Lauren, Canada

 

So I’ve been here in Canada for just under two and a half months now, and I’m absolutely loving it at camp!! I work at a Camp which is an hours drive away from Alberta’s capital, Edmonton. We are on the edge of Lac Ste Anne which means we can go swimming, kayaking and canoeing whenever we want. We have a lot of activities here that we can do year round in our Outdoor School programs, these are usually school groups or boy scouts or girl guides, and we have all been trained on how to lead archery, rock climbing, vertical playground, zipline, team all aboard, high ropes, low ropes, forest exploration, shelter building, fire building, group challenge, kayaking, tandem canoeing and voyageur canoeing sessions! It’s a lot of fun interacting with your groups, especially if they are staying at camp for a couple of days, as you can make closer bonds with them, and seeing them get much more confident and laugh and contribute to their team.  Volunteering here is so much fun and I’m planning to stay on here longer than I intended to, until the end of fall (or autumn in kiwi language!) for a couple of reasons. One – I love my job. Two – I have met some amazing people and want to spend a bit more time with them before I disappear back home again. Three – being in a different country is an awesome experience! Things are rather different here, from the way they speak to the words they use for normal things.. for example, tertiary education is called “school” instead of uni or polytech, and beanies are known as “toques”. And your heart stops beating at a hundred miles an hour driving down the wrong side of the road at 120km/h after about 3 weeks, and you learn to look to the left before crossing the road! I’ve also picked up a slight Canadian twist to my New Zealand accent; spring staff have been here for a month and a half and have noticed a big change in my accent! Very exciting!

As for travelling around and seeing Canada, come summer time I will only have Saturday afternoons and Sundays off for 8 weeks, and I’m looking forward to the rush of summer camp seeing as we don’t have it at home at all, but we have been getting away from camp on our days off and going either to Edmonton to socialise with normal humans (who have normal human names instead of Trinity (me) or Buck or Puffin or Wonka or Magpie etc etc!!) and indulge in a little retail therapy at the second biggest mall in the world, or driving to Jasper in the Rockies 3 hours away for either skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing or camping weekends. I have loved seeing the change in seasons here, it is so much more dramatic than at home! The forests in March and April were white with snow and brown with dead trees but literslly overnight the leaves sprouted and everything is now so green!!! Our lake completely melted on the 5th of May too, so we are canoeing on it instead of cross country skiing across to the island! I’m absolutely loving it here in Canada and having a wonderful time. I encourage anyone who is humming and hahing about latitude to just go for it, the rewards are well worth the plunge into independence in a foreign country!!

Till next time, Trinity (aka Lauren) :-)