Laura's departure for Germany and Poland is only a few days away. She leaves here on Saturday afternoon for Toronto. The group has an Orientation session on Sunday morning and early afternoon, then they head to the airport for their overnight flight to Berlin. So the countdown is on. We are crossing things off "the list". She has been buying things she needs and we've been "gathering"... Canadian pins, a flag for her backpack, luggage tags... My friend Gail M kindly made her a cosmetic bag out of "Canadian themed" fabric - thanks Gail- you are so thoughtful!
Because she is one of only two on this trip from Atlantic Canada, they both decided they should live up to the stereotypical "Maritimer image" and have sou'westers for their rain gear. I made a number of calls last week all over the province, to track down two sou-westers.... finally found some in a gift shop in St. Andrews. Thanks goodness Canada Post didn't let us down and delivered them in just a few short days. So she's all prepared for rainy weather with her sou-wester, her "duckie" boots and her rainjacket. They'll be assured of sunny weather now! (wink)
Yesterday we had a meeting with our City Mayor. He did a very similar trip last fall so we thought he might be able to give her some suggestions, advice, etc. He was very helpful and before we left, he gave Laura a large pack of city pins and two copies of the hardcover book "Fredericton" by photographer Brian Atkinson. It is a beautiful coffeetable type book full of wonderful photographs. She will have to ponder who will be the lucky recipients... she is thinking perhaps the survivor who accompanies her group, for one... Thanks Mayor Woodside, you're the best!!
Laura's Aunt Kelly brought her the perfect leather purse from Mexico - it's small, lightweight and will hold just the bare essentials. It is not large enough for a typical "fat" wallet, so on Monday evening we made up a wallet type pocketbook to hold her Passport, the few cards she will take and some cash. She had fun picking out the funky black and white fabric and the bright pink button - it was quick and easy to make and the button loop is a hair elastic! Click here for the tutorial if you are interested.
We have all been reading and watching more movies... Life is Beautiful, and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas were the latest ones. Mayor Woodside loaned Laura a book he purchased at Auschwitz, titled A Girl from Schindler's List. It is the true story of Stella Muller-Madej, a gripping account of the Holocaust through a young girls' eyes, not yet a teenager when she was consigned to the Plaszow labour camp. I have already started reading it,and it looks like another "can't put it down" story...
I can't believe it's thirty-five years ago today I was heading for Toronto to meet up with my travelling buddy and thirty five years ago tomorrow we were heading to Europe for 3 months of backpacking and hostelling... Where does the time go? Oh to be in my twenties again...
Laura is hoping to be able to blog while on her trip. You can follow along here...
"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must work at it." ~Eleanor Roosevelt