samedi 2 décembre 2017

NORTHERN WISCONSIN AND UPPER PENINSULA: BEAUTY WITHIN AND OUTSIDE THE PEOPLE


 In recent months, I have met people with whom I immediately clicked, they are such good representations of the North American generosity, open mindedness and kindness. It was even amazing that I had stopped once at the small village where she grew up in Iowa, since it had been named after my Australian Hometown.
 Driving north of Green Bay, we stopped for coffee at an Island Cafe and Bar, which was straight out of a movie set. I can imagine people finding solace from the dark days and nights of the northern winter here. They made the coffee the way I wanted it following my instructions without resentment.
 Green Bay Packers is the local religion and these houses in front of their stadium has real estate value in the millions. It is rented out for parties and get togethers and seem very popular venues.
 Vince Lombardi was the "winningest" coach my local friends told me as they hold him in some cult like Status.
 This gentleman who is a Health Care Provider for the Native Oneida population(moved here from New York in 1822. He has a family name that can be traced to French Wallonia in Belgium. Earlier contact in the 16th century of the tribes who lived in this are were with French Missionaries thus one sees names of those illustrious french around here: Marquette, dePere etc.
 My new Oneida friend who taught me a brief background to her tribe and its tribulations in history.
 Sun rising over Northern Wisconsin
 The Island Cafe in Crinitz Wisconsin
 We drove into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with the change of time zone and looked for a coffee shop by the Bay.
 We came into L'Anse (the cove in French) and a delightful new age (organic as well as messianism) cafe Java by the Bay.
 After meeting the Keenawa Bay Indian Community of Ojibway, drove to Marquette and this is the view of Lake Superior from my lodgings.
 I was dreading the temperature at this time of the year. It was an extremely pleasant sensation of breez, lake, sun and bare blue skies. The day time temperatures were close to 50 F and there was no sign of snow or rain. Delightful three days in the region for me, with excellent hosts, sophisticated american cuisine and most importantly wonderful friendly people.
 When the Uber Driver knew that I was visiting from Cuba, he wanted to have a picture taken to add to his social media collection. He genuinely seemed to be interested in his foreigner clients 





 A short drive brought us to Sturgeon where in 1899 a Marian visitation, the only one such recorded in North America (much  like Fatima in Portugal). The surroundings are well kept and I did feel a deep sense of calm and I prayed for the well being of my sister in Miami
 What is Wisconsin without Cheese? and Cheeseheads? and Cheese curds?

 Wisconsin also produces good chocolates and the history of Seroogy Chocolates in the town of De Pere is interesting in that it was founded by three Lebanese brothers who had come to this town in the 1890s and the recipes are Lebanese including the Turtle Chocolate. I feasted myself on various samples being offred
My friends insisted that I take home a memorabilia of Green Bay Packers and presented me with a pullover which would come in handy during long flights. Thank You.

Green Bay was the original home in historical times of Algonquin speaking people of whom only the Ojibway or Anishinabe remain in the region. Meskwaki and Kicakpoo, my initial teachers as well as Menomonie and Pottawattamie (they both have villages near by), Sauk and Fox were all forcibly removed to Oklahoma but being very independent minded people founded their own villages in Iowa, Mexico for many years. Mexican Kickapoo still follow the traditions of Green Bay and build their wickiups in Mexico in the original ways, using the traditional material for which they scrounge the northern part of Mexico.
It was good to visit the ancestral home of my teachers, Meskwakia and Traditional Kickapoo of Mexico.