The wolf pack holds strong.
Late Sunday Afternoon: silence in the kitchen. Meagan angrily uses all of her elbow grease to scrape the burned remnants off the bottom of the pot, while Sarah stands in silence dish-rag in hand. Hilary, demoted to laundry in the bathtub…
3 hours earlier…Hilary enthusiastically offered to put her savy culinary skills to work by making a chili that would last us the week. Meagan and Sarah, overjoyed with the offer, continued prepping lessons as Head-Chef Hilary skipped to the kitchen unsupervised. Twenty-minutes later, Sous-Chef Sarah and (s)Moke Control Meagan (alliterations are hard…) decided to check on the chef hard at work, or so they thought… Hilary was concentrated on writing in her journal, while smoke billowed from the pot. Don’t worry folks, the fire alarm doesn’t work unless the kids pull it. After switching pots, and then burning it again, Hilary was demoted to picking the burned lentils out of the chili. Props to Hilary for using all ingredients available in the kitchen. To replicate this meal (minus burn-age), see the ingredients below:
1) Lentils (“a BUTT load of lentils”: Hilary)
2) Chickpeas (“a CRAP TON”: Hilary)
3) Tomato sauce
5) Hot Sauce (to taste, ie. half a bottle) (“MORE PLEASE”: Sarah)
6) Mystery meat sauce (“pretty sure it was pork…”: Meagan)
7) Diced tomatoes
8) Sketchy dollar deal celery and onions
9) Any spice left behind by the previous construction workers
Result: dense, protein-packed chili to feed three “big eaters” for the next week. Mmmmm! Jealous?
On Saturday morning, we woke up for our first Saturday Craft event. We had a really good turn out and the kids enjoyed making paper animal puppets and painted rock bugs. Unfortunately, our crafts didn’t end as smoothly as they began… The afternoon ended with the three of us scrubbing an entire bottle of mustard (from where you ask? Your guess is as good as ours) off the gym door on our hands and knees. This was shortly followed by us sweeping up the remaining evidence of tire marks across the gym floor and remnants of mustard and sparkles. Next Saturday, we tackle sports.
After this we bought a well-deserved tub of ice cream (each) and hovered it before heading over to the sweat lodge. The three of us attempting to figure out appropriate “sweat lodge attire” from our limited understandings of the ceremony (courtesy of wikipedia) was quite the production. The comedy routine continued as we ventured across the street in our matching lululemon outfits to find the “brown and gold building”. Pink towels in hand, we were committed to sticking to our no-nudity-pact as we were unsure how reliable our internet sources were. Just as we were calming down, our nerves returned when Bob (the school counselor who invited us to the sweat lodge) announced, “Okay people, time to strip down. Sorry there’s no curtain ladies”. Sheer panic. We began to slowly undress. First by removing our shoes…then socks…then sweaters, while watching the elders for any sign of conduct. Our fear grew when we got a glimpse of Levi (the prescription drug abuse/misuse coordinator for the band office) in his underwear. Don’t worry, the undressing stopped here. For anyone who may not know, a sweat lodge is similar to a sauna in that hot rocks are placed in the centre of a small hut and water is poured over the rocks to create steam. Unlike a typical sauna, the sweat was accompanied by singing, prayer, drumming, tobacco offerings and complete darkness. None of us have ever sweat so much in our lives. The ceremony was a really amazing and spiritual experience and we were really thankful that we were able to be a part of such an important part of First Nation culture. We were honoured to be invited to and see how integral the sweat lodge is to maintaining physical and mental wellness for First Nations peoples.
Sexual health is another crucial component to the lessons we teach in each community and we began the week by teaching puberty and contraceptives. Always fun lessons! As “bear-sing” (tween slang for embarrassing, DUH) as these lessons sometimes are, the students were quite receptive to the material we taught. Today at the field we learned just how carefully the young ones had been listening. These 8 year olds, had taken it upon themselves to pop into the Nursing Station and pick up pamphlets on sexual health. They took this to the next level by filling in all the remaining anatomy (such as sperm and egg) that we had gone over in the lesson as well as explaining the process of ejaculation to a fellow classmate. A+ for extra credit!
DISCLAIMER: So, there may have been some slight exaggeration on the chili front, as smoke did not exactly “billow” from the pot. The chili is edible and we are looking forward to the next four meals. Hilary did a smashing job at the Laundromat aka our tub, although we all took turns ringing it out for the next 2 days. Regrettably, the room remains moist.