Monday, April 26, 2010


 at one of our restaurant pit stops

4.5 days. 13 tweenagers. 4 flights. 8 soccer games. 1 Diary of a Wimpy Kid and I survived it all!!! Admittedly I don't have a lot of patience when it comes to kids...particularly if they misbehave. And considering I have never chaperoned before, I was a bit nervous going into this trip. Overall tho, I really can't complain. Everyone returned to Fort Good Hope safe and sound (albeit a bit exhausted...especially us adults!) And here's a few things I learned while supervising the kids during their soccer tournament in Yellowknife:
- I am absolutely convinced that 12 year olds have a defect of the brain that prompts them to ask the same questions 10,000 times a day
- Each of these 10,000 questions absolutely must be answered at the moment they think of it, regardless if the adult at hand is engaged in another conversation...ESPECIALLY if the adult at hand is engaged in another conversation
- Mumbling is their preferred dialect
- Ipods are their preferred accessory
- "Huh?" is there preferred response
- All are masters at tuning out the adult voice that is trying to discipline them
- At a dance you definitely don't dance, you walk, strut, giggle and shriek in large groups

I was pretty proud of our kids tho. No one got hurt and they had fun, and that's what it's all about anyway!

our troupe :)
Coach Jimmy at one of the girls' games

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Down South" (as it's called here) there are many stereotypical views held about the North, and vice versa. But particularly when it comes to Aboriginal people, I have heard and seen many negative things over the years. In fact, I would say that my general view of Aboriginal people was one based on fear. I was afraid of them. This week, however, all those stereotypes were turned on their heads as I sat and participated in workshops and sharing circles for Victims of Crime Awareness Week. Former victims and former abusers told stories, shed tears and, above all, shared hope regarding their community, their people and their desire to stop violence. It was inspiring and beautiful. Particularly touching for me was when a woman looked across the circle at her now adult daughter (who is struggling to leave an abusive relationship herself) and said, "I'm sorry for treating you badly. I'm sorry for beating you when you were a child." And the daughter said, "It's okay Mom. I don't blame you. I love you. It made me who I am today, a strong woman." I don't think there was a dry eye in the circle.

Heading to Yellowknife for the weekend to chaperone a group of 13 year olds participating in a soccer tournament. Lord give me strength!! :)

group work during Victims of Crime Awareness Week

The Band Office (kind of like the town hall) is where most community events take place. This is also where the Recreation Coordinator works, and she is who Anouk and I work with to help with community events.

part of a painting on the outside of the Band Office

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Change of Plans

No Colville Lake this weekend :(  We (Anouk, myself and 3 others) were supposed to go for their Spring Carnival. But, since there are no paved roads up here, and the winter ice road has melted and turned to mud, we didn't make it. We tried tho. Drove 15 kms in about an hour and a half on the bumpiest ride I have ever experienced! Anouk told me that plans can change often up here...So today I just walked around the town and took some photos:

modern version of a teepee
 the one and only store here
in front of a house
at the Catholic church's graveyard, the town also has a pentecostal church

Friday, April 16, 2010

Learning Every Day

My first NT about 10:30pm!

I've only been here three days and I've already done and seen so many new things it's astonishing to me. Yesterday I heard a traditional Aboriginal story about Warrior's Mountain from Charlie. Today, Angus took me on my first skidoo ride, and let me drive! It was on the Mackenzie of the most amazing experiences of my life. Yes, there are challenges - only one store, no job description, mud (lol) - but what I'm learning more than makes up for any "negative".

Our (Anouk and my) house. It's very nice and comfy on the inside ;)

New friends

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm here!

Flew from Winnipeg to Edmonton. Edmonton to Yellowknife. Yellowknife to Norman Wells. Then a small propeller plane from Norman Wells to Fort Good Hope. Anouk (the girl I work with) met me at the "airport" - a teeny one-room just outside the town. Brent and Bob, two RCMP dudes, drove us back into town, and then proceeded to try and recruit me to work as a guard! (I said I'd think about it.) It's beautiful here, but very, very different from what this city girl is used to. I've already met some wonderful people and can't wait for further stories and adventures. Not able to load pics yet, but I'm working on that!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here We Go!!

Bags are packed. Stuff is in storage. Leaving tonight for the far North!! I'm not sure when I'll be able to update my blog for the first time up there. So I wanted to take a second to give a big "thank you" to all you wonderful peeps who follow my blog. I sure enjoy updating it, as well as following many of your own wonderful, creative blogs.
Wish me luck. Wow. Here goes nothing!! I hope NWT is ready for me! xo

from (love her stuff so much)

Friday, April 9, 2010

In Winnipeg for a couple days saying goodbye to the folks.
It never ceases to amaze me. No matter how old I get, no matter how old she gets,
my mom never stops mothering me. xo

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Yippee!! The three things I accomplished during my too long year and a half here:
1. Paid off an 8 grand credit card debt
2. Started my etsy shop
3. Got published for the first time in avenue magazine
I'm sure there were more things I did, I just can't remember what they were.

Bye bye Edmonton. Next stop, Northwest Territories!! xo

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Just got home from Cincinnati. But "home" isn't always the place you come back to...Edmonton never really felt like home anyway. I'm back here for two days before finally heading North. Go figure I was just offered the TEFL job in Guatemala! But, I committed to Fort Good Hope, so that's where I'll be trekking.

I haven't quite returned to reality yet. So in honour of our time in Cinicinnati, here's how Shawny and I started every day: Frisch's Big Boy breakfast buffet. The best and most friendly service either of us had ever encountered.
And how we ended every day: On the balcony of our hotel, looking out over the Ohio River to downtown Cincinnati.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Zoo and stuff

I have mixed feelings about zoos. Do I protest the fact that animals are being forced to live outside their natural environments? Or do I reap the educational benefits of seeing animals that I'd never get the chance to see otherwise?...Shawny and I went to the Cincinnati Zoo today. We had fun, but felt sad for the animals...

We leave Cincinnati tomorrow. Then it's back to reality. *sigh*

Friday, April 2, 2010

Justin Vernon. His concert last night at Cincinnati's Memorial Hall was absolutely jaw-dropping. He is an incredible artist and it really was a privilege to see and hear him live.

The opening act - Colin Stetson - played the saxophone and clarinet. It was like nothing I'd ever heard before! Completely original and inspiring. Shawny (my s.o.) and I even got our picture on a site reviewing the show - pic #21. An awesome experience all around!

And here's more Shepard Fairey street art, just cuz I'm loving his stuff so much right now.
Three more days. We're having fun and the weather is HOT! Wish I would have brought shorts. Who would have thunk it?