Daily Archives: June 11, 2011

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

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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:

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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

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