Thursday, July 23, 2009

scouting trip: report

Agent Wife, the three offsprings and I recently returned from scouting the landscape of our future assignment from headquarters.

You heard it here on the agent b files: we are moving to Canada. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, as they say in the south.

This news is still pretty hush hush info. Many of our close friends, family, and neighbors don’t know this and won’t be told until probably new years. Our target moving date is summer 2010, and that revolves around my immigration status. I have begun the immigration process last week.

I know: big shocker. The agent family household is moving to Agent Wife’s homeland and the place Agent B talks about all the time. Never saw that coming.

Our recent trip was disguised as one of our vacations to visit family in Saskatchewan. And we did that of course. But we spent a week in the region our upcoming assignment, which is three hours away from Agent Wife’s parents.

In typical Agent B fashion, the real name of the town we’re moving to will be under the pseudonym Dog River. The real name will be disguised due to it’s very small size (pop 2000) and thus lack of anonymity for secret agents.

Dog River, Saskatchewan is a dichotomy of dichotomies, in my view. It is a small lake resort town, mostly filled with wealthy people’s summer lake homes and get-a-way cottages. The average income there is way above the national average.

But Dog River is surrounded by several First Nations (native) reservations, which is the extreme poverty culture of Canada.

The history of Canadians and their native population is similar to that in the US. But it seems more prevalent due to much recent history and lack of other minority issues that the US is plagued with. There is too much history to mention here. I may write more later as I learn more on modern Native culture in the coming weeks and months.

Agent Wife’s cousin Tina and her husband Joe are school teachers in the town. They both are involved with an outreach ministry to the poor that they both have actively volunteered for and sought funding for several years.

And Agent Wife’s other cousin John (Tina’s brother) and his wife Jane live there as well. John works for the city of Dog River and Jane is a government employed nutritionist that works directly with the reservations. They also play management roles with the outreach.

This outreach (which is currently shut down as they lost their rental unit) is practically run by a 60-something year old native woman named Martha. She gave Agent Wife & I a tour of her home reservation that’s named after her late grandfather who was the chief.

I can’t describe it accurately, but the poverty surrounding the native people was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And I’ve been to some mud-hut regions of Africa in addition to West Texas ghettos.

There is just some bizarre indescribable hopelessness cloaked over the native regions. I received a very small taste of it during our tour when Martha drove us out to a beach off one of the lakes. Out of nowhere, some gangster wanna-be looking kid comes out of the bushes and asks me for a cigarette. I said I had none. Then asked me to sell him beer. Again, I had no beer on me. He just stared aimlessly and said, “are you SERIOUS?”

It wasn’t that I was hit up for smokes or beer. That happens all the time in the fair mother city. It was the location. I mean, we were in the freaking middle of NOWHERE down some dirt road for miles. It was just weird. Hopeless.

Anyway, we saw clearly how our family could fit into this town and environment and how the CEO seems to be slowly orchestrating this for years. We are finally about to leave the desert and go into our new calling.

Meanwhile, as excited as I am to leave the fair mother city, I am going to spend the next year enjoying everything I can here and embrace this nutty conservative religious culture. I guess.

Until then, the agent b files is still up and running as I continue to report of our dealings around Abilene. Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.


Deana said...

Exciting news from your camp! I'm sure you and the entire Agent family will be a great addition to our neighbors up north!

Anonymous said...

What "nutty Conservative religious culture"?

Are you talking about the Church of Christ or Izzy?

Agent B said...

Anon: yes, all the above.

married yoshimi said...

how exciting! I've learned much from reading of you and agent wife's experiences. blessings to you all as you prepare to move on to the next chapter...

g13 said...

it's about time you wrote a sequel. i'm tired of reading the original.