Frozen Grapes…

Day #37

The obvious clever remark to make about frozen grapes is that they are better than sour grapes. But I have to say that I quite enjoy sour grapes. I would much rather eat a sour grape than a sweet grape  any day…as for the metaphor surrounding grapes, I do believe that sour grapes are a negative thing…

Anyway, now that that’s out of the way, I can move on…

I’m not going to reveal why grapes of the frozen or sour variety are on my mind. I’ll explain later though, I promise…(I know you’re curious)

Alright, the day started off in classic Fort Hope style…Rain fell steadily outside of my window, then stopped, then started again, then stopped, and continued like this for most of the day. I think that this abundance of rain has been fairly common pretty much everywhere, but I have taken note of it here. The morning went smoothly with the 4-6 year olds. Nanajean and I took the plunge today and brought out paint for the kids. They absolutely loved it. The best part of the whole experience was that we managed to keep the room and ourselves relatively clean. I stupidly wore two white shirts today, so I ended up wearing my raincoat in the classroom to avoid paint spatter or fingerprints haha.

At lunch I made my weekly run to Corny’s to pick up fruit. I have determined that Thursdays are the fresh fruit delivery days, so Thursday is now my fruit purchasing day. I picked up a bunch of apples, a few bananas, a few oranges and some, wait for it…grapes! I bought the grapes despite the fact that they were really less than stellar in quality because I had a secret weapon in the fight against subpar produce! It’s called the frozen grape…It’s as cool as a popsicle, as sweet as a candy, as refreshing as ice water and as addicting as well, something addicting! This fantastic snack was introduced to me by my good friend Michelle at the Jean Vanier Children’s Centre in London, Ontario. It is really quite simple…All one does is wash grapes and freeze them! It sounds elementary, but trust me, it’s more than you could ever imagine out of a grape!

The afternoon was pretty calm overall. Our numbers have dwindled down so that we only have a few kids at camp each day. We are going to try and attract some new ones for our last three weeks, but if we don’t I think that we’re comfortable with working more directly with our dedicated campers. The highlight of this afternoon was watching our 10 and 11 year olds build boats out of randomly discarded materials we provided them with. They quite enjoyed our little ‘flotation competiton’. We ended up taking the boats down to the docks and seeing which one could hold the largest number of rocks before sinking. It was a surprisingly successful activity, one that we may have to repeat in some way shape or form.

After camp I dragged myself around town for another decently long run. I really didn’t want to go today, but the mere fact that I managed to force myself to do it is was a good sign. Running has a rather cleansing effect over my mind these days. I rather enjoy shutting out everything around me (except for obstacles and things I need to be paying attention to for survival) for an hour or so while I run. I need to cleanse before throwing myself into, what I expected to be, a firey mess of pre-teen and teenage floor hockey players.

Tonight was the second incarnation of our Thursday night floor hockey league. After the stressful experience of the first attempt at this Thursday night distraction, Jenette and I came armed with Nanajean as backup! We also split up the age groups into younger and older kids and invited some NAPS officers to play. As it turned out, we didn’t need any of these extra precautions because we got a great group of kids and even a couple of parents out to play. It was a really fun evening, and it definitely erased any negative feelings we had about the last attempt at floor hockey.

Now…Some breaking news…

I may be going camping after all…Camp Bigfoot is currently underway across the lake from Fort Hope. There is a possibility that Courtney, Jenette, Nanajean and I are going to canoe over there tomorrow afternoon and stay the night. We would only spend the one night, and return on Saturday evening, but even if we only do that, it will amount to the longest camping expedition of my life. My last attempt at camping was in Alex Reich’s backyard…We didn’t make it through the night because the cicadas were too loud…We migrated to his basement…The only other attempted camping trip I went on was when I was about 5 years old…My dad and I, ambitiously, set out to attempt to spend the night camped out in our backyard. There are pictures of us getting ready for the night, and it seems like everything turned out. But…the real story is that my tape player ran out of batteries before we fell asleep, and I didn’t really like being outside, so we gave up and came back in. Needless to say, I am a less than seasoned camper, so this one night trip may turn out to be something of an adventure!

The last bit of news that I have to share with you is that our BBQ (the one that we had to postpone last week) is once again scheduled for tomorrow. It will probably rain, but as I’ve said many times…such is life.

Before I sign off for the night I should just also mention that my return date is seeming a bit closer now than it ever has. I suppose this just makes sense, because each hour of each day, I move a little closer to the last day in Fort Hope (not that I’m rushing to get to that day). Today it hit home that there really isn’t much time left here on the reserve because Casey (our contact at Frontier College) emailed us with questions about our flights home after debrief. I still wouldn’t call this the home stretch, but we are certainly approaching the last turn…I am comfortable admitting that I am looking forward to returning home to see everyone again. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love being here in Fort Hope, it just means that I’ll be ready to be home, when it’s time to go. Nanajean made me feel better about this today, by saying, “I’m counting the days until I get to go home.” It surprised me a little bit that she would see it this way, but it appears that her home has become Thunder Bay over the years. She will be receiving her degree in education from Lakehead after this year, and she, just like me, is counting the days just a little bit!

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