My Dad is very forgetful these days. We were driving back to the house the other night from a movie. He keeps asking me the same questions and I get kind of tired of it, so I said to him, "Dad you ask me the same things over and over.". He said, "I forget, guess I'll get senile, I'm scared". Hard for him. His young brother Uncle Georgie Boy is in a care facility that has locks for people with Alzheimers. George does not recognize anyone anymore, I am pretty sure. My Dad does not want to go see him anymore. The last time, George didn't seem to understand what was being said when my Dad talked with him. So maybe Dad doesn't want to see what is happening to him as well. I don't know.
Taking my Dad around the City with me and we have been running into people he knows from another time and other Reserves. We ran into one of his old friends from up north, Rodney Spence. We also ran into a guy from the Island Lake region that my Dad is friends with, Marcel Flett. My Dad said he meet those guys when he used to travel with Manitoba Indian Brotherhood (MIB). MIB was the Aboriginal Political voice called the Manitoba Indian Brotherhood back in the 1970's. Dad worked for Dave Courchene Sr. the President of the MIB in those days. That is one thing Dad said, "when you travel, you meet people, it is good to meet people". I like that.
This August or September I met these two women from Brazil. They were asking directions on a street in Winnipeg and I told them where to go. I invited them to our home and said "come to our house, my wife will cook for you". I told my wife I met two women and invited them home for her to cook for them. She said "okay". Of course, I did. My wife is so god damn cool, she didn't even bat and eye. "Sure, I'll cook for your Brazilian Women".
We have had them to our home; Martha, Ana and the baby Olivia. She is almost one year old and as cute as can be. They are here visiting while Martha does her Phd classes at the University of Manitoba. Ana is the mom of Martha. This Saturday we went to their apartment for dinner. It was fun. Martha had a few friends over as well. A fellow student named Connor. He is from Colorado and is doing his Masters and will be heading to Kenya for 8 months this Christmas. He is a young good looking athletic guy. Very friendly, handsome and he wears sandals. He has done all the wilderness stuff: white water rafting down the Colorado for 18 days, climb rocks, is a skier, you name it, a real marvel. Another couple were at the dinner as well. Ryan is from Manitoba. He grew up around the Riding Mountain area, but did some traveling. His wife is from Peru. Her name is Alexandra and their son is Santiago. A beautiful two year old wavy haired handsome boy. Ryan met his wife in Peru while he was doing a stint as a student over there. Ryan and Alexandra mostly speak Spanish to Santiago. Alexandra is one of those Latino women, that has good skin colour and is very friendly and pretty. They have been together for over eight years. Ryan is a professional that works with a northern Indian Band.
I am always in awe of people who travel or have lived some where else. It is like a whole new experience visiting with them. You want to absorb what they have experienced. I get real noisy and ask a million questions. Heck I must be real annoying to sit and talk with. I must act like a Shamagonish, a cop. "Where you from, when did you get here, what do you, how did you meet, where do you live?" Thankfully everyone is polite and didn't tell me to shaddap (shut up).
I feel bad for people that are not going to experience travel. Or even meet people that have traveled. I like that me. I like to meet people from all over. So talk to people, strangers on the street. You never know where you will end up. Like my Dad says, "it's good to meet people".
I am so glad that we got to meet some new people. Even if I may never go to the places where they are from, I at least met someone from a land far away.
Home is good don't get me wrong, but let's open up our worlds too.
Today I was driving down the highway, I saw this young man get off a bus and he had a big back-pack, so I turned around on the highway because I knew he was a hitchhiker. In the city it is hard to get a ride and I knew he would have a bit of a walk to get out of the city and be on the Trans Canada highway. So he was happy that I gave him a little ride out of the city. His Name is Gabriel and his going home to Quebec. He is coming from British Columbia. Hope you have a safe trip Gabriel.