Shannon Falls, August 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Canada Day

Ever seen "Canada Day" (July 1) on your calendar in the US and wondered what it is? I did and never bothered to look it up. It's the United States' neighbor-to-the-north's Independence Day. Fitting. Every city/community seems to put on its on own celebration. Coquitlam's reminded me of Ocean Springs' Peter Anderson Festival--except here everything but food was free. There were sections to the celebration, too. Oh, and fireworks that were supposed to be done at 10 PM; we didn't go because our little family was exhausted (my face got sunburned even with my hat and complete cloud cover--and yes, I know you can get sunburned with clouds. I'm just noting what happened.) The fireworks didn't happen here because some individuals got into the blocked-off section and couldn't be found, so the city didn't take the chance shooting the fireworks.

As for the sections of the celebration, it was odd. For example, we had a jump house (Wall-E) located in the ARTS section (random). So while everyone around us was creating pottery or paintings, kids were jumping and sliding for us. We also had a sno-cone/popcorn booth over near the skatepark. All of our proceeds from our food sales is going to a hope recovery home that helps homeless individuals prepare to re-enter society as contributing members. Wilson and Christopher (our 2 male summer missionaries) were going to man the sno-cones/popcorn because they have formed relationships with quite a few of the regulars at the skatepark. Shannon and I helped at Wall-E. When we had a break, we grabbed some lunch and ate while we walked to check on the guys. They were swamped. I mean, not just a line, but quite the crowd. So we jumped in and got a system rocking and rolling. I texted Conrad that we were helping the guys and probably weren't going to make it back to Wall-E. Our line never really stopped. That's good for the hope recovery home, and we met lots of super folks, but my back hurt so badly last night. Six hours of sno-cone/popcorn-making is a long time. It was worth it, though.

Unfortunately, it meant I didn't get to walk around and take ANY pictures to share. Let's just say there had to be a couple hundred thousand people come through (there were skating competitions, bike riding  competitions, and volleyball tournaments going on around just us; that doesn't include the Arts, Community Conservation, etc. sections that were busy as well). We estimate that Wall-E had over a thousand kids jump.

I'm not sure what you've heard about Canadians and if they're rude or what-have-you, but I would say that 95% of the people we've met are extremely friendly. And I've NEVER met so many polite children (and I'm not even just talking Asian kids). One of the things Conrad shared when we visited in December and we were driving around, is that people are hungry for community. The ironic thing is that  even though people are dying to connect with others, they surround their homes with high walls or hedges that block everyone. Yet, they want community.

I went to a ladies only BBQ Friday night and met some very unique, awesome ladies. You never know what accent you'll hear and from whom. Shannon and I met two Asian women who came to Vancouver via London and South Africa. I could've listened to them all night! We have also been going to a Coffee Connection in the clubhouse each Saturday. It's pretty much the same people, but this most recent Saturday I met the clubhouse caretaker's wife--she's from Romania and came to Vancouver via Italy. They left Italy because their young son was treated as trash because they weren't Italian. Such interesting stories!

Hayden says he enjoys living here; I'll be happy for our dry months to arrive so we don't all feel so blah. My allergies are really acting up. I still want to get out and do things at 9 PM because it looks like 6:30/7 PM in Mississippi! This morning because I was stuffy, I discovered that the sun rises about 4:45!

My visa should be sorted out this coming week or so for work, and our exchange student arrives next Saturday! We can't wait to see Pia. Wilson has visitors coming for a few days and they'll be here this Wednesday. It'll be good to see friends from church.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but I can always write again. Stay cool, everyone! It seems everyone but us is in an extreme heat wave. Love you!