Wednesday, August 29, 2007

From Belarus with love

I received the following message from Chris' friend Yuri, whom he met while studying in Belarus in '95-'96. [Thanks to Yuri for providing the photo!]
Yuri, Natka and Chris - Rock 'n Roll Forever!

It was just yesterday when I was happy telling everyone this wonderful story about an old friend of mine with whom I had lost contact, and who had managed to locate my email address and send me a message. He had many people here in Belarus, my fellow-students, who do remember him, and I'm sure they will also be sad at the news.

Everyone here in Belarus remembers Chris as a very nice and friendly guy who was constantly interested in what was happening in our country. For some time, he represented all Canadians here and by looking at him and interacting with him, I created my own image of Canada and Canadians. As a native speaker of English, he helped us a lot in our studies and took an active part in our student activities.

I particularly remember those days when I planned to play an unplugged guitar session for a group of my colleague students at Chris's farewell party but couldn't handle the English-language lyrics of some of the rock classics. Chris helped me out with this. He was patiently listening to Bob Dylan and Eagles trying to hear what they sing and wrote the lyrics on paper so that I could learn them and sing. I also remember his stories about Canada, about ice hockey teams and London and Toronto music night clubs.

Several times he invited me to visit him in Canada, but I couldn't manage for financial reasons at that time. I've traveled all over the world since then but never visited Chris because I didn't have his contact info and the letters sent to his old address bounced back to me for some reason. This time I was hoping that I could invite him to visit our part of the world. Chris will always be in my heart as a great friend and a very nice person. I'll miss him...

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