Sunday, May 17, 2015
The last while, Michael has been telling us about the different people with various backgrounds that he has met. From today's report it seems that this is only continuing:
"I wake up and must have had a good sleep because it is 9:30 in the morning. That is a first for me here in Canada to be sleeping that late. I have a slight headache but I have a shower and get dressed. I have breakfast at a restaurant that appears to be filled with churchgoers. They are all having the buffet and I am amazed at what I am witnessing. People serve themselves heaping plates of food and I wonder if they’ll be able to eat all of it. And, yes, they do: unbelievable!
After breakfast, I return to my motel room to check my mail and my website. The media is not responding at all which I find strange. Perhaps it is because it is a long weekend in Canada. I prepare for my trip to Wawa by trying to figure out how I am going to manage food when I am cut off from civilization for a few days. I then decide to pick up my business cards at Staples and get some money at the bank to make sure I have enough cash for the coming week.
I have some food at the A&W close to Staples. I also check out some hotels and motels to see if I can get a better rate for Monday and Tuesday. But none of them can offer me a better deal than where I am right now. After four attempts I give up. I don't feel like going to the big chain hotels and try to persuade them to give me a discount just for one night.
Yesterday I brought back some rocks from the island but that does not sit well with me. I decide to take them back. It may sound a little crazy and I wonder about that myself aswell. Then again, I have enough time to myself today and I would like to see the island one last time.
Back on the island, I watch a man feeding the squirrels and chipmunks. He seems to be mentally challenged but is sweet in a childlike way toward the animals. He is totally absorbed with it and appears to be here every day for hours. I give him a couple of dollars to buy food for his little friends with which he's very happy.
I put my rocks back at the spot where I found them. Because I'm wearing my cycling shoes I almost slip and can just catch myself from falling into the ice cold water. I have to laugh: that would not have been very good. I perform the same ritual as yesterday which the Chief had indicated for me to do on my journey. It's really nice on the island although the sun is not shining and the sky is grey. I decide to go back to the motel. A little further down I meet three guys who start talking to me. One of them is Native and he asks why I am carrying tobacco with me. When I explain that I have just done a ritual he understands what for. He is impressed that I especially came to do this. When I tell him about my meeting with Chief Dean, it appears that he is a friend of the Chief’s son. They have their picture taken with me and wish me good luck...
As I am leaving and biking along the waterside, I take one last look back at the island and I can't believe my eyes. About half of the river is suddenly veiled in a strange mist that slowly rolls over the Island making it disappear from sight. It is truly very strange why only one half of the river and the island are covered by the mist and nowhere else. I must be going crazy I decide before I take a photograph.
Before I bike back to the motel I stock up on food for the next few days: canned soup, canned beans etc. Later I want to get dinner at the Chinese restaurant (where the food is very different than in Holland), but it appears to be is closed. I decide to drop off my groceries at the motel and have dinner on the Reserve again.
When I arrive there I am and immediately spoken to in Dutch. A tanned man, names René, is originally from Holland but now lives in Toronto. He is here with his Canadian wife to visit family and they are also going out for dinner. Once inside the restaurant they invite me to join them at their table. We have a good time and the meal is delicious. When we are ready to go home we take some photographs. Once again, I can look back at a very special day!"
Han Schomakers, editor
Translation by Sytske van der Veen