Thursday, August 27, 2009

Road Trip: Vancouver - Radical Hospitality

One of Nate’s hosts works at Regent, and had to be there at eight in the morning, so she took him with her when she drove to work. Because of this, Tyler and I rose early so we could meet Nate at Regent close to eight, though our actual appointment was not until eleven in the morning. Our hosts actually live within walking distance of the college (and are awesome and don’t own a car), so after showers and a breakfast of toast we were shown the direction to Regent by Nathan. By this point, by the way, Daniel had become quite talkative, though his vocabulary was limited to “Dada,” “Daddy,” “Mama,” “Mommy,” and “Uh oh” combined with several grunts and a generous amount of pointing and facial expressions. This was, naturally,  ridiculously cute.

Nate had decided to sequester himself in a far hidden corner of the library, so it took us some time to find him but we did eventually, after which we took a short walk around part of the University of British Columbia campus (where Regent is located) and we then returned to Regent. The college is entirely located in one building, with the library and administration in the basement, as well as several classrooms; the bookstore, coffee shop, chapel and more classrooms on the first floor; and several more classes and offices on the second floor.  We still had some time before we were supposed to be given our tour of the building, so we poked around the bookstore and bought drinks and pastries at the coffee shop. As it turned out, a lot in the bookstore was on sale and I bought a CD lecture for half-off, figuring that’d be a good way to get an idea about the quality of teaching at the school.

Finally, we went down to administration at met Matt, the man responsible for taking care of visitors like us, and he showed us around the building and then sat down to talk with us about various details of the schools, from financing to programs. Matt is an American, so he was able to give us a lot of information on what U.S. Citizens have to do to attend Regent. Regent, by the way, is a Seminary which trains people in theology who won’t necessarily go on to be pastors or theology teachers (though they certainly do train these as well) and with a focus on the goodness of God’s creation (and new creation). One thing I love about the program  is that they present a multitude of orthodox views on various subjects and allow students to come to their own conclusions about them. Anyway, Matt gave us plenty of materials to look at, as well as giving us each a coupon for a free cup of coffee from the café, a CD lecture on the essence of Anglicanism (Regent is not really an Anglican seminary, but they have an Anglican studies program that supplements the education of individuals who want to go on to Anglican ministry) and a $25 gift certificate to the book store.  We thanked Matt for his hospitality, time and the information he had given us, and then walked across the street to eat at a Sushi place recommended by Matt. Apparently, Vancouver has really good Sushi and Nate and I found what we had to be quite good, though Tyler complained about his. To each his own I guess.

We finished our lunches, and then went back to the Regent bookstore to take advantage of our gift certificates. Tyler bought Blue Like Jazz and Through Painted deserts by Donald Miller, and I bought a book called Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright (one of the foremost New Testament scholars of our age) on the hope of the resurrection. Nate didn’t find anything yet, but he’ll be able to use the gift certificate to buy books through the Regent bookstore’s website.

After our time at the bookstore, we returned to Tyler and my hosts’ house, where Tyler’s car was parked. We planned on heading over to Stanley Park, but realized there wasn’t going to be enough time to do both this and still get Nate back in time for his host to take him home. Instead, we went for a walk in the Pacific Spirit Park, which is within walking distance of Regent. It’s rather odd to call it a park really, since it’s more of a giant patch of forest with trails, or in other words, totally wicked awesome. Sadly, we didn’t actually get any pictures of this park, so you’ll just have to take my word for how awesome it is. There are thousands-upon-thousands of evergreen trees stretching high into the air, between them and the thick underbrush snake a multitude of paths. We probably walked for about forty minutes or so and covered maybe a tenth of the park.
Finally, we returned to our respective hosts. Tyler and I had delicious barbequed and spiced hamburgers, and Nate had barbequed chicken . Tyler and I also had a desert of cherries with our hosts, and an Australian sparkling beverage. After diner, Tyler and I went up stairs to read and eventually fell asleep.

Let me just say that we really appreciated the hospitality of Regent and our hosts. Talking with Nathan and Mareesa was also great fun. It was interesting to note though, that because of our common language and religion, it was easy to forget we came from different cultured. Tyler and I kept assuming they'd know things, like what Calvary Chapel is, or where Georgia is, that they didn't know. For their part, our hosts did a better job than us at recognizing things we might not know about. Oh, and I was apparently the first American to ever request black over Herbal tea in their house. Yay.