I’m writing from work on what will probably be the first New Year’s Eve midnight that I will be awake for in years. It is a quiet night, and the remote log in to work-related things is not working at the moment, giving me time to do a bit of reflecting on the year that has passed (sorry. I hate those posts too).

A year ago I was desperately trying to sleep as music blasted at the next camp over from where we were staying in Maun, Botswana. We had enjoyed a beautiful day of travelling around the Okavango Delta by makoro and were anticipating a long day of travel to the other side of the country the next day.

How things have changed. From the desert of southern Africa to the cold and blowing snow of my walk into work this evening, a lot has happened this year. I have spent time in several different countries this year and I have moved nearly all the way across this one. I have started the formal educational path towards ordination. My first term of school is over and, all things considered, it seems to have gone well. I am adjusting to life here in Ontario and am finding my way around town quite easily now. Day after day of snow no longer seems strange and unusual and I have been enjoying the beautiful quiet that comes with a late night walk in falling snow.

One term of classes is over: I passed Hebrew with flying colours and am reasonably happy with the other grades I have received back. I have begun to find my place within the school atmosphere and am enjoying the academics of being back in school and the challenges that come with that. The biggest bonus: I have access to an entire university full of library books! Most of my papers this term, with the exception of church history, were looking at various angles on postcolonial feminist discourse. Its been a lot of fun (school, fun?!? I know!) immersing myself in that world and I have learned a lot.

Next term will be more of the same, with some scheduled class-skipping. One year to the day that I returned from South Africa I will be taking off for ten days in El Salvador. This will be my first Latin American adventure (unless you count a week at an all-inclusive in Cuba. Which I do not) and likely the only adventure of this sort in 2014. I will be travelling down with a group of people from London to be elections observers and then will spend some time visiting the Cristosal foundation, a partner with PWRDF.

It is weird how these things work out: Latin America has never been one of the “must visit” destinations for me (though I said the same thing about China before I went there for the first time and I LOVED it there) and I know very little Spanish. Following conversations with a former coworker, I began to do some more research on the history of the region. Then, out of the blue, this opportunity to go to El Salvador landed in my lap. Not usually being one to pass up an adventure, I hesitated a little bit because of the school I would miss, but in the end I have signed on and will be headed off in just under a month. Hopefully that will be the impetus I need to do a little more non-school-related writing as I plan to blog for PWRDF and justgeneration.ca while I am away.

So 2013 has been a year of change and transition and I am excited to see what 2014 might hold.