Wednesday, September 12

It was Jose's beanstalk and he lived in Leamington

Contrary to what some might believe I am not yet in Peru but still on Canadian grass. Which will only be true for approximately two more hours. Mark and I came down to Essex on Monday where I could be spoiled by his family for a few days and then fly out at 6pm tonight. Yesterday we decided to visit Colasanti's, a local petting zoo/tropical garden (although I was a little uneasy at supporting a place that would import lion cubs...sigh). We got a bit turned around and ended up driving through Leamington instead of finding the zoo and I was so excited by the little town that he suggested we skip the zoo thing and walk around downtown Leamington. I'm no longer allowed to use the phrase "this is one of my favourite places in the world!" so liberally since I apparently throw it about too often (but maybe they really are ALL my favourite places!) so I won't go that far but it was pretty nifty.

Leamington: the little mexican haven in southern Ontario. A mexican consular office, restaurants, grocery stores. The migrant workers have really added their own flavour to the town and it is so welcoming. On top of all that this little community has its very own Fair Trade store. Everything in it is traded fairly (meaning people who made the goods, often women and children, were given a fair price to allow them to support themselves) and the staff is all by volunteer. I found a fantastic leather ring and some chocolate grown in Ghana (very tasty!). Mark got himself a little basket to use as a candy dish that came all the way from Bangladesh and some more chocolate. This place is a hidden jewel.

The time is ticking by so I should end this and not spend my last hours on a computer. I am going to miss the local amenities and warm showers and vast English literature but it is all worth it. Here's to a safe trip!

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