Scotland – September 2017

Apple has conveniently helped in selecting photos of my recent trip to Scotland off my iPad and put them into a nice little 2 minute video.  So here it is – a quick selection of images from my recent 2 week trip to Edinburgh, Skye, the Highlands and the Borders district in September.

Nyumbani – Home

When I posted to my Facebook page that I was back in a Kenya I received a number of comments from my many African friends that could be summarized as “Welcome home.”   The Swahili phrase is “Karibu Nyumbani”. ” Come and visit.  When will I see you? I hope we can have lunch?  Are you coming my way? ”

This social media welcome extended to our first couple of days here where school principals were asking if we could visit them.  Even the students at one secondary school we anxious to have a school assembly to welcome us and they insisted that all of them get in the picture.  

Africans are generous and excited about welcoming visitors.  They extend that greeting to me but it feels more like family to me in so many East African communities.

I have a theory that there is some of my DNA that recognizes this as a place of my ancestral origin. If Monarch butterflies can find their breeding ground in Mexico without ever having been there or salmon can swim back to their birthplace to breed,  I am sure that there is some little chemical part of my genes that know this as the place where my genetic being began.

Over the next three weeks I will visit at least ten communities and will try to share some photos of my visits.  On Friday we went to the St Catherine School to open a new classsroom building and to the Ramula Secondary School where we constructed a new kitchen several months ago.  Both are well maintained and are serving the students and teachers well.   They are all grateful for the support of the  many donors to the CanAssist African Relief Trust that have made these improvements to their communities possible.

Yesterday we attended a basketball tournament in Kisumu – food for another longer story. Stay tuned.

Today we are heading to “the rural” for an overnight with Dan Otieno’s grandmother, Ann.  How fortunate I feel to be able to experience this association with my numerous African families.

We cross the equator every day going from Kisumu to Ramula. In fact the Ramula Secondary school is situated on the Equator!

These are the students at Ramula Secondary School, taken near the water tanks, installed with CanAssist donor support. Before these tanks were put in, the water for the school was brought in by donkey from a stream. The student have much less gastrointestinal illness with this clean water available.

Nancy looks out through the window of one of the new classrooms at St Catherine school as the kids sing and dance in celebration in the yard.

When I visited this community two years ago there was nothing here. The kids learned under a tree. Now there are six classrooms, an improved latrine, rainwater catchment and school furnishings at the St Catherine school, thanks to the support of CanAssist donors.

Signing the guest book at St Catherine School in the principal’s office. The last time I signed a document here it was in his office on a table under a mango tree.

Cutting the ribbon to open the new classroom at St Catherine school with a butcher knife. No scissors available.

Docks Part 3 – closer to home – Ontario

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Winter  – Kingston Harbour

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Dock by the Delta Hotel – Kingston

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Confederation Basin, Kingston – early Spring

 

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Eagle Lake dock

 

 

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Cousins on the dock – Ontario cottage country

 

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Wolfe Island dock

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Three minutes from my home – Kingston harbour

What’s up?   Docks!  – Part 1

A Facebook friend recently posted a visually striking black and white photo of a man on a pier and it reminded me just how drawn I am to photographing docks and piers and breakwaters.   I think it is the idea that the dock leads somewhere and the somewhere is often an expansive body of water.  The boats at the docks are transport for  adventure into the ocean or lake. There is something solitary about many of these images at the same time. Perhaps we are dwarfed by Nature.

It spurred me to look through my photo library for pictures of docks and piers that I have taken in many parts of the world.  I have so many that I have to divide this into three parts.  I hope you enjoy this maritime travelogue.

 

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Fishing Boat in the harbour at Tofino, British Columbia

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The pier near Sandy Cove, Nova Scotia

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On a pier in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

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A sort-of pier in Cinque Terra, Italy.   You would not want to get caught up in the waves near the rocks.

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Dhows in Stone Town, Zanzibar

 

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A dock I have visited many times in Mbita, Kenya – Lake Victoria

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

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San Francisco Bay, California.  Golden Gate Bridge way in the background

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On the pier/breakwater in the photo above – Lima, Peru.  It was amazing how this very natural Pacific Ocean site was in a city of 8.5 million people.

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A memorable fish dinner on a dock on the island of Lopud, Croatia                                           with friends Sue and Jim.

Newfoundland – June 2016

A visit to Newfoundland has been on my list of things to do – not really a bucket list since I may just do it more than once before I kick – and with the Canadian dollar in the doldrums this year I thought it was time.   Although the weather in early June was chilly and wet and foggy,  I had a very wonderful atmospheric holiday, seeing puffins, whales, icebergs and my friends Glenda and Marshall Godwin, all natural Newfie phenomena.

Here are just a few of my photos.

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Cape Spear Lighthouse

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Fishing village

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Spectacular iceberg near Dunfield

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I was not deterred by the frequent drizzle and fog

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Humpback whale

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Puffins

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Signal Hill, St John’s

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View from Signal Hill

 

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Visiting friends was a treat

 

 

How to enjoy summery weather in Toronto

Although the end of May in Canada is not usually thought of as summer, this week has had spectacular weather and we are all emerging from hibernation in shorts and sandals and sunscreen.

I am to work in Toronto for the next few days.  One might think that the heart of the city is not the place to be in 29 degree weather but Toronto’s waterfront offers a delightful opportunity to inaugurate summer.

I ventured along the Harbourfont and ended up with a beer or three in a big Muskoka chair (Canadians will know what this is) on the patio of  a busy establishment called Amsterdam.  Last year I had sat in the same place and ended up having a great conversation with a guy who was traveling from Italy to North Amercia for the first time.  After a couple of beers we ended up wandering through the downtown so I could point out some of the landmarks.  Federico is still a Facebook friend and I will send him this so he can recall our visit.  

Enjoying a summer refeshment wit h a new acquaintance from Brazil.

This year there were four guys from Brazil sitting next to me.  One was visiting and three had recently moved to Canada. One was a musician and another a resident in cardiovascular surgery at U of T.   We shared some drinks and lots of conversation. I liked hearing about Brazil and they found me somewhat unique – a born and bred Canadian in Toronto where almost everyone has a different ethnic background or is an immigrant.  (I heard this week that there are 142 mother tongues spoken in Toronto apart from English and French.) Diego, the lawyer from Brazil, talked me into getting a Go-pro camera.  Usually this kind of camera is used to video sports activities like skiing or windsurfing or sky-diving.  Not sure if a video of me walking to Starbucks will be as exciting.
One of our main topics was the huge yacht that was tied up right in front of us.  The name of the boat was Big Eagle and under the name it said “Kingston”. Not Kingston Ontario for sure.   Turns out this 52 meter (172 ft) yacht, flying the flag of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is privately owned, had come from Florida and was heading to Chicago.  We googled the boat to find that it sleeps 14, has a crew of 10 and rents for $140,000 a week plus expenses, which might include filling the 104,000 liter fuel tank.  You can find it’s current position here

On my way back to my hotel, I grabbed a Beavertail, my favourite being the one with sugar and cinnamon and lemon.  Can’t get much more Canadian than eating a Beavertail under the CN Tower. 

Spring reflections in photos -Pt 2

Yesterday I posted some spring photos. Several of the pictures I took had interesting reflection in the smooth lake so I have grouped them together here.  Part 2.  You can see yesterday’s other photos here if you missed them. It delights me that I have been able to take all these photos within about 10 minutes of my home in beautiful downtown Kingston, Ontario.

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Celebrating Spring in Kingston Ontario

Exactly three weeks ago I posted a blog with some photos I took along the shoreline of Lake Ontario in Kingston. (You can see them here) The lake was still covered in ice – enough, in fact, that people were out playing hockey and walking and ice-boating on the lake.

Today is Easter Sunday  – March 27.  It is a gorgeous sunny day. The ice is gone from all but a few corners of the lake. Folks are out with their kids and their dogs and cameras and even a couple of boats are in the water.  What a difference three weeks makes.

Here are some photos I took today, some of them from precisely where I took pictures of the ice on March 6.  I am happy today to be celebrating spring in Kingston.

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