness of the place. In my opinon, they need to restrict the amount of people that can go up per day just like the restrictions on the Inca Trail of 500 people a day. We enjoyed our time there till around lunch time and then descended the mountain on bus, what a crazy expereince that was. Later that afternoon we jumped on the train back to Ollantaytambo where we got back on our bus for the 1.5 hour ride back to Cusco.
We then spent another 4 days or so touring around Cusco and learning about the history. We enjoyed many great Peruvian meals. We hired our guide Percy to do a tour for the family. We started by going to an Alpaca and Llama farm where we fed the animals, watched them die the wool and weaving it into beautiful pieces. We all spent some money at the store buying toques, gloves and table runners. We then went to Pisac and went for a nice hike through some ruins down to the town to wander the market and have a great lunch. On our way back to Cusco, we visited some Salt Flats. This was very cool and great to see that everyone in the town owns a little flat the they can turn over every 2 weeks and collect the salt and sell it.
Wes, Mira, Yuri, and myself flew home at the end of the month and unfortunately had to spend a day in Lima. Most of the day was spent in a restaurant, patio enjoying some Cusquena beer. Mom and Dad continued on to the jungle for a few days but unfortunately it rained most of the time for them. So that was our trip in a nutshell, it was an amazing trip and one I will never forget.
Shortly after we got home from Peru, we picked up our new puppy Riley, an American Staffordshire Terrier. We love spending time with her and have been enjoying a dog in the house. http://www.flickr.com/photos/wdevauld/4110583239/
So the rest of the year was filled full of weddings. Wes attended 9 and I attended 7. Too many for our liking but it is so hard to choose what wedding you attend.
Then Dec 10 I had foot surgery on my bunion. I was off work till Jan 4 recovering and just this week started driving again. It has been a long 6 weeks but I am happy that we are nearing the end. I just need to exercise my toe to gain the mobility back in the joint so I can walk properly. Once I have done this, I will look at doing some physical therapy to realign my body since my hips, knees, back, everything is out from my foot being bad and also from wearing the air cast. I am very happy I decided to have the surgery since the pain in my foot was increases quickly and I want to get back out hiking, playing foor hockey and walking the dog. I miss getting out of the house and being active.
Well that kind of wraps up parts of 2009. 2010 came so quickly and now looking back, we are almost a month in. WOW time sure flys. I look forward to all the wonderful and exciting things that 2010 brings Wes and I.