Pickle Lake: Goodbye Pickle!

Can you believe it? The Pickle Lakers have once again traversed the great Ontario highways to return home. We are relieved to inform you that the van (lovingly named Sully) has survived the astonishing 9000 kilometers we have racked up in the past 6 weeks. Props to Sully and a big thank you to Maggie’s family for allowing us to use it!

Our last week has been a blur. Monday and Tuesday were spent alongside our fellow Mish PE’s preparing for our Thank You Dinner at Missabay. The four PE’s welcomed the challenge of cooking up a meal for a large crowd. We prepared spaghetti, meatballs, and the crowd favorite…Mashed Potatoes!! Both parents and kids were in an out of the dinner. Many students stopped by after a nice dip in the lake and were eager to warm up and have a meal with friends. We had a wonderful time cooking up a storm, talking to the students, and snacking on some Mashed taters.

In the school, we began our leadership and communication unit with the classes. The high school students were able to show off their creativity and teamwork when we held an auction of miscellaneous household items in class. The class was divided into two teams which bid against each other for things such as tin cans, paper clips, cones, and empty cereal boxes. After obtaining all their loot they constructed “the most useful item” and had to market it to their teachers and us. We were quite impressed by the “windchime burglar alarm” and “all in one kitchen aid/alarm clock/cleaner” that they showed off to us with TV-worthy commercials! In another lesson, this week we played a great game of Communities, in which two teams (or ‘communities) send spies to the other team to figure out the rules of the community. This game was a great way to discuss our own social norms as well as verbal/nonverbal communication.

In the primary school classes, we also worked on communication and leadership. The classes particularly enjoyed our “alien game’ demonstrations in which the classes either instructed Maggie and Julia to hug or shake hands. Both resulted in belly slaps, silly dance moves, and plenty of giggles from all involved.

On our last day of school, Crolancia surprised us with a Thank You ceremony, presenting us with CROLANCIA SWEATERS, which we later donned at the playground! It was such wonderful to see the whole school gathered and we felt so lucky to have spent 6 weeks with such a wonderful community. All of the students have been a pleasure to teach, and we have had such a terrific experience in Crolancia! After school, we assisted Nick in hosting Boy to Manathon for our male population. The guys competed in Cracker Eating challenges, push up Contests, Shootouts, and Grunting galore. It was a close competition, with all challengers racking up extra points for sportsmanship and and teamwork, but our winner from last year has reclaimed his title and the manliest of prizes: the QHO plunger.

After Boy to Manathon we ran around Pickle saying our goodbyes and packing up our bags. We took a break from the craziness to stop by the Weather Station, where Lucy and Roy were letting out the Weather Balloon. We had a mini meteorology lesson and watched as the balloon shot off at 1000 miles a minute!  Lucy took us over to the MNR base so we could check out the Water Bomber afterwards. It’s a huge, impressive plane which is able to swoop down into lakes and grab water in its belly.

Our time has flown by, and it is with much love and gratitude that we thank the entire community for welcoming us in so graciously. 

We will certainly never forget our time spent in Pickle Lake or the wonderful people we have met. Thank you all for the generosity and welcome we were showed. Pickle Lake, Crolancia and the people of both have such special places in our hearts. 

One last time,

Mama Jules and Aunt Maggie 

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