Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Spirit of the West!

Our next stop was a return visit to Red Deer and our friends at Sunnybrook UC. The gathering included students from the aboriginal studies program at the local college, and we were hosted again by our friend Shirley, who graciously opened up her home to us. There were two major church fires in nearby Wetaskiwin last fall when we visited Red Deer, and it was nice to hear how those communities have moved forward in the aftermath.

Another commitment for a Drumathon venue at Sunnybrook, and we head on up the highway to Edmonton to visit with Tom and Kathleen Gilchrist. The Gilchrist family has a long history of service in Angola, and since we first met Tom in October 2009, he has been extraordinarily generous in sharing his knowledge, experiences, and resources in support of the project. This time, it was a list of others from the Angola 'family', dispersed around Canada, but united in their dedication to and love for Angola and the Angolan people. We promised to look up as many as possible, for the experience thus far has been rich - Mary Pyne, Etta Snow, Jim Kirkwood, Francis Wallbridge, Eleanor Knight, Keith Jamieson...

We also received a warm welcome as we 'crashed' the annual spring BBQ at Spirit West UC (OK, we really were invited!), where about 80 people drummed together and shared the story of the Dondi Project - one of the most enthusiastic circles of the tour so far, from a congregation with a long association with Angola. A great time was had by all, and our new friends vowed to keep fund-raising and get into training for the Drumathon on October 1st and 2nd!

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