Fabi and Justice here, feeling very guilty that we haven’t blogged since our arrival! Webequie has been amazing so far – the people are so kind; the children are so enthusiastic and the accommodations are so generous.
We arrived on Sunday with all of our luggage including three extremely heavy bags of food supplies. After settling into the comfy homes of two amazing teachers, we kicked into high drive on Monday. We met with as many people as we could find, including those at the school and health center. Tuesday, we began teaching physical health. All week we worked on hygiene, nutrition, diabetes and physical activity. It was great to get to know the kids and our lesson plans included many games!
In addition to all of our lessons, we have also been hosting after school activities each day. Mondays are crafts club, Tuesdays are sports club, and Wednesday are dance club! The clubs have been very popular – about 40+ children have attended each day! This was quite a shock, as we were expecting only a few. We have had to adjust our plans to accommodate the large and enthusiastic crowd! Thursday, we got to meet the high school students when we invited them to help us plan next week’s lessons for community hours! It was a great opportunity to start reaching out to those students, and we think they really enjoyed reading the material in a more informal setting.
The highlight of the week must have been when we were invited to participate in a sweat lodge ON DAY FIVE! The sweat lodge was the most amazing experience for both Fabi and Justice! We claim that it is definitely one of our top 5 life experiences. We were very honoured to be invited and extremely gracious that the sweat lodge leader translated some of the ceremony so we could follow along in English! A sweat lodge is a traditional ceremony, considered to be between prayer and meditation. We gathered inside a pit (so low we had to be sitting and crouched, and small enough to be sitting side by side!) where heated rocks were placed in the middle. Water was continually added to the rocks and created enough steam to put any hot yoga class to shame! Each sweat lodge involves a different traditional story, all centered around the coming together of the four elements: water, earth, wind and fire. The men and women sit on opposite sides to represent the equality between genders. Fabi even got to be the “grandmother” figure and beat her stick along to the leader’s drumming (SO JEALOUS – HATE HER!)
Saturday was a very fun day – we hosted the Amazing Race: Webequie! We had the children run all over town to various locations looking for clues and participating in challenges like a water balloon toss, relay race and much more fun! Again, a really large crowd showed up to participate! It was so great to watch the older children help out the younger children along the race, especially some of the tougher boys! We had many laughs with the kids about how exhausting the race was and how important staying in shape really is!
This week has been interesting due to the constant power outages! What a great adventure! The outages began Monday evening and the power has been off and on all week. As a result, school has been cancelled a lot and we have only managed to squeeze in a few puberty lessons here and there. Monday’s craft club was a great success because we invited only grades 2-4, which was a much more manageable group size. Then we played soccer with the older students afterwards, with big foot (Fabi) and Bryan the police officer! Yesterday we taught the kids soccer baseball, another afternoon of great fun and cute kids!
Best part of the week:
Lunch break coincides with the Ellen DeGeneres show on TV!
Best lesson thus far:
Game of Life: Puberty Edition board game was a huge hit! Including a huge board, dice, and “puberty cards” which students enthusiastically (though often silently) read aloud!
Grossest part of the week:
Revealing the decayed tooth after setting it in a cup of coke for 4 days!
Most embarrassing part of the week:
Fabi falling flat on her face during a morning run and having to go to the nursing station for
first aid… AKA We can never leave her unsupervised again…
Justice’s high kicks and Fabi’s fog-horn groan
Drink of choice:
Sioux Lookout banana nut coffee
$10 bunch of bananas
Looking Forward To:
Nutrition booth at the upcoming Career Fair
In the meantime, Justice is loving all the competitive (sometimes too competitive) sports with the children, while Fabi prefers frolicking around the playground with the younger ones.
We have now been summoned to make (more) friendship bracelets.