Saturday, 23 May 2015

The Big Time in Mission (not THAT big !)

The reason that I'm staying in Abbotsford (why would any sane person stay here?) is that there are no hotels or motels in Mission (at least not listed on

It's Mission I have to go to.  There is a Pow Wow being held there and I like drumming and chanting and watching dancers in colourful clothes.

The moment I check out of the Super 8, it starts to rain.  There is a Walmart right behind the hotel.

I buy a 'rain jacket' and a hoodie for the combined total of $30.  WTF? Clothing has become a consumable!!!
The grass was freshly mown but no one ever picks up garbage !
Of course, when I come out of Walmart the rain has stopped. After cycling 6 km to the Best Western Plus Regency Inn, I wish I had stayed at the old hotel.  Some people had told me that a BW + is something to look forward to but I am at a loss what that might be.  Does the Plus refer to the size of the guests?
Another thing I notice: The motel in Victoria had given over it's 'Recreation Room' to the bicycles requiring safe nightly storage. And there were about 15 of them when I was there.  Here in Abbotsford my bike vanishes overnight all by its lonesome into a roomlet used for office supplies and the single bike barely fits.

A beautified container in Matsqui

Mission Bridge

I'm 10 minutes late for the Grand Entry at the Pow Wow and enter the hall in the middle of a prayer for missing aboriginal women and those who had to endure life and abuse in Canadian Indian Residential Schools and still managed to keep First Nations traditions alive.  For those that are unaware of what these schools were:  The state forcibly removed Native children from their families and surrendered them into the care of  Catholic priests. Need I say more?  If you think that Canada learned from past mistakes and that things are much improved now, read THIS and think again.

Anyhoo, I missed the Grand Entry, the other main events are still hours away, and I'm STARVING, so I ride the bicycle down the hill into town again.  Now I understand why Mission doesn't seem to have a hotel.  The main street is 2 blocks long and that's it. At least the restaurant selection is better than in Fort Langley ;-)

Calamari lunch the size of a calamari dinner

On the way back I see this at a bus stop:  Did Cinderella lose her shoe AND backpack?  Just after I took the picture, a homeless guy walks up and lays his claim on the backpack but NOT the shoe. Is that a size 12? ;-)

Back at the Pow Wow, the dancing competitions have begun. I'm here in time for some fabulous drumming and chanting and dancing.

Attendance at this Pow Wow is very low both in spectators and dancers.

This girl is the only competitor in her age class
Even though she has already won, she still dances her heart out.  Especially when the drums get progressively faster and faster.

Also the only competitor in his age class is this young guy who looks (can be deceptive) as if he has as much native blood in him as the German/French writer of this blog (i.e. ZERO).
But the empty arena gives him room to put on a WILD dance that includes CARTWHEELS ;-)

While for the taste of this German, the design of some of the dancing regalia seem a bit too confusingly gaudy, I instantly like this outfit:
The wearer seems to be under the influence of something though or maybe this is what happens when one wears bells around one's ankles.

The all-women-drumming team prepares a daughter of the house for competition

After a smoke break, I see that Dorian (the little guy) has joined some kind of hand-holding dance
Even Kookum (George's Grandma in Blue) joins the fray

Oh, before I forget (yes, this is related; George would have loved it): Congratulations to the amazing people of Ireland who with their vote to sanction Gay Marriage have demonstrated that being a Christian does not automatically translate to being a Bigot ! Also would have been a pity of having to cross Ireland off my list of travel destinations.  I've been there, liked it, and am glad to be able to go back!

And the forgotten pictures on the way back to Abbotsford: 

 Golf courses are better maintained than OLD barns. Too bad!

Signs of the times

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