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Why Vancouver? Why You?

Thank you to all entrants. Please visit the semifinalist page to view the top ten essays as determined by our panel and the public voting. Click here to view the top ten

Thirst Quenching Vancouver

By Leslie Santos

I will not go about telling you the usual, I-am-lucky-I –live-in Vancouver monologue because most of us that live here must already know we live in a great place.
The picturesque mountains, the great ski slopes, the year-round local and international events, sprawling arts & crafts, respected cultural diversity, global ecological leadership, independent urban lifestyle,
emerging technical revolution and community-friendly neighborhood, these and more are all happening here, in this place we call home. And yes, I know I’m lucky.
Of the first things I did as I set foot in Vancouver some years ago was to take a long, hot shower. That refreshing streak of warm, crisp trickle of crystal clear water all over me was one of the most invigorating experiences I’ve ever had. Funny how something so basic as running water will bring so much joy to someone as it did to me but here’s why.
Coming from a place riddled with much deprivation of basic human necessities, it is overwhelmingly refreshing to savour some when it finally happens, as it finally happens. There I was at a perfect moment enjoying Vancouver with its lush, overflowing with nature and extremely generous with, yes Water! Never enough of that cool, crisp, water. Fast forward to today, I have truly captured and enjoyed some of the spectacular corners of Vancouver boasting with WATER!
From the emerald-blue cascading falls of Lyn Canyon, to the melodic roaring of the Tamahi Rapids out in Chilliwack, water is as cosmic of an element as is Vancouver to the rest of the world. A mere drop of water can singularly hold an entirely unique story the same way a Vancouverite holds every bit of the world just in itself, by itself. You, me and ALL the rest of us. Put together we play host to the world.

Where we all come from brings a certain characteristic uniquely our own blended in the most instinctively liquid way. Here’s why:
We serve “California” Sushi that has more than one hundred different variations to reflect our multi-cultural diversity.
We love our “bubble” tea, coffee and other organic, fair-trade plant-based beverages.
Any one of us can go Skiing the slopes to river rafting, hiking to playing golf, fishing to skydiving all within the same day and within a short distance of one adventure to the other.
Apart from the rich museums, craft breweries, local markets, amusement parks and shopping malls we give in with every whim and stir.
We detest environmental abuse, racial and gender discrimination, political masquerade and local poverty.
There are no blurred lines, for Vancouver clearly speaks its mind and stands its ground on things that matter. Gentle and calm as the cool west coast inlets and mighty deep as the massive rapids. All the way through we encompass the elements in its full spectrum.
But of course, we face challenges like any city big and small. At the moment the usual challenges of our global city includes increasing cost of living, public transit, growing crime rate , environmental disruptions and city ordinance & bylaws. But with all these, I am here to say that Vancouver and the rest of the lower mainland are on top of things. Which is great isn’t it?
Sure we have to face our growing population, sure we can always make our living space greener and sure we can always make our city
homeless-free at the most ideal. And we are consciously aware of these things and are actively engaged on what is going on around us. This eager awareness and involvement is what makes it all the more vibrant. All the more intelligent, all the more captivating. We as Vancouverites know how to live the good life. Not just for the world to see but for everyonelse to follow.
And boy do I know that I am truly lucky to be here.

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