Thursday, February 11, 2010

Vancouver Olympics are Here!

It's time for the Winter Olympics again!  Most years I honestly don't know if I am more excited to watch the actual sporting events or learn more about the host country! 

As a child I did a tremendous amount of world traveling with my Mom.  I feel so blessed to have experienced as many cultures as I have.  My experiences abroad have forever affected who I am as a person and how I approach every aspect of life.  I have felt & seen the obvious oppression of the citizens of Leningrad (yes, I was there before it went back to being St. Petersburg.  Beat that Sarah!), participated in a tribal ceremony on Fiji, sailed through the Panama Canal, fed real Reindeer in Lapland, watched & heard real glaciers fall in to the ocean in Alaska, been to New Zealand and can really testify that it sure looks like there are more sheep than human residents.  Those experiences are ones I will most likely not be able to give to my children by any other way than sharing the story with them.

I find the human interest stories about the host country to be enlightening and a great teaching opportunity to share with my children.  I hope you will do the same to learn more about the city of Vancouver and Canada itself.  You see, I have this special bond with Canada.  My husband was born in Canada (I actually lived in Canada for a couple years!).  One thing that strikes me about Canadians is what polite people they are.  Canada is next door to us, but sadly many Americans know far less about Canada that many other countries, even though Canadians know a great deal about our countries' history.

So as the Winter Olympics of 2010 begin, take a few minutes to note who the Prime Minister of Canada is (Stephen Harper), that the Capital is in Ottawa and it is only a short drive from the United States (most Canadians only live within a couple hours drive of the Northern States!), the national language is English & French and no you don't have to hunt your own dinner or live in an Igloo.  There are Starbucks & Safeway Grocery Stores on just about every corner just like we have here in the US.  One of my favorite tidbits of information that has my sons laughing endlessly is that there really is such a thing as Polar Bear jail in Churchill, MB!  The polar bears roam the streets raiding garbage cans much like raccoons or bears do here, so they have special rangers who humanely trap them and release them far away from the towns.

Below is a great video I found on YouTube showcasing some of the sites and culture of Canada.

Come back and share neat insights you have learned about Canada from watching the Olympics!


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