Thursday, 2 December 2010

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Rainbow in Yellowknife

Photo of Gordon taking a photo of the double rainbow in Yellowknife in late August - by Bronwen

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow." Gilbert K. Chesterton

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Saying of the Week

The truth is, you're not defeated until your doubts and regrets take the place of your dreams. Anon

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Mark Smith Visit

I had a fun week-end with Mark and a new Zambian friend : Bullocks, several pubs around YK, the drive and hike to Cameron Falls and taking in the sights of YK.

Friday, 6 August 2010

The Dog Days of Yellowknife

Seems like most people in Yellowknife have a dog, some 2 or 3. You see them everywhere being walked, in cars, in the back of pick-ups, even a few wandering around on their own. I wonder how many thousands of dogs that would be given that there are 20,000 people in Yellowknife ?

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories

I have accepted the job of Branch manager with Matco Transportation at their Yellowknife Branch and flew up on June 10. Yellowknife, a city of 20,000 and the capital of the Northwest Territories, is 1,000 km North of Edmonton. It is a very cosmopolitan city having attracted people from all over the world to work in jobs dominated by diamond mining, government departments (federal and territorial), air lines, trucking and tourism and all the related services for the community. It is situated on the north shore of Great Slave Lake which is the ninth largest lake in the world.

I had been to Yellowknife several times when I worked for Matco before so I knew what I was coming to. It is a very friendly and casual place and still has a feel of being on the frontier. It is relatively compact so doesn’t take long to get around and you don’t have to go very far to be out in the wilderness.

The townhouse that Matco rented for me to stay in with another member of staff is in good shape but not in a very good location - on a rocky slope right next to the main road into town so pretty noisy at night especially with sirens from emergency vehicles passing by ! Also I am having trouble sleeping because of the light. This time of the year – mid-summer - the sun rises at 3:30 am and only sets at 11:30 pm but even between those hours it is not completely dark as there is a heavy twilight.

I was lucky enough in the very first week here to get on a helicopter ride over the city and surrounding area so it was good to get that perspective from the air.

More photos of my time in Yellowknife can be seen in the Facebook album Yellowknife 2010

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Blast from the Past

Canada Day 18 years ago - where have all the years gone ?

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Road Trip to Yellowknife

On the afternoon of Wednesday June 23 Johanna and I set out in a brand new Dodge Caravan for the drive to Yellowknife. (I had flown back to Edmonton for a few days and the van needed to be brought back to YK for the Matco branch). We stopped for supper with Bronwen in High Prairie at the local Chinese restaurant which was very good. Nice to see where she has been working for the past few weeks on her university practicum as part of her masters degree in Occupational Therapy . We continued on for a few more hours and stopped for the night at a motel in Manning - not the greatest place but all we needed was a bed to sleep.

Thursday we were up early for the continental breakfast and were on our way again by 7:00 a.m. Made good progress with stops along the way for breaks, fuel and some sight seeing. Amazing to again see such vast expanses of countryside totally uninhabited and so few vehicles on the roads. It was an experience that very many Canadians do not get and gave us a better appreciation of what the truck drivers have to contend with in getting up to Yellowknife and back. The winter driving must be brutal.

We got into YK at about 5:30 pm – 16 hours of actual driving and 1,476 km - and I gave Johanna quick tour of the place. We went for supper at one of the unique YK eateries called "Bullocks Bistro". It is in a small old log cabin and they serve just 2-3 kinds of fish – either deep fried, grilled or pan fried - and venison steak of some kind - whatever they can get hold of seasonally - all with a heap of green salad and a pile of hand-cut fries. Three women run the place - the owner who is the chef and two waitresses - and it is an incredible experience. We sat at the bar which is just a long kitchen counter next to the cooking area so we could chat with the chef and waitress and watch everything going on while we waited for our order to come along in the line-up. We chose pan fried Arctic Char - it was to die for and well worth the hour-long wait. YK time is like Africa time - so I am really enjoying it !

Friday I had to go to work so Johanna just chilled out on her own and did some walking around the town. In the evening we met up with a friend of Bronwen's who is doing her practicum up here and went for sushi and then a few drinks with her. Saturday morning we did some other touristy things - including breakfast at the most Northerly McDonald's in Canada !

For more photos of the trip visit the Facebook album Road Trip

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

UK Sojourn

On my way over to Zambia and on the way back to Canada I stopped in UK for a week each time. As usual I stayed with my good friends Roger and Marinda Hiscoe in their lovely old house near Twyford – always a home away from home.

It was a busy time catching up with some family members and African friends. One of them – Willem Pietersen (below) - I hadn’t seen in over 22 years ! It was great to reminisce about all the crazy things we did during our teenage years especially the unforgettable cross country trip to the Chimanimani Mountains !

I also did two presentations about the Foundation to two separate groups. There were not many people at both as it was quite short notice but those that did attend were very interested and we will no doubt get some support and donations from them. I get a sense that UK is going to grow into a strong support base for us now that SPF is registered there as a charity and I look forward to future visits there to do more presentations and connecting.

During the time in UK I managed to visit three Rotary Clubs for their weekly meetings - Bath (in photo below), Beckenham and Reading Abbey. Great to be able to experience one of the key aspects of Rotary – visiting other clubs throughout the world and connecting with fellow Rotarians.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Zambia – March & April 2010

Gordon was in Zambia for March and April visiting and working on the SPF Isaiah Project there. It was an incredible time and as always more transpired than had been anticipated with many new connections and opportunities.

For more details about the trip please download his
report (PDF) and visit the photo albums listed on the right hand side of the blog.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Mighty Men’s Conference 2010

In mid-April I had the opportunity to do a road trip from Zambia to South Africa and back over 7 days in order to attend the Angus Buchan Mighty Men’s conference. The magnitude of camping with some 400,000 other men and boys and joining them in worship, hearing the preaching and prayer is too great to adequately describe. It was the experience of a lifetime and one that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

For more details and the photos please visit the Facebook photo album : MMC2010

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Saying of the Week

"There is more to life than just increasing its speed" - Mahatma Gandhi