After finishing up in London at the very start of March, I had just over a week to waste before flying down to Africa, so I decided to head to Vancouver to see family and friends.
As our plane came in to land on the afternoon of March 4th, I had an excellent view looking north to Bowen Island, which is one of the best places in the world:
After arriving at my parents’ home, my sister Lisa told me that Fred Penner was going to be holding a concert at UBC’s Pit Pub that very night. Fred Penner was a children’s TV show host when I was a child, and I used to watch his show every day on CBC, sing along to all his songs full of good wholesome values and happiness. When I heard he was holding a concert at a student pub, I decided there was no way I could miss it. Lisa got there early and managed to get me a ticket. My friend Sarah, who studied with me in Sweden, and her sister joined us as they were visiting Vancouver.
And let me tell you, Fred Penner’s show was LEGENDARY. It now ranks as the number one concert experience of my life.
At UBC it’s still impossible not to bump into people I know, and at Fred Penner’s show I was very happy to run into my friend Mike. After the show, we waited together in line for a long time to get autographs, hugs, and photos with our childhood idol:
Aside from that first crazy night, my time in Vancouver was a lot of fun. The weather was pretty nice most of the time:
On Friday night I went to another party at UBC with a lot of friends, and met up with two girls from CouchSurfing.com, Carmen and Franziska, who are both really awesome people.
On Saturday night it was yet another party, this time a prom-themed party in the Downtown Eastside with DJs and live bands.
I lent my brother Dan one of my tuxedos, which made him look professional as he played pool at the party:
On Sunday morning, we went over to Bowen Island for the day. There were a few deer around that day in the forest:
We met up with our friend Alasdair, who grew up on Bowen but moved to France and who I hadn’t seen since 2003 when I visited his family in Lourdes. Together we walked to a little beach to look for crabs under the rocks.
We found a little eel!
And Alasdair managed to find a few photogenic crabs, like this one perched on his fingertip:
After a few more days spent seeing friends and family around town, on my last night in Vancouver I went back out to UBC for another show: Jokers of the Scene. My friend Jason was the DJ opening the show:
My brother Matt happened to fly in from Yellowknife that night so he came out to the show to meet up with us. And so it came to be that, on my last night in Vancouver, all five of my parents’ children (each of which has attended / is attending UBC) partied together on campus:
The night ended very late, and the morning of March 13th began very early as I packed my bags at home long after the airport check-in counter had opened, headed to the airport after boarding had begun, and as always somehow avoided missing my flight. Destination: Democratic Republic of Congo via Montreal (Canada), London (England), Nairobi (Kenya), Bujumbura (Burundi), and Kigali (Rwanda).