The miracle of modern travel has me bounced around rapidly. A weekend drive to the Okanagan for my grandfather's funeral, drive back to Calgary, and 24 hours later I am hopping off a prop plane in northern British Columbia to assist with flood relief and clean up. I have spent quite a bit of time photo-taking, story gathering, helping recruit volunteers to help people clean out their homes. The experience has been intense: visiting people whose house looks perfectly normal from the front, with four feet of stinking river mud in their basement, and every stitch of anything ruined. People throwing away water-logged and ruined family keepsakes and memories in big dumpsters. A stoic old man brushing away the tear running down a wrinkle beside his nose. A guy who fell in a huge sinkhole that opened up right underneath him.
I get to sleep on a creaky single bed in a college dorm room, and am exhausted by 10 p.m. The single bed is luxury, really. It's cold here in Terrace, a stunning location and beautiful surroundings: two converging rivers, lush valley and thick forests, surrounded by blue-black snow-capped mountains. But it's been raining steadily, and for a flip-flop lover, the cold is just too much. I am wishing for the long, sunny days of Alberta . . . I have been in a big learning curve and it's adventuresome being here, and great to be here helping people in real need, but it's not my dream to spend my 25th birthday with cold feet in Terrace. I want a long summer day, a barbecue, Martin and some Stampede fireworks. And maybe a costume birthday party. But we shall see.
At any rate, Terrace has held for me the highlight of my month: going to The Abba Show, Australia's premiere Abba tribute band. It was fantastically funny - especially the part where a guy from the crowd made a "miss grab" at Ana - absolutely hilarious. And the music was actually pretty darn good. I mean, it was Abba after all.