Today we spent an interesting and enjoyable afternoon with Judy Kwan and Mike Ly. Although we had never met either of them before we had a great time visiting as if we were old friends. Judy is a former student at the international school (ICS) where we taught in Hong Kong and although she had graduated by the time we arrived there , two of her sisters were Dave’s students in the high school. Judy is doing her residency in family medicine here in Winnipeg and Mike, who she met while she was a student at the University of British Columbia is an accountant for Standard Aero. They moved to Winnipeg in July just like we did.
Judy was born in Canada but moved to Hong Kong when she was just starting high school. Her Dad enrolled Judy and her three sisters at ICS. I had all the old ICS yearbooks here because I was using them to write the ICS history book. Judy had fun finding her pictures in the old yearbooks and Mike certainly enjoyed seeing what she had looked like in her high school days. We talked about the many teachers Judy knew from ICS who had also been colleagues and friends of ours. After Judy graduated from ICS she went to the University of British Columbia, and then on to medical school in England, the Caribbean and Chicago, before landing a residency appointment here in Winnipeg.
Mike’s family is from Cambodia and his parents were sponsored by a church and came to Canada as refugees during the Pol Pot regime. Mike was born in Toronto but grew up in Los Angeles where his parents helped his uncle set up and manage a chain of donut shops. At age 16 he and a friend set off on a trip to explore Asia one summer. They didn’t tell their parents they were going but called them once they had arrived in Asia and had a grand adventure in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was worth the two months they were grounded once they returned home. Mike played football in high school and then headed off to Vancouver for university where he met Judy.
Judy and Mike are going to spend Christmas in Hong Kong. Mike has been there to visit Judy’s family several times before. We had a good time talking with the two of them about Hong Kong places, foods and lifestyle and comparing it to life in Winnipeg. Judy and Mike have been to many of the same Asian countries and cities we have visited so it was fun to exchange travel stories as well. Dave made the first round of mini-pizzas we had for lunch and Mike took care of round two. Before we finished our dessert and coffee four hours had sped by.
We said good-bye to Mike and Judy exchanging e-mails and phone numbers and promising to get together again. Even though we are no longer living in Hong Kong our connections with the city are still providing interesting experiences and the opportunity to meet new people.