Saturday, September 09, 2006

Showered, Shaved and Smelling Sweet (again).

Just back home from about 2 weeks in Tofino - days just chock full of listening to the ocean, day and night, watching the sky change throughout the day and marvelling at the stars at night, reading, walking even a bit of jogging on Chesterman Beach. This flurry of activity was interrupted by occasional whale watching and a terrific experience in a traditional canoe excursion paddling to Meares Island to visit some old growth forest.

Here is a teriffic success story. Two young aboriginal women run this operation - for about 5 years now...where you can be guided around old growth forest, introduced to the aboriginal history and perspectives of the Tofino area and paddle the journey in a traditional cedar dugout canoes that have been carved by their father. Added bonus, our guide, Simca, sang traditional songs of her people to entertain but it also help with the paddling. I highly recommend it to anyone who can use a paddle and wants a profound experience that is definitely not a tourist trap.

The Tofino water crisis, that made international headlines, was real but a perfect example of ineptness coupled with over reaction and pure political incompetence. Locals told us this water crisis has been brewing in Tofino for a decade. Not enough political will, leadership and courage to get the water issues dealt with coupled with process lags and decision delay and one day you get real disaster. Sounds a lot like Fort McMurray to me.

We stayed throughout the event. We boiled water, used salt water and "limited the use toilets" and showered "sparingly" like once in 5 days. I learned just how much water we waste in our day-to-day lives and how much we take plenty of clean safe water for granted. I wonder if I will change my habits and attitudes as a result of the Tofino experience. Time will tell.

So I will also be back to more disciplined and regular blogging entries now that things are back to "normal." Lots to catch up on in the various leadership campaigns and the politics that are in play.

ONE MORE holiday comment. We all seem to love to "dis" the airlines and airports - but at least one woman in the Edmonton International airport security system stands out as a paragon of customer service. My wife brought a small vial of her favorite perfume with her to the airport for some inexplicable reason. Forfeiting it was not in the cards...this wonder of a woman sized up "the situation" - took it and kept it in her personal locker and had the Air Canada folks notified person and over 2 weeks later so it could be easily retrived even after she was off shift. She had everything organized to retreive the "valuables." I can join the scoffers - perfume vs. luggage vs. personal safety - give me a break...but that is not the issue. The point is that on this day one woman stood out, went the extra mile and personally solved a customer problem - that I am sure is not in the training manual. Good deeds should not go "unpunished" and so for privacy reasons I will not divulge her name but suffice to tell you we need more of her type in the world today deaing with the really big issues of our times.