Day 23 – Grand Forks

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Shannon is a manager at a local IGA store so she had to leave at 6 am to go to the store.   I woke up shortly after that and as I started to walk down the steps, Kevin jumped out of bed and joined me.

I sat on a chair and worked on my blog while Kevin played a game on his tablet until the others woke up.     A little later, Tim came down and was soon followed by Warren.   The boys wanted to play Jenga, so we took out the game and started to play.   For the first game, I played against Warren.

He could have won, but he was horsing around by putting his nose on the top of the pile, which caused them to come crashing down.   Tim and Kevin joined us in playing the second game.

Warren carefully removed one of the pieces and placed it on top of the pile.   Then he got rambunctious and started to jump around.   When he bumped the table and the blocks toppled over, he put his hands in the air and said, ” I win “.  That was the end of the second game.

Before I left, Tim took a picture of me with the boys at the front of their house.

For the picture, I held Kevin’s hand in my right hand and Warren in my left hand, but I had a hard time getting Kevin to stand still.

I had planned to meet many of the short term volunteers at their church, King Road MB in Abbotsford, so I had to leave before 9 am to make it there in time for the 9:30 German service.   I met Eric at the church just after the service had started.  Following the service, Eric invited me to his house for lunch.   He gave me a tour of his property and we snacked on some blueberries and raspberries that we hand picked from the bushes on his property.   Eric’s wife, Hildegard made a wonderful lunch and just before we were ready to start eating, one of their twin daughters joined us.

I needed to get back to Grand Forks for orientation, so I left at 1 pm for the 6 hour drive to Grand Forks.   According to Google Maps, it is only a 5.5 hour drive, but there are a lot of stretches in the mountains that are single lane and inevitably there is someone only driving 80 (or even 60 kph ) in the 100 kph zones.   I was stuck behind a fuel truck that slowed down to 40 kph at one point and it was about 10 kilometres before there was a passing lane.

I arrived at camp by 6 pm and had a light supper before the 7 new weekly volunteers arrived.    We had our orientation at 7 pm and then we socialized for a little while.   Some of the volunteers are staying at a nearby campsite, which is a 10 minute drive from our base camp.   By 10 pm everyone had slowly faded away.

On Saturday, I had received the picture of last week’s crew.

The volunteers for the week of July 14 were:

From left to right:

Back Row: Ben Wall, Aaron Warkentin, Mark Rempel, Ralf Hamm, Cole Unger, Eric Penner, Egon Kroeker

Middle Back Row: Ingried Warkentin, Valter Warkentin, Delbert Wiebe, Jon Wiebe

Middle Front Row: Ike Epp, Sharon Sauder, Justin Marchand, Bethany Martin, Sam Dyck, Ernie Klassen

Front Row: Deniese Sensenig, Eileen Klassen, Yolanda Wiebe, Abigail Thompson

Day 22 – Grand Forks

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Although I woke up at 5 am, as usual, I decided to go back to sleep until 6:30.   I found Ben, Egon and Eric were packing their belongings into Ben’s truck in preparation for their drive back home to Abbotsford.   Before they left, they boiled some water for their morning ‘ Mate ‘ that they would be taking with them.

After they left, Ike and I had a simple breakfast, while I finished editing my journal for the previous day.

I packed a few things to take with me and left shortly after 8 am.  The temperature was 11 C ( 52 F ) when I left Grand Forks and it didn’t get above 13 C ( 5 F ) until I reached Chiliwack, where the temperature slowly increased to the high 20’s C ( high 70’s F ).

The drive to Surrey winds it’s way through the Rocky Mountains with many switch backs, some of which change direction by 180 degrees and have a recommended speed of 20 kph ( 12 mph ).

At first the mountains were heavily forested, mainly with evergreens, but as I neared Osoyoos, their were scattered trees among the rocky mountainsides. Osoyoos is a beautiful resort town in a lush valley with a huge lake that has become a popular resort town.   The fertile ground in the valleys are ideal for berries, grapes and tender fruits ( peaches, plums, etc ).    I noticed that the apples in the valleys are commonly grown on the vine, like grapes.


As I got closer to Surrey, the mountains were covered with trees, similar to the Grand Forks area, except they are much taller, some reaching the clouds.

I arrived in Surrey at 2:30 pm and had a wonderful visit with Tim, Shannon and the boys.   The boys played, while Tim, Shannon and I sat outside and discussed many different subjects, particularly about our latest experiences.   Before we went inside for supper,  we took a picture together to remember the day.


Shortly after we finished eating, Shannon’s father, George, came to the house and we had dessert while we visited with him.   After George left, we talked a little bit longer before going to bed.