Sunday, June 24, 2012

Goodbye Montreal - Hello USA

What was omitted from the Thursday (late night) blog was the fact that the huge coolers filled with bottled water had nowhere to spend the night. Of course the instructions from Mr. Motter & Mr. Marshall were very clear: DO NOT leave the coolers outside anywhere. Because of a space problem in the van (not all our hosts had cars), we quickly determined the coolers had to stay. They were hidden behind some lilac bushes on the property of the basilica opposite the boy's oratory in the dark of night. The perpetrators were stealthy, and hid from the roaming security guard. The first order of business this morning was to retrieve the abandoned coolers. They were fine, minus some grass stains on the bottom, and managed to survive the night alone. Amazingly, Mr. Motter & Mr. Marshall were unable to determine the provenance of these stains.

After saying au revoir to our host families, we had another opportunity to shop in downtown Montreal (it was too hot to play in the park as we had originally planned). We had to leave Montreal an hour earlier than planned to avoid the protests scheduled for this afternoon. If you haven't been following the news, a 5% tuition increase is apparently too much for the students to bear (that would be an increase of $150).

A noteworthy fork story (ask your child if you are not familiar with this tradition) told today was about 3 young men who got lost in the Basilica and could not find the men's dressing room or even a washroom. They decided to use the elevator to change into their concert clothes. Needless to say, they startled at least one family when the door unexpectedly opened. Parties on both sides of the elevator door were horrified. After our bag lunches which our host families so graciously provided, we loaded back up on the bus to head for Malone, NY.

The border crossing went without a hitch, although several females (adult & youth) would have been quite willing to be pulled off the bus by the quite attractive border guard. The scenery changed into rolling hills as we drove further south into NY. It's amazing how much a glacier can flatten an area.

We arrived in Malone (a small quaint town) and were warmly greeted by the Centenary UMC folks. The kitchen brigade served us fabulous Italian casserole dishes and an abundance of salad filled with fresh vegetables (yea!). The concert was very well attended, our largest crowd this tour, and they were very generous in their offerings. Reverend Billy Bonds and the members of 3 churches in the area welcomed us into their homes, and we were scattered among several small towns. Unbeknownst to us, we were in Amish country. No horses or buggies spotted, but we did see several Amish homesteads.

Click Here for Photos from Day 8

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