Great Northern Adventure

12 07 2008

I am leaving today for Whitehorse and Yellowknife.  In both communities, I’ll be taking my full bag of programs – Seniors technology mentoring, career and computer skills for people with disabilities, peer programming for Aboriginals with disabilitis, etc etc.  I’m really looking forward to seeing the beautiful North with nearly 18 hours of sunlight, and learning about the community and services.

Western Canadian City – Victoria

26 05 2008

Today was Victoria, the Western major city in Canada on my trip, and the Capital of BC.  Took the seaplane (a first!) over this morning, taught class online from the hotel lobby from 10 – noon, and presented at the BCANDS conference 1 – 2.  This presentation was centered about our work with the Penticton Indian Band.  From there, I could kick back and enjoy the other speakers and Aboriginal community leaders, including Grand Chief Ed John.  Had a pint in a pub up the corner to watch Detriot go 2 up on Pittsburg, and then returned for the big dinner.  It was capped off with Native songs, and then a local 16 piece band (the Midnight somethings, with 7 female singers).

Snuck out after a bit and took a walk along the Victoria waterfront, snapping tourist photos as I went.  At 10 PM PDT, I scrubbed my neck with the water from the Victoria harbour – the clock is running til I can do the same in Halifax! 

Full Day in Vernon – $675, 50 km, 3 stitches, and 7 periods of playoff hockey

5 05 2008

Today was one of those days that was really hard to believe it was just one day.   One of the few times I’ve stayed in Vernon, but I have to say it’s raised the bar for single day travel adventures.

Chad and Dustin pre-bike ride Cycling for Independence and proper sunscreening

Day started with Independent Living Vernon’s Cycling for Independence fundraiser (see previoius post below).  I rode and survived the 50 km bike trip to Lumby riding with Dustin, and raised $675 dollars though pledges.  My family and friends really stepped up, and a coworker Ashwin had a “donate money and sign the shirt Chad will ride in idea” that also drew a significant chunk of cash.  The only injury was a small cut on my shin that had to be pointed out to me, and funny sunburn on the top of my forearms.  I forgot to sunscreen from my elbow pads to my hands.  It looks pretty ridiculous!

One of many Vernon views

After cleaning up, I returned to a viewpoint (in my car) and took 5 minute hike to a hilltop I noticed on the ride.  I’m starting to “get” Vernon a bit more.  I watched the sunset laying on my chest at Lake Okanagan yesterday.  Had fireflies dancing at my window last night.  Soaked in the scenery of the surrounding mountains and landscape while biking nearly 4 hours today.  And then from this mini peak, I could see 2 lakes, a golf course, and dozens of wineries and farms (but not my parked rent-a-car which held my camera).  After a half hour of just soaking it in, I headed to a pub we also past on the ride to eat dinner and watch the sunset. 

Yeah… I could get used to this.

I hit a Staples to pick up a camera bag and a new headset, and then went back to my hotel to watch game 6 of the Sharks vs. Stars in the NHL playoffs.  I used a traveling “800 tools in one” pocket knife to open the packaging.  Apparently I was paying a bit too much attention to hockey, as a I put my finger on the wrong side of the blade and slit my finger instead of the package.   Diagnose is in… I’ll live.  Within a 2 hours I had 3 stitches and a dozen laughs with other patients and medical staff at the Vernon hospital. 

Back from the hospital and the hockey game is in overtime.  One of the greatest games I’ve ever watched… a 1-1 game that was proof you don’t need a lot of goals for a lot of entertainment.   Each goalie made saves that were so unbelievable that even instant replay didn’t do it justice.   Brendan Morrow scored the overtime winner in a moment of poetic justice, as he should have won the series last game but two of his three goals were called back robbing him of a natural hattrick.  Sheer magical hockey … the home Dallas fans stood  through all 7 periods (literally, they didn’t sit at all) and absolutely went MENTAL when the Stars won the game, and therefore the series.  I’ll link it when I can find it online. 

Today was awesome and full and a bit painful.  Here’s to hoping for an easier Monday.  I’ll sleep well tonight.

Cycling for Indepence

23 04 2008

I am bicycling in a fundraiser for Independent Living Vernon.  They are a community partner I work with through Neil Squire to support people with disabilities.  We have collaborated on projects including online career and computer classes, assistive and computer technology, and peer support.

For the fundraiser on Sunday, May 4th, I have committed myself to the 50 km route.  This is above and beyond the 20 km route chosen by most.  Also, it did snow last weekend in the Okanagan.  Given my accident prone history, including my fair share of wipe outs, scars, and surgeries directly caused by attempting bicycling feats well beyond my abilities, I ask that you help support me this endeavor financially.
“This event is one of our major fundraisers which helps keep IL-Vernon an integral part of the community. “Cycling for Independence” has been greatly supported by this community and continues to increase in size every year. Funds generated go to support our Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U. ) group. This is a group that provides networking and encouragement to enhance social supports and independent living skills for Youth. Since its inception in 2005, Y.O.U. has grown to at least 12-20 youth that meet weekly.”
Thanks for your support.  Please make all checks payable to Independent Living Vernon.  
-Chad Leaman

“Hello World”

11 04 2008

Here’s the idea.  Things I want to share will go here.  You can always give me a shout if you want to chat more about things.  Or you can just spy, and follow along.

Hmm, couldn’t seem to find a smiley to put there.  That’s probably a good thing.  Let’s try to Add media:

Chad jumping on his mountain bike