So… We arrived in Toronto yesterday, after a 7 hour flight from London. I couldn’t sleep and ended up watching a thwack of action movies to pass the time. Bruce and I made it through customs OK and took a cab to our hotel. I think our hotel is pretty central – we’re within walking distance of a lot of attractions and what seems like the downtown core. The weather is great in Toronto! There is no snow and it was +13C yesterday afternoon. Awesome!
It was so interesting driving from the airport to the hotel yesterday. I have to say… it was comforting to see pedestrians have the right away when crossing the streets! The drive was also sort of weird. It was weird to not see people everywhere. In Malawi, it feels like there are people EVERYWHERE! People walking in the middle of the roads with large objects on their heads; little kids herding goats and playing in the red dirt on the side of the road; people walking alongside their bicycles with firewood stacked 6 feet high. Even in Canada’s largest city, in the most central point of the city, the amount of people walking in the streets doesn’t even come close to the amount of people walking around in Lilongwe and Blantyre. It is odd to come back and see things so… so… organized and structured. Perhaps I’m experiencing a sort-of culture shock (or perhaps REVERSE culture shock) coming back from Malawi. I remember going through this same sort of thing last year. While two-weeks in Malawi is a very short period of time, I think it is long enough period of time to learn and apply the societal rules. I think culture shock sets in when those rules change. I see “reverse culture shock” is on our agenda for today’s meetings! I’ll be sure to share what I learn…
Last night, Team Malawi and Team Uganda met up for dinner and some drinks at an Irish pub near the hotel. We shared stories, ate and called it a night. Airplane rides and jet lag really is exhausting!
This morning we will be meeting up with a couple of CCA staff for day 1 of our 2 day final briefing sessions. We will likely share stories with each other, laugh, cry and hug-it-out… probably not… regardless, it should be a couple of good days with everyone. It’s sad to see this program come to an end for me. I’ve really come to enjoy the company of Brad, Bruce, Dennis and Nicky over the past two years. Anyways… the meeting starts in an hour! Time for a coffee!