Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Library of Parliament / Bibliohèque du Parlement, Ottawa

This is the Library of Parliament (la Bibliothèque du Parlement). The main branch of the library, sits at the rear of the Centre Block, on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, and is the last untouched part of that larger building's original incarnation, after it burned down in 1916. The library has been augmented and renovated a number of times since its construction in 1876, the last between 2002 and 2006, though the form and decor remain essentially authentic. I was very impressed by well decorated main reading room of the library.
The building today serves as a Canadian icon, and appears on the obverse of the Canadian ten-dollar bill.

One of these days I’ll visit the Parliament where Noelani is interning (for the Laurentian Leadership Centre, remember?) with a real Senator!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Christ & Culture

Did I tell you that the Trinity Western University - of which the Laurentian Leadership Centre is an extension - is a private, Christian Liberal arts University? 
So students here often read books on Christianity. 'Christ and Culture' of H. Richard Niebuhr is one of these books ... so, I thought maybe I should try to read this too. So this Sunday - the Lord's day - after my sunday nap, I started to read ...
This book is certainly not easy reading. H. Richard Niebuhr treats what is arguably the most basic ethical question of the Christian faith: how is Christ relevant to the world in which we live now? In his book Niebuhr describes various understandings of Christ ‘against’, ‘of’, and ‘above’ culture, as well as Christ ‘transforming’ culture, and Christ in ‘paradoxical’ relation to it.

All very confusing for a little rat like me, but the students here like the book.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It's not a house it's a home

"What kind of house is this, " he said,
"Where I have come to roam?"
"It's not a house," said Judas Priest,
"It's not a house ... it's a home."

Havin' fun in the Booth house while the students are at work ...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sitting here resting my bones ...

Another day in the Booth house ...
I like the atmosphere here ...
a little bit mysterious and dark.
Makes me somewhat melancholic ...
Sitting here resting my bones
And this loneliness won't leave me alone
It's two thousand miles I roamed
Just to make this old Booth house my home

Do you find me on the picture?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

John Rudolphus Booth (1827-1925)

The Booth House where I live now was built in 1906 by the Canadian lumber and railway baron John R. Booth. Booth's vision and boldness were qualities that made him a success. He established his own lumber company and won the contract to supply wood for the Parliament buildings at the new Canadian capital in Ottawa (we will visit the Parliament later …) By 1892, he was the largest lumber producer in the world and he built Canada's largest sawmill in Ottawa. In 1879 he established the Canada Atlantic Railway to carry his logs from Central Ontario to Ottawa, and his lumber from Ottawa to the States. In 1890, he completed the Canada Atlantic Railway connecting Ottawa to the United States. Booth also operated grain elevators and steamships on the Great Lakes, a cement company and a pulp and paper mill. J. R. Booth continued to run his business empire well into his nineties. He died in 1925 at the age of 98.

Small rat in front of a great man ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The famous Booth House

In the Laurentian Leadership Centre only 20 students are accepted each semester. While participating in the program, all students reside in an historic mansion on Metcalfe Street, the famous Booth House, which is listed as a national historic site.

It’s my privilege to live with them for a few weeks … and I must admit I feel very comfortable and at home here in this small community of smart boys and girls and this magnificent mansion.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Where is Woody?

You'll always find me in kitchens at parties ... (here with Anna and Chris)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Laurentian Leadership Centre

Noelani is a student at the Laurentian Leadership Centre (LLC), which I visited today.
LLC is a program of Trinity Western University (TWU) in British Columbia, located at the satellite campus of TWU in Ottawa.
As part of the program students take four university classes and an internship with a company, an NGO or as Noelani with a politician.
She promised we’ll visit her office next week …

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ottawa Public Library / Bibliothèque Publique d' Ottawa

Today Josh and Blair took me to Ottawa Public Library.
Since I am (rather) new here in Canada, I decided to have a chat with the Newcomer Information Officer (NIO). She gave me all kinds of information on schools & education, housing, learning French, careers & employment, immigration etc.

It made me dream of settling down here. I love this country and its people. Ah, but of course I can’t stay here … after all I am a traveller and I have to move on.
But no hurry … there is so much more to see in Ottawa.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Skating on the Rideau Canal

Next week winter changes into spring … but in Ottawa it is still freezing!  
In winter, a section of the Rideau Canal passing through central Ottawa becomes officially the world's largest skating rink.
At either end of the canal, skates are available to rent, and every mile or so there are concession stands on the ice, where you can stop and warm up with hot chocolate or a Beaver Tail (a delicious pastry made of fried dough).
So this weekend I took my chance and for the very first time in my life I went skating. Although a little nervous, I managed not to embarrass myself. I never fell down. All I can say is that it was amazing. Everyone from tiny two-year-olds skating circles around me, to novices like myself, to kids playing hockey, to couples skating hand-in-hand. All were out in force.
The key, obviously, is to dress appropriately. Once I had bought my snow pants and proper socks, as advised by the natives, I never felt the sub-zero cold again (well, not much).

What a differences with the Hawaiian beaches a few weeks ago … 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Woke up this mornin'

The last two days I slept for almost 40 hours …
But this morning I woke up, took a shower, brushed my teeth and went out to
Tim Hortons (on Laurier Avenue) to have a wonderful cup of coffee (toujours frais!) and an excellent donut.
Et maintenant, je suis prêt à découvrir Ottawa … Ottawa here I come !!!

Coffee coffee coffee
It's a wonderful delight!
Coffee coffee coffee
Leaves a restless night behind ...

Monday, March 09, 2009

I am alive and well ... in Ottawa, Canada

Sorry … I am very sorry folks. Mom & dad, sorry for being away so long.
I was in Hawaii all the time. I was so busy, I completely forgot about my blog or sending some news.
And yes there must be pictures of me in Hawaii, I guess plenty of them … but I don’t think you want to see them. And I sure don’t want them on the blog!
To be honest … I have been a naughty boy in Hawaii. Being partying day and night, lots of booze and lovely Hawaiian girls. Sorry mom! I promise, it will not happen again.

I left Hawaii last Saturday when Noelani, a native of Hawaii who’s working in Ottawa, took me to Canada. Thanks, Noelani … you saved my life.
I am in Canada for the third time now, but I never was in it’s capital Ottawa.

Crossing the Pacific, while flying from Honolulu to Ottawa, I realized that finally I went around the world: I have crossed every line of longitude now!
Since I have to be back home on September the 9th (09.09.09), today I still have exactly 6 months to travel. And there is so much more I want to see, so many countries I am dreamin’ of … but first I need some sleep.
On the picture you see me, next to Noelani’s bed, still recovering from my loose life in Hawaii … (you see the beautiful Hawaiian girls on the picture? Euh ... no, mom … it will never happen again. I am a big boy now, promised!).