Sunday, May 17, 2009

Things Past and Present

When I was a kid, some of my non-Canadian friends used to laugh about my hometown’s name: Squamish. They thought it sounded like “squash” (which, of course, it does). The fact that it was just a very small, non-descript, logging town in the Canadian mountains certainly didn’t help prop up this rather pathetic mental image either. From what I read on this sign though, it is now the “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”. Squamish is located about half way between Vancouver and Whistler, B.C. (which is the Host Mountain Resort for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games). So Squamish is now on the map and it has certainly changed over the years.

On our way home from Vancouver, we decided (my dad, mom, sister, husband and I) to come through Squamish, BC. That’s where I was born and lived until I was 6. Most of my memories of our time in Squamish are amazingly clear.

This is the road through the beautiful area where we lived until I was 3 or 4 years old. It used to be called “Skunk Hollow” (I don’t think I shared this particular name with my friends for obvious reasons). The name has now been changed to Valley View.

We lived in this house (that my dad built) until I was about 7 years old. The window on the left was the bedroom my sister and I shared. This is the room where I was afraid of the imaginary bears under my bed and where I spent a fair share of falling-asleep time peeking at my dolls through nearly shut eyelids. I was 5 at the time and I was quite sure my dolls came to life and played once I was safely asleep. Never did catch them at it though.

We used to play in this tree and I was amazed to find it still standing.

We spent a few hours visiting old places and friends, then we carried on to Salmon Arm that same day.

Hairpin curve in highway through mountains.

We’re now back in Edmonton aka “Snow City” since it seems to want to keep snowing off and on despite the fact that people here are already wearing summer attire and driving their convertibles!

Anyway, onto a bit of other news.

For about 6 months now, we’ve been working toward the construction of an airstrip on the Mozambique mission. We’ve had to start from scratch by clearing the land for the landing strip:

A bridge is needed on the airstrip's access road. This will be built with huge logs and will span a ravine.

These mounds of stone on either side of the ravine (which is hard to see in this photo) will be used to build the main supporting cement structures that the logs will rest on. We have no machines like tractors or cranes for this job. It’s all done by hand, one stone and one chopped tree at a time. Only when it is all done will a grader be brought in to make the airstrip as smooth as possible. No one likes a bumpy take-off or landing.

An important partner in this airstrip project is Mercy Air, South Africa.

Us with Ron and Barb Wayner, Mercy Air S.A. founders

Mercy Air’s plan is to co-locate with us in Mozambique to better serve both our work and the needs of numerous others. We are confident that together we can do things so much better than alone. A Mercy Air staff house is currently under construction.

I should close for now since this has been a pretty long post. Take care and ttyl!


Anonymous said...

Awwwwww....... I had no idea you thought you're dolls came alive & played after you had fallen asleep for the night!! Why didn't I know that? I remember mom making us go to bed when it was still light outside in the summer. We felt so ripped off!!
Cya soon, your big sis :)

ruth said...

Nice house gramps!! I had no idea gramps had built a house. How did I not know that?! How did I not know that he built your house in Squamish?! You should be thankful I wasn't with you or I'd have walked right up to that house, knocked on the door and asked for a tour!! I totally missed out man.

Laura said...

Hello from Zimpeto, Maputo, Mozambique! I think I met you guys at Mercy Air, in the big house kitchen, several months ago. I found your blog via Google News Alerts and just wanted to leave a note and say hi. That's so cool that Mercy Air is partnering with you. Where are you working? Enjoy your time in Canada!
Blessings, Laura

L. Lagore said...

Hi Laura,

Yes, I recall meeting you there. We're in Manica Province, on the Tete corridor. If you ever come by that way you'll have to pop in!