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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Skywatch

This is my input to Skywatch Friday, Friday Foto Friends and Nature Notes this week. 
These photos were taken on June 26th with my phone camera.
I was out running errands when I came across this sight in the sky.  I was intrigued with the formation of clouds.
At first I thought it was chem-trails but later thought it it might be different clouds like I had never seen before. At least I've never seen them forming into a V shape before.
I'm really not sure what these were in the sky.



In the photo below the domed building is of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.  On Friday night's the church hosts a traditional meal of perogies and sausages or you can purchase a bag of perogies from the church and boil and fry them up yourself. I haven't been to a dinner there for many years already. How times flies!
 
 


Since I was out late running errands I stopped to have a light meal. I decided on a Seafood Udon Noodle soup (with fish, calamari, fish balls, noodles and vegetables) and a BC Cone  stuffed with rice, vegetables and Pacific Wild Salmon.


It was all yummy!

I hope you've been enjoying your week.
It's been a catch up week for me. 
I've been very busy and this month I am trying to streamline my activities. 
I have a few events I have to attend but also need to catch up on some business stuff so I'm not sure how often I'll be blogging over the summer.
I hope to at least visit you now and then.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monday, July 2, 2018

Blessed by the Watoto Choir


On Friday I was blessed to attend the one and only concert of the Watoto Children's Choir performed in Vancouver, British Columbia.  I've heard of this Ugandan choir for many years and have seen them on television but never had the opportunity to go and hear them live.  This year's concert was held  at the Vancouver Chinese Pentecostal Church in East Vancouver. Pastor Ivan Chu gave a few brief introductory and welcome remarks before turning the stage over for the evening.


This young man and his wife (not in photo) lead the contingent of the Watoto Children's Choir that travels throughout Canada for six (6) months each year. His wife conducts the choir. Together they have been travelling with the choir for the past 4 years.


the children give a very high energy performance.  I love the expressions on their  faces. When they are not dancing, speaking and singing, they are very serious about the message of the gospel.  They are also very young. The girl in the front with black suspenders is only 7 years old. I believe the eldest child is 12. There are also 11 adults who travel with the children, some who are playing the instruments, some who are looking after sound and so on.













The young girl in the red dress is living with her mom and travels with the Children's Choir. Her family is the recipient of help from something new the Watoto Ministries is doing, expanding their help and support to single mothers.  This girl's mother makes jewellery which is then sold by the choir when they tour.  This is how the mother can support her family. 


I was impressed by the heart of worship of these children.


I was moved by the lady in the black print top (red bow in her hair). Her mother was captured twice by Ugandan rebels. During the 2nd capture her  mother was murdered and she became an orphan. Watoto Children's Home gave her refuge and she now travels with the choir. There are many equally touching stories.





 


I was very moved by the children's concert and by the heart of love the adults seem to have. I know they were very tired as they have been touring for the past 6 months. They will be finished their touring this week and then have a break before returning home to Kampala.

I managed to make a video of their opening song "Signs & Wonders" which is also the name of their choir's latest recording and 2018 Tour. I hope you enjoy. 




If you would like to learn more about the Watoto Ministries, please click here.

Thank you for visiting. 

I leave you with a few shots of the sky on Monday about 5:30 a.m.






I'm joining in today with 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Memories of My Stay at Maasai Mara, Kenya


It has already been quite some time since I took a safari in Kenya. It was rather pricey but I thought it was important to go on safari at least once and in particular on my first visit to the country. Am I ever glad I did.

I went to the famous Maasai Mara Game Reserve (sometimes spelled Masai Mara) , one of the most popular destinations in Kenya.  I was fortunate to be there during the annual wildebeest migration, an awesome spectacle in which there are over a million wildebeest crossing the Savannah. Perhaps I will share those photos in another post once I lay hands on my older photo files.

In the few photos I'm sharing today you can see the beautiful elephants, including a baby elephant, a lone giraffe and several zebras.  I have so many more photos of the beautiful wildlife in Kenya some of which I've shared on this blog over the years.

In addition to the fantastic wildlife, some of which is sadly in danger of extinction, there is a wonderful variety of lodges to choose from when on safari.  I stayed at the beautiful Keekoruk Lodge which I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only was the lodge beautiful and decorated in an elegant rustic style which I so enjoy, but the grounds were meticulously cared for while the food offerings 3 times a day was simply stupendous. On safari you generally go out looking for game at 3 separate points during the day. After enjoying game watching and when dinner was over I would take a walk on the boardwalk behind the hotel. There I could watch and listen to even more wild animals that came to drink at the pond.




In an earlier version of this post I shared a video made by a couple of tourists who also stayed at the Keekoruk. They stayed in the main lodge but I stayed in a stand alone chalet that had a private deck in front. I've seen deleted that rather long video in favour of this shorter one. It gives a much better (and shorter) view of the entire lodge and the wild animals on the mara. I hope you enjoy it.



My room in the chalet looked a lot like the one below. This photo was taken off the internet as I don't recall where I've placed my photos of the lodge and my stay there. I recall my room as looking somewhat more luxurious than the one in the photo and also somewhat larger so perhaps this particular room is not in a chalet. I hope you do notice the rods protruding from the ceiling. This hotel has mosquito netting which encompasses all 4 sides of the bed and provides excellent protection from any mosquitoes which may find the way into your room. I don't recall seeing any at this establishment but the hotel is located near a body of water so I'm sure there are some mosquitoes around.  The mosquito netting will give you peace of mind and protection if needed.


I hope you enjoyed this post. 

I'm joining in with Eileen at


Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Peek Into My Week

An out of town friend from Calgary, Alberta was here and she took me out to Aphrodite's Organic Pie shop for a treat.  She had just finished lunch and I hadn't had any lunch so I was game.


Outside waiting for our pies because inside was jam packed.

There was a very boisterous crowd inside making it difficult to hear one another at times.

I grabbed a seat indoors as soon as I could as it was threatening to rain.

My friend, Raenelle wanted to take me to the sister restaurant of the same name, across the street. But there was a notice on the door stating that the restaurant was keeping limited hours due to lack of staff.  The notice referenced the high cost of living in Vancouver making it difficult to retain staff. I peeked in through windows and it looks like a lovely restaurant and an equally lovely patio outside.


I had strawberry-rhubarb pie a la mode. My friend had cherry pie with whipped cream.  The pie was okay but the crust was very oily. I prefer a deep dish pie and these  pies were rather flat, greasy and overcooked. I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because my friend was very generous and kind.  But when a piece of pie is almost $10  plus extra for ice cream and coffee, it better be good. To be fair this pie shop gets rave reviews and I've seen  many photos of deep dish and delicious looking pies that look nothing like what I had on Sunday. So I should return another day or better yet, learn to make my own organic pie, lol.

After pie,  I suggested a movie with a bite to eat first since I hadn't really eaten a proper meal all day.  We had very limited time to nosh so I suggested we go to some place close to the movie.  We went to the Cheshire Cheese Inn on Dunbar and had a quick bite of fish and chips.  The restaurant was advertising for more wait staff with a posted notice on the window but we were served cheerfully and efficiently.  I wish I could give the food a thumbs up too but the fish batter was hard and over done.  Wow, I was mostly out of luck on Sunday with food quality. This is highly unusual. Normally I am totally satisfied with my food as served.

With a few minutes to spare we dashed down the street to the movie "The Incredibles 2".  I had a groupon (coupon) for the Dunbar Theatre and it was getting close to expiring. My friend was game to see the children's family movie and we both thought it was a fairly good movie.  The theatre was almost sold out and most of the crowd was made up of grownups and very few children were in attendance. 


After the movie it started to rain and my friend ended up driving into a new to her area though she grew up in the city.  She landed in front of the St. George's School, a private school in the city.  She fell in love with the building.  Seeing an open gate I suggested we park and walk into the grounds to get a better look because she was so enamoured of the place.  The building and the grounds are very beautiful but it was dark (and we were trespassing) so we could only see so much.


I looked up the school on line and learned that the school houses both day students and boarding students. The boarding tuition for Canadian students is approximately $50,000. Canadian dollars for 2018/2019. If you are an international student the tuition is closer to $70,000. Canadian day students pay approximately $25,000 while their international counterparts pay just under $40,000. That is a lot of money but I'm sure very affordable for the elites of the world.  While I don't know what the tuition fees are like elsewhere, my sense is the rates are very competitive.


On Monday another friend named Pat, and I took in a concert which was part of the Vancouver Jazz Festival on now and until July 1st.  The songstress was Leora Cashe and the venue was the beautiful St. Andrews Wesley located at Burrard and Nelson Streets in downtown Vancouver.  I really enjoyed the performance.  I  just managed to snap a few photos and partially record a song before my camera battery died.


  
Even though the concert was free the crowd was small.
I've uploaded a short video of a negro spiritual called "Steal Away" sung by the gifted Leora Cashe. I hope you enjoy it. I'm new to posting videos so you may want to click and watch on YouTube if you need to adjust the volume.


My friend had also invited me to a belated birthday luncheon and the venue was the beautiful waterfront restaurant called the Dockside located in the Granville Island Hotel (on Granville Island).  I couldn't get photos but managed to get a nice one from the internet.  The restaurant has a very large and beautiful patio deck but we opted to sit indoors by the window to avoid the direct sunlight.


I'm ending my long post with a beautiful sunrise which I snapped from my patio deck on Wednesday morning just after 5 a.m.
and a photo of my garden.



~~~~~~~~~~~

On Friday I have an appointment downtown. 
In the evening I've invited a friend to join me in listening to the marvellous Watoto Children's Choir from Uganda. If it's permitted I'll take photos to share with you in a future post.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Joining in with 


and


African Music & Happenings