College, Cooking, Capoeira

Quinta-feira, Março 20              (written by Lorie)

A CHANGE IN PLANS…

Today began with a change in schedule. Students were to have one last full day of classes at Cresimendo but instead visited a school similar to our NSCC campuses. Students there learn various technical trades.

Maria Clara's Dad welcoming us to Senac campus.

Maria Clara’s Dad welcoming us to Senac campus.

Being welcomed to Senac.  Many thanks to Maria Clara's Dad for inviting us to his Campus.

Being welcomed to Senac. Many thanks to Maria Clara’s Dad for inviting us to his Campus.

Julio, a coordinator at Senac campus, provided a lot of the translation for us today.

Julio, a coordinator at Senac campus, provided a lot of the translation for us today.

Students watched while one of the culinary students prepared two different salad dressings. Our students were then asked to come up in pairs to prepare a salad. Once they had finished preparing their salad they were then asked to present it to their closest friend here on the trip. They had to explain why they were giving their salad to the friend they had chosen.

On the right, is the head Chef and Instructor at this campus.  On the left, is the student who took us through the process of preparing our plates.

On the right, is the head Chef and Instructor at this campus. On the left, is the student who took us through the process of preparing our plates.

Student Chef.

Student Chef.

Attentive, or hungry, audience.

Attentive, or hungry, audience.

Giving us instructions on choosing who we make our salad for.

Giving us instructions on choosing who we make our salad for.

Alex and Baily

Alex and Baileigh.
Alex made his salad for his Brazilian mom.

Alex made his salad for his Brazilian mom.

After the salad the culinary students had prepared for us several local dishes which included beef wrapped in bacon, rice, rice mixed with a local plant (we were told of a story about an injured native who was left while his companions went off to war. He was able to survive by eating this plant.), a type of fish and a shrimp pie. Everyone enjoyed the meal a lot.

Beef wrapped with bacon.

Beef wrapped with bacon.

Fish, ready for the oven.

Fish, ready for the oven.

Food preparation.  The smells were incredible.

Food preparation. The smells were incredible.
Getting ready for the main course.

Getting ready for the main course which included fish, shrimp, beef and rice.

The chef was very passionate about the value of good food and the value of experiencing new foods from a different culture.  Here he is telling the class about a particular herb that is sometimes added to the rice.

The chef was very passionate about the value of good food and the value of experiencing new foods from a different culture. Here he is telling the class about a particular herb that is sometimes added to the rice.

Most of the students decided to attend classes that afternoon even if they weren’t normally an afternoon student simply because they realized time is running out and they will soon be on a plane home. (I’m sure most parents reading this find it hard to believe the students were asking to go to class but they were.)

In the evening we had a capoeira workshop. Capoeira is a Brazilian art form, which combines dance, music, and acrobatics with martial arts. Known as the secret dance of Brazil, capoeira is an astonishing display of acrobatics, breath-taking kicks and self-defense tactics performed to the music of the Berimbau (an ancient stringed bow-like instrument) and drums.

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While it was very hot and some students hadn’t brought a change of clothes due to the change in plans and not knowing they would be going straight from school. I think they all had a great time. While there were a few minor bumps and possible bruises they did a great job with the “fighting”. They were also taught the history of capoeira, and then about the instruments involved and how to use each.

The BIG swim!!

Last week, I was lucky enough to have three of my dearest friends together for a sleepover at our place. We talked and laughed and drank wine. We even went to a nearby restaurant’s patio for a bite to eat – how civilized! Karen, Angie, Theresa & I all got to know each other while living together in residence at Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) many years ago. (Actually, Theresa & I first met at Piano camp at Acadia University when we were in elementary school, but reconnected at “The Mount”.) Theresa was taking Public Relations, Angie was taking Business Administration, and Karen & I were taking Tourism & Hospitality Management. The four of us have been together through a LOT over the years: jobs, loves beginnings and endings, marriages, long distances (Karen married a pilot and has spent many years based in the Maldives and Sri Lanka), career changes, babies (Theresa & I were in the same hospital together when our Sarah and her triplet boys were born six days apart!), milestone birthdays, awards, the death & illnesses of parents, holidays, new houses, etc. We have the kind of friendship that always picks up right where it left off, and we know that we have each other’s backs – no judgments! Twenty years of friendship has seen a lot of water under the bridge! (Foreshadowing metaphor…)

Getting ready for a charity ball at MSVU; winter 1993.

Getting ready for a charity ball at MSVU; winter 1993.

Twenty years later - older and (hopefully much) wiser.

Twenty years later – older and (hopefully much) wiser.

As much as I love all three of these women, my “Vital Friends“, who each bring something different into my life, this post is about Angie. Three years ago, Angie left her high profile job with a major insurance company, sold her house and belongings, packed everything else she owned into her little car, and drove home to Nova Scotia. She applied to Dalhousie University to study to become an occupational therapist, and was recently valedictorian of her graduating class!! A number of years ago, she became involved with Camp Brigadoon, a summer camp here in Nova Scotia for kids with chronic illnesses, while it was still in the planning stages. In their own words, “Brigadoon is a non-profit recreational facility on Aylesford Lake in the Annapolis Valley. With our partners, we deliver camp programming to children, youth and families living with a chronic illness, chronic condition, or special need across Atlantic Canada. Brigadoon is a place where campers come to experience new things, meet friends who are facing similar challenges, and to just be themselves…not a patient, a chart full of symptoms, or a good little soldier.”

On August 4th of this year, Angie is swimming with 35 other people, across the Northumberland Straight – 14 kilometres – from Nova Scotia to Prince Edward Island to raise money for this deserving cause.

For the record, this woman does nothing half-way.

Angie’s friend Amanda, who will be her surface support, traveling alongside her in a kayak during the swim, created the following video, which is three minutes long, in anticipation:

For the record, Angie figures it will take her about six hours to complete her swim. Yikes.

Angie’s fundraising goal is $5,000 before she gets in the water, and as of our evening together, she was at just over $3,000. This is a camp that our daughter Olivia, would qualify to attend some day. Every $1,000 raised sends one more child to camp!

To donate, please click on the following link: Angie’s Big Swim for Brigadoon Camp.

Thank you!

Brigadoon Children’s Camp

Belgravia Bed & Breakfast

Thankful

This Thanksgiving Monday, I am happily *full*, in all senses of the word. D’Arcy, Evan, Alex, Sarah, Olivia and I hosted our 4th annual Thanksgiving extravaganza.

For the past four years, we have hosted D’Arcy’s parents, his eight brothers and sisters and their families, and my parents for Thanksgiving Dinner. One of my favourite parts of the meal is when, in a circle around the table, we all share what we’re thankful for. Family… health… friends… “family and friends which are one and the same”… cousins that are growing up not just knowing one another, but as friends… family traditions that we value and hold dear…

We had close to 3/4 of the 40+ family in attendance, but were missing a few. With the wonders of technology, we were able to connect with D’Arcy’s brother and his wife who were in Alberta welcoming a new grandson, and our niece Kathryn who is in her first year at Memorial University of Newfoundland. We also had lovely Facebook messages from nieces and nephews who live away. Although they weren’t physically able to be present, we felt their presence at the gathering.

This year, the meal featured a 25 pound turkey, and two pork roasts; homemade savory dressing, mashed potato casserole, squash casserole, peas with red pepper and basil, six bean salad, mustard pickles, cranberry sauce, gravy and whole wheat rolls. Throughout the afternoon, family munched on shrimp, bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, olive tapanade, and salsa dip with crackers. Dessert was apple pie, pumpkin pie, and apple crisp with whipped cream – lots and lots of whipped cream! We provide the meal and our family graciously brings donations which we take to the food bank.

We are thankful for our family and friends, our health, our home which is large enough to accommodate 30+ at one long table, and the opportunities that our Bed & Breakfast has offered us. We are thankful for our guests – especially those who return again and again, and become part of our family.

We are thankful.

Handsome helpers, chopping onions, celery, and peeling apples, potatoes and squash.

Evan helped me set the table and Sarah & Olivia colored and made place cards for everyone with Ginna’s help.

Michael, Erin & Stephen chat before dinner

We were so happy to have nephew Pat & his fiancee Jackie home with us again this year after spending the last two Thanksgivings in Australia and China. They will be getting married in Greece in August.

Chatting with Jackie in the kitchen – she’s an expert gravy whisker!

D’Arcy’s dad, Rollie, our nephew Ryan, and my dad, Dave chatting together before dinner.

Olivia and her cousin (once removed) Seamus.

Hugs as Stephen & Kathy arrive.

It’s so much fun to watch the older cousins interacting with the younger cousins. I’m not sure who has more fun…

Erin & Dave enjoy the sunshine on the front stoop.

More love from Olivia to Seamus.

Two of D’Arcy’s favourite women! 😉

Grandpa, Neil & Olivia

Neil & Auntie K

D’Arcy and I did not plan our attire… This is what happens after 15 years of marriage?

Family

Olivia and some of the food bank donations

“Belgravia Even Better the Second Time”

We’re always happy to receive positive reviews on various social media sites, especially sites like Trip Advisor. More and more, travelers are using the internet as a tool to find out how others’ experiences were at a property before they book. We were delighted to receive notification of a new review this morning:

“We had an opportunity to visit Anne & D’arcy and their lovely family for a second time, two years after our first enchanting visit in 2010. It only gets better at this beautiful accommodation. We were greeted like old friends, got to enjoy a different view from another of their pretty suites, and as mentioned by several others, enjoyed their amazing breakfast and company in a stunning dining room. East coast hospitality at its finest! The Belgravia will definitely be our accommodation of choice when we’re next in Nova Scotia.”

Thank you Raina! We do feel like old friends now and look forward to seeing you again the next time you’re in Nova Scotia! Hopefully it will be warm enough to sit on the deck instead of in front of the fireplace! 🙂