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?
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!
Well, 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!
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.
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!
(I’ll try to make sure these photos are all upright! I was told that some photos in my last album were sideways. Sorry…)
I 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!
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 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!
Posted on Fri, November 18, 2011