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  • Return to Ecuador...

    We are back in Ecuador, listening to the surf of the ocean, while I'm typing this post .  It's my first blog post in almost 2 months... I will try to summarize what we did over this period of time.

    My last post was just before I left with my daughter for a 25-day trip around the planet.  

    First, we went back to Mauritius to visit our amazing friends there.  I can't thank them enough for their hospitality and friendship!  It's been very resourcing for me, but especially exciting for Laurie-Ann who were able to spend quality time with her friends, play another junior golf tournament at Tamarina golf club (she played in 6th straight years!) and even attempt the end of "collège" party!

    The weather, the food, the wine, the lagoon,... we couldn't ask for a better place to heal.

    After that, we flew to Dubaï to visit our friends Jocelyne and Yves. We received the royal treatment and were greeted in Range Rover. We went to see race camel training, Flamingos, falcons, etc.

    We also experienced the traditional Iftar dinner. Iftar is the meal served after sunset to break the day's fast during Ramadan.  Not only it was very good, but we also had the opportunity to ask questions to locals and better understand how they experience Ramadan on a daily basis.

    After 3 days in Dubaï, we flew back to France and rented a car for the last portion of our trip. Laurie-Ann wanted to take pictures in the mountains, so we headed up to the French Alps. We did a lot of hiking and saw amazing landscapes, waterfalls,... (and yes, I had great wine, my favorite cheese, Beaufort, which is produced there, and also had great food!). One very special thing I tried was the green beer, surprising, but excellent!!

     

    Next stop was the region of Piémont, in Northern Italy.  We stayed at a small 17-room hotel called Spinerola near Moncalvo. I couldn't recommend more this amazing place where we spent "only" two nights. The hotel is great (and so the owner), the food was simply amazing and they produce their own wines which were also all great! (they also have an extensive wine list).  The picture below speaks for itself...

    We will be back in this region for sure.  If you ever visited Tuscany and you liked it, but found it a little bit pricey and crowded... You will LOVE Piémont! (I did!!)

    We then headed South and drove along the Mediterranean sea in the direction of Aix-en-Provence in France where we went to visit other friends we met while living in Reunion Island. The next day, we drove up North where we attend the one man show of Norman fait des vidéos, one of the most popular French YouTuber.

    We spent our last night in Paris where we dine with friends, again! ;)

    Back in Canada, we started to plan our return to Ecuador and continue to visit friends and family. Laurie-Ann took horseback riding lessons and can't wait to use the equestrian center in Ecuador at Las Olas.

    July 19th has been a very special day (and a very difficult one) as it was the birthday of Jennifer, our wedding anniversary... and my own birthday! I have to admit that I went through a very hard time on the evening of July 18th. I have to thank my parents and my friends who supported me through these very difficult hours until the clock reached midnight. I assume it will be easier next year. When I turned 30, Jennifer organized a golf game followed by a surprise party at the golf club where I was playing younger (they celebrated 25th year of operation). We went there with Laurie-Ann, my parents, and friends to play a great round of golf, followed by a dinner.

    Few days before, on the 16th, my dad organized his yearly golf tournament in memory of Arthur, Jennifer, and Zara. That was also a great time spent together with friends and family, but also very emotional for us.

    Since we are talking about golf, I have to say that I've been fortunate enough to play one of the most private golf club in Canada.  So private, that I won't even name it!  The picture speaks for itself!

    So as you can see, we have been pretty busy over the last few months.  The amazing support we got from our friends and family really helped us to survive this trauma. It's far from being easy, but each new day helps us to accept what happened. We can definitely say that there is light at the end of the tunnel... but it's a long tunnel!

    Few days before leaving for Ecuador, we went to visit Jennifer's father and family again, and we hope to see some of them in Ecuador in a few months.

    We are very happy to be back in Ecuador and Laurie-Ann is so excited to be with her dog Lily again! We were warmly welcomed by our friends of the Las Olas community.  What a luck to be surrounded by such amazing people!

    We also have the luck to have our psychologist, Marie-France, here with us for the first two weeks. We plan to go back to the location of our building in Bahia de Caraquez, retrieve Jennifer and Arthur's ashes, visit the tree under which our dog Zara was buried,... all necessary but painful steps we will have to go through during the next few days.  To everyone reading this post, thank you very much for your love and support.  For those of you who would like to contribute to Laurie-Ann's education fund, you can do so by clicking this link (https://www.gofundme.com/support-laurie-ann)

    Remember, live your life while you are alive!