Thursday, August 6, 2009

Home from Portland

Ran 3 miles this AM (618 miles) with Noela. It was cold again and stayed that way the rest of the day. Our panel went really well and then we had to rush to catch our plane back to Saskatoon. I enjoyed the trip to Portland and attending the conference. Portland is a beautiful city and I was disappointed that I didn't have more time to explore it and the outlying area.  Flying from Portland, Colleen pointed out Mount St Helens which I was surprised to find is not that far from Portland.
While Portland is a beautiful city it was difficult to see the large number of people living on the street and the contrast between the beautiful stores with designer clothes in the widows and people sitting in front of them begging for money. During our runs Noela and I came across a large number of people sleeping along the river, the most heartbreaking being a small child in a stroller. I was also told that the murder victim by the steel bridge Monday night was a homeless man. People are so vulnerable on the street, especially when they need to sleep and some of the areas where they are allowed to sleep are quite isolated making them even more vulnerable. Unfortunately this is not unique to American cities and a reality of our own city and other Canadian cities. 
On a lighter note, Noela and I did have a young tall black man solicit money from us by asking "do you have any money for a very good looking homeless guy?" It was quite funny and the first time either of us had been flirted with by a homeless guy as a way to solicit money. My guess is that he does pretty well with his charming line. All in all I am very happy to be home and cannot wait until Skender arrives home tomorrow from the farm in Macklin. Now the big question, what was I working on before I left for Portland? 

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