Planning to resume the hunt tomorrow afternoon at the VPL after a few days at the cabin with my family. I can see the patches of bright blue sky and the reflections of pine trees on my computer screen as I try to catch up after taking this time off. Almost done compiling my LA notes. The plan is to have everything transcribed before we head down to Vancouver. Feeling a bit sad about leaving; I’d love to spend all summer up here at the lake… the only downside being bugbites and sunburn.
Been thinking about the future: where do I actually want to live? I have this feeling I want to go to the East Coast. I know Nothing about it. I would love to live in Ireland again, but probably not in Dublin. I’d love to take a course Ballymaloe, which is an organic-slow-food Irish cooking school down in Cork… That’s sort of a long shot. I could be perfectly happy staying in the Bay Area. I think that teach for America has a place in Oakland, which would be a great challenge. It’s difficult to think about next steps after graduation, especially as all the reports I hear from my peers about how hard it is to find a job.
Anyway, at the moment my job is to learn. Reading a biography of Simon Fraser, to get into BC history and into being here now. The prose is somewhat florid, and I would prefer a meticulously footnoted history. But the author is canoeing along Simon Fraser’s own route and its a fascinating journey. I didn’t know anything about Simon Fraser, and that’s part of the author’s point: no one does. I am probably within a mile of the Fraser River at the moment, a massive huge river, and yet I didn’t even know that Simon Fraser had paddled down it. Did he survive?? Still not there yet. I often wish I knew more Canadian history. Probably need to be reading West Beyond the West instead!
I was talking to my Grampa here about community organizations he knows in Vancouver, about his take on immigrant groups to BC. He rattled off a few- through his friends and the masons he has connections to both the Japanese and Chinese communities in Vancouver. Their origins are really quite early, as Chinese migrant workers served as railway labor and farm workers up and down the west coast on both sides of the border. The Gold Rush brought people deep into the interior. Apparently there is also an Italian community in Vancouver, which is more working class. Grampa himself is part of the Ukrainian immigration to Canada, but his grandparents came to the prairies first and then his parents came out here so the community is much smaller. I’m betting there is an extraordinarily large English/Irish influence in BC that will be much more visible than in the states. But I think there will be similar numbers of German, Scandinavian and Danish groups as I’ve been seeing so far. Can’t wait to find out! Will be going into the library tomorrow afternoon as I want to push myself to go and find out sooner than later.