University at 49 
Why would I go to university at my age?

The answer is that I always wanted to get a degree and it was now or never. A crossroads. At the "appropriate" time after high school, I had to support myself and I moved to B.C. which didn't accept Ontario's grade 12 since it had grade 13. If I had the opportunity at that point, I probably would have got a degree in the business field such as a accounting. Then life happened: I worked myself up in the banking industry, got married, had 3 kids, worked part-time and became a financial/estate planner, started to paint again, certified myself as a an interior decorator, went on sabbatical with my husband and travelled.
As we were traveling and living abroad (see pictures below) I decided that it was now my time to do this. My hubby has a PHd, my oldest child a BSc,BEd and working on a masters, my second child a BA, MKin., and my youngest is in 4th year EngChem/Music. It was high time I kept up with the family.
I believe that we have always set a good example to our children regarding education with life long learning opportunities. This is not a competition. but following through on what we think is important.
Education is not to get a job, but the opportunity to learn and "how" to continue to learn.
I want to expand my knowledge of the art world and challenge myself as an artist. I wasn't getting that from the odd workshops I could attend. They were inspirational, encouraging, and I did learn a lot, but it was not enough for me.
So I am taking the opportunity! I am going to York University to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Arts Studio.
Thanks Rol, Rebekah, Rachel, Jon, Greg, Beth and many friends and family for your support and encouragement.
Enjoy the journey with me!






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Out to Africa Event Pictures 
The pictures in the attached web album were taken at the Out to Africa event which was held last night (Oct. 29, 2009) at Hope Fellowship Church in Courtice. It was a great night, an art sale and auction, and lots of music. The event was a fundraiser for Rachel as she pursues her dream to go and volunteer for the next 6 months in Jos, Nigeria. The evening was opened with a few numbers by Rachel, her brother Jonathan and his girl friend, Beth. After the art auction, we were entertained by the wonderful sounds of Isobelle Gunn (Isobelle Gunn website). It was wonderful to meet up again with Lara, who while in high school used to babysit Rachel.

The following is part of a message posted from Rachel on our chuch website (Hope Fellowship Church).

Rachel's Story
I have always had a place in my heart for Africa, for inexpressible reasons. It may be because the need is so great there, but I feel that doesn’t sufficiently sum up my longing to go there and serve. I began searching out opportunities in April and came across a volunteer position in a local hospital in Jos, Nigeria through Christian Reformed World Missions. I completed the application process and everything seemed quite hopeful that the plan would work out. However, I was informed in July that this opportunity was no longer an option and that another one had come about in South America. So with mixed feelings, I decided to trust that God would figure out the details and really, serving is serving no matter where you are. We started to make plans for this other opportunity and I was getting quite excited about it when I received an e-mail letting me know that the Nigeria opportunity was still possible! The team over in Nigeria had already begun to make plans for when I would arrive and what my role would be in the hospital ministry. Needless to say, I have completely given the control over to God as I have recognized His will in this. This has been a somewhat difficult (yet exhilarating!) task for me as I am someone who has had their life quite planned out up until this year.
So, I am going to Nigeria! Although most of the details are still being figured out, I will be working in Evangel Hospital and the Open Doors school in Jos, Nigeria. The hospital was founded by the Sudan Interior Mission and is affiliated with the Evangelical Churches of West Africa. They have 150 beds available and provide medical care in many areas including surgery, obstetrics, opthamology, HIV/AIDS clinic and physiotherapy. Officially I will be volunteering in the physiotherapy department however this is quite a broad role as the departments are quite interchangeable depending on the availability of staff and the medical attention required. The physiotherapy department is also quite connected to school called Open Doors. This school provides education for children with special needs, including physical disabilities. The physiotherapist treats a number of the children at the school and I will be working with them to provide this care. I am quite excited for this opportunity as it is a hands-on (literally) way of serving the people of Jos and in a field that I am very passionate about. I am also excited that the hospital is a Christian hospital at its roots and it is quite commonplace to see doctors and staff praying over their patients. This gives me an opportunity to interact with the people I come in contact with, not only physically but spiritually.
I hope to be leaving on this journey at the beginning of November and I will be gone for at little under six months. But of course, when taking on this type of challenge, there is always a monetary cost involved. The estimated cost for travelling to and living in Nigeria (including medical vaccinations, insurance, food, and board) for six months is approximately $8500. I realize this is a large sum of money so I am completely trusting in God’s faithfulness to provide the means. I also hope to make a connection between our church community and the community in Jos. I know that we already have a couple associations with this city already as various individuals from Hope Fellowship have served in the past or are serving there right now. Wouldn’t it be amazing to connect our church to the hospital and a church in Jos? And make it a long-term partnership that continues even after I am gone! I believe that we can learn from the people of Africa as much as they can learn from us, so this is a great place to start in building up the worldwide church.
Thank you very much for taking the time to listen to my hopes for the next phase of my life. I greatly appreciate your willingness to help!

Okay, on to the pictures.....

Out to Africa pics

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Final Set of Pics from the Sabbatical 
Canada - Rented House

West Australia - Rottnest Island Visit

UK - Sidetrip to England

Canada - Skiing at Mont Tremblant

East Australia - Sydney Harbour and Manly Beach

East Australia - Tathra Beach

Canada - Touring in Montreal

Netherlands - Trip to Flavoland

Netherlands - University of Twente

Netherlands - Utrecht and Gouda

New Zealand - Visit to Hobbiton

New Zealand - War Museum and south of Auckland

New Zealand - Weekending from Palmerston North

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Next Set of Pics 
Hong Kong - Hong Kong University and a trip to the island at night

Netherlands - Enscede House and Evening Bike Ride

Eastern Australia - Hunter Valley and SouthWest Rocks

New Zealand - Inner Queenstown

Crete - Knossos Royal Palace

New Zealand - LOTR Wllington Movie Tour

Western Australia - Margaret River Winery Tour Weekend

New Zealand - Milford Sound

Canada - New House in Oshawa

New Zealand - On the way to Massey Uni.

Netherlands - Ootmarsum Day Trip

France - Paris Trip

Canada - Powell River, Day 1

Canada - Powell River to Victoria

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Second Set of Picture Links 
Christchurch to Rohan

Christmas Day 2008

City Beach, Golfing and King's Park

Downtown Auckland

Downtown Christchurch

First Australian Glimpses

First Glimpses of Hong Kong

Freemantle Trip and the Swan Valley

Friesland and Amsterdam Trip

From Amsterdam to Enscede

Going Whale Watching

Gondolaing to Ngong Ping

Gouda Kerstfeest

Hong Kong Institute of Education

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