Thursday, April 26, 2012

Huh, Eh?

For those of you who thought Americans and Canadians are one in the same, well, we're not. I admit that we're not vastly different since (by my definition) we're from the same basic tribe. But still, we do have our differences.

For one thing, Canadians say "eh" and Americans say "huh". That's one sure-fire way of telling us apart. Another difference is that Americans generally enjoy a warmer climate than we do so they serve their cold drinks with LOTS of ice.

We have lots of wonderful friends, family and supporters in the U.S. so we were quite excited when we left Edmonton for our Minnesota-Wisconsin-Arizona-Kansas stint a few weeks ago.

The U.S. is more populated than Canada is which means there is more of just about everything. That's always one of the first things that hits me when we cross the border...more people, bigger buildings, heavier traffic.
Our first destination was Minneapolis and once we managed to navigate our way through the airport, we had to find our rental car in the sea of rental cars in the large parkade. "You'll find your car in stall #10, row G," (or something to that effect) the rental agent instructed us.

After a bit of traipsing, sure enough, we found it where he said. We were a bit jet-lagged and in a bit of a time/culture/whatever else warp and I was still musing at the differences between Canada and the U.S. when I noticed the license plate on the vehicle assigned to us:

To help remove all doubt, eh? :)

And as we expected, we discovered wonderfully warmer weather further south!
(Me with long-time friend, Nancy)
Until the next day, that is. For some reason, on night #2, there was a snow storm. "Sideways snow" as the news put it. This was the view from the window in our room.

"Well, at least it's beautiful."
(Seems the Americans use the self same-comforting technique
Canadians do when they get huge snow dumps in the spring.)

As we headed south from Minnesota to Madison, Wisconsin, things greened up a bit. Had to get this picture of a truck passing a tractor passing a train.

Being friendly is very American. 
Here I get a friendly wave from the train's conductor as they pass by.

On our agenda this trip was visiting churches and meeting with people who share a passion for the needs in Mozambique.
Meeting with some of the board members from partnering organization Mission X International.

Our departing flight out of Madison was booked for 5:04 a.m. and we had to be at the airport about 1 1/2 hours before departure. We gave ourselves about an hour from wake up time to the airport, so you do the math to figure out what time we had to be up. ...ok, I'll just tell you. We had to be up at 2:30 a.m.! Sort of begged the question "why go to bed at all?"
We arrive 3 minutes before the counter opened and the airport was otherwise essentially empty.

We're now in Phoenix, Arizona attending the International FCA conference. We set up our booth in the display area. The only spot to put our pull-up banners was on top of our table. The idea struck me as being a bit audacious initially, but turns out they didn't look all that overwhelming in the huge ballroom.

And anyway, the faces on the banners represent needs, both big and many, on the ground far away--so it seemed rather fitting.

Tomorrow, we head for Kansas and thankfully our flight is only at noon. We will be meeting up with my parents and sister (who will also just be arriving from Canada), as well as more great friends and supporters for the weekend.

And thus we will wrap up this trip to the U.S. On Monday, we return to Canadian soil and

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