Those friends had been such a big part of my (almost) daily life in the Yukon for so long, the idea that their *new life* was so foreign to me was kind of strange... and I could not wait to see them and hug them and find out more! And in the meantime, I was grasping at straws...
:: Mara found a butterfly and took care of it until it was ready to fly away by itself. It stayed with her for a few hours. :::: My friend Marie-Claude is going back to school to become a midwife and she was preparing for her final chemistry exam. She was studying hard while we were there. I admire how determined she is in following her passion and making that dream come true by going back to school for 4 years at 42. What an inspiration! ::
We went to work and study together in a cute little coffee shop and I felt like I was at University again!
:: Mara "helped" Alizée with her homework ::
:: Every week, they go fill their bottles at the local spring in order to have great water to drink. ::
:: Micha, the baby of the family, is just adorable and incredible at the same time. She is someting! I love her! Just before dinner, we could not find her. Chris looked for her everywhere and finally found her at the neighbor's (we're talking country neighbor, where she had to walk for a while along a high traffic road) sitting on a lazy boy, wrapped in a blanket with bowls of candies beside her. She gave Chris a big smile when he walked in, with smoke coming out of his ears. The neighbor had asked her if she had asked her parents if it was fine and she had said yes... Needless to say, Chris was not happy. So during our dinner, he repeated to her that she had to ask first before going to the neighbor. And that little 5 yo turned to him and said: Papa, can we stop talking about it now?! And I just burst out laughing! I know I totally killed the educationnal moment, but she is just so sure of herself! Two minutes later she said: You are not the boss of me, papa, you know! ::
Our other good friends (and the girls' godparents) Val and JF just bought a house in Chelsea (they have lived in Ottawa for a decade) and they met us in a nice little restaurant and we went for a hike in beautiful Gatineau Park (King Mountain). We even got to see a beaver and her baby building its lodge!
We ended up being so busy with work that we didn't even go to Ottawa... Chris brought the girls to the beautiful Children museum and they had a blast. We went for short walks in the neighborhood, had an impromptu visit at a felt artist friend of Marie-Claude who was preparing a piece for a contest in which she was felting pieces of a 1850's wedding dress... The girls were enthralled!
On another day, Chris and JF took the girls on a hike and stopped at Pipolinka, the most amazing bakery in the area, and met a sweet French hitchhiking couple and invited them to pitch their tent on their property for the night. Mathilde and Micha spent the evening chatting with them and the morning after, we had coffee with them and great discussions. It's always lovely to meet with other travelers!
So now my friends, it's for real, we will be home in a few days!