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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Monday, 28 April 2003
--> Deer Island, New Brunswick, Canada (day 2)

My host Dana Conley woke me up at 9am this morning. He had just finished his rounds of newspapers and told me he had some bad news for me. "I just got a phonecall and I have to bring an elderly couple to the dentist in Saint John."
Next to a newspaper courier, photographer and house painter, Dana also does medical runs to and from the island. He picks up the medicines for the doctor and takes along people who have emergencies.

There is actually one doctor on the island but only one day in the week, so don't get sick on the wrong day or you are out.

"That means I will be on the road most of the day, I am sorry." I explained him it was okay, don’t worry, I can save myself on my own. And it is an island; I can hardly get really lost, can I?

I quickly got dressed and he took me along to his mother, who lives a few houses down the grassy green lawn. She helped me out with some breakfast and told me how great life is on the island. I slurped away my cereals and looked out of the window and overlooked the harbour and the fishing boats sailing out. She is absolutely right.

She told me to come over somewhere in the afternoon, she had made some delicious apple pie. Dana took off to Saint John and I got back to his home, remembering that piece of pie for later in the day.

The sun was shining bright. I was thinking what I should do today. Should I sit outside and enjoy the sun and relax with a good book or should I stuck myself inside behind my computer because I always have updates to do? While I was discussing options with my mind, I silently sneaked outside to read a book in the sun for a while.

Just after noon Dana's mother popped by, asking if I wanted to join her. She had to go to get some groceries at the shop and loved to take me along to show me some more of the island.

The energetic 75-year-old drove me up the island's east coast, showed me some appealing places and told me stories of the past. Meanwhile we met up with some locals ("Come meet my friend from Holland!" she would say) who were amazed with having a visitor from the other side of the world.

I enjoyed the countryside of Deer Island and I hoped to finally see a deer after every corner, but I was unfortunate. It was like visiting the Australian Kangaroo Island; it's named that way because you easily jump over it, not because of kangaroos!

So, why is this place called Deer Island? I am still figuring things out.

The warm (as promised) summer sun did well to me. Dana's mum spoiled me with a bag of crisps and a bottle of Pepsi, while we were talking about the nowaday's kids. "In the past, kids would play outside, do adventurous things and play pirates or something. In this day and age kids hang out inside, behind closed curtains, watching television or playing games on their computer." She was right about that. It is a pity. "And they eat crisps and Pepsi all day!"

After the drive the tide had gone low again, which made it possible for me to walk the road to the Bar Island. The road is covered by water at high tide, but now I could easily walk to the island.

On the small island are some remains of something that once was a wooden house and the shores are built up with round salmon farm fences in the water. The rest of the island was dense forest. I walked on the little path through this forest and within fifteen minutes I had reached the rocky other end of the island and I looked out to the shore of Deer Island and saw Dana's house on the other side of the water.

Once back home I did some quick updates on my laptop. With weather and a relaxing day as this was, I ask my readers to be patient, because I like the sun and I like reading good books in the sun. Blame it on the weather!

Dana arrived back home before supper time, as he called it. But both of us had no idea what to have for dinner tonight. He rummaged around in his small kitchen and came to the conclusion that he did not have much choice for tonight. "I am leaving tomorrow to visit friends in Denver, Colorado (USA), so I did not bother getting a load of groceries for the coming week."

He cooked some spaghetti pasta and heated up this can with some pasta tomato sauce. That worked pretty good for me, it – at least – fills up. Dana apologized for not having a good dinner out. When I asked him what he would normally eat, he said: "Well, my diet isn't really healthy. I always make something easy, like hamburgers or some stir fry."

After a coffee break after dinner, Dana's friend Conrad came over again for their late night stroll on the road. But this time I was not occupied with writing things, I was dead tired!

"That must have come from the good weather and the salt water, it always tires people who are not used to it," Conrad said. I assumed he was right, because as soon as they left the house, I fell asleep on the couch while trying to follow some awesome travel documentary on the CBC Radio.

I was awake when they returned, but had to excuse myself for the rest of the evening and got myself to my bed. It was just past 10pm, which is a very unusual bed time for me.

"Shall I wake you tomorrow early morning? Then you can join me on my newspaper round!" Dana said.
"Sure thing, count me in!" I said. A few minutes later I was gone.

Good night Deer Island!

Ramon.