The (Almost) Final Hurrah

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We feel very blessed to have made so many friends and built such good relationships with the people in out neighbourhood here in Oakville. It's been an amazing year for us, and despite all the travel to the far-flung reaches of Eastern Canada and the US, had we done nothing of that but simply met the people we've met, it would still have been more than worthwhile. We've made some great friends here, that we will truly miss when we have to leave.

With that thought in mind, we were still humbled by the thought that our next door neighbours Dave and Claudia held a farewell party on Saturday night, and invited many of the people we've become so close to over the past 12 months. We had a fabulous evening, great food, great wine and even better company. It was especially tearful for Donna, who would be leaving for Australia only a few days later.

The human element of an exchange is the part you never really plan for, but we have found it far and away the best part. As I mentioned on the night, when you plan your travel to another part of the world you tend to think in terms of things and places - the things you plan to do and the places you plan to visit - and you don't really think about the people you might meet. But it's been the people we've met that have made all the difference, and we thank them for it.

A huge thank you must go out to Dave and Claudia for so generously opening up their home to us and the rest of the Oakville crew (plus extras!), and the beautiful well wishes of everyone who came. I only hope we can return the hospitality in Australia some day.

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