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Sint Maarten, two months after devastating Irma hurricane. Photo reportage Nov 2017

When looking for the tickets to get to St. Maarten we realised that there was only American that is currently has flights from Miami. On arriving to SXM we noticed that the beautiful airport is closed and all the regular airport services are operating from the tents and the baggage area. After quick immigration procedures  we were met by the  Thrifty Car rental agent who was waiting for us outside. What a personal attention! After few minutes we were inside clean Hyunday I-10 on the road, and ready for adventures… We drove to Marigot first. Everywhere we could see people working on restoring the buildings and cleaning up.
The West Indies Mall in Marigot was opened and operating. Only a few shops were closed inside.

West indies Mall, November 2017
Marigot, Saint Martin two months after IRMA,  November 2017

In Oyster Pond Area we saw lots of construction and many buildings that are still awaiting for restoration of damaged roofs… .Oyster Pond area in SXM

Oyster Pond on French side, Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

 

Orient Beach Village is still in poor condition, construction and clean up are underway…

Orient beach Village
Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

 

 

 

Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

The front Street in most of the places is in under construction… however many shops are operating…

Front Street
Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

and Boardwalk is cleaned up …

Great bay Beach in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten
Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

It is rare opportunity to see Great Bay Beach with only few people… This beautiful Beach is waiting for tourists…

The Holland House Hotel is operating . Bars and restaurant are working …

Holland House
Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017
Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

We noticed well known for it’s hospitality Joshua Rose Guest House in Philipsburg is also operating…

Tourist’s favourite “Maho Beach” looks different now. The white sand was washed out. Lots of sand blew onto near road …

Maho Beach
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten is two months after IRMA hurricane Nov 2017

However the “Sunset Beach bar” is operating for about two weeks. Life is coming back on Maho.

Hard to believe beautiful SXM Juliana Airport Building is still closed, and people go through all check in procedures in temporary tents…

 

 

Soon everything will be cleaned up, restored to even better condition, and tourists come back visiting their favourite places and attractions…

 

SXM is STRONG!

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Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.

 

 

We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

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Needle Felting with Peg Learn in Ottawa Valley

Felting with Peg Learn in the Ottawa region

Needle Felting  with Peg Learn

After spending the day in Almonte, we arrived at the Blue Hen farm for a felting workshop presented by Peg Learn ( Learn Creations). She greeted us with a big smile, hand holding a large red dragon made from felt pieces … Surprisingly felting is much easier than it may look; everyone was given a felting needle, a foam pad and of course some colourful wool. Since we are the beginners Peg suggested that each of us make a simple Halloween pumpkin. The process is started by taking wool strands and using the needle to compress the wool together by poking it and combining into a ball. The pad is used to rest the material while using the needle. It was quite entertaining and after we got the pumpkin form down we started customizing our pumpkins in different ways. I put a French mustache on my pumpkin while others placed eyes, and/or smiles..

Peg Learn

It was very fun and informative and we highly recommend it as something to do while in the area. Peg also told us about her experiences in felting competitions where the winner receives many pounds of felt, which means a LOT  of felting fun! And according to Peg ” It is the most fun when you can have stabbing something repeatedly and legally” … It was a great eye opening experience that made something that appeared hard quite easy to learn.

If you wish to learn felting and have really fun workshop with Peg, her contact is: www.facebook.com/learncreations.

By Jonathan K.

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Yamaska National Park, Quebec

To have a complete travel experience in Montreal area we decided to visit the Yamaska National Park, well known as a wonderful family escape whether you are camping, just came to enjoy the beach, like to hike or bike.
That morning weather outlook promised some rain and cloudy, so the beach option was not on the list, so we opted for a bike ride.

We did not bring our bikes, so had to rent – you know that feeling when you take someone’s else bike – I hope it’s good… – well, the bikes were not just good, they were great – all in perfect condition, had all the proper gear installed and ready to roll!

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

The Yamaska National Park is located on the Choiniere Reservoir, is represented by great variety of trees, small animals and birds. The park was created in 1983 and is a perfect for all kinds of activities combined in one great location – boating, paddling, fishing for those who prefers to be on the water and hiking, biking, camping as an addition and for those staying on land. The water is very clear, we saw a lot of small fishes close to the shore.

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

The beach is well equipped with water bikes, kayaks and paddle boards… we would be very happy to try them all, however at that time decided to go for a bike ride to explore the trail which is about 19 km and runs through he forest for some distance along the shore and later through the woods.

As navigation help we also got i-pods with map, detailed information about the location and some interesting facts about where we were in real time!

Parc National de la Yamaska,Granby, Quebec

Yamaska National Park
Address: 1780 boulevard David-Bouchard, Roxton Pond, QC J0E 1Z0
Phone: (450) 776-7182

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150 YEARS OF JOIE DE VIVRE IN GATINEAU!

MOSAÏCANADA 150 / GATINEAU 2017
From June 30 to October 15, 2017, discover MOSAÏCANADA 150 / Gatineau 2017, a major international horticultural exhibition that combines various art forms with horticulture. The theme of the exhibit will reflect 150 years of history, values, arts and culture in Canada, represented by some 100 different arrangements. The free exhibit will be in the form of a route extending over almost one kilometre. Each visit will last approximately 90 minutes.
THE CANADIAN HISTORY HALL
On July 1, explore the Canadian Museum of History’s brand new 40,000-square-foot gallery, the Canadian History Hall! This signature gallery will trace Canada’s history from the dawn of human habitation to the present day. It is the largest and most ambitious exhibition project ever undertaken by the Museum. Authentic artifacts and stories are explored through various lenses, as visitors encounter the events, movements and personalities that have shaped our nation, and whose influence on our lives can still be felt today.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL – VOLTA
From August 3 to 27, experience Cirque du Soleil’s new show, VOLTA. It tells a spellbinding story about the freedom to choose and the thrill of blazing your own trail. Inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports, the show weaves the adrenaline rush of acrobatics into a visually striking world driven by a stirring musical score. VOLTA is a story of transformation. It is about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible.

AS FAR AS EYES CAN SEE (EXHIBITION)
From June 28 to August 30, view the exhibition À perte de vue, a major exhibition of large-scale works by 10 Canadian visual artists. The historic La Fonderie building, a remnant of Gatineau’s industrial heritage measuring nearly 58,000 square feet, will be the site of this unique exhibition organized by AXENÉO7 in partnership with the Centre de production DAÏMÔN and Galerie UQO, as part of the National Arts Centre’s Canada Scene festival. Admission is free!

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What's Up in Ottawa -Spring 2017 News

Ottawa Tourism
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
GARDENS GALORE
Not just tulips sprouting in Ottawa
MORE
The year of celebration continues!
OTTAWA THE HEADQUARTERS OF CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY PARTY
The year of celebration continues!
MORE
Fun ways to continue the party
STEP OUT AND ENJOY OTTAWA’S NIGHTLIFE
Fun ways to continue the party
MORE
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
EXPLORE THE RIDEAU CANAL THIS SPRING
Ontario’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site
MORE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
QUICK BITES OF OTTAWA’S FOOD AND DRINK SCENE
Tempt your palate with these delicious offerings!
MORE
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
OTTAWA RACE WEEKEND
Get out and get active!
MORE
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
MUSEUM ROUNDUP
What’s shakin’ in Ottawa’s museums?
MORE
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
REVAMPED! Canada’s National Museums Passport
3 museums, 3 days, $30
MORE
Pedal power
CYCLING EXPLORATIONS
Pedal power
MORE
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16 weird and wonderful things to do in 2016 in WALES!

As Wales celebrates its Year of Adventure in 2016, VisitWales had highlighted 16 unique things to do in the destination – discover your own adventure! Choose from trampolining in a slate mine, experimenting with seaweed, catch some waves inland, find the world’s biggest Elvis festival and try to pronounce Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch…and much much more!

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Ultimate Fall Colour Adventure Contest runs until October 9, 2015

If you’ve ever visited Grey County during the fall, you know we’ve got something special here. From blazing colours atop the Niagara Escarpment to warm sunny days topped with crisp fall nights, from bustling farmer’s markets to orchards and vineyards tucked away in the Beaver Valley, fall in Grey County is a truly epic experience.

This fall, we’ve been sharing those fall touring opportunities with folks far and wide via a giant Facebook campaign. We’ve mailed out over 3000 packages with maps, brochures and information for those hoping to visit. At the heart of our campaign is the Ultimate Fall Colour Adventure Contest which will see one lucky winner walk away with a fabulous fall tour of Grey County, valued at over $3000. The contest runs until, October 9, 2015.

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Grey County in Fall 2015, Top 5 Family Fall Activities!

Top 5 Family Fall Activities in Grey County

Autumn is a great time to experience our area, with all the harvest bounty and vibrant colours plus fall events and activities. We have made it easy for you to pack up the kids for a day or weekend fall themed getaway.
To extend your adventure visit our website, visitgrey.ca for places to eat and stay.

  1. Pick some apples, play with some barnyard animals and take a wagon ride through the rural countryside at Farmer’s Pantry .
  2. Watch the salmon jumping at the Mill Dam on the increasingly popular Owen Sound Salmon Tour.
  3. Indulge in everything apple infused on the Apple Pie Trail–best experienced on an empty stomach!
  4. Attend Meaford’s Scarecrow Invasion festivities, join in the parade and stroll the streets to photograph hundreds of uniquely decorated scarecrows.
  5. Take in the vibrant reds & gold’s of changing foliage atop Ontario’s longest suspension bridge at Scenic Caves

 

 

 

 

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Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) Fall 2015 News

New play-based exhibit for children on its way to CMHR
Magna Carta exhibition closes after welcoming over 11,000 visitors
Winnipeg – September 24, 2015 – The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is getting ready to welcome a new hands-on exhibit for children next month after bidding farewell to Magna Carta.
XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness
will open to visitors inside the Museum’s new Level 1 Gallery on October 4 and run until January 3, 2016. Through play-based learning, the exhibit will help kids explore notions of human dignity, respect and equality – concepts that serve as foundations for later human rights learning.
Children will enter a lively, colourful exhibit about feelings. They will play and have fun, act silly, consider what makes them sad, mad and happy, and be encouraged to think about love and forgiveness. The travelling exhibition – appropriate for  even the youngest members of the family — was created by the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh with support from the Fetzer Institute.

XOXO: An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness will be the second exhibition in the Museum’s Level 1 Gallery, a 450-square-metre space completed in June 2015 with state-of-the-art technology and climate controls that enable the Museum to host exhibits of any size and type.
The first travelling exhibition in the gallery, “Magna Carta: Law, Liberty and Legacy“, closed last Friday (September 18) after a five-week run that welcomed 11,600 visitors to view one of the world’s most famous historic charters, alongside some of Canada’s
most important foundational documents. The exhibition celebrated the 800th anniversary of the great charter that laid the foundation for basic principles of democracy and human rights.
“We began in the past and now move to the future, with a wonderful exhibition aimed at the next generation of human rights defenders,” said CMHR president and CEO John Young. “Development of human rights concepts are for all ages, including the youth. We know they resonate from our school programs and summer day camps.  Our new exhibit will give families, daycares and children’s groups another reason to visit Canada’s new national museum. We hope it will prompt family conversations about how we treat and interact with each other.”
An online game connected to the Magna Carta exhibition, developed by the CMHR, will continue to  be available through the Museum’s website. The game, called “Making Meaning: Images and Perceptions” is intended to provoke thought and discussion about the way human
rights history can be reinforced or distorted.
Magna Carta and its companion document, the Charter of the Forest, were on loan from Durham Cathedral in the United Kingdom in an exhibition tour organized by Magna Carta Canada, developed by Lord Cultural Resources. The exhibition makes its next stop in Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site, starting October 4. The CMHR had developed a unique companion exhibit for the Winnipeg leg of the tour, focused on Canada’s own constitutional documents – on loan from Library and Archives Canada– and their connection to rights and freedoms.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is the first museum in the world solely dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Using multimedia technology and other innovative approaches, the CMHR creates inspiring encounters with human
rights for all ages, in a visitor experience unlike any other.

Connect with the CMHR online                     Connectez avec le MCDP en ligne

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Canadian Museum for Human Rights  85 Israel Asper Way | Winnipeg, Manitoba | R3C
0L5 | (204) 289-2000 | Toll-free: 1-877-877-6037  |  TTY 204-289-2050 humanrights.ca