Tamera Jenkins

THE FULBRIGHT YEAR Disclaimer* This blog is not an official Fulbright Program blog. The views disclosed are my own and do not reflect those of the Fulbright Program,the U.S. Department of State, or any of its partner organizations

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I never could have predicted all the twists and turns that 2010 brought into my life. These are just a few.

January held a trip to Chicago with friend Pam to help Tony during his recuperation following the first of 3 surgeries he eventually would have over the course of the year.
Upon my return home I received word that my Fulbright application had made it through the American committee and was on its way to the Canadian.

February and March were spent on pins and needles waiting to know whether I was going to Canada or if I was going to have to go out into the real world and get a job.While I waited, Pam and I watched alot of movies and made the preparations for her son Josh's high-school graduation.

In mid-April I was notified that I had received the Fulbright Fellowship.Lots of jumping up and down and screaming ensued before the OMGosh, now what do I do, set in.

May was a flurry of activities, between what seemed like dozens of doctor appts for my medical clearance, my birthday/Mother's Day, Josh's party, Alexis's luau, Nate's kindergarten graduation,and RV shopping.

Celebrating Josh's graduation

Uncle Tony came to Alexis's 2nd grade Hawaiian luau

Way to go Nate!

Our home away from home

Packing and preparation for our move took up most of the summer, but we still managed to enjoy a few trial runs in the RV..visit to Jim's dad at the lake, float trip with church friends and camping at Lake Paradise.

At the end of July Jim was ordained to the office of Teacher.

Eden Heights RLDS Congregation

We took to the road first week of August

Wonderful friends and family helped us on our journey.

In September I....

signed in at Simon Fraser University

and brought Mom and Alexis to see the campus (Pam's taking the pix)

said goodbye to Mom and Pam at the airport in Seattle

that just left Jim, Alexis, and me

Tearfully parted with Alexis after we found our custody papers were not adequate

A definite low point

Fulbright orientation in Ottawa

Thanksgiving with Dr.Liz Elliott and her family

October and November went by in a blur of papers and projects. I would like to say I enjoyed my classes but I was so wiped out most of the time that I felt like it was more a matter of survival than enjoyment.I lost over 10 pounds from all the stress and wondered at times if I would make it.

My tutorials for Restorative Justice 315 held the most fun. I was suprised to find that I really liked teaching. I can't say the same for grading 45 papers, but oh well,it comes with the territory.

SFU Surrey Campus where I held my tutorials

Spent a terrific Sunday afternoon with Ken and Jeanne Christopher in November

Jim flew to Missouri after his dad passed away on November 16. With 2 weeks before the end of the semester I was unable to go. While Jim was gone we had a cold spell that brought snow, frozen water pipes, a clogged toilet, and power outages (meaning no heat).


found me catching up on sleep and gaining back all the weight I lost.

held an amazing trip to Harrison Hot Springs for Christmas

The last day of 2010 brought a superb dinner at Siam, our favorite Thai restaurant in White Rock, and a vicious game of train

We are such party animals!

This has been a year like no other thanks to Fulbright Canada. I'm excited to see what 2011 holds.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Jim and I spent Christmas/Boxing Day weekend at the Harrison Hot Springs resort

Village square

Mom and pop restaurants and quaint shops line the street

Walkways meander along the lakefront

"High Tea" is served at 4 o'clock

The resort has two indoor and two outdoor pools. Water comes out of the springs between 146-165 F. Due to the temperature and the cleansing effect of the minerals they suggest that you only stay in the water for 10-15 minutes at a time. We managed to stretch it to about 20 but that was all we could take.

Christmas morning we took a walk by the lake and through a
hiking path on the hillside overlooking the resort

Just out of view are the cozy chairs lined up in the front of the fireplace with all the people reading or surfing the web. Prime real estate! Good luck getting a spot.

We had a great time just walking around, shopping in the gift shop, Christmas dinner in the Copper Room, and best of all, the glorious hot springs pool. Monday came much too soon!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Took Monty dog to the kennel this morning so that Jim and I could go out of town for the weekend.He was incredulous and not at all happy with the arrangement. After work we packed up and headed to Chilliwack for the vesper service. Scriptures of Christ's birth were read by some of the children in the congregation and I played the piano. Now we are all tucked it at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and are looking forward to tomorrow.

Pastor Janine McCulley

Fellow Musicians

Bonnie, myself, and Shonnet

Thursday, December 16, 2010


I spent a few hours of glorious bliss today in my new favorite store, Choices Market, a wonderful health food store in White Rock. I wept at so many, dare I say, choices of tofu: garlic and herb or sundried tomato, crackers: how about baked sesame and rice, cheeses: tomato and basil feta and paneer, boysenberry spritzers, chai tea, 2 different kinds...just because, and the special "Barista Blend" soy beverage to give it that Starbucks Soy Chai Tea Latte touch. I even looked longingly at the huge selection of salt lamps and salt candle holders ( yes, I know, I already have one and I even brought it with me, but one can never have too much health and happiness!). I was so deliriously happy that it was all I could do to not hug all the employees and tell them thank you so much for being here, your store is so beautiful,everything looks so good...I feel so at home ( those 7 years at Rainbow Natural Foods never really leaves, I guess) and what's more I no longer have to have my mom send me things from the health food store in Independence!

To cap off my wonderful day at the market I decided to go to the ocean.Why? you ask...because I can. I live in British Columbia,snow-draped mountains are snuggled around me, it's December 16, it is only 25 minutes away, my first semester is done and I got A's in my classes...just because I can!

Houses, in particular the "castle", across from the beach

By some strange fate I have been dropped off in the middle of this beautiful landscape.......I wish you all were here to enjoy it with me!

Friday, December 10, 2010

End of the semester

It has been a crazy ride since school started in September, but the first semester has come to an end. My tutorials were done last Wednesday, my classes last Friday, and I finished grading papers today. Looking back over the past 4 months,I enjoyed my tutorials for CRIM 315, Restorative Justice, the most. The students...for the most part were terrific and I knew that no matter how gritty and exhausting my own classes were at the moment, Wednesday was coming and I was going to have a fun day.

Jana and Julliana

Dr. Glackman

Gordon and Alysha

Krynn and Viktoria

I'm amazed at the strong bonds that have formed between everyone in my classes(akin to trench warfare relationships I would imagine). Everyone rallies behind the one who at the moment is ready to pack it in and go home...and we all have been in that spot at one point or another this semester. " I absolutely hate my life. I can't do this!" "I haven't been to sleep for 2 days, I'm so exhausted and I'm still not done with my papers/projects/readings/quizzes, grading." "I miss my family/boyfriend/friends/dog and I want to go home." And this was just the first week! :)

The chorous of "Yes you can, just hang on, it will get better" "Don't give up...we're all miserable too!" rings out and everyone takes a deep breath and presses on. Shared smiles, grimaces, pats on the back, and hugs makes all the difference.

Jim and I will be going to Harrrison Hot Springs for Christmas. It will be very strange not being with all our family and friends for the holidays, but we will take the laptop with us and Skype everyone.

This is the part I'm looking forward to.........


We will leave after the Christmas Eve service at church and stay until Monday.

Now that I have had five minutes to lift my head up from the books, papers, and grading I stand amazed at the beauty all around me and I wonder how I got here. Surely this must be someone elses life that I am living at the moment, it certainly doesn't resemble the one I have known.

The scene out my front door a few weeks ago

And now, the end of the first semester calls for a celebration! After 4 hours under the expert of hands of Lisa...wahla! A whole new me.

Well, really it's the same old me, just with cool new hair!

Jim said he feels like he's cheating on his wife, I take that as a compliment.


About Me

My photo
Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
In politically correct language I am called a non-traditional student or,as my mother would say, a late-bloomer. For twenty years I was a stay-at-home/home-schooling mom but surprise.. kids grow up. When my son asked me what I was going to do after he left home I told him I was sure it would involve crates of Kleenex, junk food, and a lot of self pity. He suggested college instead and I took him up on it. I graduated in Dec. 09 with a BA in Criminal Justice/Corrections from Park University in Parkville, Mo. Through internships that brought me into contact with both the victims and offenders of violent crime, I have acquired a passion to assist each in addressing issues of accountability and healing through the restorative process of victim-offender mediation. As a 2010-2011 Canada-U.S. Student Fulbright recipient I will travel this fall with my husband and granddaughter, to British Columbia where I will be attending Simon Fraser University's Graduate School of Criminology. With a superb symmetry, Mother, arbitrator of children’s squabbles has progressed to victim-offender mediator.