In the land of the toque!

What is a toque?  Well, the French should know this because I believe that is a French word.  But Americans won’t know what I am talking about.  I didn’t know what Canadians were talking about when they would mention wearing a toque in cold weather.  What in the world is a toque?  Well, we call it a stocking cap or a watch cap (if you are from New England).  Most Canadians laugh when I say stocking cap!  At first, I called it a toot and then a tuk, but when I was in Saskatchewan, they set me straight!  Thank you so much Saskatchewanians for helping me with Canadian words and sayings!  I’m doing pretty good, eh?  Winking smile

Saskatchewanians stay up late at night!  I seldom go to sleep before midnight anymore but during this trip they have me even beat!  Lea LaPointe would be up late making things happen, studying for school, taking care of Sebastian, her son, etc.  I would hear her still moving around at 1:30 AM or so sometimes!  Then when I went up north to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, I sat and visited with families until 2 AM! 

I had been so tired that I thought I was about to drop at 10 PM after the fundraiser, but I got a second wind (that is an American saying for those non-Americans) and we started talking and the next thing I knew it was 2 AM! 

When families come to Haiti, I am always so busy that I don’t get to visit very much.  The families are bonding with their adopted child and I am busy, so their days at GLA go quickly and then they are gone home.  So not having those same pressures and responsibilities, we could just sit and visit.  It was fun and I have had the best time just sitting and talking to people.  No computer that I’m trying to work and talk to people the same time, or staff coming in and interrupting a conversation, or the phone ringing.  Just sitting and talking and sharing of lives.  How fun that has been!

brumbage familyWell, Wednesday, I travelled 3 hours northeast of Saskatoon to the town of Nipawin where I shared about GLA at the home church of Melanie and Melvin Brundage.  They have adopted 2 children from GLA, Ritchy and Mike.  They arrived at GLA on the day of the earthquake in January 2010 to meet Mike and go to the courts.  Needless to say, the experience was pretty memorable but not quite in the way they expected!  poitier

The Poirier Family also stayed at the Brundage family home.  They adopted Darline, Jackson and Jacques.  Jackson and Jacques were evacuated to Canada after the earthquake.

All of the kids have grown so much!  I did not recognize any of them except Ritchy!  After I was with the kids longer than I started seeing them as they were at GLA and could see those little faces in the children as they are today.



Here I am sitting with the kids.  It was really difficult getting them sit long enough to take this picture!  They are happy, active children!  And some of them actually LOVE the snow and being outside in the cold weather!

Isn’t it funny how quick they adjust?

There was a good turnout for the Fundraiser and the desserts were great!  A new adoptive mother waiting for her child’s passport to come out of Immigration so her little boy can home to Canada was there.  Myrna is looking forward to coming to Haiti and picking up her little boy very soon!  She will be the first Saskatchewan adoption to finish and I hope and pray that the government will then start allowing more families to adopt from Haiti again.  They are one of the provinces in Canada that have closed to adoptions from Haiti.  New Brunswick, Ontario, and Alberta never closed and continued adoptions.wright family

Herb and Louise Wright also came with their children to the fundraiser.  Their daughter, Roseland (Alissa), was adopted from GLA.  It was nice sitting and talking to them.  I didn’t get to talk to them much when they came to Haiti.  They also gave me a ride back to Saskatoon on Thursday.  We had a really good visit even if it was snowing and blowing the last leg of our journey!  Their two boys were adopted from another orphanage.

I want to thank Melanie and Lisa for the Saskatchewan tea and jam!  Very special gifts that I will take back to Haiti with me if I don’t eat the jam first! I am pretty sure that it is DIET JAM (right Melanie and Lisa?) and that would make it on my diet! Surprised smile

(I’ll try to make sure these photos are all upright!  I was told that some photos in my last album were sideways.  Sorry…)


grain bagI took lots of photos of the countryside on our drive northeast from Saskatoon to Nipawin.  It is pretty flat land.  You can see forever!  For all of those farmers out there, I took a photo of something they call a grain bag.  Maybe you all know about them but I had never seen one.  Due to the shortened growing season up north, they mainly grow barley, wheat, canola, etc.  Instead of taking the grain into a storage bin area, they put these things in the fields and then get it when they need it.  I thought they were pretty unusual looking!  Kind of look like beached whales or something!

Thankfully, I left my bags at Lea and Chris’ house and only took a carry-on to Nipawin.  I am getting real tired of dragging those bags around with me everywhere I go!  Sad smile

Friday night was a small private fundraiser in a home.  The hosts were friends of Bart and Kim Gilbert who adopted Katiana  in 2006.  They helped organize a wonderful small, intimate fundraiser.  It was snowing and blowing and people still came out.  I thought it was great!  A couple of past volunteers came and two adoptive parents and their kids.  I did not meet either set of parents before, so that was a very special moment for me.  I thank both of them for coming and brining the kids.

Reimche family

Gilbert Family








Reimche Family with Mackenson and Wilson            Gilbert Family with Katiana

I also received a very special gift at this fundraiser from Kim, Ann, and Lisa.!  A gift of my own!  A gift card to Tim Horton’s for all of the French Vanilla Cappuccino Supremes that I can probably buy in my last 3 days in Canada!  I probably won’t buy too many, but Melissa Friesen can take the gift card back with her to her parent’s home in Manitoba for Christmas and enjoy some coffee from Tim Horton too!



I bought snow boots just for this trip.  They were a bargain on the discount rack at Ross Department store.  I hadn’t worn them because I really wasn’t out in the snow much.  Then last night, I saw my chance!  I ran back down to my room and dug them out of my suitcase!  I was going to get to wear them at least one time!  Hurray!  They were nice and warm and I love them!  (Thank you Lea for taking this photo!)  I think they look pretty good on me, too!


I didn’t take too many photos that night, but will share a few with you.  Ann, one of the past volunteers, made mini pates which our cooks in Haiti make occasionally for us.  Ann’s weren’t as spicy as the ones we have in Haiti, but they were pretty tasty!


I want to thank everyone Fro all of their hard work putting together all of these events.  It was great to share my stories about GLA and I hoped they enjoyed hearing them as much I enjoyed telling them!

Friday morning, I left for Calgary, Alberta.  My last city on this Canadian tour.  I will be at a small town, Didsbury, outside of Calgary Friday night.  I am staying with the Reed family who adopted Roberto (Robbie).  When I think how sick and malnourished he was when his aunt brought him to GLA,I cannot hardly believe that he is this vibrant 8 year old today!  So many of the children I am seeing had difficult beginnings but are so good today!  Makes my heart swell up with pride that they are GLA kids!

8 comments (Add your own)

1. Jane Blannin-Bruleigh wrote:
Dixie, so glad you got to waer your snow boots! Almost all of us in this part of Ontario have touques, but there is not enough cold wind and snow to wear them yet! So glad you are having a lot of opportunities to visit with families!!! I am trying to put together a picture display for Sunday as a reminder of our wonderful weekend with you. Wow ! That was only last weekend. What a busy week. Safe travels, Jane BB

Fri, November 18, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

2. Adrienne wrote:
Yay Canada! Glad to hear you are having a good time and enjoying some snow! I have a draft letter made up to send to our local MLA and BC government for when our adoption is done. I am hoping that when they see an adoption completed, they will open British Columbia up again too!

Fri, November 18, 2011 @ 11:05 PM

3. Melanie wrote:
Dixie, it was so wonderful having you stay with us! Thanks for staying up until 2 am and visiting :) Melanie

Fri, November 18, 2011 @ 11:10 PM

4. Elissa Ponich wrote:
Bundle up on your return to Alberta!! It is suppose to be minus 34 degrees with the windchill in Northern Alberta!! YIKES. Thanks again Dixie for all the wonderful things you are sharing with Canada!! and Yay that Alberta is open to adoptions from Haiti!!! Bundle Up!!

Sat, November 19, 2011 @ 12:37 AM

5. Éliane Gauvreau wrote:
A tuque in French pronounces like in AugUst. Aug-U-st = t-U-que It is a woolen cap with nothin to attach to the head. You just put it on your head and it stays there. The original tuque used to have a pompom on it. I hope it helps

Sat, November 19, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

6. Éliane Gauvreau wrote:
A tuque in French pronounces like in AugUst. Aug-U-st = t-U-que It is a woolen cap with nothin to attach to the head. You just put it on your head and it stays there. The original tuque used to have a pompom on it. I hope it helps

Sat, November 19, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

7. Éliane Gauvreau wrote:
A tuque in French pronounces like in AugUst. Aug-U-st = t-U-que It is a woolen cap with nothin to attach to the head. You just put it on your head and it stays there. The original tuque used to have a pompom on it. I hope it helps

Sat, November 19, 2011 @ 10:02 AM

8. Ann nickole wrote:
Dear Dixie, When I was in Haiti as a volunteer alomost three years ago I hadn't gotten the chance to meet you but having you come here and spend time with us was such a huge experience for me and we all felt honoured that you would take the time to come. I have a renewed sense of faith after hearing the stories of your journey and I wanted to say that I don't know if I've ever had the chance to meet a more faithfilled woman in my life. I got involved with GLA when my friends Kim and Bart were adopting Katiana, since then I've been involved with many different fundraisers of all types and sizes including being part of a team who handles the on-going collection of bottles from a local resteraunt. I want to tell you that the event I was a part of the other night was fuel for me to keep Haiti and the needs of children front and centre again in my life and I know it touched everyone there in such a deep and profound way that mere words can not describe, I hope you can find rest and peace in knowing what a difference your visits have made. I am one of those who left a peice of thier hearts in Haiti and I know I will be back someday and I hope it's soon. I just want to thank you so much, you are truly amazing.

Sun, November 20, 2011 @ 1:04 PM

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