Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

Field Trip to British Columbia, Canada

Monday, September 30th, 2019

field-trip-to-british-columbia-canada

So my grandma wanted to go up to Canada, and this time she decided to haul me and my mom along. Here’s how it went.

Actually, not much of the trip had to do with my grandma at all, although I did see her a bunch, but for the most part, we split up: grandma to hang out with her brother, and the rest of us to have a sunny day out. Lunch was fish and chips by the shore of Steveston Harbour. The birds really liked when I randomly threw french fries everywhere.

fish-and-chips

For some reason, the wind decided on being weird. So whenever we went back to the car to get the kite, it would die down, and when we’d come back, there it would kick up again. Hmm. Oh well, the wind can’t foil our plans to explore the salmon cannery!

steveston-harbour

A while back, the cannery closed down, but later on some people came to clean it up and make it into a museum. Joke’s on them, because the previous owners of that place didn’t clean up the fish guts before leaving. So there was five-year-old salmon in every cranny of the machines! I don’t envy whoever had to clean it.

salmon-cannery

Coming into the place, there was a life-sized wax scene with a boat and fishermen. All around the place were little pieces of history that were interesting to look at.

picnic-at-cannery

There were different machines for everything in the cannery, and apparently no safety features, as some of the workers lost fingers. I also heard that if anything was caught in the machinery, someone had to run across the building to yell to someone to flip the off switch, and by then, what was likely your hat got caught off your head and is now torn up and has messed up the gears and chains. Congratulations.

Other than that, the machines looked pretty cool. Oh yeah, there were fish scales permanently embedded in the walls and ceiling. At one point, scales were dripping down like a stalactite. It was a lovely learning experience. Well, I’ve probably grossed you out enough…

fish-cannery-scene

We got to see labels of tons of different cans from each decade, even cartoons to advertise them. But it really made me realize how racist everyone was back then. It was a bragging right on labels if it was canned with “100% white labor”… yikes! Because most of the time, Japanese women were hired for the fish gutting.

fishing-boats

The drive home (and driving throughout Canada) was quite pretty actually, and made me realize how lucky I am to live in Washington, which is literally an extension of Canada. The landscape included hay farms that wrapped their bales in white tarps and scattered them around randomly, making the whole place look like a marshmallow farm… Well, anyway, I’m back, and I enjoyed my time there.

PS. This blog post was written by my daughter Rachel.

Korea Day Activities

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

korea-day

Isn’t it lovely when there’s a little Korean town in the middle of a bustling city? And isn’t it even better when that town holds a festival of its own to attract attention to its little self? Welcome to Korea Day.

korea-in-british-columbia

This is the event I went to recently on my trip to British Columbia. The place itself had a grocery store, a bunch of restaurants, and clothes stores. Oh yeah, and ninety percent of everyone was Korean.

It was interesting. It was as if I was actually in some place located in Asia; I felt out of place as an American. But after I got over that and realized that they didn’t even notice or care about me, that’s when the fun began!

korean-restaurant

We got Korean pancakes, which were filled with glorious sweet brown sugar and peanut filling. After that, me and my third cousin once removed went browsing the clothes stores while the responsible adults left us to fend for ourselves. We noticed a certain hat, maybe it’s popular in that country to have sun visors that are super long. Our time of browsing was cut short as the rest of the group were trying to find us for the past five minutes. Oops.

korean-food

We went to a restaurant next, and it was so hot in there I almost melted, but that’s not the point. All the stuff we ordered were put in separate little bowls and put all together to look pretty. There were a lot of different foods. Mostly spicy foods. I have a feeling Koreans are best friends with fiery spices. My favorite foods were the ones drowned in teriyaki sauce. These were the beef and chicken dishes. We also put a bunch of the sauce in our rice, and we had no regrets.

car-photo

Overall, it was an interesting experience to get out of the culture I’m so stuck in, and see the way people on the other side of the world live. And really, Korean culture is not so different from ours. They have styles and brands and good food, just like we do, but they have their own way of expressing it.

PS. My daughter Rachel wrote this blog post.

Scottish Highland Games in Spokane

Friday, July 12th, 2019

scottish-highland-games

Where else can you find the sound of bagpipes, the smell of highland cows, and the sight of tartan kilts wherever you look but the Scottish Highland Games in Spokane! It is a fun way to dive into the culture, music, clothing, and animals of Scotland. It’s a fascinating field trip for geography class, and you can experience many fun hands-on activities with your kids that can enhance family bonding. When my family first stepped into this Scottish environment, we heard the music of bagpipes and noticed a group of kilted people standing under a tree.

standing-around

Within the first hour of arriving, an event began where a large Scottish marching band of bagpipes stepped in rhythmic time to an interesting anthem that sounded other-worldly. After playing a few songs, the mayor of Spokane spoke on a stage, and people clapped. General merriment filled the air.

scottish-bagpipes

In a different part of the fair grounds, we saw a stage with Highland dancers competing for a prize. Various dancers (all wearing Scottish clothing), sometimes single or in groups, danced and were scored by judges sitting on the sidelines.

scottish-dancers

Scottish animals were penned off from the people. My favorite was the highland cow. It looks like a shaggy-haired beast from a Steven Spielberg movie. I remember back when I visited Scotland, I used to think these beasts were tame, but they are not. They are bulls and can gore you!

highland-cows

We also saw a group of sheep, a shepherd, and a sheep dog. These are highly trained dogs that can herd the sheep and move them around expertly from place to place.

shepherd-dog

Colorful tartan booths lined both sides of a grassy pathway. One of the booths had a really cool leather shield next to a sword. Kids clonked in sword fights nearby with toy swords and shields. The aroma of roasting meat emanated from the food booths as we walked past them.

scottish-shield

On the way out, we saw surprisingly ordinary-looking men throwing large, heavy burlap bags over a pole set high in the air.

scottish-game

Other men tried log throwing or a “caber toss,” which is basically throwing an entire tree trunk across a field! I have no idea how they picked up such a heavy object to hurl, but apparently they work out a lot at the gym before attempting something so phenomenal.

throwing-a-tree-trunk

My family thoroughly enjoyed attending the Scottish Highland Games. This year the games take place on August 3rd, 2019 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. If you don’t live in Spokane, Washington, you might want to see if there is an event like this in your area, as they take place in many states. Cultural activities like this are fun for the whole family and give you some time to enjoy each other in a new environment!

Chinese Lantern Festival

Monday, January 15th, 2018

chinese-lantern-festival

My family attended a super cool Chinese lantern festival here in Spokane, Washington. Since the people that put on these shows travel from city to city, you could easily find a Chinese lantern festival in a city near you to attend this year, if you wanted this cultural experience.

colorful-lanterns

Since I’m a multicultural person myself, I enjoyed taking my children to see the artistic designs of paper and cloth lanterns of various vibrant colors, lighting up the night.

peacock-lantern

The two peacocks were probably the most detailed of all the lanterns. They were standing in the midst of red roses.

panda-lanterns

The panda bear display was also spectacular. The bears were hanging in a bamboo forest, which was like a backdrop for the scene.

flower-lanterns

Beautiful orange flowers glowed against the dark night sky. They were enormous!

chinese-boy-lantern

Several Chinese warriors lined one side of the path. Their faces, headdresses, and clothing shone in bright colors. My family walked along a dirt path as we saw this whole Chinese lantern display, which was almost like walking through a city. It also reminded me of driving to see Christmas lights, but way more magnificent.

flower-lantern-canopy

Several arched walkways were lit up thematically. This blue one had flowers and swirls. We felt like we were walking down a tunnel.

lantern-tunnel

This was my favorite display–a lot of beautiful paper Chinese globe lanterns. Looking up, you get lost in the beauty of the paper umbrellas and lanterns. My entire family loved this cultural experience!

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