Friday, March 30, 2007

Oh Canada

Edmonton. I'm facing the patio doors in James and Cynthia's house in Edmonton where mounds of snow verify that it's been a cold and snowy winter. After 3 months in the US, it was a relief to cross the border despite the cool air and the leftover snow. We were prepared for interrogation at Coutts, but "came home" with very little hassle from Customs. Our car, however, was apparently still too accustomed to 75 MPH and the RCMP officer who pulled us over between Fort McLeod and Edmonton was friendly, but asked us please not to "pull away from the pack" like we were apparently doing. No ticket. What can I say? I guess to this young woman, we just looked too much like her parents . . . or grandparents.

Our last day of driving - from Helena, Montana to Edmonton - started out on a scary note; we hit a near blizzard as we crossed the high passes in the Rockies and thought we were looking at a day of nail-biting driving. We took our time, though, and by the time we got to Great Falls, the weather had cleared and we were looking for our sun glasses.

Watching only US news on TV for the past months, we hadn't heard about the Quebec election nor of any of the antics in Ottawa. We've got some catching up to do. American media apparently have no interest in what's happening in Canada, and very little in Mexico. In a way, it's not surprising; some of the states are more populous than Canada, for one, and there's plenty going on in that complex country to fill any news hour. Right now, also, it's a very divided country ideologically, and it seems it's on the verge of something catastrophic most of the time. It's a nervous environment, and the recent bill passed by the congress putting a time limit on concluding the presence of troops in Iraq and Bush's determination to veto the bill is the knife edge of the struggle in the country right now. The White House is under siege, and citizens really don't have much time in their days to cultivate any interest in matters beyond their borders.

Tomorrow, our circle will be complete when we get back to Rosthern and pick up there where we left off. It's been an educational experience to say the least, and we wouldn't give it up, even if that were possible. I've written an article for the Canadian Mennonite on the experience and I'm putting together a slide show. I also managed to complete 15 short essays for another project I'm working on, and being in another part of the world for a time has been inspirational in that regard. We'll see. My trip jounal runs to 50 pages or more and I don't know what I'll do with that yet.

All of you who read this blog, thank you. We looked forward to your emails whenever we got to the library and were disappointed when there weren't any, which wasn't often. Thanks. It's good to be home.

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