Prince Edward Island (PEI/The Island) is the smallest province in Canada, and the place I call home. I was born there on Dec 13, 1989. For the next month I’ll be staying there to relax a little bit for the rest of the summer. So, I’m going to start a mini blog series chronicling my stay there, as well as give some information about my home province for those who are unfamiliar with it.
Introductory Facts about The Island
PEI was one of the first places in North America to be colonized by the Europeans. It was called Epekwitk by the Mi’kmaq prior to the French coming. The name means rested on the waves. When the French took it over, it was called Île Saint-Jean. It was settled by French settlers, called Acadians, and remained so until the end of the 7 Years War when it was officially handed over to the British. After the British take over, they simply translated the French name to St. John’s Island in 1763. It was renamed Prince Edward Island in 1798. It was changed in order to distinguish it from other names in the eastern coast such as St. John, New Brunswick. The name comes from King George III’s fourth son, Prince Edward Augustus, the Duke of Kent. This prince later became the father of Queen Victoria.
The Mi’kmaq correctly named the Island. It is neatly rested on the waves, along with the other Maritime Provinces. PEI is a part of 2 regions in Canada: The Maritimes, and Atlantic Canada. The Maritimes are nestled on Canada’s east coast and encompass the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Northumberland Strait, and the North Atlantic. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the other two. The Maritimes plus Newfoundland are Atlantic Canada.
How can one best describe the Maritimes? New Brunswick (NB) is about innovation and development. Nova Scotia (NS) is the sea-bound coast, loyal to living and working with the Atlantic. PEI is a quiet and unchanging farm surrounded by a fishing village.
Instead of huge cities, PEI is dotted by small towns and villages. Only Charlottetown and Summerside can be considered urban centers…and they only have populations of 10-20,000 people! They’re not even close to the population of Halifax in Nova Scotia or Moncton in New Brunswick. Unlike NB and NS, who are all about change, PEI and her inhabitants only occasionally poke their heads up to see what the provinces are up to. Once they’ve done that, they often go back to their farms and fishing boats without a second thought. What are they farming? Potatoes, as well as dairy and other products. My favourites are the wild blueberries, and potatoes. What are they fishing for? Mussels, clams, oysters, lobsters, and haddock to name a few.
In terms of culture, PEI’s is one of stubborn friendliness. Islanders like things to be slow and steady with very few changes. In many ways, the Island has remained the same since I was first born here. Only thing that’s changed much is Charlottetown and Summerside, since they are the only ones truly touched by the speed of urban life. Yet, not even Charlottetown develops as fast as cities like Toronto or New York do. The people on PEI are some of the friendliest in Canada. In fact, I’d say they’re the friendliest in the world. Even in winter, Islanders always find something to smile about and are always willing to give a kind word to someone.
I am grateful for my Island’s lack of change. In spite of life’s chaos, I can always come back to an Island that stays the same, and shows that life can stand still for a little bit. Although the Bible is clear that change is inevitable for everything and everyone, PEI is no exception, I am grateful God permits PEI to be one of the places that goes the long way. Unfortunately, that is a double edged sword as the very whiff of change on the Island is enough to take anyone’s breath away. In PEI… I dunno, it just feels so weird when certain changes come, such as deaths and brand new stores coming to the Island,they are unwanted, unexpected, but ultimately inevitable.
Now that I’ve given you a brief description of the Island, it is time for you to see what I have been seeing! These pictures are some I took today.
I’ve been in PEI since yesterday at 7pm Atlantic Time (AST). I can’t say I’ve done much but enjoy the peace the & quiet. However, I was able to wander around my grandparents’ house and take photos. My grandparents live just outside of Georgetown. Georgetown is a fishing town that was founded in 1812. It is the capital of King’s County and where I spent the first few years of my life.
While wandering around, I was able to get photos of the Brudenell River which is just outside of my grandparents’ house. I was also able to get pictures of the harbor and a big boat that came to visit.
One of my favourite parts about the Island is the sea. Sometimes, I love walking up to the water and simply breathing in the salty sea air. However, if I can run up to the water and jump in with my bathing suit, I am in heaven.
And that’s the end of the good pictures from today. Don’t worry, I’ll post more late!