Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Merry Christmas to All;

We hope that each of you have had a good year and that the next one surpasses expectations. For us, it has been busy. We are now well into our 3rd year here in the Yukon. Time really flies doesn’t it!

I know that for most of you, we haven’t been keeping up with exchanges nearly as well as we have wanted. - this, despite living in the “connected” age (with 4 cell phones and the internet, we even gave up our land line this year). So I hope the following gives you a bit of a snapshot as to where destiny has taken the Choy family.

Kelvin has grown quite a bit – he is now taller than me and in Grade 9. He is just beginning another season of basketball. His Grade 8 team last year won the Yukon Championships for the first time in 7 years. Kelvin is also taking driving school and will be ready to drive this next year. The next semester will also see Kelvin enrolled in the S.A.S.E. (Science And Socials Experiential learning) program. Students in this class cover a majority of their learning in the field with multiple excursions that involve hiking, kayaking, camping, skiing, snowshoeing, and zip-lining. Why didn’t they have high school courses like this for us when we were young?

Jordan is also involved in a similar program – E.S. Grade 11 (Experiential Science) this semester. His off-campus class have done similar excursions plus one month-long trip that had them travel by bus to Vancouver Island where they took their scuba training, lived aboard a sailboat, did caving, hiking, ocean biology, and visited post-secondary schools. Out of school Jordan has plenty of friends, plays bass guitar in a band, and works a couple of nights a week as a host or pizza deliverer for Boston Pizza.

Sharon and I are both teaching in schools about 10 minutes from home. My courses are Chemistry 11 and 12 and Math 11 while Sharon teaches a Grade 6/7 group. My school is a grade 8 to 12 one with about 600 students. Sharon’s is about 5 blocks away and about half the size. We feel very fortunate to be working with terrific, supportive principals (mine was once voted Maclean’s top Canadian principal.) It seems that students are about the same everywhere you go in the world – you have to love them.

One more addition to the Choys has been Mocha – a “pound puppy” we rescued from the shelter in Whitehorse about a year ago. She is some kind of sheltie-cross and is now one and a half years old, medium sized, and black with some light brown. She is an amazing runner with the nicest, friendliest personality you could find. We could not have chosen better.

Living in the North has meant taking advantage of whatever this beautiful part of the world has to offer. We take lots of walks in the woods and mountains, fishing in the many lakes, rivers, and the ocean, sea kayaking, sightseeing, ATVing, snowmobiling, and hunting. So far I have also had the fortune to be able to hunt for moose, caribou, mountain rams, and bison.

What’s in store for us? Well, this Christmas holiday we will be spending a week in the Southern Caribbean on a cruise ship – the Caribbean Princess, then a few days in San Francisco (one of my favourite cities) on our way home. We will probably spend time in Manitoba again next summer. Hopefully we will be able to have a visit with some of you then. Just remember, the road does go both ways. The Yukon is a fantastic place with lots to see and do – come for a visit.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Kelly, Sharon, Jordan, and Kelvin


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Seasons Greetings Everyone!

Here goes with another installment in the lives of the Choy’s. We have had quite a year, as many of you may already know.

First, the parts you may not have heard about. Our year began with an aborted New Years Eve party in Grand Forks, North Dakota. A terrible snowstorm blew up and our friends, the Tilleys, could not travel south across the American/Canadian border. We made the best of it and managed to eventually get together with them in Morden, Manitoba, as we have so many years before.

Sharon, Jordan, and Kelvin spent 3 weeks in China along with my parents and my brother Doug during the month of March. On this trip they spent a lot of their time actually traveling to many of the popular tourist locations like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guanzou.

Within a few weeks of returning Sharon was off again. With the possibility of a Canadian federal election she was back in Ottawa preparing to assist Returning Officers from across the country. Alas, the election writ never dropped and Sharon was back in Manitoba after 4 weeks.

In the meantime, I kept up with everything else back in Minnedosa. Teaching my students at Minnedosa Collegiate continued to be great. I was able to fit in 2 science presentations for area teachers. I wrapped up 2 years of input into the new Manitoba grade 11 and 12 Chemistry curriculums – I chuckle with the thought that our team motto could have been: “We put actions into words.” Finally, I further developed the hang of snowboarding – a terrific sport with a whole new set of challenges for me.

The biggest news of our year came at the end of the last school year in June. I left my teaching position at Minnedosa Collegiate, sold our home in Manitoba after 12 years, and set our family’s new course for the City of Whitehorse, Yukon. This came about after deciding that, with so many years ahead of us, we did not want to ever find ourselves wondering “What if . . .”.

Several other things abetted this decision also. We had previously lived in the Yukon (for 2 years in Dawson City 13 years ago), and since we never lost our love of this part of the country, the decision came about quite easily for us. One of the biggest factors was having Sharon’s brother, Kelvin, and his family already in Whitehorse to make our transition much easier. Other important factors included the possibility of coming into a much improved financial setting, increasing the opportunities for our children, a growing city with many amenities, the ease in which northern travel has become, as well as the fresh air, the hunting and fishing, and the area’s many athletic opportunities.

On arriving at Whitehorse in early July we quickly settled into a summer of unpacking, home renovations, and preparations for Autumn. Our “new” home is much like our last one in size. We quickly changed its look with a new interior paint job, new trim, an addition to the existing deck and the replacement of a small kitchen window with one over 3 times it size to take advantage of the mountain and tree vista we have outside our place.

Luckily for me, a teaching position here in Whitehorse came about the day after my last job ended in Manitoba. My new school is called Vanier Catholic Secondary and is about 15 minutes drive from our home at the other end of the city. It’s much larger than my last school with a student population of about 500. My teaching load includes mainly Math 8, a block of Math 9, and a block each of Chemistry 11 and Chemistry 12. So far it has been a terrific school to be at with students not much unlike my last ones.

As destiny would have it Sharon, too, received a teaching position – just 3 days before the beginning of this school year. With a 15 minute drive each day Sharon teaches at Hidden Valley Elementary – a small school just on the outside of the City of Whitehorse. Both September and October were full out with her preparations and adjustments to teaching in a Grade 2/3 classroom. I think she has her feet well planted now.

Both Jordan and Kelvin enjoyed a fun summer between our home and Sharon’s brother’s place just a block away. They and their cousins have gotten along very well. They, too, have also settled into their new schools. Jordan catches the bus every day and attends grade 8 at Porter Creek Secondary where his cousin Kasia (who is in grade 12) also goes. He loves the school and the band course there and has made some good friends also. Kelvin has a 10-minute walk to Eilijah Smith Elementary. He is quite happy with his grade 6 teacher and new classmates.

Besides school, the boys have also kept themselves busy at other activities. They both enjoy the badminton club, Kelvin still plays guitar and is in an archery club also. Both he and Jordan also get out to swim at least once a week.

As for myself, it didn’t take long for me to get out and buy a new Arctic Cat ATV quad and snowmobile. Both will be big parts of our lives up here – especially with hunting. Back in October my brother-in-law and I took our ATV’s moose hunting. Quite an awesome adventure as our harvest ended up falling into the McQuesten River and floated toward us. To make a long story short, I ended up being washed into a very deep part of the river and had to save myself by swimming to a logjam. It all turned out well; we got the moose and I dried out – eventually. Our next big hunt was last weekend as we took our snowmobiles out and hunted caribou north of Dawson City. We had little Kelvin with us this time as we ventured 15 km off of the Dempster Highway and harvested 4 large caribou. We managed to have quite an adventure this time also as we had to cross 2 rivers – one that had only rocks with half a metre of water and the other, covered with suspiciously thin ice. I did manage to stay dry this time.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Christmas wherever you are – full of health, happiness, and good spirits. Perhaps you will drop a short note to us and let us know you are fine. As big as this world is it is always so good to know that we are still able to keep in touch.

Take care this holiday season.

Kelly, Sharon, Jordan, and Kelvin

Email to or

Dec. 2005 - Christmas Day. Trail walking around our subdivision. Posted by Picasa

Dec. 2005 - Solstice Run. Overlooking Whitehorse. Posted by Picasa

Dec. 2005 - Solstice Run. This was a 6 km run we (and a few others) did on Christmas Eve. It was up the "Tower Road" to the peak of Mount Grey which borders Whitehorse. Balmy -5 C. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 23, 2005

Dec. 2005 - Still more caribou. Posted by Picasa

Dec. 2005 - Caribou Posted by Picasa

Dec. 2005 - Kelvin and Kelvin caribou hunting off the Dempster Highway north of Dawson City. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 05, 2005

Nov. 2005 - Our wintery back yard Posted by Picasa

Nov. 2005 - The red fox that patrols our backyard Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Fall 2005 - Along the highway South to Skagway, Alaska Posted by Picasa

Fall 2005 - At the Summit Pass, near Skagway, Alaska Posted by Picasa

Fall 2005 - The Carcross Desert, Yukon Posted by Picasa

Fall 2005 - We each ran 1 of 10 legs on the 250 km relay Posted by Picasa

Summer 2005 - Braeburn Lake, Yukon
 Posted by Picasa

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - Braeburn Lake, Yukon

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - My new 2004 Arctic Cat 400 arrives

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - The end of a day at Fox Lake, Yukon

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - The Yukon River at Whitehorse

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - Lake Schwatka, created by the dam on the Yukon River at Whitehorse

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - A Bald Eagle

Posted by Picasa Summer 2005 - A view North toward Whitehorse