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Written by Arthur Jaucian   

CommUNITY performs during the IFFD celebrationIt was a great Saturday (May 30, 2009) when about 30 Filipinos and Canadians in a car convoy went on a fun trip to visit Hanna and Rhoda, a co-worker in Christ and former missionaries to the Philippines in Cambridge-Narrows and to participate at the International Family Fun Day at the Dayspring Retreat Centre in Rothesay.

 

Unlike in Afghanistan where I travelled in a convoy for security reasons, this convoy was one for fun and camaraderie, and so that we could get to our destination together and no one gets to eat all of the deliciious food without leaving any leftovers for those who came late! 

No one also thought of roadside bombs or rocket attacks during the trip – in fact, it was exactly the opposite.   Neither were there infrastructures nor vehicles that were bombed or burned by the Taliban. After all – we are in Canada - what a great privilege! Everyone focused on the magnificent green scenery and beautiful mountains, rivers and valleys – and, not the least, the very kind and smiling human beings along the way.

 

Cambridge-Narrows (2006 population: 717) is a Canadian village located in Queens County, New Brunswick. The village straddles Washedemoak Lake, a widening of the Canaan River, several kilometers upstream of the Saint John River. The village was named for the Duke of Cambridge. It consists of two separate settlements on either side of the river, Cambridge and The Narrows, which were merged under one municipal government in 1966. The trip took us approximately 35 minutes from Fredericton, a trip which would have taken hours to undertake in Afghanistan, considering the latter's bumpy and rough terrain. Moreover, unlike in Sudan where one has to cross some rivers without the benefit of bridges, the rivers that we crossed all had completed bridges.


It was great meeting Hanna and Rhoda once again – right in their beautiful residence which had a magnificent view of the lake. They have helped so many Fiipinos not only during their many years of service in the Philippines – but also their retirement years in New Brunswick. Hanna has also written a popular book about her experience as a missionary, . The lunch in their house was unforgettable – it consisted of a mix of Filipino, Indonesian and Canadian food. One of the desserts actually contained rhubarb grown right from their backyard.  An unusual sale offer was also made – for C$200,000 one can buy John and Nancy's house in Fredericton – and it comes fully loaded with canine and human accessories (Shiloh and Michelle)!  [Someone later commented that it actually comes very cheap – especially since there are two dogs included.]


The 35 minute-drive to Rothesay for the International Family Fun Day was as magnificent as the drive to Cambridge-Narrows. For the past few years, Shiloh's parents, grandparents and other family members and friends have been hosting fun days to give many a chance to meet and get to know Canadians and people from other countries, practice their English and enjoy some games and good food and music. Members of the Filipino Community of New Brunswick (FCNB) were also given the chance to make a few presentations – which received a good round of applause from everyone who came.  The meal that followed was equally delicious. David and Rhonda of the Youth With a Mission – plus family members and supporters – certainly did an excellent job of organizing this great activity.


The day was capped by another sumptuous meal in celebration of the birthday of Anne's aunt, Carol  in St. John. It was great meeting so many other Filipino Communities in New Brunswick.


Back in Fredericton, it was remarkable having a hot shower after a full day of fun-filled activities. Yes, it is exciting to be in Canada – and we all have to be grateful for all our blessings here. It's also great having piped-in water - in Sudan, I had to use the dark, murky waters from the Nile River for my  shower.

 

Contact Us!

Mailing address:

Filipino-Canadian CommUNITY of New Brunswick (FCNB) Inc.

28 Saunders Street, Fredericton, New Brunswick   E3B 1N1

Phone Number:                          Email address:

(506) 460-8988                            Contact US!