What incredible weeks they’ve been! Vancouver always holds a special place in my heart and never fails to uplift my spirits. This time was no exception. The city exuded warmth and hospitality, and everyone I encountered was not only helpful but also genuinely engaging. Even the weather played its part perfectly; there wasn’t a single rainy day – zero! I didn’t even need a jacket.

Now, let me dive into the Vancouver Fringe Festival. It was an absolute blast! I had the pleasure of meeting incredibly talented artists, dedicated staff and volunteers, individuals I’d known only through online connections for years, and enthusiastic supporters. Additionally, having my Canadian family and friends in the audience added an extra layer of warmth to the occasion.

Miyo standing in front of the Vancouver Fringe Festival poster

And speaking of highlights, I must brag about my brilliant tech, Kajtek. Not only were his technical skills top-notch, but he went above and beyond the call of duty. He even wiped the floor before my show, truly demonstrating his dedication.

Thanks to the unwavering support of everyone, I’m thrilled to share that most of my shows were sold out. Even the late-night performances drew impressive turnouts. And when the final curtain fell on my last show, my gracious Airbnb host surprised me with a bottle of sparkling wine to commemorate my achievements. Little did I know that she was promoting my shows behind the scenes. Bless her!

Miyo sitting and telling a story in front of the audience

One of the primary reasons I chose Vancouver was to reunite with my Canadian family, with whom I share decades of cherished memories.

Having them in the audience and catching up with them after the show was an absolute thrill. And when it comes to my Canadian family, the story wouldn’t be complete without mentioning my remarkable 97-year-old Canadian mama, Willa. Decades ago, I had the privilege of staying in her home through a homestay arrangement. Then, 11 years ago, when I faced a visa issue that forced me to leave America for several months, she graciously invited me to stay with her, insisting, “If America deports you, Canada will import you!” We spent quality time together, sipping sherry before dinner.

 

Willa holding a glass of sherry
Willa and Miyo smiling to each other

Before reuniting with her this time, I received cautious advice that Willa might not remember me, preparing me for potential disappointment. However, the moment our eyes met, it was evident that she recognized me. When I playfully asked her who her favorite student was, she replied with a smile, “Oh, I should be careful here. You sit too close to me!” Yes, her whimsical spirit remained intact, and we even discussed her upcoming 100th birthday bash.

Vancouver, thank you for yet another unforgettable memory! I look forward to returning soon.

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