Saturday, January 26, 2008

Toronto over the weekend

Toronto is known as the most multicultural, ethnic city in the world. Their website claims that most cultural groups, even many small ones, are represented here in Toronto. There are over 160 languages spoken in the city.

Saturday morning we started out by heading to Kensington market. This area is full of small shops, street vendors and stores crammed with colorful goods. It is close to the heart of Chinatown as well. We saw lots of signs, foods, and bins. Here are some pictures I took of the sights of Chinatown, full of colour and vibrancy.

These are all dried fish. Tiny dried shrimp and tiny long silver fishes, etc. Bennett (who has a phenomenal sense of smell) kept saying "Mom...whats that smell?"

Dried fruit and nut bins. Some fruits I didn't even recognize. And I can smell Durian a mile away :) Ah..brings back memories of our hotel in Cambodia.

Decorations. I think Chinese New Year already passed for this year, but all these red posters, silver paper red decorations and wild party stuff made me think they were still celebrating?

At in the heart of Chinatown, amongst all the bright neon signs, there was still a Starbucks. We went and had hot chocolate and warmed our toes. Bennett really warmed his toes, and whole legs for that matter, by dumping his whole hot chocolate all over his pants. Ooops. Anyhow, we were interested to see Starbucks, so culturally North American and calm, filled with old Chinese people, sitting around tables and talking fast. We watched their mouths, using our newly learned phonetic skills, to try to see how they formed some sounds, etc. They probably wondered why we were staring :)

We also spent an hour inside an army surplus store while Paul looked for some desert coveralls to work in for Niger. There was this really interesting old man there who walked around with us, helped us out, and told us stories.

Then on Sunday morning we went to the Toronto Alliance church. This is a church plant in the heart of downtown to minister to all people there, and restore lives. It was an awesome, touching and transparently honest service. We loved the integrity and love of the people. A wonderful small church in a very needy place. You can check them out at their website.

Then in the afternoon we wandered around a little bit, and then spent a wonderful evening at home with our community family here having chocolate fondue and watching a movie.

We are so blessed to be in a guesthouse with 3 other Alliance missionaries. We eat together, learn together, and take care of the kids together. The W family have 2 boys and with our two kids, there are 4 kids under 3 1/2. Talk about chaos and fun! All four of them got in the tub and had a blast playing together. And in the kids program all day they enjoy each other's company. We love the W family, who are going to the Arabian Peninsula, and are thankful for this time with them. And of course Kristi is here with us too..every one's favorite Auntie Kristi. She leaves for Niger in 25 days now!!


Anonymous said...

A lovely way to start my morning - to journey with you kids again. I could smell the spices waffling from the marketplace. Ah Starbucks! My daughter-in-law has me hooked... The children look amazing :). Love and hugs

Anonymous said...

the anonymous note was from me - Heather... couldn't send it any other way ????

Des said...

Hi, I read a lot of your blog...sure beats housework!! I am from the Alliance church in Red Deer. My husband and I have been to Africa a few times (safari) and we have a pretty good idea of what you are getting into. Both my husband and I are half French, but we conveniently leave out that part, because it happens to be the stuck up side...I had to laugh about butting in line! Your photos are amazing.

Des said...

I meant...the Alliance church from Sylvan Lake.