74 Lessons and Countless Smiles

Hello, and welcome to our final blog post! After 5 weeks, 74 lessons, and 3 jars of peanut butter, our time here in Pond has officially come to an end, and we are here to tell you all about the smiles that our last week in the community brought us.

One last look at the beautiful community of Pond from just outside our house. Things are really starting to melt here!

We started our final week in the classroom learning all about healthy relationships and consent with the Junior High students at Nasivvik High School. We talked about what a healthy relationship looks like, how we can help someone that we think may be in an unhealthy relationship, and the four T’s of sex (Talk, Test, Type, and Think). As for consent, we learnt about what it is, when it is needed, and how just because someone doesn’t say ‘no’ it does not mean that they mean ‘yes.’ We loved being able to test all the class’ knowledge with a game of ‘True and False,’ and were so happy to hear everyone’s enthusiasm as they shouted out the answers!

We also did a lesson on leadership and goal setting with the Junior High students where we talked all about how we can be a leader in Pond and how we can set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic, Time-Specific) goals in all the different parts of our lives. We learnt how important it is to work towards something, and to be supportive of ourselves as we do. We were so happy to be able to bring back the Human Knot for this one, the twist being that there was a leader and we couldn’t move until our leader helped us to untangle! This was a really fun way to practice our leadership, as well as our communication, both verbal and nonverbal like we talked about in our lesson!

Some of the Grade 7’s playing The Human Knot: Leadership edition. They did amazing and it’s clear that Pond is in good hands with so many awesome leaders!

 

We once again spent our afternoons at Ulaajuk Elementary School again this week where we said goodbye to all the amazing students and teachers there. With the grade 4’s we talked all about smoking, and how important it is to keep ourselves away from second-hand smoke. We learnt what cigarettes can do to our bodies, like making our lungs all black and making it difficult to breathe when we’re being active. To celebrate it being our last lesson we were sure to leave enough time to play an intense game of “Heads Up, Seven Up,” in which we quickly discovered there is a strategy to the game that we seem to have forgotten in our many years out of the game.

Saying goodbye to some of our new Grade 7 friends!

We were also with the grade 6 classes where we learnt all about marijuana, and what it can do to our bodies and our relationships with the people we are closest to. As promised, we brought back the Drunk Goggles so everyone could get a turn, and we loved being able to see how well they remember what we talked about in our alcohol lesson! The classes surprised us with homemade cards, a thankyou gift, and they performed for us the songs that they’re practicing for their graduation! We are so excited for them to start Junior High next year- Nasivvik better be ready for their bright energy.

 

This past week, amongst our last lessons at Ulaajuk Elementary School, we also met the grade 5 class for the first time! We taught them a lesson all about alcohol and smoking, and we were able to have a really awesome discussion about what cigarettes can do to our bodies and how we can keep ourselves safe around someone who has maybe had too much to drink.

Some of the girls with their delicious and beautifully decorated cupcakes!

Last Wednesday evening we were also able to host our second Girls’ Night! We took the risk and baked the cupcakes beforehand, which left everyone ample time to decorate (even enough time for one girl to make a volleyball out of individual sprinkles on top of her chocolate cupcake)! We also made homemade face masks with oats, plain Greek yogurt, and honey! It did take a little convincing that something we could eat we could also put on our faces, but at the end of the day no one could really resist the possibility of glowing and hydrated skin.

Here we all are taking a minute to breathe and calm down at Girls’ Night yoga!

To stay with our theme of self-care, we were also so lucky to have Angie, a certified yoga teacher, lead a small class with us! We were so excited at how eager all the girls were to stretch, control their breaths, and even try a headstand. Our evening was full of braids, selfies, nail polish, lots of laughs, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

 

Everyone loved the homemade face masks and there were lots of laughs as we put it all over our faces. Our skin was feeling so soft once we washed it all off!

As always, our highlights from Music Club this week were Hailey impressing everyone with the one magic trick she knows and everyone asking Addie to try her glasses on (they don’t fit her face anymore because so many students have worn them!), as well as all of their favourite vines which to no surprise were ones that we had never seen before.

This weekend we also went back to Nasivvik to decorate a QHO board in one of the classrooms! We printed photos from our time in Pond with the students, summarized what we learned in the classroom, and put the phone numbers for lots of awesome resources. We hope that the board will be a reminder to students about all the health topics we’ve talked about throughout these 5 weeks, and to be something they look at when there aren’t any Peer Educators in the community.

The QHO board full of tips and resources for the students to access next year so the new Grade 7’s are familiar with what we teach and the returning students remember everything we covered!

Marissa, Dana, Alex, and Eric… the champions of QHO Review Jeopardy!!!

Everyone enjoying our healthy “sometimes” food… chocolate covered fruit!

On our last day, we also hosted a QHO review jeopardy game for the Junior High students! One of the teachers at Nasivvik has a jeopardy game ‘kit’, with buzzers, a scoreboard, and even the music, and we were so excited to be able to make our own game with categories like “Daily, Sometimes, Never,” “Scary Substances,” “Sexy Sex,” and of course “Awesome Addie,” “Hilarious Hailey,” and “Twenty One Pilots.” We had dark chocolate covered bananas, strawberries, and apples (since it’s all about balance) as brain food and we had so much fun being able to see how well everyone remembered our lessons. It was an intense game with all three teams being very competitive and very knowledgeable, and we loved being able to spend our last few hours in the classroom surrounded by such enthusiastic students who were so eager to be sharing what they’ve learned about health.

The thank you cards that we made to bring to all the teachers, administrators, community health representatives, neighbours, and community members who gave us so many reasons to smile every day!

As our time here in Pond has ended, and we’ve had our last lesson, last Music Club, last Sunday morning yoga, last grocery trip to the Co-op, last walk to the lookout, last gym class, and our last Snapchat selfie, we want to thank this beautiful community, and all its amazing people, for welcoming us into their home. We sincerely wish that we could bring a handmade thank you card to every person who waved at us as they drove by, who smiled at us in the grocery store, who introduced themselves to us at the library or the Community Hall, who invited us onto the land or into their homes.

With love from the North (and all of our gratitude),

Hailey C and Addie B

One of our favourite pictures with one of our favourite classes – the Grade 4’s! We are going to miss their bright smiles, their warm hugs, and all of their knowledge so much!

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