Their eyes met, the world melted and suddenly time seemed to stand still. Andrea now knew what had been absent from her life. Rainbow’s cream-colour fur felt soft as feathers in her hands as Andrea lifted the shivering puppy from the frozen earth. Rainbow licked her nose and instantly a friendship was born.
But then disaster struck! Rainbow was missing! Lost in the bleak terrain without food, water or shelter. The puppy, gentle and meek, the runt of her family, was alone without protection. Andrea was beside herself with worry. Silently she thought about her new furry friend, hoping she was safe. Little did she know that Rainbow was not too far away and the two would be reunited once again…
This week’s lessons were centered around substance use and abuse and related issues such as peer pressure and bullying. We provided the facts about the harms of smoking, alcohol and drugs and used convincing materials borrowed from the health center—including a giant cigarette, cross-sectioned to show the disgusting chemicals inside! We also got to embrace our inner actors and provided compelling skits that highlighted the challenges of peer pressure (though Andrea struggled with acting as an intimidating bully). The students identified good and bad responses, speckled with Andrew fake sobbing, the activity was a big success!
After a discussion on the harms of smoking, some senior students at Qarmartalik decided to take their health into their own hands and quit smoking! Perhaps an upcoming Spielberg in our midst, one student took the initiative to not only quit herself but to make an anti-smoking movie to be shown to the younger students! So after a few hours on Tuesday evening, driven by a growing congregation of students, a movie was born that was designed to inspire. There was drama! Action! Sentimental “d’awwww” moments! Traditional throat singing! And even some rapping to share our positive message of leaving the pack behind! The video was super successful and we played it in all the classes. The kids LOVED it, giggling with their friends and wanting to do their own version! Luckily that was exactly what we had planned—anti-smoking and drinking videos for each age group to encourage their classmates to quit or prevent them from starting! The filming process went very smooth and students were attentive as ever, determined to produce a worthy product for their peers. However, during a particular outdoors recording session with the Grade 4-5 class, Andrew was perplexed by the unresponsive camera as the children stood at the ready, rehearsing their lines silently. After a few takes, Andrew came to the harsh realization that a key element was missing from the film—the camera’s memory card. Disappointed, the class returned inside, with a few pouts and grumbles. Andrew eventually came out on top however with an impromptu recording time that successfully completed that class’ movie.
Outside of the classroom, we’ve been shootin’ hoops, playing volleyball, and embracing their beloved Game X. Within the community, this week we had the opportunity of meeting the Hamlet Council and DEA (District Educational Authority) to present the objectives, progress and future directions of our project. Both committees were extremely supportive!! The DEA even requested that we expand out sexual health education unit (exclusively for grades 8-12) to the younger students in grade 4-7, limiting the lessons to puberty. This is a huge step forward as this will be the first year that sexual health has been taught at Qarmartalik school since the arrival of QHO. We’re very excited to share our knowledge and debunk the myths that the students have accumulated from TV and the internet!
To wrap up a great week, while playing a modified round of Bananagrams with some kids (ie. spelling practice), we heard word of a wandering puppy outside the hotel. Forlorn by previous disappointment, Andrea and some children went to look at the puppy, expectations low that this was the affectionate furball, Rainbow. A young girl opened the back door of the hotel and Andrea peered across the white expanse strewn with automobile parts to meet eyes with a familiar face, framed by a puffs of ivory. It was Rainbow!!!! Ecstatic we all ran to see a tired, cold and hungry Rainbow perched outside the back door of our hotel. After extensive cuddling and petting, from all the kids (and a relieved Andrea) we returned the puppy back home, safe and sound!
Miss you all,
P.S. Andrew feels indifferent about the dog…but he’s not afraid to use some key pics as leverage with the ladies.