The 70th message from Canada

Published on 13 June 2015 at 20:41

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Michael seems to be back in his old rhythm and is enjoying himself again. The plan is for Sann and Michael to bike to Chaplin today:

"I had a wonderful night sleep, but still wake up early. I have a shower and get dressed. I Skype with my brother Melvin who has just made a Skype account. During the conversation my dad comes in so that I can see him as well. It's good to see both of them and it makes for a great start to my day!

At 8 o'clock Danielle and her children have also woken up. Sann and I sleep in the basement and we go upstairs. We're allowed to make our own breakfast. I make scrambled eggs with toast. Danielle makes coffee. We're having a good time chatting when Danielle's father drops by. He is a nice man who used to live in Germany when he was in the Canadian army. 


When we finish our breakfast and Danielle's dad leaves, we leave as well. We go back to Kari's house to pick up the rest of our things. Kari herself is at the market downtown Moose Jaw but she left the door open for us. After we pick up our things we also go downtown to say goodbye to Kari. First we get some groceries for our trip because today we plan to go to Chaplin.


It takes a while before we discover that the market is in front of the park instead of in the park. When we finally find Kari we all start having a good time. We are being introduced to everyone. I get muffins for our trip and someone else gives me fruit. The people here are very nice and truly interested. Sann asks at some point if we shouldn’t stay here for another day. I look at my watch, it is already past noon. My thoughts had also gone in that direction but on the other hand I also want to move on.


I decide to follow my instincts and Kari immediately arranges another night for us at Danielle's house. The market ends at one o'clock. We help Keri pack up and put everything on her bike. I truly admire her for the passion she has for her work and raising her two children at the same time!


Kari has to stop by the bicycle store because her daughter needs a new bike helmet. We go inside with her and are immediately bombarded with all kinds of questions. “What? You are cycling from east to west?” The bicycle repairmen come outside to have a look at my bike. They are very impressed and think it is an awesome bicycle. They have never seen so much weight packed onto a bike. They are happy to take a look at the chains of our bikes.

The chains on Sann’s bike are totally worn down and for $14 they replace them and also repair some other things at the same time. My chain is deteriorating as well but they don’t carry a good quality chain for a mono drive. They advise me to get one in Medicine Hat because it really needs to be replaced. I guess the weight of my packs and the power I put on it makes the chain wear out quickly.


We discover that Al Capone once lived in Moose Jaw. There is even a route of underground tunnels that were made. Unfortunately we don't have enough time to see this because we are being invited for a barbecue at friends of Carrie and Danielle's who live in an old church. "What? Back to church?"

Sann and I spend the afternoon in town. It is wonderful. It is pretty windy but nothing like wind speeds of 70 km/hr they are expecting on the prairie today! It seems we made the right choice by staying here another night. We buy a small gift for Kari in the form of a bottle of wine to share at the barbecue tonight.


When we bike over to Danielle's house at 5 o'clock we drop our things off, get changed and go to Lynn and her family at the church. It is about 4 km to downtown. At the church, we are received with open arms. It is really fun and we feel right at home. The church has been renovated beautifully and is now an enormous home. We are having such a good time that I completely forget to take pictures…

We have some wonderful food and afterwards I help Kari and her father in the garden as one of the vegetable gardens is right by the church. It is nice to see how they've done that. Carrie made a steel construction herself with plastic to make a greenhouse. Great work!

In one of the rooms in the church are about 30 Atari game computers. They have all been turned on and we are allowed to play them. Pac-Man! It is really nice to see those things again.

Later that night we bike back to Danielle's house. When we are there at 11 o'clock, I write my blog and then go to sleep. Tomorrow we really are going to Chaplin!"


Han Schomakers, editor

Translation by Sytske van der Veen

Add comment


There are no comments yet.