Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Village Story

A friend and I constantly complain about Vancouver “No Fun City.”  The weather is gray, the people aren’t friendly, the man-to-woman ratio is highly skewed out of our favour, etc etc etc.  People go to the bar to play board games for goodness sakes!  I love board games, but that’s something you do at home with your friends.  At a bar, it’s so ostentatious it blows my mind.

(On a second date I once played Jenga in Gastown.  Absolutely terrible.)

This friend recently sent me an email asking if I was excited to return to Vancouver.  “I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed,” she wrote.  Then she told me a story:

A man leaves his town for a new town.  When he arrives, he asks the leader of the new village, “How are the people in your village?”

The leader asks the man his own question, “How were the people in your old village?”

The man replies, “They were unkind, unfriendly, selfish, impolite, and unhelpful.”

The leader then says, “Those are exactly the kind of people we have in this village!”

Shortly after, another man moves to the village and asks the leader the same question.

Again, the leader reverses the question, “How were the people in your old village?

The newcomer replies, “They were loving, caring, kind, and helpful.”

The leader says, “Those are exactly the kind of people we have in this village!”

All right, all right – I get the point!

Since I’m voluntarily returning to Vancouver/UBC for at least 2 years (although I’m desperately hoping I can do at least one term of school abroad), I should stop complaining.

And Vancouver isn’t that bad.  It has its charms.  Moreover, even though the city’s culture isn’t particularly approachable, I know there are still tons of amazing people back home.

My response to my friend (written a couple days after being hijacked plus witnessing domestic violence):

How could I ever be disappointed with Van when I’m coming back to so many awesome people!  Furthermore, I’m getting a bit tired of worrying about hijackings, hitting pedestrians with my car as they walk within 2” of my moving vehicle, and whether or not that men yelling obscenities at me is carrying a weapon.  After this last week, I could use some of the tranquility (which I used to call “boredom”) of Vancouver!

Counting down the days until home!


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2 thoughts on “Village Story

  1. I guess I’m part of it what you don’t like about Vancouver. I love bars with board games. I hope we can still be friends

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