Arrival at High Noon

“My blog is back.”

Such a lie. It’s been more than a month since I’ve last written in this fossil I call a blog. Sorry about that. Amazing things have happened within the last month that have prevented me from getting to a computer to spend some quality hand to keyboard love-making.

However, I’m here now, and that’s what truly matters, no? In an effort to kind of get everyone up to speed, here’s what has happened: I was in billeting right before that last entry until the 9th of May. My billet parents were fantastic. I will definitely be coming back to visit them at some point. They had a piano that they loved to hear (neither parents could play), and my billet grandma invited me to perform at the Lion’s Manor in Selkirk (a retirement apartment building). I did, and it was fantastic. I even received $20 out of the deal and a free Chinese food dinner. All in all, a fine payment for someone who only makes $3/day.

The following weekend our group had planned to have our 72 hours off (it was May Long Weekend, so it wasn’t just the usual 48 hours off we get from each other). I was to spend my time off with my brother who lives in Thunder Bay, but he had just got a job as a security guard at an airport, so he wasn’t going to come down to Winnipeg. I decided to switch my plans and do something I’d never done before: stay at a hostel and be alone. Not entirely alone, mind you. Daniel and I hung out for 2 of those days, and he showed me around Winnipeg and actually made me appreciate what the Capital of Manitoba has to offer. We had sushi, went shopping in antique stores, furniture stores, and walked around the Forks. It was great weather all weekend.

We even got to see some live music. I talked with each artist after to find out what their drive is, why they are doing what they are doing, do they have safety nets. I received different answers from each one. Some artists are performing without safety nets and just seeing how far their music will take them (most of them have CDs recorded). I was so inspired by them, but I know I have my path set out for me: Get a degree in Gerontology and then become a recording artist. That way, if something goes horribly wrong in the music industry, I can aide the elderly.

On the May-Long Monday, it rained. I sat in a Second Cup off of Main St. and wrote lyrics (I had never tried until that day). I wrote 4 songs, and I have melodies floating in my head for each song I’ve wrote. I’m so proud of what I have done and when I showed it to my group and other people, they were really impressed too. I’m looking forward to see what more ideas pop out of my brain. I plan on performing those songs at Open Mics and Coffee Houses very soon when I get home to Toronto.

The following weekend was the 30th Anniversary of Katimavik. 6 groups gathered in Winnipeg in Spence Neighbourhood to build a community garden for the children and for the adults. There was an Open Mic where I performed along with a fellow participant and my Project Leader. There are videos that I will post of the other amazing events that happened that day. I also said a speech on the behalf of all the Katimavik participants thanking Katimavik, the Project Co-ordinators, the Project Leaders, the community, and my peers. I was winging it, but it went quite well. I’m good at thanking people.

This past weekend was spent celebrating Stonewall’s 100th Anniversary. I dressed up as a clown, raised money for a 50/50 draw and entertained children. After lunch I sold candy to raise money for the new playground that was being constructed for the elementary school. I was cutting deals with the candy, selling boxes for 10 dollars (I was like a human Costco). I sold 3 cases of candy and estimated about $125 was made. Hooray for me.

We also had a debriefing camp at Prairie’s Edge Eco Village, where we spent 2 days being with one another, saying our goodbyes, being emotional, digging up weeds, tilling soil, playing with dogs and cats, celebrating a baby’s 1st birthday. It was such a lovely place to have a debriefing camp. The best part about it was that I finally saw my first shooting star (we don’t get them much in the South).  It was such an amazing view: no lights, wide open spaces, no cities for miles.  Just a giant blanket of stars in the sky.  I’m so glad I did this program.

I received my $1000 cheque 2 hours ago along with a certificate and a goodbye note from my Project Leader. Now all that’s left is to wait for a bus to show up at our house at 3:30 AM and take us to the airport. From there, I will wait until 9, when a plane will show up and take all of the Ontario participants to Toronto. The plane will touch down at noon and I will be done Katimavik.

I have many plans for the summer, which I will talk about in another entry (more than likely it will be later on today). I leave you with two slide shows: the Earth Day Cleanup and Gingerbread. If you hover your mouse over the picture, an “i” will appear. Click on it to get a little information about that slide. See you in another timezone.

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