Updated: Jan 14, 2021
So blessed to visit a local ski hill for an afternoon with Hannah and Chris, and see if I remembered how to ski after five years. Nothing quite like fresh air, sunshine and an opportunity to play in the snow! Spring is the time to ski in Quebec!
I've always loved every opportunity I have to ski, and I have my mother to thank for this passion. She had me on my first slope at 7, even if it was only for a day. That experience was the beginning of an athletic passion for snow and mountains. Growing up in Africa proves difficult when trying to find snow, and I think Uganda and Mt Kilimanjaro are the only places where you can actually find some. This is definitely one of Canada's highlights. If it's cold, and the longest season of the year is winter, one has to make the most of the snow.
My mom had never seen snow until she got a job working in Switzerland, but what an introduction! The Swiss Alps in the 80's, and a view of the iconic mountain advertised on Toblerone chocolate. The Matterhorn proved to be a meeting place for locals and travelers alike, and over 40 years later, my mom is still in touch with some of her "ski bum" friends.
It's amazing that after all this time, many of these "ski bums from Zermatt" still meet up for annual reunions! Although my mom only made one of these, due to the distance and expense of living in Africa, it's been so fun to reconnect with her Canadian friends all these years later.
How do many Canadians cope with the cold winter? They ski and skate!
My mom is definitely not the only ski bum from Africa, and we were all surprised to find Zimbabwe represented for the first time ever in the recent 2014 winter Olympics! Our first Zimbabwean downhill skier. As surprising as the Jamaican bobsled team? You bet! Africans are full of surprises, and why not break the stereotype once and a while? Not everyone is black and not everyone grew up in a mud hut surrounded by elephants (actually very few did). And some Africans, if given the opportunity, just love to ski!
And did you know that the skidoo was invented in Canada. I have always wanted to snowmobile and it was a great experience to get my first taste, driving through the maple groves of Parkside Ranch, through the woods and across the fields.
The ski-doo was designed by Joseph-Armand Bombardier, a man of faith and resident of Quebec! It kinda makes sense to have my experience in the province where it all started. And if you head out this way, check out the place Bombardier Museum.
To my Beloved Wife and Dear Children,
I was recently informed that medical science can do no more for me.
At my age, I thought that I would still be able to do so much for you, for my companies and for my fellow citizens, not forgetting missionary work, but the die is cast and I place myself entirely in the hands of my Creator.
I thanks Him for having given me faith to bear with serenity and strength this heavy cross of having to part from you.
Eternity will bring is together again.
(Extract from a letter written shortly before his death). February 5th, 1964