I’ve been in Montreal for just over two weeks now, and I can already see why so many people fall in love with this city. I have the good fortune that I’m able to work remotely, so I decided to come here for the summer and explore the city in advance of the upcoming Universala Kongreso — and I’m very glad I did.
I’ve been impressed by many things. It’s a beautiful city, full of parks and bike lanes, with quaint cafes, great food, and a lovely river. And, at least in the summer, it has plenty of sunshine and is warm, but not too hot — there are about 17 hours of sunlight daily.
Moreover, the Esperantist community here is very active, and they have been hard at work preparing for this UK. It’s going to be chock-full of great programming: last Saturday, I went on a trial run of an excursion that explores the nature around Montreal, with a visit to a bison reserve, an abbey in the woods, a great restaurant in the same woods, a pick-your-own blueberry farm, and a very cool microbrewery that sources local ingredients (such as spruce from the abbey’s forest). Later, I went to a meeting about an original theatre piece that will be presented, about Zamenhof’s visit to North America (including Montreal!) in 1910. Everything looked very well-prepared and got me very excited for the congress itself.
Speaking of Zamenhof’s visit: this will not only be the first in-person UK in three years — it’s also the first in North America since 1984, and the first on the East Coast since Zamenhof’s visit in 1910! In other words, it’s an almost-unique opportunity for American Esperantists to participate in an international Esperanto congress on our home continent. If history is any indication, there might not be another one here until 2060. …
If you’ve been on the fence, it’s not too late! And if you’ve hesitated for financial reasons, Esperanto-USA has a fund to help you get there.
As a reminder, registration is done through the UEA website, but you can pay through Esperanto-USA to avoid additional charges.