Tonight I am writing to you from a rented room tucked amongst the green foliage the religious corner of the campus at the University of British Columbia. Next door is a Catholic college and a seminary. Yes, it is a little weird, but the accommodations are nice and priced very well.
First, I must confess that I was weak and blew off last month’s newsletter. The truth is, I’ve had a hell of a last six weeks (more about that in the link below). And thus we are here on the western edge of Canada at my alma mater (obviously I did not attend the religious schools here).
So why did we drive through smokey valleys and past helicopters dropping water on forest fires? To take a short retreat and recover a bit from all the happenings. Also, we were looking for respite from the 45 degree Celsius weather that has been searing Kelowna these past few days.
We asked the kids where they wanted to go and they snarkily replied “Hogwarts!” so I taught them a lesson and brought them to UBC. Unbeknownst to me at the time but there actually is a Harry Potter connection at UBC!. But it looks closed, so in the meantime we will tour around the campus which is pretty empty during summer and easy to social distance. I will visit my old haunts at the various libraries and the dojo, and take them for a tour at Nitobe Garden (and hopefully the teahouse there). It will be as educational and restorative as it is nostalgic for me. (I also secretly hope it will be a bit inspirational for them 😉)
Once we return to the Okanagan in a few days, I still have a lot of work to do (once again, see the link below), but I hope to soon start on the processing, writing, and posting of the 10,000 (literally!) photos and videos I took during our year on Ikijima.
For now I must sign off. My best to you and yours. Hold your loved ones dear. Be well and be healthy.
Why I had to leave Japan, what happened afterwards, and what is happening next.