(Coming at you from Webequie a little late due to some internet challenges)
After a few more days in Webequie, things are beginning to feel more and more at home, which is especially true in terms of weather as it was a balmy 15 degrees today (above zero!). Evan even managed to get a sunburn, so yeah things are pretty much back to normal.
Since our last post, we have been incredibly busy trying to make time for everything we want to participate in. Things started slow Thursday morning for us as we realized we lacked a coffee maker, and stayed that way until we joined the “coffee club” at school. Eventually the caffeine kicked enough so that we were on speaking terms (as opposed to our pre-caffeine grunts) and our day really began. In the morning we began planning our teaching approach, getting teachers to sign up for our lessons, visited the nursing station to gain some perspective on prevalent health issues and even had time for a second cup of coffee. School was cancelled in the afternoon to celebrate the graduation of 12 community members from a mining essentials post-secondary education program. We were invited to the ceremony where a number of community members, government officials and individuals in the mining industry spoke. There was also some traditional drumming and singing which was very interesting to see and hear in person.
Friday included our first experiences teaching in the classrooms. After a less than perfect start, things improved quickly from one class to the next and by the end of the day we were the ultimate dynamic duo of hygiene teachings. We quickly fell in love with the kids, who rarely lacked enthusiasm and were full of interesting questions to keep us on our game. By the end of the day we had visited 7 classes and spread the word about the danger of germs!!!
After a week of prep, travel and teaching, it was finally the weekend! A time to kick back, relax and of course lose in the most intense bingo game we’ve ever been involved in (our lack of bingo dabbers gave away our amateur status), but with such long and sunny days, it was impossible not to enjoy the weekend. Saturday included a long tour around Webequie under the guidance of a local man, Melvin, who was somehow able to pick us out as newcomers (not hard) and offered to show us around. That night was the bingo and flea market fundraiser for the grade 7/8 class who are going on a cultural exchange to Ottawa next week. Sunday we spent some more time exploring our new home and then ended the day with a chili feast and lesson planning. Well-fed and lesson plans in hand, we are ready to take on another day!!
Kat and Evan