At Home in Bella Bella…

Maybe it is still the honeymoon period, but I LOVE it here!!! I have driven about 50 km since I got here – half of my daily one-way commute to Surrey that I did every day! The people have welcomed me so graciously and sincerely. I think I have gained about 10 pounds in two weeks – people want to make sure I eat and (wamoutla sp?) take food home and it’s not polite to say no!!! You know what I mean.

It has been a lot of work making the move and I miss having my own house but we’ll make it work in a much smaller house.  It’s actually a teacherage and quite well maintained. There are thing I would like to run to the store and buy on the spur of the moment, but it isn’t that simple.  Not everything is available or it has a very high price tag attached.  For example, a container of mayonnaise made with Olive Oil is $10.99, but rib eye steak is very reasonable. Milk comes in twice a week so we need to get down there to make sure we get some as the shelf life is somewhat shorter than what we are used to.  Vic makes our yogurt so we need lots of milk to satisfy our daily yogurt intake. I have also started making home made bread again and have made two batches.  The second batch is much better so practice is truly important! Also, has become my most visited site and they are making good profits from me  – I have had to order stuff that I didn’t think we needed and either sold it very cheap or gave away! We will pick up my Sears order in Shearwater which is across the channel – lucky we have a boat! I ordered a deck umbrella, a vacuum, a shelving unit etc… The old Sears bill will be hefty this month!

I need cup hooks but I will need to buy them in Van when I fly down on Sat for 5 days! I am taking the short course for principals as the startup to the school year. I have a list of things to pick up on my ipad including buying chicken as all the chicken that I have found is frozen and breaded and so my return suitcase will be filled with frozen chicken. If anyone visits you must bring chicken and pork!!! I also need to have my overused camera serviced!

There is so much to photograph here as you have surmised from looking at my Facebook photos!  I do need to leave Eddy at home and take my tripod in order to get some great eagle photos.  I also have to keep Eddy (my 16 pound) Chihuahua on a leash as a colleague told me that she watched an eagle swoop down and carry off a poor woman’s small dog just as she let it off the leash on the dock… She was of course out of her mind but could do nothing! I can’t imagine her trauma and the dog’s of course! Eddy is not going off on his own even if he thinks he is invincible! (Good scrabble word that I need to file away – I need to withdraw from playing scrabble online)

I am setting up my office this afternoon and will return to do startup stuff next Thurs once I return from Van.  Alas, I will have to adjust to using a PC, as the school is strictly a PC school.  I do have my ipad though  – I bought it for myself for my Aug 1 birthday as I thought I simply couldn’t function without one.  I have all these apps I need to try out!

Surrey seems so long ago – I enjoyed it and am glad I had that experience. It was a very good experience and preparation for my current position– my highly talented colleagues and the pro d opportunities were the highlights! I will remain friends for life with some of the people that I met there. Maybe some will be willing to come here to provide inservice!

Vic and I, as you may have read from my Facebook postings and photos spent a day at Koeye, a children’s cultural camp. We were truly amazed and moved to tears at what we witnessed – a sincere commitment to bringing together cultural knowledge and outdoor awareness.  This has to be part of their life at school as an extension of their ancestral heritage and modern day identity.  Please visit this site if you get a chance.  I learned that in our language the word “Heiltsuk” means to speak and act correctly and that we are guided by this and other basic Heiltsuk values, which we call our gvi’ilas.  I have a steep learning curve ahead of me culturally as I have been away for so long, but I am up for it!

My dad lives here so we have seen him often – he loves Eddy and is able to get out for short walks with us. I may pick him up to go to the feast this evening…. It’s nice to hear him speak the Heiltsuk language; actually it is wonderful to hear it being spoken with such fluency.  Vic and I were so impressed by a young man who explained the dances at the Children’s feast in Koeye.  The Heiltsuk language is difficult but it flowed off his tongue. I may actually take the beginner course when it is offered.

Vic is off on a two-day kayak adventure by himself so Eddy and I are alone.  He headed up to Hunter Channel and is planning to camp for two nights. I am still recovering from fatigue and a bad cold sore on my mouth and I need to get some more work done so Eddy and I stayed behind.

Luckily all of our stuff arrived ahead of us and if we are missing anything, we will never know as we simply have too much stuff for this 3-bedroom house.  We haven’t had time to pine for Chilliwack, as we have been so busy.  Having a boat is a must here! The weather has been spectactular!

A few days ago we went out trawling and caught three good-sized Cohos that we promptly froze.  We also have lots of sockeye in our freezer and no doubt will need to make room for more seafood. Brenda dropped off some fresh prawns yesterday which I froze until Vic gets back.  Bruce called with an offer of some alder smoked salmon so I will pick some of that up tonight. Tonight I am off to another feast hosted by the Koeye campers.

I need to take a 1-minute walk to get to my new office and organize some shelving etc. so I will write again.  Please stay in touch!



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3 responses to “At Home in Bella Bella…

  1. Jay

    Sounds pretty amazing so far mom. I’m looking forward to a visit as soon as we have a chance!

  2. Carl

    Great to see all the photos and the update on your new home. I’m looking forward to visiting…

  3. Jan!! It sounds like a dream come true, I’m so happy for you! I can’t wait to come up and visit with Katherine. It would be such an honour to be in your home community. Such a difference from the city – I’m a teeny bit jealous! I can only imagine how amazing the stars look at night. Keep posting!

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