Yesterday Pere Jaques and I went for a walk outside in the freshly fallen snow. We made our way to an old farmhouse that the Abbey uses to host children's retreats. There was a group of a dozen or two Belgian kids visiting-- scouts. I was impressed by their progressive balance of genders! In Canada scouts tend to still be all boys.
We were invited in for hot chocolate and cake. The kids had just been building snow men outside. Yep. They do it too! Apparently its quite rare to have snow like this at this time of year in Belgium and it doesn't stay for very long.
One thing led to another and I was talking to the kids about Canada over our hot cocoa. I talked about how we have snow that stays all winter, the ways kids play in it, how cold it gets, etc. You know, reinforcing all the good old Canadian stereotypes!
However, they were particularly interested in our animals. Bears to be precise! If you hit a bear on the nose what will he do? If you try and run, can they catch you? If you take their food away do they get upset? etc...
Hopefully, twenty years from now, somewhere in Canada's North, my answers will prevent the needless loss of life of several Belgian tourists!