Well, it's December 7th today and it sure is the winter season. The VanDerk has been holding up well. We manage to sleep soundly in the van every night, regardless the fact that the temperature has fallen to -15 C at times, both in and outside of the van.
Now that the majority of the trip has fallen behind us, we are left pondering the question we came into this thing with. I know we have been upholding the stance that -Canada is Great- right from the beginning, but something here, I must confess. We have repeatedly stated the following things: "Canada is great", we said, "This country sure is great", we said, "Wow was a great nation", we said. But we weren't sure. Was it great? Was it truly and utterly great?
Each experience we've had on the road surely supported the notion that in fact, our country is pretty damn great. By now, we have concluded that the answer to our question, "Is Canada great?" is a simple YES. There are little things that perhaps aren't so great, such as when there are lots of bison lying on the road and refusing to get out of the way for your vehicle. But the great things really come out on top in this project, and that is for sure.
Earlier today, sitting in a Tim Hortons in the small town of Deer Lake, Newfoundland - population 5000 - I heard a voice: "Korry." I looked up and saw a friend who I knew during high school and have seen on the regular even since I left high school. Canada is one big small town, they say. And that is pretty great.
A few days back, Kristel and I interviewed the mayor of Mary's Harbour, a small town of about 350 people in Labrador. Alton Rumbolt is not only the mayor, but also a fisherman, and he was happy to explain to us all about the industry. He explained how he wakes up around 4 am in the summer, and then eats breakfast, because he'd have to eat at least one meal during the day, right? Then work long days, sometimes 16 or 18 hours. -That's just the way it is- -We don't see no summer- -I like it this way, don't mind- And you know, it's just like anything, he said. We left that interview glowing with admiration for that man. Damn, is this country great.
And then today we saw these things. And it was great.
Anyways, our trip will officially end on December 16th at 9 pm, when we head to a Hey Rosetta! concert to ice the cake (top it all off, tap the whale on the fin, finish our lives for the time being). In the meantime, we will be catching up with Twillingate for the first time. A small and beautiful town, Twillingate used to thrive off of the fishing industry until the cod moratorium in '92. After that we will be going to St. John's, the capital of the world (or is it the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador? I can't remember).
In conclusion, I must say that we came to a very clear realization a week back while talking with a man in Cape Breton: we were discussing how this trip is an amazing opportunity to receive free and extensive education (thank you Drs. Ringash and Bandiera, so so much). Sometimes we run into people who say, somewhat belittlingly, -you guys really hit the jackpot for a free vacation!- Which isn't so true in the end, at all. We are EXTREMELY lucky to be receiving the education that has come along with the Canada is Great project. As I always say, -What a time to be alive!-
Peace and love,