Monday, May 3, 2010

Why I am in Canada

It's not just to
  • see tulips and daffodils blooming
  • eat sushi
  • eat Lebanese
  • eat Indian
  • eat strawberries
  • visit a bike-friendly city with a functioning bus system
  • go to a thrift store
  • buy maple syrup
  • attend question period
  • plug in my MP3 player and walk for MILES going nowhere on SIDEWALKS in complete anonymity (ie. with no one yelling "blan," asking me for money or trying to grab my a@$)
  • be cold enough to wear a sweater
  • drink fair trade coffee
  • stay at the YMCA and wake up to the fire alarm at midnight then spend half an hour outside until the firemen say it's safe to go back in - all the while imagining my computer, all of my work notes and my fabulous thrift-store finds going up in flames
  • meet great other MCCers.
Although most of those would be reason enough to be in Canada, I'm actually here ("here" being Ottawa) to give a presentation on MCC's work in Haiti to the Canadian Parliament. Our Ottawa office is hosting a breakfast reception tomorrow morning to which 21 members of the Canadian government have RSVP'd. Give me 8 hours and I will be a nervous wreck. In the next couple of days, I am also supposed to be meeting with representatives from the Canadian International Development Agency (Canada's equivalent to USAID) and the Department of Foreign Affairs, though it's unclear whether or not those meetings will actually take place.

I've already had the privilege of talking to several Mennonite congregations about what MCC is doing in Haiti and from here I'll be headed to the Toronto-Kitchener-Waterloo areas to do more speaking.

As you can probably gather from the list above (and from my recent hey,Ifeellikeatrainwreck post), it's been nice to be out of Haiti for a little while. Unfortunately, I kind of suck at traveling without Ben. Everything fun just seems like it would only be funner if he were here, too. I've been pretty good at getting out - mostly going on looong walks - when I haven't been working, but I'm glad that I don't have to travel alone much as part of my job.


Sharon said...

Food! Thrift scores! Long peaceful walks! Soak it up for all of us. =)

nerkert said...

I told you that any 15 minutes of fame that I have will be through my daughters. Let your proud parents know how the breakfast went.

Rebecca said...

So sorry that I can't make the 4 hour journey north this week to see you there...but I'll be in PAP next week for 10 days. Will you be back? Eat well and hopefully sleep better. Ottawa has such a lovely outdoor-urban culture!

Maggie said...

I am absolutely jealous! Of you for being in Ottawa! And of the city for getting to host YOU! Please have a beavertail (killaloe sunrise)for me, and if you need to hang out with one of my [other] bestest friends in the world, let me know! She would totally get your mind off of work! Have fun!!!

HannahBG said...

Oh, Lexi! I totally understand how the best things would be even better with your honey. I am glad, however, that you have this chance to walk, peruse thrift shops, drink coffee... :~)


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