A few random photos from Vancouver, Ottawa, and Salt Spring Island

Here are a few random photos I felt like posting when I was in Canada, but which didn’t really merit posts…

Framed portrait:

Framed portrait

I glued a 1-cent stamp from 1935 onto a parcel wrapped in blank 1960s sheet music paper to give a gift to a friend:

1935 1-cent stamp

A tasty cracker manwich, with Oker in the background:

Cracker manwich

Denise’s crazy nails, which were done by a lady at Lady Orchid’s Rejuvenating Spa down on West Broadway a few doors west from Manitoba Street:

Nails looking sharp

I made strawberries stuffed with chocolate mousse and added a peppermint leaf to each one:

Strawberries stuffed with chocolate

And I also made peanut butter cup cookies. I didn’t make the peanut butter cups, though, they were in a package…

Peanut butter cup cookies

After the Vancouver Canucks won Game 5 of Round 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, sending them to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1994, a bunch of us went downtown to celebrate – we weren’t the only ones!

Celebrating after the Canucks Round 3, Game 5 victory

I had to go to Ottawa to get my visa for Côte d’Ivoire, and as I do on every visit to Ottawa, I took a quick walk around Parliament Hill:

Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Canada

While in Ottawa, I also visited the Canadian Museum of Nature, which has some really cool dinosaur fossils, including this triceratops skull:

Triceratops skull, Museum of Nature, Ottawa

Back in BC, my last weekend in Canada was spent with a bunch of friends on Salt Spring Island. The float plane is faster than the ferry:

Float plane en route to Salt Spring Island, BC,Canada

The trip by ferry is really beautiful, winding between loads of little islands along the way:

View from the ferry to Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada

On Saturday morning, we went to Ganges, the main town on Salt Spring Island, to have a look at the market. This busker, Mack Pinchbeck, was amaaazing!

Busking skateboard bluegrass fiddle prodigy Mack Pinchbeck in Ganges, Salt Spring Island

Later on, we headed to a dock so people could take a dip in the water. Conrad the 4-legged, 4-armed wonderboy dove right in:

Conrad, the 4-armed, 4-legged wonderboy

Congo Canadiana

It may come a day late for Canada Day (July 1st), but I reckon a post is due on the topic of Canadiana here in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Never before have I seen so many Canadian articles of second-hand clothing in a single place as I have since arriving in DRC in March. In Kindu, Lubutu, and Kisangani the Canadian clothes are everywhere. The first one I noticed was a shirt from a car dealership in Kelowna, and after that I saw dozens of Canadian shirts and hats, many with some sort of hockey connection.

Byeka, one of our drivers, has a Toronto Maple Leafs shirt:


One of our guards has a Vancouver Canucks / Molson Canadian shirt:


Another one of our guards sold me some Canadian money, which is not uncommon as they find it in the pockets of second-hand clothes. I had to explain to him that Canadian Tire money is not real money:


A Nepean (was a city from 1978-2001 before becoming part of Ottawa) soccer jersey sported by one of our storekeepers, Gédéon:


Omari, head guard, with a Calgary shirt:


In Otiandumbo, (a tiny village) close to Omoyaki (a small village west of Lubutu in Obokote health zone), I met these guys who were supposed to be making bricks for a maternity to be built nearby. They were quite drunk, but friendly enough to let me take a photo with the Barrie Bulldogs hockey jersey. I got a real kick out of this one because my roommate in my first year of university was from Barrie:


The head mechanic in Lubutu has several Canadian shirts, including one from Ontario Power:


On the streets of Kindu and Lubutu, it’s very common to see Team Canada hockey jerseys (and indeed hockey jerseys from dozens of different minor and major hockey leagues).

But the kicker for me was when I saw a UBC Thunderbirds jersey in Lubutu one day. Sadly, we were in a hurry to get back to the office so I couldn’t get a photo. A couple weeks later, we were 70km from home on the drive back to Lubutu from Kisangani in the middle of nowhere in pitch black darkness, with driving rain and lightning, at a speed of about 60km/h when I noticed two people standing in the bushes to keep a safe distance as we passed. The UBC T-birds logo was clearly visible on the chest of one of the two! For a second time, I had missed my chance at a photo of a UBC T-birds jersey in the DR Congo.

Luck would swing my way the very next day, however, when we rented a truck and some daily workers to help unload a plane full of medical supplies and transport them to our medical depot. As we showed up to the airstrip and met up with the daily workers, I could hardly believe my eyes – one of them had the UBC T-birds jersey! He must have been the same guy I saw in Lubutu a couple weeks before, and the guy the previous night was someone else who also had a UBC sports jersey. Anyways, here’s proof that in a relatively remote area of the DRC there is a UBC T-birds jersey: