I first saw Charles sitting on his backpack, snuggled between a bunch of Nepalese peasants in the back of an old, beat up, Indian-made truck. He looked out of place with his creamy white skin and in his sparkling white shirt, his leopard-skin silk scarf, his designer, button-down jeans and his brown felt fedora.
Weathered wood cabins with solar panels and cedar-shake roofs frame the man-made Nam Tien Lake that shimmers like dancing diamonds in the tropical sun of Laos.
I follow the scent of frangipani blooming along the walkway and bordering the lush green jungle beyond, to the dining hall where a donation box invites me to drop an always-welcome coin into the coffers of Laos’ first Elephant Conservation Center. In the distance I hear the high-pitched trumpeting of an elephant and seconds later, from the opposite direction, a response.
On May 6th, 2015, the Canadian government passed the Anti-Terrorism Act (Bill C-51.) According to the Angus Reed Poll taken days before, 82% of the people interviewed supported the bill. Of that group only 18% had read and/or discussed it with others, while 20% knew nothing about it. Of the rest, 25% had seen a story or two and 36% had scanned headlines.
From the patio of Paradise Lodge, I looked over Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. I watched the sun creep above the horizon illuminating pink and orange clouds and my eye followed the mountain ridge locally called the Bridge of God. It bridged Abaya Lake that had a slight red tinge to Chamo Lake, reputed to be rift with wildlife.
In the middle of October 2013, Viv and I received in the mail a file, sent by Bob Atkinson’s widow Karen Mackenzie. The file, Karen said, held drawings that Bob had told her, “were from some German prisoners of war in a camp near Medicine Hat.”
In the Autumn of 1971, Bob Atkinson, Paul Nedza and I, all employees of Medicine Hat College, started Repository Press. I left the college nine months later for a job in Prince George, and Bob followed a few years after that.