As we write this, we are sitting baking in the sun, enjoying the 20 plus weather that Pickle Lake has been dealing out this week. Jessica has already acquired slightly redder skin, but nothing a little Aloe can’t heal. We’ve all jumped into our second week of teaching rejuvenated from last week’s teaching successes and our eventful weekend! Friday night we hosted our first Friday Fun Night for the kids at the community hall. While Jessica and Kelsey manned the painting station (Jessica slightly teary eyed at the wonderful “surprise” birthday cards the kids made her), Michaela got busy playing with K’inex, and Eric had his heart stolen by his adorable four year old ping pong partner.
On Saturday, we celebrated Jessica’s birthday with a trip up to see an old abandoned residential school. Brent, one of the teachers at Missabay, generously offered to drive us. Leaving Pickle Lake, we set off on our journey onto the North Road, a gravel road which leads another 3 hours north to the school. After stopping for a quick photo-op, we drove for about two minutes before hearing an unfortunate loud popping sound: a flat tire. As Brent and Eric worked on putting on the spare, the girls worked hard on finding the heat pockets around the truck to avoid the cold wind. They also took notes, in case they ever needed to know how to change a tire. After a quick detour to Central Pat to replace the spare with a larger, sturdier spare, we were back on the road, jamming out to top 40 tunes and munching on homemade bannock. About an hour in, we stopped to say hello to a few camping friends, and thank goodness we did. Just as we were getting back into the car, we came to the sad realization that our trip would have to come to an early end. Yep, our second spare tire was steadily leaking air. Deciding to make the best of the situation, we stopped a couple more times on the way back and took in some breathtaking Northern sights. That night, after baking some yummy cupcakes, we took a walk down to the beach and watched the sunset over the lake, realizing more and more just how beautiful it is up here.
Back at home, we keep ourselves amused with the everyday quirks of living with four other people and two dogs. While Kelsey is busy teaching Michaela lessons in her sleep, Eric and Jessica are having their own little bed war, with Eric stealing all the covers and Jessica counteracting by sleeping in the middle of the bed. Having just finished watching all of the seasons of How I Met Your Mother to date, Jessica is now unable to resist constantly quoting the show and relating each daily event to it. Meanwhile, Michaela has become Duncan, Sandra’s golden lab’s new favourite attraction, as he insists on staring at her lovingly while she sits in the living room and sleeping on top of her during the night. We are also getting used to numerous visitors pressing their noses against our front window as we sit down to eat dinner, asking us to come outside and play. Who can resist a game of hide and seek when the kids are so cute?
At school, we are starting to see the positive results of our lessons, through toothbrushes brought to school, the younger ones sneezing into their elbows, and some older students opening up to us both personally and through the question box. We have had our fair share of interesting question box responses, including the two in the title. Michaela is still not sure how to answer that one.
We’d like to end this blog post by just saying how proud we are of Michaela for her exciting offer, and for coming that much closer to figuring out her future. Congrats Michaela!
P.S. After writing this blog, we left for our women’s aerobics class only to be greeted by smoke billowing out of the forest just beyond the school and water bomber planes circling overhead. After our class, we raced back home, grabbed Eric, and like the tourists we are ran down to grab some awesome pictures of the planes filling up in the lake and swooping low over our heads. Thankfully, the three forest fires were put out and all is well. Just another eventful day in Pickle Lake, Ontario.