Welcome back to our blog and Happy Mother’s Day!
This morning we started bright and early making pancakes for the Mother’s Day breakfast at the community band hall. John is apparently really good at making pancakes (or as good as one can be at making pancakes…) and so he insisted on being called the Pancake King. Unfortunately some of the flippers were melting on the hot griddle so we were using large metal knives to flip the pancakes. We also got the chance to make some new connections at the breakfast and tell people more about what QHO is doing here in Fort Good Hope.
This week we’ve had a few minor setbacks that have caused us to fall behind schedule. On Tuesday, we got into the classrooms to start implementing our Student Interest Survey with the older students, and to play some games to get to know the younger ones. After two morning classes, the fire alarm started going off, and everyone was rushed outside with no knowledge of what was going on. A lot of the students didn’t have sweaters on at that point, so they ended up going into the teepee outside of the school to keep warm. The teepee was very well constructed and was able to fit the majority of the students. It also had a wood burning iron stove that kept everyone warm. The fire department came to the school and decided to send all the kids home to be safe until everything had been checked out. Given that we live inside the school and all of our things were back inside, we decided to hang out at a teacher’s house for a few hours before we were given the all clear. It has been so great living in the school, we are always around to interact with the youth of the community and see their daily routine.
Each morning the school day starts with an assembly where the students go over the ten Dene Laws, then play an active game before heading to class for the day. We have learned that the Dene culture is filled with sharing and respect for one another, which is evident through how the community has rallied around each other in the past couple weeks, providing love and support in times of grief.
On Wednesday we tried to get back on schedule, but because of a funeral the school was closed for the second part of the day out of respect. Because of these events, lots of after school programming at the drop in centre was also not running, so we were not able to get out into the community as much this week. Thursday and Friday we were able to finally finish our surveys, and compile the results to find out what the different age groups wanted to learn about.
We got some great participation and information from the students, and also got to learn a lot of their names by playing some active games afterwards!
We found out that the health topic all grades were most interested in was the health effects of sleep. The grade 7-12 students were also interested in Healthy Relationships, Healthy Eating, Goal Setting, and the effects of Alcohol. Grades 5-6 were very interested in learning about Drug Abuse, Periods, Pregnancy, and Suicide. Lastly, the grade 3-4 students showed an interest in Peer Pressure, Anxiety, Communication, and Grief Management. We are very excited about this information and know it will be used for years to come by future QHO peer educators.
We also witnessed the first Ice Break this week! We walked down to the river and watched ice chunks two feet thick crash into each other and get pushed up on the shore. It was a beautiful day and we walked along the shoreline for a couple of hours, looking at the different ice formations as a result of the break. We thought it was the coolest thing ever – before we were told that this was only a small break, and the bigger one would be coming in a few days!
Fort Good Hope is upstream from the Rampart Rapids, which become clogged with ice from further down the river.Once the build up becomes too big, it gets pushed through to Fort Good Hope, and huge chunks of ice fill the banks (which can be twenty feet high!). We have many offers from some of our friends in the community to go boating on the river once the ice is cleared, so we are looking forward to more nice weather in the next couple of weeks!
John and Megan