Recently, we had a visitor (Monique) at our home. Not only she sailed across the Atlantic and has a lot of stories to tell, she also wanted me to assist her on her business trips around the area. This is where I found real treasures.
Monique is an architect and a good friend of Jean-Nicks family. She came up north, to complete some business meetings and on-site operations in the city. She asked me to be her “assisant” for the next days and I agreed to join her.
She definitely is a person with some interesting background. Born in Hong-Kong, a greek mother, lived several years in India, bought a boat in the caribbean… She can tell a lot of interesting stories. The one, that captivated me the most, was her pirate story from Dominica, a small artilles-island in the caribbean…
But back to business: On the next day, I was ready to become an “architect- assistant for a day”. Knowing not so much about an architects work, I thought it would be nice to have some fresh air, at least. We met the construction manager and discussed plans and specifications. Even if I feel quite comfortable with my french language, I didn’t understanding anything. Luckily we stayed only for few minutes, as the manager offered us to show us the city. The city of Rouyn-Noranda has not really sights to offer, so I was wondering, what he will show us. We drove to those sights, all architects love to see: Construction sites!
So here I have been: In front of a building for concreter mixer vehicels (Betonmischer)…how interesting :-P… Starting to doubt already my decicsion to join Monique, we continued to another site. Maybe this could be interesting, I thought. Far from that, if you consider a storage building for large truck pieces a nice place to visit. How boring….
Slightly more bored, I joined for the third site, where we met this guy (I forgot his name) that I just call: The Stonemaster! I couldn’t belive what my eyes saw: He guided us through his showroom full of gems and precious stones. He collected them over years from all parts of the world. We saw stones, set with shiny gold crystals, worth about 15.000 Dollar. On top of that, he offered me to choose one stone as a gift. Overstrained by the choice, I decided to pick a stone from Lac Dufault, which is just next to the City.
The “Stonemaster” showed me also a stone, called “the Inuit Stone”. With this stone, the Inuit create stone figures, called “Inukshuk” (means: “likeness of a person” “gleich einem Menschen”). The Inuit make Inukshuk in different forms and for different purposes: to show directions to travellers, to warn of impending danger, to mark a place of respect, to store food, or to act as helpers in the hunting of caribou.
In common with other Canadian symbols such as the maple leaf, the Inukshuk has been chosen as the symbol for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.*
This turnout of the day was just unexpected and I’m happy to have a great souvenir, that I can bring home!
More Information about the “Inukshuk”: Wikipedia