Bulgarian Visit Day Eleven

Day 11: Sunday, March 21

This is our last day in Winnipeg. We need to catch our flight in the late afternoon, but our hosts have one last present for us. In order to make us true Canadians Darrell takes us to a curling game. Something more – it is the final game of the season for the team he used to play for, and on which two of the board members of Career Trek, Gordon Hannon and Victor Bellay, play.

Curling (WR)We sat at the second floor of the Pembina Curling Club and watched the game while Darrell explained the rules to us and had to answer a lot of questions. When the game ended (with a loss for Darrell’s team) Vicktor came up with a pair of curling shoes for us and took us on a curling lesson. We must say right away that the sport of curling is way more complicated than it looks like. First, there are the shoes – one of them has a flat plastic sole which slides in all directions when one steps on the ice. Second, shooting the stone – a push is made with one leg while gliding on the other with a 20 pound stone in the hand that must be set in a given direction with a twist. Needless to say we excelled at it! Well…after a couple of unfortunate attempts to walk on the ice. After mastering the shooting we took turns swiping. This is the exhaustive part of curling. Although it looks like not too much effort, running on ice while brushing as fast as you can, tires you quickly.

After acquiring enough skills to become the curling champions of Bulgaria, we went back upstairs to get acquainted with another indispensable curling skill – drinking beer and eating nachos with the rest of the people. A curling club truly is a place for socializing, meeting people and having a good time. No wonder it is so popular in Canada – the country where in two weeks we didn’t manage to encounter a “non-nice” person.

Sadly, we had to leave the club after only one beer, because we needed to go and take our bags before heading for the airport.

Airport (WR)Darrell, Lasha, Nolan, Jackson and Scotty escorted us, we took some goodbye pictures and they stood waving until we were all done with the security check and had to go to the gate.

We are now sitting writing this blog entry and trying to think of synonyms of the words amazing, great, nice, good, friendly, hospitable, smiling, positive, devoted etc. We quickly realize that all the adjectives in the English language will not be enough to describe warmth with which all the people we met welcomed us in their homes and offices and in their city and their country. We also cannot think of a way to say a big enough THANK YOU for everything they did for us. We can only hope to meet them again. Scratch that – we know that we will meet them again. If this visit happened because Iva and Darrell had a 20 minute talk 10 years ago over a lunch at a conference in Scotland, imagine what will happen after us spending 12 days with all of these amazing people!

So we won’t say goodbye, just until next time J