Day #5

Into the Breach…

I am legitimately excited. This simple statement might not seem like a major victory or success at this point in the trip, but wow, am I ever relieved to be feeling what I am feeling right now. I mean, that being said, let’s keep it all in perspective. I am not necessarily completely and totally bouncing off the walls right now, but mixed in with all the feelings is an overwhelming sense of adventure and excitement for what is about to take place over the next two months. I hope that this feeling lasts until we take off tomorrow afternoon at 3:5opm! If you were paying attention to one of my earlier blogs, I think that I mentioned that we thought a 7am departure was likely, so late afternoon was a little bit surprising. It’s all good though and I am loving the idea of a couple extra hours of sleep! Like I said, I’m still a little bit concerned about the whole bag limit, but I’m trying not to fixate on it…

In other packing news, I thought that I would share with you a couple of what I found to be amusing events that took place in regards to my stuff today. Okay, number 1, I decided early on in the week that I was going to have to do a little bit of shifting around in order to get a bag full of essential items that could for sure come on the plane with me. For those of you who are wondering how much stuff I have…I have two medium sized suitcases plus my laptop in my backpack. In my one suitcase (one the trip to Thunder Bay) were my clothes, shaving kit (because I need to shave so frequently…), a couple of books and some other random stuff. In my other bag was all of my bedding, pillow, shoes, extra toiletries and, as I remembered today, spices. Before leaving London my mom, sister (hi Lyndsay, hope you’re reading this…I’ll be really offended otherwise…jk ;)) and I made a fun filled excursion to the Bulk Barn to buy a few essential spices for cooking purposes. For those of you who don’t know, I am kind of a spice freak. My family claims that I have blown out taste buds (a point that I strongly dispute) but the long and short of it is that I enjoy my spices. Anyway, I picked up some oregeno, basil, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and taco seasoning and packed it in a ziploc bag. So, when I got to Thunder Bay, based on the contents of the two suitcases, I decided to leave my bedding case completely closed (because we were provided with bedding and a pillow at Lakehead) and not worry about it until I had to repack. So this afternoon I finally cracked open the suitcase and was hit with a stunning aroma of Mexicali-Cinnamon-Oregeno. I can’t say that it was a particularly bad smell, in fact I kind of like it actually, which is a good thing because despite the airing out of my bag today I believe that I may be sleeping with the sweet smell of spices until I wash my sheets for the first time. Don’t worry, nothing spilled out of the bag, it just had taken on a certain odour! Of course, my next step was to take the spices out of the bag, which has only succeeded in making my entire room smell like a spice rack, but like I said, it’s a decent smell actually.

The second cool experience I had today happened in regards to laundry. Why does it always seem like laundry is so exciting? Anyway, I did a load of laundry today so that I didn’t have to worry about it in the first week in Fort Hope. I completed the laundry effectively and without incident but then realized that there were only two dryers available for use and there was a line of approximately 10 people ready to use them. So, I figured, what the heck, I don’t need a dryer…So I headed back to my room and created the world’s best dryer by using my high powered portable room fan and the wardrobe in my room. Currently I have four shirts, some socks and underwear hanging over the bar in my closet with the doors sealed shut and a fan blowing straight up at them. It is actually working out rather well, and I am proud of my resourcefulness. I would definitely have received a scout badge for that…

I have a feeling that those stories were only the amusing for me, but hopefully you’re still reading…

Anyway, the events of today featured the explanation of some procedural forms for Frontier College (that must be filled out during camp), final game idea suggestions and a team picture. After this, the rest of the day was free for each of the camps to begin planning and to make trips to pick up last minute supplies. Frontier provided us with a shuttle bus to head into town and back which was incredibly helpful. Our team picked up some camp supplies and a couple other things. Mom, I did in fact pick up an extra jacket, this one with a hood that can be tightened around my face to prevent bugs from biting me…I know that it’s a pipe dream to expect to be able to avoid bug bites, but I can try I suppose.

Today was also a fantastic day because I got to talk to have a fantastic conversation with my friend Maya before heading off ‘into the breach’ (this is how our program manager affectionatly referred to the experience). It was great for me to talk to Maya because she always is able to provide me with some perspective on what’s going on in my life, and rarely avoids giving me ‘the straight goods’. If nothing else it was nice to hear another reassuring, supportive voice before heading off into the unknown.

I think that I probably will hold off on making another call home until I hit Fort Hope, but I will call because I’m assuming that certain people will be interested in knowing that I have arrived safe and sound. I may have somewhat of a bumpy plane ride tomorrow. Regardless of the weather (which is supposed to be cold and wet by the way), we are not flying in what one would call a commercial plane. Hopefully I’ll take a picture of our Wasaya airplane, but I expect it to be rather small…

Okay, well, it’s getting rather late and I should do a little bit more on the packing front before I turn in, but before I go I just wanted to ‘plug’ the organization that is facilitating my experience in the North this summer. The organization is called Frontier College and while they may run more quality programming than most ‘mega-organizations’ they are in fact just a small organization based in Toronto, ON. This means that many of their programs rely on the dedication of hardworking employees who give more time than anyone can imagine to ensure that their projects succeed. They can always use help so please take a look at the website and learn about how you can volunteer with the organization. They do fantastic work, and especially today could use any help they can get (hey Lyndsay, if you’re bored look into Frontier College London, ON and see what volunteer opportunities they have).

Alright, well that’s all for now folks, I’m off to bed for a little while…You probably won’t hear from me for a few days anyway as we work on getting our internet connection set up and more importantly our feet on the ground in Fort Hope. The next few days are likely to open my eyes to things that I don’t necessarily understand, so it will be an interesting journey. Drop me an email though, please, ( because I’d love to hear from everyone over the summer!

–Be kind to each other and don’t fall down…

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