May 2008

We've now been in Vancouver for nearly 15 days, and things have settled down. Even though we're still frantically busy, we have by now arranged what's most important, and our daily routine is set.

When Daniel arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday night after an overall travel time of nearly 30 hours, he first had to discover that one of his suitcases was still in Washington and the other one in Toronto. With Carolina, who arrived a day later, the flight went according to plan.

At college, everything goes well so far. The amount of work is substantially larger than in Germany, though. For every course, Daniel has to write an assignment and has at least two exams. Moreover, there are grades for class participation and attendance. Almost all of the courses are bound to certain textbooks, out of which approx 50 pages have to be read per course each week. At the weekend, Daniel could finally register for his courses. This is very complicated at Simon Fraser University because international students can only register after the term has already started. Consequently, he couldn't buy the books for the particular courses until Monday. We now own bikes which are very important here because we go to our training every morning with these.

While Carolina has to get up at 5 a.m. in order to be at the rink on time, Daniel is allowed to sleep until 5:30. Carolina first has to take the bike to the SkyTrain, a computer operated rapid transport system, and afterwards the bus to the rink. It's a bit easier from Burnaby for Daniel. He takes approx 10 minutes to the rink because it's a downhill route, whereas on the way back he takes approx 35 minutes by bike. After the warm up our practise starts at 7.20. The rink has Canadian dimensions, which was very irritating at first. Victor and his wife Maikki go out of their way and help us a lot. This week we have also started with the athletics training.

Canada, and Vancouver in particular, appeal to us a lot. We had imagined it differently, but it's totally beautiful. At the weekend we went whale watching and had time to see some of the city. How we are doing here and what else we've done can be seen on VOX starting at the beginning of June. A camera team has accompanied us here for the first 10 days.....

Best wishes from Vancouver,

Carolina and Daniel




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