Last week in Vancouver
Trip Start Sep 08, 2009
61Trip End Jun 07, 2010
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Where I stayed
Wednesday morning started with a tear (not by me, I may add- I have a heart of stone): Taylor, Jenny & Nathan all left Vancouver for good early in the morning. Taylor and his family were driving back to Colorado Springs(!) a 2 day journey, and Jenny & Nathan back to Sylvan Lake, Alberta. Home. Ah... 6 months after we first came together, our team was finally breaking apart :( We waved them off with a big sad smile, and commiserated with those who were left.
A few hours later, we moved all our stuff out of our apartments. Goodbye, Commercial Drive! Having been sleeping on the floor for the last 2 nights, it was pretty much pick-up-your-bag and leave, but it was only at this point that I realised quite how much stuff one can accumulate over 6 months. Oh dear. 6 bags later, I was finally loaded into Randy's car, and we bid farewell to our little one-bed apartment that had served us 6 girls (and, at the start, a family of cockroaches) so well over the last 6 months.
Still, out with the old, in with the new- we all descended on Tanya and Anne's apartment, completely taking over their spare room with luggage, and their living room with us! It was a beautiful day out, with the spring blossom in full bloom, so I decided to go for a walk and buy some groceries, knowing exactly what I needed. After months of pretty much chicken, mince, rice and pasta on rotation I went out and brought as many vegetables as I could carry. Rebekka, Trix and I just literally ate a huge plate of stir fried veggies for dinner. At last, fresh food! Earlier in the day, our soon-to-be-ex neighbour gave me two cinema passes that needed to be used that evening so after dinner, Rebekka and I went to watch How to Train your Dragon at the cinema. It wasn't bad for a cartoon, really.
On Thursday morning, Trix, Heidi and I went to have a coffee meeting with Randy and Tanya, to talk about how to raise support, and the logistics of living under other people's provision. No-one in YWAM is paid, so all full-time (and part-time) workers have to raise their own support from friends, family and businesses back home. Thought I might as well go and see what their thoughts on the matter where... you never know where I might end up in a few years!
The afternoon saw the further demise of our team- we dropped Alex and Ancel off at the airport to fly back to Edmonton and Switzerland respectively. Sad times. Still, I gave them a quick hug and off we went. Trix's sister and best friend had come out to visit/travel, so they also left for Vancouver Island, due to travel for the next 2 weeks. Down to three.
Our penultimate student farewell was on Good Friday morning. Not very good. Rebi, Anne, Bobby and I took Heidi to the airport. After 30 minutes of standing around, avoiding the inevitable, we finally started our goodbyes. Each time someone else left it got that little bit harder- why couldn't I have been the first to leave! It also got me thinking about home, how everyone would be seeing their friends and family in just a few hours... and got a little bit homesick. But we made it through, and sadly waved Heidi through security, on her way back to Finland. And then there were two.
After the palaver with Starbucks in Montreal (where they failed to put any coffee in my coffee), I'd written to complain- and received 2 free drinks vouchers as compensation. So I spent the afternoon chilling out in Starbucks with the biggest, most expensive drink I could get.... (and still managed to drink it in 15 minutes flat. Sugar high!!)
Saturday I was left alone as Rebi went ski-babysitting (not a bad gig, getting a lift pass in return for 2 hours snowploughing with 3 little kids.) I went for a wander and noticed 2 huge catering trucks outside a house one block down from where I was staying. Sure enough, they were filming something, maybe the next big blockbuster! Rebi and I offered to babysit for the Pallisters (two YWAMers we met when they had us over for dinners during DTS) so I was able to go back to The Drive- felt so good to be back, familiar (even after just 3 days away!) We spent most of the evening re-enacting Wall-E and taking no less than 1 hour 40 minutes getting the two young girls from 'OK, time to get ready for bed' to actually closing their eyes. Rebekka and I collapsed, exhausted on the couch- and mum and dad came home 20 minutes later. "Everything OK?," they asked. "No problems," we half-smiled back at them. I don't know if I could ever cope having kids!
Easter Sunday was quite possible the best Easter I've ever had- and it involved hardly any chocolate! Rebi and I went to Westside for a great service on Romans 8:1 There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Certainly made a change from all the standard Easter Sunday messages I've heard before. We met up with Anne and Bobby afterwards at my favourite coffee shop with (in my opinion) the best cinnamon buns in the city. The sun was streaming in through the window, and we managed to get the one and only window seat so we could watch people stroll by, and just about see the clear blue skies. We went into a couple of shops quickly afterwards (which, come to think of it now, were all still open, even on Easter Sunday!) Later that evening we all trooped over to Randy's for an Easter dinner. Ham, corn, salad, potatoes, the works. It was great. And the table was so beautifully laid- flowery napkins, flowers everywhere, a little lindt chocolate bunny in each person's place. We had a great time just spending time together and relaxing after the meal. In fact, we split into two camps- one centred around the TV watching the football and the other in the living room each engrossed in our books. I'll let you guess which one I was in.
Monday started well with some amazing homemade buttermilk pancakes. Bobby came over to start making them early, and we feasted on a huge stack each. Today was yet another sad day: the time had finally come for Rebekka to leave. Still somewhat stuffed from the pancakes, we stopped off at what was apparently one of the best places for doughnuts in the city on our way to the airport. I managed about 1/2 a doughnut before giving up. It was a strange experience for me.
So the time finally came when I had to say goodbye to Rebekka... :( Not only had we been through so much the last 6 months together, but she was also the last remaining student other than me. I was starting to feel somewhat left behind! But yet again, we managed to blurt out some goodbyes, and consoled ourselves with a coffee as we watched her walk off into the distance... My time in Vancouver had come to an end, and I was now the only one left. Not a bad time to move on. Next stop, Whistler.