“The ultimate manifestation of the principle of least effort is found in two-valued judgements… It is tempting to fit all categories into the superordinates of ‘good’ or ‘bad’”. (p170, The Nature of Prejudice, Gordon W. Allport)

    Allport references in this chapter that nearly every known culture has explanations to many common questions to mankind (p.165). Many cultures try to explain how the world came to be, why we’re here, the distinction between good and evil and what to do about those differences.

By having a two-valued judgement system in our minds and a religion or non-religious organization having set dispositions for many prominent things in society, the likelihood of creating a prejudice subculture is tangible. It seems to be that this kind of development of cognitive thought was and is a major contributor of racism and sexism, and discrimination against homosexuals and transsexuals.

Though my familiarity with people from the LGBTQ community isn’t very strong, though I hold hold some close friendships, in my observations they are just as kind, considerate and loving to their partner as anyone else I've ever met. Then to have that contrasted with folks who say, “well at least they’re not paedophiles” is baffling and heartbreaking.

To have all people set into two categories, all good and all bad, requires ignorance and a lack of sympathetic and the imagination needed to understand that each individual has their own thoughts and experiences. To not be intrigued and wonder what anyones story is, and not to wonder why indeed that disposition of ‘evil’ ever came into play without proper evidence.

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Pinawa was incredible! Wencke, Andrea, Jaydon, and I left around 9:30am and go there at around 11:00. The water was deeper than I remember and the current was much stronger. There's a section along the river just before the old Pinawa Dam that has rapids and is exhilarating to ride down; some do down on inner tubes, dingys, life jackets or even bare back.

    Jamie and Carlos joined us at around 14:00, just in time for lunch. And thereafter we naturally went out for round two. Most of us got bruised for cut up pretty bad, the only ones that came home unscathed were Jaydon and Carlos. On the way back we dropped by Half Moon for ice cream and burgers, then off to Jaime’s for drinks and chilling in her hot tube.

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    The other day a battle of the bands themed birthday party and Carlos’s place. His home owner Andrea throws a music themed party for herself every year in which dozens of people join in the front of her house and play music. This year there was Celtic and Latino night. In the Celtic group the was this blind guy who played the guitar incredibly well,  would have never guessed that he was handicapped in any way.

    After we were really feeling the Spanish vibe so we went to some Latino club to go dancing. It's been a while and I can't dance to begin well, but Eloá decided to teach me some. It was much fun, but also dizzying. She said that The Forks has Latino night on Sundays and she could teach me of I want to learn more… I might just take her up on that.

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    I finally got to see my nieces for the first time since returning from my trip, and boy did they miss me. Katherine wouldn’t let go of me or stop talking as Joanna explained everything I needed to know for babysitting. Charlotte was pretty intense as well. Laurelle on the other hand was more frightened at first, I not remembering me and all, but she quickly forgot her fears and joined in the fun too. From playing with My Little Pony dolls and tackling on the mattress Charlotte set up in the basement for herself to simply bunching up all together on the couch for reading and then watching Netflix.

    I don’t know why, but but bringing them to bed always seems to be the best part, it seems the most intimate part some how. Laurel’s the youngest so she was the first to bed. I had to hold her while rocking in the chair in her room because of missing mum. Who can blame her? She's only 18 months. Now they're all asleep as I'm writing this,  I'm almost falling asleep myself.

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Hey Tristan,

    I’ve been back home nearly a week now, and it’s been almost non-stop since I arrived. Saturday we all went to Birds Hill Park to go boarding, by we, I mean Gloriana, Julian, Jaydon and the foster boys. Man I miss my Longboards, why it’s in North Dakota a story for another day. It was good to cruise around and then go swimming afterwards, even if the man-made beach has dank water.

    After dinner Jaydon and I went out to watch Tarzan, the one with Alexander crazy-abs. I’d been looking forward to it so much and it’s great that I got to see it with my brother Jaydon. He’s grown so much, I can’t really tell that much high-rise, but volleyball serving him well, also he’s gotten a sense of humor that can’t be beat.

    That night your former roommate and best friend Carlos took me out. Having a few drinks, bar hopping, and exchanging stories from the crazy shit we’ve done in each others absence. I crashed on his couch, but before falling asleep one of his roommates came down and we all chatted. Carlos said something like, “this is one of my best friends Tristan, so he’ll be here quite often”. That’s when I knew I was home. The last 10 months were important and mattered but they didn’t change things. He's for me.

Next day him and I hung out with Jamie and then later Wencke was able to join. Jamie is always up for an adventure and it’s always awesome. Wencke took us to the abandoned railroad at the city park. Wencke and I followed Carlos, but Jamie didn’t join. She probably went finding pokeballs or something. Wencke and I ended up alone up top. Sitting, just chatting. She's always so deep, so direct. I can't wait for her to become a journalist and travel the world, making the trips I've been on look like nothing in comparison.


    I’m here. I'm home. So much has changed and yet nothing has. I can’t tell what’s changed the most; me, the friends I left, or my perception.

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It's been nearly two years since you were sitting beside your brother-in-law, at a family gathering at your uncles house when he stated, "you should follow your sister and her husband out west, work in the oil field. You've got no job commitment, no mortgage or major bills, no family or girlfriend holding you back." And so, long story short, three weeks later you were on the road with everything you owned in your old VW. A lot has happened in that time, most of it being things you never imagined. Because of that proposition, "you should go, nothing's holding you back", you've gone to four countries, roadtripped thousands of kilometres and experienced three mountain ranges.
It had been a great going away party, hosted by your roommate of six months and one of your best friends.
It was sad, you'd miss everyone, and throughout the several months that you were gone a lot of letters were written and a lot of phone calls were had. But you were ready to go. Ready to see the world.
Now it's nearly two years later, in a small town in northern Sweden, sitting in the living room of one of your best friends, not ready to go. In a week you're leaving, in two you'll be back in Canada. No one back home knows yet, probably because of self-denial. You can't believe that your leaving a country, a way of life, a people that have been so inspiring. But you know, just like you knew two years ago, that's it's time to go.

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