October 2010 Pat has been working since spring in Sudbury, Canada (north of Toronto) as a consultant at a nickel mine. Sudbury is home to "the Big Nickel", a nine meter high nickel in tribute to Sudbury's significance as a world mining center.
He has been commuting home to Los Altos on the weekends. The project he is working on is scheduled to end in March 2011. Susan has been working from home for a private real estate company, but has spent much of her time taking care of her mother, Tomiko. Armand has been living in Eureka, California graduating in 2008. He works at World Shelters, an organization which produces disaster relief shelters. He is presently collaborating with Uber Shelters on an elevated shelter prototype to be sent to Haiti. The goal is to get aid agencies in Haiti to approve the design of the shelter and place an order for more shelters. They are also seeking investors for the development of the shelters. Isabelle completed graduate school at American University with a degree in International Development, and she is employed as an associate with Chemonics, a private consulting firm to aid agencies . Her focus is West Africa, although she gets exposure to projects outside Africa.
We decided that Susan's mother, Tomiko, might be ready to live at an assisted living facility. We hope that it will provide her the activities, exercise and mental stimulation she needs. She is currently living at the Kokoro Assisted Living Center in San Francisco. It is located in Japantown, and it caters to the Japanese se American seniors, which suits my mother. It was difficult at first for Tomiko to make the transition from her home, but she has settled in and is now quite active at the facility. In addition to art, calligraphy, music and other activities offered, she takes daily walks and monthly local excursions.
Now that our family situation has settled, we felt it was time for us to go on another adventure, even though Pat will continue to work on his project until March. This past month, we have been getting the house ready to rent and putting art, photos, and other essentials in storage. All of the furniture, plants and orchids (except for six that Susan is taking with her) have been sold.
Pat and I visited San Francisco one last time (for now). We had lunch at the Cliff House and had a great time.
Our first destination will be Guanajuato, Mexico. We chose that city because we had been there previously and enjoyed it. In addition, the Leon airport is only 30 minutes from Guanajuato, making Pat's commute to Sudbury achievable in one day (3 connections). Guanajuato is known for its good language schools, and Susan plans to take classes during her stay. We have rented a casita in town owned and built by a couple from Montana. We plan to arrive November 13 by car. We had previously planned a trip to Nicaragua and we will be going there from December 4 through January 2. It is déjà vu all over again, as had the same mixed feelings when we left California in 2004. We don't know what the future will bring, but we'll be looking forward to the change. Goodbye Los Altos for now!
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