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A Crash Course in Chinese
 
Claire and Yibo captivated their Harbourside neighbours in March with their contribution to Susan’s ongoing Speaker Series. Claire presented an animated and fascinating introduction to how the Chinese language works. She began learning the language in the 1970’s and has acted as Cultural Consultant for Canada in Beijing. 
 
Claire introduced us to how this ancient language developed its written form and the variety of inflections which colour its spoken and written meaning. It was surprising to learn that ancient texts can still be read today because the meanings persist even though the symbols themselves may have evolved over time. Contrary to what Westerners might imagine, the average Chinese speaker does not need to know more than 4,000 basic characters. Given that Chinese is disyllabic, a minimum of 8,000 words combining characters turns out to be the equivalent of the basic English vocabulary of also 8,000. 
 
Yibo then followed with a illuminating discussion of the art of translation using as examples a progression of English translations of Tang dynasty poet Wang Wei. He showed the varying degrees of “normalizing” (ie making the Chinese poem sound like an English poem) exhibited by the various translations. 
 
His own translations, for which he has won awards, seek to meet the ‘other’ culture on its own ground necessitating the creation of a new form in English which acknowledges the uniqueness of the original and the difficulty of any translation. He introduced us to a translation project that he and Claire created called ‘85’. The centerpiece of this project is a set of 5 small books of translation of 4 different Chinese source texts and one from the Old Testament using a unique form of textual presentation for each that relates to the form and spirit of the source text. 
http://lesfigues.com/claire-huot-and-robert-majzels-talk-about-85/
Margaret photographed these words on the gates to Chinatown recently  because Claire's translation seemed applicable to our cohousing principles.

力 協 = strength in uniting forces

= lì = strength 
= xié = tripled strength > cooperate (people putting their strength together: as you can see it’s the same Chinese character tripled: 力)
Dragon Fruit and Buddha's Hands

It all started at the Soup Lunch when Claire and Yibo made us two kinds of Chinese noodle soups. Margaret and I asked Claire to take us shopping in Chinatown.
So here we are (left) squeezed into Fan Tan Alley (photo by Marisa) and (right) in the grocery store standing in front of bright pink dragon fruit with Claire holding up a small bag of lychee-like fruit (photo by Margaret).

Then it was time for lunch so off we went to Dim Sum at Don Mee's. The highlight of the day was watching Claire engage and surprise the staff at Don Mee's with her animated and lively Chinese. We had no idea what they were saying but enjoyed immensely watching their high-spirited conversation! (Arlene)
(Pictured above on the left is a view of Sooke Harbour from Harbourside and a sample floor plan for a one-bedroom unit at West Wind Harbour.)

Two-for-One Cohousing Tour, Saturdays, April 27 and May 25, 10 a.m. to noon
 

Meet at Harbourside Cohousing, 6683 Horne Rd and tour the first senior cohousing community in BC. Now three years old, Harbourside includes spectacular water and mountain views, gardens, gym, art room, workshop, and wharf—as well as a luxurious, 3000 sf Common House with room to gather for occasional shared meals, meetings, and events—plus a library and guest rooms. Harbourside is a vibrant community with a diverse array of optional member-organized activities.
 
Construction conditions permitting, the tour will continue to the West Wind Harbour development site just a few hundred metres along the Sooke Harbour waterfront. West Wind will have all the amenities of Harbourside plus: a roof top deck with panoramic views of sea and mountains. Tour West Wind Harbour's waterfront construction site and consider joining as Associate Member to qualify to buy a unit.
 
Dress for the weather and wear walking shoes. The event is free, but donations are always welcome.
(Top) Here's Hank weeding on his hands and knees as his contribution to our work bee. (Bottom) Workers gather for early morning coffee and sign up for specific tasks on the work sheets. 
(Top) Caren, nearing the end of her temporary stay at Harbourside this winter, helps out with mulch around a tree. (Below) Three soup cooks, Bev, Jean and Shirley get everything ready for the hungry workers' lunch.
Highly Successful Spring Work Bee 
 
On the first really warm day this spring, Harboursiders pitched in for the first work bee of the season. They spread the mulch and pine needles, swept the garage and wharf, cleaned the recycling room, cleaned the gazebo, weeded the slope, extended the hügel, reorganized the library and video shelves, etc.
 
Workers gathered at 9:30 for coffee, muffins and scones to sign up for a specific job and then dispersed around the site to carry out all the jobs. Around noon, the kitchen volunteers had prepared soups and stuffed buns for the hungry workers. Many of us gathered on the deck of the Common House in the welcoming warm sunshine to trade stories and many laughs. This is how our community is built!
 
ELECTRIC AVENUE....
.....right here at Harbourside! Here's Ralph in the saddle of his Sondors Electric bike (purchased 2015), pointing to his Club Car electric truck (a converted golf cart purchased in 2016), and to his  right is his new Nissan Leaf! He says it is 'electrifying' to be driving at such low cost. (Ralph)
Picture above taken by Caren at recent concert in Sidney. Next concert venue will be in Victoria on Friday, May 10th.

The spirit of the music makes me dance
     I feel it in my hands I feel it in my feet… 
                                                          From Spirit of the Music
 

You might recognize Harboursiders David and Bob the younger (left and right in top row) members of the Victoria Soul Gospel Choir, an eclectic group from all walks of life who are drawn to the invigorating energy and fun of the choir’s Motown, R&B, soul and gospel repertoire. Most of the music is familiar to those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s. The music is combined with choreography designed to bring out the life and soul of each song and produce a high energy performance for both choir and audience members alike.

Harboursiders Claire and Caren joined Westwinders Rosemary and Georgina to take in the choir’s most recent benefit concert at the Winspear centre in Sidney in February. 
Choir practices are every Tuesday evening in Victoria. Anyone from Harbourside who is interested in joining the choir are encouraged to talk to David or Bob. (Bob the younger)
Captain Frank to the rescue! 
 
Here we are the day before a roomful of eager film viewers were to arrive to watch Roma, the Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film this year, on Netflix in our downstairs viewing room. BUT for some reason, our wireless internet streaming was not working. Visions of sending out cancellation notices danced in our heads. Who do we call for help?
Frank, of course.
 
Several hours later, Frank had purchased and installed an Ethernet cable and managed to get the surround sound working again. Now that our system is hard-wired it will be more reliable than the wireless system we had previously.The next day, that “roomful of eager film viewers” enjoyed a beautiful presentation of Roma on our 70” Blu-ray television screen with surround sound of a truly memorable film. Hooray for Captain Frank!
Who was this man trudging up the hill from the wharf with a heavy chair on his head? He certainly must be in good shape! Here he is at the top of the hill, still with the chair on his head and still with a smile on his face! 

Au Revoir (but hopefully) not Good-bye
 
Aubrey and I want to thank everyone in this amazing community for their warm welcome and incredible kindness and hospitality during our stay at Harbourside. We arrived with many projects to do and leave with most still unfinished. Who knew we would be swept up into such a social whirl. From cross-stitch to drumming, movies, coffees, and dinners, it has been a blast. We feel so connected to all of you it is hard to leave. 
We will miss you and hope to see you again. Anyone in the Duncan or Salt Spring area who would care to visit a very special little part of the island – please call us at
250-213-3470 or email us at
. We would be delighted to see you.
joanccobham@hotmail.com
Fondly, Joan and Aubrey
Arlene and Edith at St. Patrick's Day Brunch drinking Claire's especially green smoothie.
Susan's mushroom crop grown from a plastic bag of culture purchased on Seedy Saturday.
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Our mailing address is:
Harbourside Cohousing Strata EPS 2797 P.O. Box 787, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1H7

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