Monthly Archives: June 2011

My Talking Stick…

I was first introduced to the talking stick when I had to work on a project for the Big Droke Cultures Foundation and had a conversation with a Representative of the Bartlett’s Harbour Band Council. She had provided me with a wealth of knowledge of Aboriginal culture and values.

One topic of interest was the Talking Stick. She noted this item was of tribal significant when in a group. The most senior individual, usually a Chief if present will start talking and when holding the stick s/he would not be interrupted.  It was meant for courtesy and when the person was finished they would pass it along to the next council member that had something to contribute. This seems like a good approach to conduct business. It appears more mannerly way of getting things done than some of the soundbites and theatrics that come from the House of Commons during question period.

I was fortunate during April 2010, to be able to sit down with an instructor at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Goose Bay, Labrador and make my very own talking stick. At one end, I painted the Labrador Flag with 2010 and the other the FINALY! symbol reflecting the administering organization overseeing the initiative of the Provincial Government’s Youth Retention & Attraction Strategy. In between, I got some inspiration from Vincent van Gough’s “Starry Night” as I painted an impressionable moon, stars, mountains, rivers and other reminders of natural Labrador. I am quite proud of my talking stick and the significance it has to the Aboriginal culture.

Immerse yourself in culture…

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Molasses Raisin Bread Recipe

Ingredients -

Dissolved yeast in 1 cup lukewarm water, to which the 2 tsp. sugar has already been added.

Ingredients -

  1.  Combine 3 cups of lukewarm water, molasses and melted butter.
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Add raisins to dry ingredients.
  4. Stir dissolved yeast into molasses mixture.
  5. Stir flour mixture into molasses mixture and knead for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Place in a greased bowl and let rise until it doubles in size, which will take approximately 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Divide dough to form into loaves.
  8. Place in greased loaf pans and let rise for 1 hour.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour. Baking time may vary.
  10. When you take hot bread from oven, remove from pan, grease with butter and let cool.

Enjoy Your Molasses Raisin Bread!

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Black Bear spotted driving ‘Cross Country Road’

Jenn of Wildwoods Farm was driving ‘cross country road’ – the road between Roddickton where one crosses the top of the peninsula to get to the Straits side via Grenfell Drive, Route 432, when she saw a Mama Black Bear crossing the road.

“She was very casual in her stroll. Once I got closer I saw in the woods she had single youngin’ in there, but they disappeared fast into the woods by then.”

Her photo was taken  about 9 in the morning during the first week of June. It is incredible the amount of wildlife one has the opportunity to see when driving our highways in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador. I had travelled over this past weekend to St. Anthony, L’Anse Aux Meadows, Quirpon, Main Brook, Conche, Roddickton-Bide Arm and Englee and saw quite a few moose and other smaller critters. However, I have yet to see a bear this year. One trip to Conche last summer with a friend from Montreal, we did get a view of a young cub at roadside. It was my first black bear sighting in nearly 25 years on the rock. A few days later I would spot another black bear on the Trans-Canada Highway en route to Paradise to visit my sister.

I re-call when Winnie the Pooh was trapped in Rabbit’s burrow and Rabbit  placed a sign, “Don’t Feed the Bear!” Remember, that is good practise as they are wild animals.

Thank you Jenn for providing Live Rural NL readers the opportunity to see your supplied photo. I encourage you and others to send images of Great Northern Peninsula and I will do my best to make them available. Email liveruralnl@gmail.com.

Discover the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

Care in Every Stitch

Knitting at My Grandmother’s House

 Knitting has been a long-lived tradition in Newfoundland & Labrador. Most people no longer have spinning wheels and wool carders to make their one homespun wool. It can be purchased and we may be headed in that direction for increase the value of our product.

My Grandmother still does some knitting, although she is spends much more time at other craftwork, which will include quilting, sewing and plastic canvas. I remember she use to crochet, as well. One afternoon, I managed to catch her knitting put down beside her bible next to her chair where one can often find her if she is not spending her day in her flower garden, vegetable garden or strawberry patch.

Knitting seems to be another rural tradition that may be on the verge of dying. My sister, my mother, my aunts and many people in the community do not knit. However, many people who have knitted a lifetime continue to do so today and are vast producers. It was a treat when my Aunt Chris (Christina) gave me two knitted pairs of stockings and a pair of vamps as a gift. They have been greatly enjoyed.

After attending a Craft Industry Development Workshop on May 19, 2011, hosted by Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC NORTIP and Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, I was able to meet other talented knitters.

One knitter in particular from the Town of Main Brook seemed quite committed to the trade. She produced some exceptional product, especially for children.

 This individual loved trying different patterns and using a variety of colours. When you have a love for a craft or hobby there is opportunity to elevate hobbyists into micro-enterprises, home-based businesses or working co-operatives. It will really all depend on the craft producer or the hobbyist. Some are satisfied with small production and dis-interested in commercialization. While others may be interested in earning additional money, but not want to take on starting their own business.

I can only imagine a small child wearing this little Christening dress. There are cottage industries that can be developed on the Great Northern Peninsula. Maybe someone will become specialty producers for knitted Christening dresses and sell them at a premium. These type of ventures are happening in other parts of rural North America, where handcrafted furniture or embroidery is sold to the world. Our telecommunications highway gives us this opportunity! Unfortunately, not all areas on the Great Northern Peninsula has access to Broadband Internet, which will be a limiting factor for on-line selling for some. However, we can not let this obstacle prevent business and community development. We can work with a stakeholder that does have access to be our online broker of cultural commodities.

If you have an interest in selling your craft to the world, Live Rural NL can provide you with some advice. Drop an email to liveruralnl@gmail.com

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Live Rural NL Celebrates 1st Anniversary!

One year ago today, I introduced myself to the wonderful world of blogging under the name Live Rural NL. Over the past year I have scribed nearly 200 posts and have shared with you my rural life from heritage, cuisine, politics to vacations. I extend a big thank you for all my loyal readers for continuing to show interest in the potluck of articles I post daily as time permits.

The journey over the past 365 days was a learning experience as I became much more aware of the significant aspects of rural culture that surrounded my daily life. For instance:

  1. the tradition of soup Saturday with my grandmother, my love for fisherman’s brewis, figgy duff and Sunday’s Dinner.
  2. the significance of my grandfather’s folklore, his incredible riddles, quotes and jokes – sadly only the memories remain with his passing on June 6, 2010.
  3. I continued to realize how much I value the water and the importance of the fishery to our rural economy.
  4. I took a strong stance against Ellen DeGeneres’ views on the Canadian seal hunt, lobbied Governments for Broadband Internet access and asked for decision-making at a more localized level.
  5. I realized the nuisance a Moose can be on our roadways, but how delicious they are in a pot of stew.
  6.  I learned how to traditionally hook rugs, paint using acrylics and also improve my photography skills.
  7. I spent time with family, playing games, telling stories, enjoying laughter.
  8. Locally, I visited most places on the Great Northern Peninsula, being a tourist at home. |This past weekend, I’ve re-visited again Conche, Englee, Roddickton- Bide-Arm, Main Brook, St. Anthony, L’Anse aux Meadows and Quirpon to tour with a friend. I’ve returned to St. Pierre-Miquelon-Langlade, Grand Bank, Marystown, Burin, Brigus, Cupids, the Irish Loop, St, Johns, Port Home Simpson, Mary’s Harbour, Lodge Bay, Battle Harbour and the Labrador Straits. Evident from the nearly 50,000 kms I have placed on my car in the past year.
  9. Nationally, I visited Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and Winnipeg
  10. Internationally, Mom and I visited France, England, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland last November to experience the Newfoundland-Ireland connection. I also travelled to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Cuba.
  11. I joined Couch Surfing
  12. I met up with old friends and made new friendships
  13. I realized the importance of community and how everyone has a role to play and that we should do our best to contribute.
  14. I plan to visit Raleigh, Cook’s Harbour and Cape Onion this summer season. As well as return to many other places. As well, I would love to spend a weekend in Fogo, Ramea and St. Brendan’s. There must be something about island culture.
  15. Culture evolves and does not remain stagnant
  16. We have some of the best cultural assets in the world!
  17. There is immense opportunities on the Great Northern Peninsula, for those young and old alike.
  18. Include the community in the decision-making process. Local people have valuable ideas and contributions.
  19. The Great Northern Peninsula is an experience
  20. Live Rural NL!

To reiterate lines of my first post, “I have changed many times as a person as I progress through my twenties, but I realize that with the right attitude and efforts we can accomplish the unthinkable. Today my friends, I just want to share with you what it means for me to continue to Live Rural Newfoundland.”

Cheers,

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Water – A Necessity in My Life

Every morning when I awake from my bed, if the shade is up the first sight I see is the towering mounds of land we call Labrador. I get incredible views of Mainland Canada, as Labrador is within a short distance of 14 miles away.  I commute each day to work viewing the scenic Strait of Belle Isle on Route 430. As a proud islander, there is something rejuvenating of seeing the water and the economic value that drives our economy as the fishers work peacefully on the water.

A few days ago, I slowed my car and decided to pull over as the little boat had caught my attention. How wonderful it would feel to be on the water that day versus sitting at my desk in an enclosed office. Although I have a window, it can not compare to the open space and a sense of freedom you have while spending your day in  a boat. One can go wherever the waves take you.

For recreation purposes I enjoy canoeing and rowing. I remember fond memories with father during a few weeks when I spent fishing with him. I was only 13 when he passed, just getting a taste of the open water and being able to work with him. Although I am not a fisherman, the profession is very dear to my heart and runs quite deep in my family line to when the first Mitchelmore’s came from Devon County England in the 1800’s and prior. After living in Alberta for a few months, I found myself planning vacations near the ocean and frequented lakes. There is a yearning to be next to this substance that brings me much happiness. It is good for the body, mind and soul…

The Great Northern Peninsula has so much to offer as we live Rural NL.

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Cuban Vacation…Part X

Saturday morning after an early rise, and I mean early. The pick up was at 7:30 at a neighbouring hotel. I departed for Vinales via a Cubatur bus at a cost of 55 C.U.C.. There was a lady waiting outside the hotel when we arrived and then a gentlemen join a few moments before the guide arrived. My friend and I were leisurely talking about the tour when the man interjected, asking if I was from Canada. Easily this time I could tell he was from New Zealand. We just exchanged names when the tour guide arrived and we were off.

Our first stop was a coffee-house, juice bar and souvenir shop. This is a nice model for tours, as people generally like to get off a bus to stretch their legs for a few minutes. As there were many people, I grabbed a table. As I looked onward, there was our New Zealander that we met at the hotel. I extended a smile and waved him over. He came to join in and we started talking. The discussion first started with music, but changed to community gardens and development. I boldly made the statement, you must be a community activist! He smiled at me and said he was a Member of Parliament. He enlightened me on the proportional voting-system they have adopted versus the Canadian first past the post system. We got to engage in some interesting conversation. Before too long we realized we were well overdue and hoped our bus did not leave without us.

The second stop was a Rum Factory. Since it was Saturday, there were no actual production workers on site. Instead the guide explained the machinery and production. She gave us some sort of berry to taste which formulated into the equation  of the tasty liquor we later sampled. I purchased a bottle and some coffee as my brother-in-law instructed me to bring him back a bag.

The next stop, a tobacco farm where cigars were being manufactured. We saw workers preparing the bundles of dried leaves. The smell of molasses and tobacco filled the shelter. After a brief presentation we moved outside and later the group was given a demonstration on rolling a cigar from raw materials.

The views were breath-taking. Once more we stopped and had the option of purchasing the sugar cane juice with or without rum, pending an individual’s taste.

As we climbed the stairs to the limestone caves, there was some reprieve from the outside humidity. The interior was cool, with drops of water falling on occasion. We walked through little crevaces to emerge to a larger opening and a small stream of water.

A small motor boat would take use through the little canal. We were told there were animals and other images to be seen. I guess it is like looking at the clouds or stars, sometimes there is something that just pops out at you.

There was finally a light at the end of the tunnel. Outside, the sunshine poured down once more. There were tables of wooden souvenirs, Cuban artwork, beads and mementos. I try to refrained from purchasing souvenirs, as I am a frequent flyer and these things can certainly add up if you have to bring gifts back to your entire clan of family and friends.

We were told we would see a wall mural from the 1800’s. I imaged something not quite so extravagant. This piece of art dominated the hillside. Alas, my camera battery was near the end of its life and the photos from this point on were limited. We had a delicious meal and further discussion with our MP acquaintance. We found out we were staying at the same hotel, thus continued our chat until the lobby and said farewell.

I liked the creativity the housekeeper had when she put together this swan and basket with a special note. It sometimes are these little things that makes a stay quite memorable. Have you had an experience at a Hotel, B&B, Inn, Hostel or Cottage where the owner/operators or employees did something to wow you?

Stay tuned for one final part of my Cuban vacation and the journey back to Rural NL…

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

Jumping Bean Blueberry Tea

I look for products that are Made Right Here, in Newfoundland & Labrador. Sometimes, I am able to find them when I catch NTV‘s Danielle Butt on her weekly segment, Made Right Here. However, on this occasion I was at visiting Gros Morne Cabins and Endicott’s Convenience in Rocky Harbour. This business has a wide-retail selection of food items, convenience goods, camping supplies, crafts, tour options, information and some locally made products. I found Jumping Bean’s Blueberry Tea.

I enjoy the local berry teas, especially the ones I have sampled from the Dark Tickle Company, St. Lunaire-Griquet (one of our many Northern Pen Gems). You may purchase their product online by visiting www.darktickle.com.

This particular tea caught my attention as it was loose tea. Only a few weeks prior my grandmother told me how the tea they would get came in wooden boxes. It was loose tea leaves packed in a foil to protect it from getting damp. I’ve had loose tea before when I was in Egypt, but never prepared a pot myself.

I got a chair, my arms extended to the top shelf of the cupboard to carefully pull out a tea-pot that my mother received as a wedding present more than 30 years ago. She has an exceptional memory and told me the people who gave her and dad the present. It is remarkable! She remembers birthdays, telephone numbers and other every life events. If an elephant never forgets, my mother is like an elephant. However, that may be the only similarity as she has quite the petit figure.

I normally would have asked my mother how to make this stuff; however, she is not a tea drinker. I am not sure if she has ever had a cup in her life. My father, on the other hand would always have a cup of Tetley with his morning breakfast meal. Since this was my first preparation, I looked at the directions, which read:

Directions: Place the desired amount of tea leaves in the tea sac and twist the top to close. Steep for 4-5 minutes in freshly boiled water and enjoy!

Somehow, I feel the directions should be written with more structure to appease the novice tea drinker. I really had no idea how much of the stuff I should be throwing in  and what amount of water to use. Some recommendation would be nice, in combination with…. or as your tastes desires.

In the end, I must have done something right as my cup of tea turned out to be a hit. It had natural berry flavours that were silky smooth and relaxing. I look forward to another cup of tea with my raisin cake in the near future.

If you would like to find out more about Jumping Bean, you can visit them on the web at www.jumpingbean.ca. They also make a variety of coffees, which include East Coast Roast and my personal favourite, Newfoundland Screech!

If you have the chance, pour yourself up a cup of loose blueberry tea from Jumping Bean.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Fostering Rural Community Development Through Outdoor Murals

The Town of Flower’s Cove has been the first in the Strait of Belle Isle region to embrace outdoor art in the form of brightly colourful signs depicting local attractions. Additionally, they have posted an outdoor mural in the parking area of the White Rocks Walking Trail.

This image certainly garners attention and encourages travellers to pull-off and stop. This is an excellent form of marketing for the small town. More visitors will likely take some time to walk Marjorie Bridge, explore the Thrombolites, visit St. Barnabas “Sealskin Boot” Church, view Flower’s Island Lighthouse and stroll the waterfront. In turn, these visitors may stop to shop at one or more businesses a long the Viking Trail (Route 430) or eat at the local L & E restaurant. The Town has the opportunity to create an open-air art museum. I can envision a series of black and white paintings scattered about a vast walking area of the Town when it was known as French Island Harbour with French fishing vessels at port, the days of Rev’d. Canon John Thomas Richard, harbour front and fishing activities, logging, daily living and events of social and cultural significance.

There is much value in our rural communities posting outdoor folk art, murals and story panels. It is common in other parts of Canada and around the world. I have a few images of my travels to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Whitehorse, Yukon.

The “Jaw”, Thanks Carolyn for informing me your very lovely hometown.

A weekend in Whitehorse! It is a pleasure to just walk around Town to see the art everywhere. Make sure you take in the Frantic Follies while you are there. Best 2.5 hours of laughter you can get for $22.50.

I have fond memories of seeing outdoor Vincent van Gogh art in Amsterdam, Tin Tin cartoons in Brussels, informative panels in Berlin, Germany;  Miquelon (Territory of France) and Battle Harbour, Labrador and many interesting images and murals on my travels.

Below is a YouTube video of a mural taken place in Thunder Bay, Ontario, a city I had the opportunity to visit on my return to Rural NL.

It is quite encouraging to see the Town of Flower’s Cove embrace this means of outdoor art as it has looked at what the Town currently has, utilizing the talent and assets of community to further develop them to create sustainability.

Other Towns and Communities may wish to  engage in this practise, telling stories with images, art forms and panels throughout the Great Northern Peninsula. All of these collections of oral cultures, images and artwork serves limited economic and social value if it is not shared. This is one small measure that will help build our rural regional community.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, liveruralnl@gmail.com

Cuban Vacation…Part IX

The Governor’s House was out next stop. It was quite an exquisite place to venture, as it had a nice green space in the courtyard. The road of the square on the front had the cobblestones replaced with wooden blocks that resembled bricks. It was apparently changed at the request of the Governor, as the horses clinking on the stone kept him up at night.

The former residence is now a museum. The lower level  had coaches, carriages and related items. There were two employees quite eager to take some photos with us. They noted they would pull the rope back and let us see the most important coach, the one that belonged to the Governor.

They had taken several snaps. I had tried to explain that the placement of us would not get a good photo of the carriage as we were standing at the focal point of the object. However, the bad photo ops continued as we moved through the museum. The employees eagerly asked us to have our camera and take some photos for us and take us to what seemed like a prohibited area. It has ended up with several dozen humourous photos. After about four rounds we would have no more of it. Some basic photography skills are needed for more serious photos, but I reflect on this moment and tears almost come to my eyes. I will not forget the insistence of us taking photos by the pair of marble bathtubs, a dresser and the bed, which the person commented to the tune of “No Six” and smiled. Immediately, I thought of a character by the name of Eleanor, a 90 year-old sex therapist, who would have something to say about that one.

All jokes aside, if local people are interested in tweaking their photo-taking abilities, they may wish to consider enrolling in the digital photography course offered at the College of North Atlantic, St. Anthony Campus. I am still working on completing it.

After providing some coins and exchanging monies we left. We passed a couple of peacocks and left for a rest before dinner and some nightly entertainment.

My German colleague, whom I met in the Czech Republic several years ago made his vacation to learn Spanish. I asked him to teach me a few sentences of German.

Here is what I learned:

German: Ich bin aus Neufundland and ich mag schokolade

English: I am from Newfoundland and I love chocolate

German: Ich moche einen Mojito!

English: I would like a Mojito!

I think I would need a lot of practise to become conversational in German, especially since some of the enunciation is quite different from how I am use to speaking. I often wonder if people would be interested in learning more about our rural dialects and if they too find it challenging? I may only have to look back to the few people I have Screeched-in to make Honorary Newfoundlanders to know the phrase “in’deed ’tis me ol’ cock and long may ya’ big jib draw” is not as easy as it sounds.

That night we went to a Gran Concierto of Bueno Vista Social Club nature with 9 stars. The cost was 50 C.U.C. per person, which included a three-course meal.

There were dancers, singers and entertainers of all sorts as they worked the room. There was a lot of life and attention paid to these true stars. They had talent, just like rural Newfoundland has natural talent – no lip synching or special Hollywood effects.

One of the men, wearing white and blue with a Harry Hibs hat came up and shook my hand. I’m practically almost famous! Despite the poor service and mediocre food, the entertainment made the night. Joining the conga line was more than memorable and so much fun!

The night reminded me of being at a good old-fashioned Newfoundland kitchen party. Everyone had smiles on their faces and were quite happy to take part in the festivities to the sound of great music.

Stay tuned for the final couple of days of the Cuban vacation. It will take you to Vinales and also reveal the New Zealand connection. There is no need to miss a post, subscribe to the Live Rural NL blog by entering your email near the top right corner and get updates in your email. If you missed a post on the Cuban vacation, I’ve included some related links below. All of them can be found under the Category of Vacations.

Enjoy Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Brewis and Eggs for Sunday Dinner

“HAM AND EGGS – A day’s work for a hen; A lifetime commitment for a pig”

- Anonymous

Purity Factories continue to provide me with the Hard Bread (Hard Tack) that I need to make a meal of delicious brewis. Most of us have beloved memories of foods that are the heart and soul of our upbringing – Purity Factories does just that for many Newfoundlanders & Labradorians.

This company continues to provide the staple foods demanded by locals, which includes a diet of Jam Jams, Syrups, Hard Bread and more. It was such a relief when the lock-out ended and the company started producing again. Before Christmas there was no hard tack to be found anywhere. If other bakeries did not consider making the stuff, I could only imagine the rioting that may have happened in the streets. :) Well maybe that is a little far-fetched, but Newfoundlanders & Labradorians feel a close connection with Purity Hard Bread. It truly is part of our traditions, passed on from generation to generation.

There are times when I get a craving for the foodstuff that is uniquely ours. Last night, the hard bread was soaking in preparation for brewis in time for noon, which we refer to as dinner, not lunch. I love the fluffy stuff with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top, served up with a couple of eggs. It is a real treat!

My mother made the comment, “wondering why local restaurants do not promote this and have brewis and eggs on the menu for breakfast and dinner?” It seems like a good idea to me. Maybe a local restaurant will add this traditional delicacy to their menu or maybe one already has it, if so, please let me know and I will update this post.

We have an opportunity for a rural food revolution, to have culinary experiences and foodstuffs on menus that are not found elsewhere. We have a history that spans 50 centuries, with so much to offer. The Great Northern Peninsula can be a great place for some good grub.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Moose on Great Northern Peninsula Abides Traffic Laws

On a recent drive up the Great Northern Peninsula, past Gros Morne National Park en route to my hometown  as a passenger I was able to snap a moose abiding by the traffic laws.

In the first image the moose does not realize he should turn and is thinking of making a dash across the highway.

Something clicks and he catches the sign and realizes he most likely should turn.

He opts to return to the forest.

The Great Northern Peninsula has an abundance of moose, most likely there are more moose than people. During the prelude to the  beginning of the tourism season, I have seen more moose on or near the road than vehicles when driving the highway.

If you are interested in seeing wildlife, such as moose or caribou, the Great Northern Peninsula is a gem. Especially, Roddickton  (Moose Capital of the World) or drive from Eddies Cove East to St. Anthony. However, be cautious as not all moose use the same judgement as this one; they have been known to reek havoc on our highways. Each year signs are posted noting the number of reported moose vehicle collisions on Route 430. This number was nearing double-digits the last time I passed the sign.

The Viking Trail, Route 430 on the Great Northern Peninsula is your premier destination if you want a serene scenic drive with a high likelihood of catching a glimpse of a moose, caribou or even an iceberg!

Experience the Road to the Vikings this summer on the Great Northern Pen!

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Related Article:

Got to Get Me Moose by’

Cuban Vacation…Part VIII

On Friday, we headed to Casa Blanca, the village on the other side of the harbour in Havana. It is known for the massive marble statue of Christ and the Che Museum. We went by taxi via an underground tunnel as we planned to see the largest fort in Latin America. We were dropped off at the Che Museum.

The Che museum is quaint with limited information about this National hero. It has reproduction furniture from the era in the bedroom, office and medical equipment that was used during that time. The roof terrace presented dynamic views. One could see El Capitolio, the National Building in Havana, as it dominated the skyline.

As we leisurely strolled to the Fort in the raging sun, we passed  some children playing football (soccer). At the fort there were some excellent photo opportunities and an interesting museum with lots of artifacts and a variety of canons in all shapes and sizes. It was a ghastly hot day, but I found a gold mine when I entered the cave. It have great decorum, themed as a pirate ship with a bar that sold TuKola for $0.60 C.U.C. It was quite refreshing. Not to mention the natural air-conditioning was quite the hit as it brought my body temperature down significantly, making outside bearable one more.

In the afternoon we opted to visit Plaza that  hosted a book market with bistros surrounding and the Governor’s House, which is not a museum as the center of attention. We stopped at a restaurant to quench our thirsts and had a couple of Cristal beers.

I love these small markets. I would be interested in working with those on the Great Northern Peninsula to establish a marketplace for small entrepreneurs, hobbyists and craft producers. There are higher volumes of traffic during the summer months, with Gros Morne National Park attracting 174,000 visitors and the St. Barbe Ferry traffic nearly 80,000 people from May-October. There is an abundance of things that could be sold, or maybe it would be product specific to gain the attention.

If you are interested, drop me a line at liveruralnl@gmail.com or post a comment.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Craft Industry Development Workshop – Take 2

Many local people have ideas and skills to provide unique products and services to be offered and sold on the Great Northern Peninsula and the world. Often what is lacking is knowledge and information about running a successful business. It is essential to provide entrepreneurs, local businesses and hobbyists with opportunities to learn. Government agencies, colleges, non-profits and for-profit businesses all offer courses and seminars. CBDC Nortip has arranged to have seminars run in local communities on a regular basis on topics of customer service, marketing, bookkeeping, business planning, social media and accounting. 

There is an additional opportunity to attend a Craft Industry Development Workshop – Part II. Please see below:

Nordic Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with CBDC Nortip & INTRD, will be hosting a one day Pricing & Etsy Workshop from 10am-3pm on Wednesday, June 15th at the GNP Crafts in Shoal Cove East!

There is an Invitation and Agenda by clicking the following: Pricing Etsy Workshop Invitation 2011 & Pricing Etsy Workshop Agenda

Everyone is welcome, but space is limited, so please confirm attendance by June 13th to confirm a space for you and/or anyone else you may know that is interested in learning
more about selling their unique craftwork.

Please forward to anyone who may be interested!  Have a great day!

 Take care,

Andre Myers
Economic Development Officer
Nordic Economic Development Corporation
Flower’s Cove, NL
P.O. Box 160, A0K 2N0
Ph:(709) 456-2840
Fax: (709) 456-2846
amyers@nf.aibn.com
amyers@nedc.nf.ca

If you are a crafter, hobbyist or interested individual come out and participate in this one day workshop.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Cuban Vacation…Part VII

The series of squares and Old Town Havana in part reminded me of being in Europe. The impressive architecture would capture the attention of any North American, as our vernacular architecture is different in many ways – style, size, material, age to name a few examples.

Old Town Square

Church at San Fransico Square.

The fountain in the square.

We took a stroll along the Caribbean sea, along the waterfront promenade.

The Old Town Havana is under restoration with many of the buildings getting a new lease on life, while others still require a facelift. One did not have to veer too far away to see that not all regions of Havana had the same level of prosperity. As we strolled along the water front I was briefly reminded of my roots of rural Newfoundland & Labrador. A series of small fishing vessels were moored in the harbour, while a couple of men were trying to catch some fish at shore’s edge. I reflected of a time, nearly two decades ago when my father and I went fishing on the wharf in an attempt to catch some rock cod. We were successful! I remember also catching some flatfish, unwanted sculpins and even a catfish. I kept the eely catfish for a couple of days before I realized he did not make a good pet and needed to be released back into the ocean.

After spending the morning under the suns rays of nearly 35 degree temperatures, we sought shade under a large tree. We were readily befriended by a local who chatted it up with us. He told us about a concert happening later that night due to the National Holiday. That he could get us cheap tickets. We passed on the offer. He disappeared and came back handing us two cigars. We noted that we did not want. He would not take no for an answer and insisted they were gifts. A gift in fact that you pay whatever you would like to give. :(. I do not miss the constant pressure from some locals to provide them with money. However, it is hard for me to judge as I am unaware of the personal circumstances and adversity that may challenge these  individuals. To move things along we stopped by the Museo de la Revolucion (Revolution Museum). The impressive building had an immaculate dome that caught my attention. It had memorabilia, information and praised national heroes.

The Granma Memorial and Gardens we were guarded. One must be careful not to loiter or sit as they will get a whistle blown from the careful watch of a guard at his post. There is an exhibit of war vehicles, including cars, tanks, planes and boats.

After spending the day sightseeing and walking many streets we had a rest to escape from the shade. Additionally, at the hotel I tried to purchase Internet. It appeared to be a rare commodity. The cards were not for sale at the front desk. The store hours at the hotel werre limited and when I did manage to talk to the worker, she did not have cards for sale. Quite often I heard, check back tomorrow. It was actually a blessing to be away from technology – where I was not frequently checking my Blackberry, Email, Facebook account or even posting on my blog.

That evening we have a meal and a couple of drinks at a quiet restaurant on the square. A great meal for a mere $10.00. It as quite the find. It was time to call it a day and make the most of the final two days of the vacation, as on Sunday I would be starting my way back to Varadero and making a flight that night for Canada.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

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Cuban Vacation….Part VI

I’ve left my readers in suspense long enough and owe it to you all to finish the stories of my Cuban vacation. In Cuban Vacation….Part V, I ended with a teaser with the hope of meeting two wonderful women at Casa de La Musica.

Another Fabulous Cuban Meal by Addys

After leaving the pub, Umberto took us to visit his mother and little brother. His mother had made some lovely fabric dolls that were quite colourful, which his brother watched cartoons in Spanish with a friend. It was different to see the way the locals lived in Cuba. At 20:00 a large meal of pork, black bean rice, fried bananas, fruit, side salad served with coffee and ice-cream for dessert. We hurried to eat our meal, get decked out and swing by Casa de La Musica.

Stairs at Casa de La Musica

We climbed the stairs and who would be highly visible but the two wonderful women I met earlier from Birmingham, who turned out to be Kate and Alice. We had found out that we were heading in different directions in the morning, but still enjoyed each others company. We had hours of storytelling and laughter with the playful music continuing in the backdrop before receiving a goodnight kiss. It was like a midsummer’s night dream.

In the morning, Kate & Alice noted they would leave for a waterfall. Tobias and I decided we would give them a send off; unfortunately we were unsuccessful finding the departure of the tour company. Alas, we left Dr. Suerez after writing a nice comment in their book and taking the long ride on the Viazul bus to Havana, some 300+ KM away and more than 6 hours of driving.

A Vintage Car...One of Many

 I slept most of the way and was quite happy to arrive at Hotel Los Frailes, which was a former monastery. The rooms had towering 14 ft ceilings, with wooden furnishings and was poorly lit, partly due to the fact there was no window. One can only imagine the life of a monk several hundred years ago, living in this room – it was quite the masterpiece.

The Key...it had a little Monk!

The key was quite heavy and had a little figurine of a monk. It was a nice feature. Maybe an idea for local accommodators to incorporate something culturally significant to their operation for a small cost, but will get people to notice and keep them talking. Local ventures like Fisherman’s Landing, Torrent River Inn, Sea Echo Motel, Tuckamore Lodge, Mayflower Inn, Vahalla Lodge, Viking Nest and others may be able to utilize this tactic.

Towering Doors

The towering doors had a peep-hole, which had a latch and several drills. It made me think of time that was more medieval.

Hanging Chandelier

The hanging chandelier looked like it required a stepladder to climb and light the candles. It was a very good knock-off and I was pleased they had upgraded to electricity, even if it took a while to light the room.

Furnishings and use of wood trims

Dinner was at a nearby restaurant that had a platform with a band and two dancers that made great use of the floor to vibes of  Cha Cha. I ventured into the wine cellar to pull out a Spanish Chardonnay. The Big Sword was my order, filled with a variety of grilled seafood. Believe me if was quite the feast….if you do not, the photo below will speak for itself.

The Big Sword

My friend Tobias had a little sword (a skewer). The baby version more or less. The meal was quite enjoyable and I was quite eager to explore the Old Town of Havana in the early AM, after getting a taste of the flavour during the evening.

Part VII will be posted soon. Don’t miss a post by subscribing to my blog by entering your email at the top of the page. You will get an email telling you of a new post.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

Place of Provincial Significance – Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital

Live Rural NL blog sends congratulations to the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital, Norris Point, NL for being designated a Place of Provincial Significance in 2011.  Thank you Joan Cranston, Director, a committed  volunteer and community activist for taking the time to make this worthy nomination as the Center is truly worthy of this designation. To read more about the BBCH click the following link: http://www.seethesites.ca/designations/bonne-bay-cottage-hospital.aspx

Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center

The Julia Ann Walsh Heritage Center is well-known for being the former Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital. After the construction of a new clinic in Norris Point, the fate of the building was unknown. However, community spirit and a group of dedicated volunteers worked together to ensure that this building of historical significance could continue to serve the community.

The BBCHHC is a not-for-profit community corporation whose mandate is the adaptive re-use of the center for the preservation of local culture and heritage (including arts, crafts, music and oral history), the promotion of health and wellness, and community economic and social development.” JuliaAnnWalshHeritageCenter

Today the Center is home to:

  1. Norris Point Public Library and CAP Site – 458-3368;
  2. Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation – 458-3072;
  3. Norris Point International Backpackers Hostel – 458-3072 OR 458-8880;
  4. VOBB (Voice of Bonne Bay) Community Radio Station;
  5. Trails, Tales and Tunes Festival Committee – 458-3399;
  6. Cottage Hospital Physiotherapy and Fitness – 458-2875;
  7. Norris Point Harbour Authority – 458-2647;
  8. Bonne Bay Ground Search and Rescue Team – 458-2222 (RCMP);
  9. Writers at Woody Point Festival

They have a studio space, which is available for rent to conduct meetings, classes for health, well-ness, art, crafts, music, storytelling and other economic and social development activities. The Center is working to build a community garden, greenhouses and a community kitchen. The importance of growing local is gaining momentum and garnering interest from locals and travellers to grow and buy local produce. This is a community space, a social commons. It is amazing the progress that can be achieved by working with others, fostering strong partnerships, establishing co-operatives and meeting the needs of the greater community. Is there room for a Place of Similar Social Significance in the Straits of Belle Isle region? St. Anthony & Greater Area? Northern Peninsula East Heritage Corridor? We must let the movers & shakers, the residents and stakeholders of these communities decide if this is something they feel is a good fit with their needs, wants and norms.

Also the Nomination Deadline of June 15, 2011 is quickly approaching. If you think a person, event, place or tradition is significant in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador then click the link below:

http://www.seethesites.ca/currently-at-commemorations/2011/6/9/next-nomination-deadline-approaching.aspx?altTemplate=CommDiaryPost

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

www.liveruralnl.com

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A Great Place to Discover – Town of Englee

The Town of Englee is a Great Place to Discover, nestled near the eastern tip of the Great Northern Peninsula. The scenic town has much to offer those who take the time to visit…

A Snapshot of Englee from the Gazebo. Photo provided by Doris Randell, Town Clerk

I enjoy driving through this quaint little fishing Town located on ocean’s edge. The fishing boats line the harbour and the craggy coastline is quite visible, with Barr’d Island just on the horizon. There are many older dwellings and buildings, some more than 100 years old. John Reeves General Store dates back to the early 1900’s, grew to many outposts, saw many close up shop, yet has maintained their operation in Englee. The Town has some unique vernacular architecture from the churches, salt-box homes and heritage houses; some are painted in splashy bright colours.

One could spend the day hiking a number of trails. If you are up for the challenge, you may even get to visit the gazebo at the top of the hill. The Town has thoughtfully provided a central parking area, free of charge, for any visitor to park and take in the beauty of the Town. Ensure to bring a camera, as the opportunity to get some great images is high! Make your own art. If you are lucky you will see some wildlife, whales and maybe an iceberg. As well, they have a wheelchair accessible day park with plenty of picnic tables and fire pits for cooking. This can provide you with some time to have a scoff (a great meal), rest and take in the beauty of nature.

This year adds extra excitement as the Town and Come Home Year Committee have been tirelessly planning and organizing a Come Home Year Celebration! The dates, Sunday, August 14th until closing day on August 20th, 2011. Mark your calendars!

Below is a tentative schedule as posted by Madeline Newman on the Englee Come Home Year Facebook Group: Englee Come Home Year 2011

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_336199157541

Englee Come Home Year Tentative schedule

Subject to change

Day 1: Sunday August 14, 2011

1:30-3:00pm Opening Ceremony

Location: Playground (weather permitting)

• Prayer

• Ribbon & Cake Cutting

• Church Service

• Mayoral Address (Rudy Porter)

• Meet ‘N’ Greet

—————————————————————————————————————–

Day 2: Monday August 15, 2011

8:00-9:30am Registration

Location: Municipal Building

8:00-10:00am Breakfast at the Apostolic Faith Group House

10:00am Kids Day

Bike Parade

• 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be awarded for decorated bikes

Location: Apostolic Faith Parking Lot (ride to the playground)

11:00am -4:00pm Games and Activities

Bounce House

Three Legged Race

• 50 Meter Race

• Sack Race

• Spoon Race

• Long Jump

• Bunny Hop

• Obstacle Race

• Other Games & Activities

All participants will receive a prize

Healthy Snacks will be provided

12:00pm-2:00pm Dinner at the Faith Pentecostal Church

• Potluck with tea or coffee ($7)

• Serving up to 100 people

6:00pm Little Mr & Little Miss Pageant

• 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes will be awarded for each category

Location: H. G. Fillier Academy

• 3-5 years of age

• 6-8 “ “

• 9-12 “ “

• 13-18 (?) “

8:30pm Community Bonfire

Location: Lockers Point

—————————————————————————————————————–

Day 3: Tuesday August 16, 2011

8:00am-9:30am Registration

10:00am Motorcade

Location: Municipal Building

• 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be awarded for best decorated vehicles

1:00pm Grand Opening and Naming of the Town’s Heritage sites

• Barnes House

• Dr. B. T Gillard Memorial Park

• Harvey’s Stage

• The Replica of the Schooner the Nellie Reeves

4:00pm-6:00pm Supper at the Faith Pentecostal Church

• Cold Plates with tea or coffee ($7)

• Serving up to 100 people

7:00pm Variety Show

• Skits

—————————————————————————————————————–

Day 4: Wednesday August 17, 2011

Family Day

3:00pm-5:00pm

Finger foods at the Apostolic Faith Church Group House

6:00pm Light the Tree of Memories

• Make a donation in memory of a loved one & a bulb will be lit in their honour

7:00pm Gospel Fest

Location: H. G. Fillier Academy

10:00pm Entertainment

Location: Fire hall

• Dave McHugh

—————————————————————————————————————-

Day 5: Thursday August 18, 2011

10:00am-12:00pm Englee Day Festival

Games, booths ($20.00) and various activities

• Row-boat Racing

• Tug of War

• Log Throwing

• Log Sawing

• Dunk Tank

• Balloon/Dart game

• Money Ring Game

• Other Games & Activities

*Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for each event*

12:00pm-3:00pm Dinner at the Salvation Army Church

• Meal Vouchers sold in advance (Soup & sandwiches, tea or coffee) $5.00

• Games will continue throughout the day

5:00pm-6:30pm & 6:30-8:00pm Supper at the Salvation Army Church

6:30 Open air service

Location: Apostolic Faith Parking Lot

• Fisherman’s Brew’s tea or coffee ($7.00 a serving)

9:00pm Open Mic at Fire hall (must be 19 or older)

—————————————————————————————————————–

Day 6: Friday August 19, 2011

8:30am-11:00 Breakfast at the United Church Hall

• Beans, bologna & fresh bread (tea or coffee)

• Or bacon, eggs, toast (tea or coffee)

2:00pm-4:00pm Seniors Social, visiting & tea

Location: United Church Hall

5:00pm Community Supper (meal vouchers will be sold in advance)

Location: H. G. Fillier Academy

9:00pm Entertainment (teenage dance)

Location: Fire Hall

• Jodi Rice & Band

10:00pm Fireworks

Location:

—————————————————————————————————————–

Day 7: August 20, 2011

8:00am-11:00 Breakfast at the Salvation Army

Beans, bologna & fresh bread (tea or coffee) or bacon, eggs, toast (tea or coffee).

10:00am Community Bobber Race

Pay $1 for a bobber. There will be 1st, 2nd, & 3rd prizes for the winners

Location: Batteau Cove Brook

2:00pm-4pm Family Picnic (everyone responsible for their own food)

Location: Ball Field (no pets allowed)

10:00pm Entertainment (adult community dance)

Location: shelter?

• Jodi Rice & band

Day 8: Sunday August 21, 2011

1:30 Closing Ceremonies

• Boat Tours will be available through Scenic Pursuit Ltd Bide Arm (ph# 709 457-2706 or 7678)

• Moose Burgers will be sold at Fire hall throughout the week

• United Church Hall will be open daily from 8:00am-8:00pm for tea, coffee , and to do some socializing

• Barnes House & Harvey’s Stage opened daily

Anyone with any suggestions or ideas can contact one of the committee members or send Madeline a message at engleechy2011@yahoo.ca. It will be brought to a meeting where a decision will be made if it will be added it to our schedule or not. Anyone wanting to take part in the Variety Show or Gospel Fest can do the same, only it will not be brought to a meeting.

There is always lots of activity in Rural NL on the Great Northern Peninsula. This summer ensure to add the Town of Englee to your list of places to visit and make your own discoveries.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Anyone Can Paint! – Become a Local Artist on the GNP

Chef Gusteau‘s cookbook “Anyone Can Cook!” resonates as I enrolled in a local art class. I did not realize that “Anyone Can Paint!, but with an Instructor like George Bussey, it certainly feels like anyone can.

An email circulated by a colleague noted that George’s Art Studio was holding an painting class on Wednesday, June 8th from 6-9 PM. It noted that you would have the opportunity to paint a 18″X24″ painting with all supplies included for a mere cost of $30.00. I am interested in art, painting and continuous learning, thus, I did not hesitate to pick up the phone and dial 1-709-454-4070. I was greeted by a friendly voice at the other end, “George’s Art Studio”. I inquired about the class. Mr. Bussey noted they are kept to a minimum of 7 students to ensure that each student can get some one-on-one attention. I agreed to attend and circulated to my co-workers. I had one taker and we were able to carpool as St. Anthony is 150 km from Plum Point, NL.

George’s Art Studio is located at the Upper Level of the Viking Mall, St. Anthony, NL. He has quite the set up which displays his own art, a private studio/office for him to complete his own work, classroom and a small storefront for anyone needing art supplies.

On the wall was our painting – a harbour with iceberg and some trees. It certainly did not look like a beginners painting, but George assured us all that we could do it. The atmosphere for learning was warm and playful, with an opportunity to smile and joke with other students as we all hesitantly took some of our brush strokes.

 George taught us how to mix paint, accent, layer, use different brushes and let us know that we could not make a mistake as we could just paint over it. He reminded me of Bob Ross of PBS – as he made painting look easy. George was more than helpful and multi-talented.

Three hours of enjoyment flew by and at the end there was a completed painting. I was skeptical that it could be done, but with George maintaining a good pace and keeping us all on track we all did it! I am so happy with my first attempt at painting and can not wait to take my next class with Mr. Bussey.

George currently continues his night classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Drop by his Art Studio at the Viking Mall or call 709-454-4070 to reserve your seat and you too can frame your own artwork after one class!

I continue to be impressed with all the opportunity and talent that exists on the Great Northern Peninsula.

 Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

 

Looking for local photos of Families enjoying Outdoor Activities & Everyday Lifestyle……

Live Rural NL Blog has received the following email, please assist if you are able:

We are looking for photos of families enjoying outdoor activities on the Great Northern Peninsula. If you are interested in sharing your family photos for use in a website that is being developed by the Nordic Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Red Ochre Regional Board for newcomers to the Northern Peninsula region, please send them along to: jcoles@nf.aibn.com by June 17th, 2011.

Please include in the email with your photos, the following line: (cut and paste) “By virtue of this email I am providing permission for use of the attached photos in the Northern Peninsula Website” and Provide the name of the person you want noted for the photo credits or return the following document by clicking Photo Release Form – GNP Portal

Thank-You for all your help!!

If you have further questions, please contact:

Jessica Coles, Project Coordinator                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          GNP Website Portal                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Nordic Economic Development Corporation

Phone: (709)
456-2840

Fax: (709)
456-2846

Email: jcoles@nf.aibn.com

A partnership of:

&

 

Grandmother Mitchelmore….How does your garden grow?

Planted beds of small seed in Grandma's Garden

My Grandmother Mitchelmore has been planting a garden for a lifetime. At 79 years young she knows that around the end of May, there is a flurry of activity to attend to the ground. She plants potatoes, turnip, carrot, onions and cabbage to ensure that she can prepare her traditional Jigg’s Dinner throughout the year. She also maintains a strawberry patch, which at times I am tempted to raid.

I grew up helping my grandparents in the garden and always enjoyed the harvest. I remember Grandmother and I were digging all the potatoes and she got a supersize tater. I dug frantically trying to match her giant spud. I did dig up a larger potato, but it definitely would not win a beauty contest.

Today she helped me continue to attempts to grow a variety of vegetables locally. We planted onion, red onion, green onion and baby carrots. Tomorrow, I will plant lettuce plants in addition to my already planted tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers and asparagus.

Grandmother planting onions with me today

There seems to have been a generational gap among those of my parents age, as many did not adapt the skills required to maintain a garden. However, there is hope as younger generations appear to have a strong interest in growing vegetables. Rural communities have an opportunity to utilize this interest as a means to share space and offer community gardens. Experienced elders can teach those younger the necessary skills to have a successful growing season.

Get your garden growing this season. It is not to late to start on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

Great Northern Peninsula’s Business Trade Show to Promote Networking Opportunities

Iceberg Festival Runs June 10-19, 2011

This year’s annual Iceberg Festival runs from June 10-19, 2011 and hosts activities in the St. Anthony and greater area on the Great Northern Peninsula.

I have included the schedule listed below:

Schedule of Events

If you have further questions visit www.theicebergfestival.ca  and complete the contact form. The festival should have something that appeals to just about everyone from hiking trails, boat tours, French bread making, iceberg water, entertainment and boat tours.

 
The organizers coin the event as “10,000 years in the making”. If you have the opportunity, book some time off work and travel the Great Northern Peninsula to enjoy iceberg alley!
 
Check out where the icebergs are located by visiting Iceberg Finder at www.icebergfinder.com
Live Rural NL -
 
Christopher C. Mitchelmore
 
 

 

Cuban Vacation…Part V


The amount of green vegetation was quite the shocker for me. There were many impressive fields, trees and forests thriving in Cuba. Some of this may be due to the exceptional amount of humidity in the air.

One of the stops via train led us to a restaurant and bar. We ventured inside to get refreshments to quench our thirst. The temperature almost unbearable, with my clothing getting wetter by the moment as I perspired. A bottle of icy cool water never tasted so wonderful as it did at that moment.

Suddenly, a guy from the train told us that just down the stairs there was a contraption to press sugar cane to have a juice. He noted it was better with added rum for just 2 C.U.C. We ventured down. Little did we know we would be put to work pushing this device.

A two person job and a couple of turns we had enough juice collected for a couple of drinks.

The delicious end product – with rum for extra flavor.


After catching the train, we returned to Trinidad. Tobias and I met up with Umberto at the park. He toured with us, showing hidden gems of Trinidad. He also kept trying to sell us on visiting a family restaurant, despite us telling him that we had made previous commitments with our Casa for a traditional meal at 8 PM.

We were going for ice-cream, but instead walked to the Casa de La Musica. We opted to spend some of the afternoon at a nearby bar. We had rounds of Mojito‘s and Buchanero beer for all. It was an afternoon of sharing a few drinks and trying to talk to Umberto without him knowing English and myself not knowing Spanish. A little bit of friend and a good translator in Tobias we were able to have some conversation.

Suddenly there was a scream from a nearby table. A snake had dropped from the vine ceiling. The music was great, when suddenly my attention was no longer with Tobias and Umberto but two beautiful women across the room. The brunette and I had shared a few smiles with our eyes and the blond reminded me of a certain Doctor Heritage. Since Tobias was engrossed with trying to explain in broken Spanish my position of working for a non-profit in Rural Newfoundland & Labrador conducting Community Economic Development and business development services. I had to get up, in one part because I knew they had a good story to tell and secondly I had to passed them to get to the restroom.

The ladies greeted my presence with a smile. From hello I tried to get their accent and had asked the blond if she was from New Zealand (we later did make a connection from New Zealand); however, this women was currently enrolled in her third year of medicine in the United Kingdom. We had some beginners chat about the UK, Cuba and not wanting to overdo my visit let them know we would be going to Casa de La Musica at 9-9:30 PM. They noted they would hope to meet us there.

Stay tuned for more adventures of Cuba in Part VI.
Live Rural NL -

Christopher C. Mitchelmore

 

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