A fantastic last week here in Webequie! Our trip has been full of laughter, heart-warming conversation, adventure and learning.
Tuesday, we taught stress management in class. This was a highly recommended topic and we were able to build off anger management as well. After our last call in to John’s WAHSA lecture, we had our final sports club – it lasted over two hours! We played broom ball, hockey, AND soccer. It was hilarious to watch the kids and their never-ending energy. Each time they seemed to be losing steam, we switched sports and suddenly they were running and competing all over again!
Wednesday was one of our favorite lessons. After receiving questions about University in the question box, we were so excited to create a Finding Your Dream Job presentation for the older students. Our slideshow consisted of a variety of University and College programs… Law, Business, Criminal Justice, Skilled Trades, Aboriginal Studies, Medicine, Nursing, Mental Health, Mining, Teaching, Art School, Aviation and more! We talked about our positive University experiences (our favorite slide: A Day in the Life of a Student), emphasizing the support that is available when you enroll in these post-secondary programs. With the younger students, our presentation turned into a game of charades! Students took turns picking jobs out of the box then acting them out. The lesson was definitely a hit and we had so much fun watching some very creative interpretations (picture a grade 2 gangsta as a ballerina)!
With our food supply quickly diminishing and realizing we still had a box of pancake mix to spare… we thought what better addition to our second QHO Movie Night than chocolate chip pancakes. We had a great turn out and Justice was as happy as a clam since we showed her favorite movie, Brother Bear!
Branching off of our Careers lesson, we spent Thursday talking about smart goal setting and planning for success. We were also very excited to show a slideshow of all the pictures we had been taking during our trip at the Flea Market. Between Justin Bieber’s professional scenic/portrait pictures and all the funny ones that turned up when the kids tested out Fatti’s camera during after school events, the slideshow was a great way to show community members what we had been up to during the past five weeks. The kids loved seeing themselves and it was a great way to wrap up our last official teaching day in Webequie. After the Flea, we headed to the Northern for a night of cupcake baking and Thank You card writing! Justice “Betty Crocker” Durland naturally excelled in the baking department, while Fabi was on writing duty… working at a slow and steady snail’s pace after having to relocate to the other side of the room in order to avoid distraction and “get in the zone”.
Friday was bitter sweet! Our last official day in the school… but so many exciting activities planned. We woke up at the crack of dawn to ice the 96 cupcakes… in a conveyor belt technique, the task was accomplished in a very efficient manner! We visited each class… eating cupcakes, students signing our Webequie backpacks (compliments of the Career Fair) and taking group pictures! At the month end assembly, we had another chance to play our picture slideshow. It was a chance for all the students to see themselves in action, as well as a genius way to keep everyone quiet during the assembly… a win-win! After lunch, we headed to drop off our Thank You cards at the Education Board, Band Office, Nursing Station and Northern Store.
We knew we were on a lucky streak when we were invited to listen to (and meet) the Minister of Environment Peter Kent speak with the Chief of Webequie in regard to their continuing teamwork on the Ring of Fire development. It was a fantastic opportunity to see the efforts to make future developments more environment and cultural sensitive. Justice – the politics nerd – was beyond excited to shake a hand that had obviously shaken Stephen Harper’s hand! It was also interesting to listen to Michael Fox, Webequie’s senior director for the Ring of Fire, and all the factors that must be considered in making decisions that will so greatly impact Canada’s future and the security of First Nations’ communities across Ontario. Justice and Fabi now have a much greater appreciation of the complicated nature of these decisions and will look forward to reading developments in the news in the future!
After school, we enjoyed some beautiful Webequie weather… kites, popsicles and our first swim of the summer! Somehow the kids convinced us to join them for a June 1st dip which was a hilarious adventure indeed… after about an hour of toe dipping and searching for the “perfect spot”, Fabi took the first plunge – what a champ! Fabi swam at least 25 yards into the lake (dodging ice bergs… okay, no, but it was cold enough!) and convinced all the kids to hop in the water! We later found out the water was about 5-10 degrees. Thank goodness for Constable Bryan’s famous homemade moose chili to warm us up at the end of the day!
Saturday morning, sadly, Justice and Fabi packed their few belongings (we packed mostly food and crafts!) and said our final farewells. We took a private jet (aka a very empty flight) to Thunder Bay and were warmly greeted by Fabi’s family. After a ceremonious “first Timmies” and exchanging some fun stories, Justice departed for Toronto.
We would like to say a HUGE thank you to the warm and welcoming community of Webequie, the beautiful teachers and the inspirational people we met. Justice and Fabi will forever hold the memories of those five weeks close to our hearts. This experience has taught us so much about ourselves and this diverse country. Finally, thank YOU for following our adventures and sharing in our lessons learned!
And for the last time…
Best part of the last week:
Heartwarming Thank You cards from the kiddies
“I love QHO! You guys got A+”
Best lesson of the last week:
Finding Your Dream Job presentation- Gotta love a good PowerPoint!
Grossest part of the last week:
The kids screaming “Thank Youuu” with a mouth full of cake
Most embarrassing part of the last week:
Justice’s wimpiness about the cold water temperatures
Fabi’s care and compassion for everyone she meets
Justice’s contagious enthusiasm and positive energy
Food of choice:
Bryan’s homemade moose chili.. nom nom nom
Beautiful beaded moccasins
Looking Forward To:
Sharing our stories with friends and family 🙂