Wakefield is a village with a big heart and a small population (1000 souls), so it is a bit of a miracle that Wakefield just won $25000 to build a skateboard park, outdoor skating rink and basketball court for its youth. It was in competition with many Quebec towns that were much larger and when it finally narrowed down to the face-off:, Beauce and Wakefield, the little village that was 1/10 the size, won. It came down to votes on the internet. Everyone was encouraged to vote and we all did ... some many times ... some thousands of times ... and when the final tally was counted, it all paid off.
The sense of community that encouraged people of all ages to put in a little effort for the kids is the same reason that a language school like River Echo manages to function. People come back again and again from Germany and Japan and Switzerland ... because the people of Wakefield make them feel welcome; because the villagers take the time to try to understand their varying levels of competency in English. They invite them to join their hiking group. They spend time with them in their restaurants.
Today, Rowboat Flo who is 80 shared with Yoshiko who is 84 how she stays in shape mentally and physically. They chatted about their puzzles, their gardens, and their diets as they drank coffee and ate rhubarb pie with ice cream. Tomorrow they will shop together. I am the verbal link but Flo and Yoshiko are the energy that flows from the community to the visitor.
By the way, Yoshiko's tray is going to be beautiful. Photos tomorrow.