Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Break from school and Albany River Break-up

I just got back into Kashechewan yesterday after 3 weeks of being "home" in Southern Ontario. As some of you may already be aware my sister has been sick since late November, and things got worse at the beginning of April, so I decided to come south before the Goose Break began to be with my family in Toronto in the hospital where my sister was being treated. She's slowly on the mend so I felt good enough to come back in time for school to start up again, although my thoughts and prayers are with her and my family always.

As always leaving and coming back to Kash was an adventure in itself - the weather and somewhat unreliable communication of the small airlines led to me almost not leaving Kash the first week of April. Timmins got hit hard by a snow storm the day I was scheduled to leave, and my flight from Kash to Timmins was inevitably delayed, meaning that I would miss my connecting overnight bus to Toronto. So I called upon a friend up here with some good connections, and he got me on a small cargo plane (carrying "pop-chip" into Kash) leaving the same day to Moosonee. From there I took a train into Cochrane, stayed in a small motel overnight, and then traveled 12 hours on the train from Cochrane to Toronto the following day. I don't usually think about how far away from friends and family until I'm traveling and it takes more than a day...

My break was spent mostly in Toronto at St. Micheal's Hospital with my family, although I did manage small visits to Peterborough and London. Coming back was also stressful. Scott and I planned to take the overnight bus from Toronto to Timmins on Sunday night – due to a oversight Scott was scheduled to get into Timmins 5 minutes after his flight to Kash left the tarmac. After frantically attempting to contact the airline to try to get them to delay the flight slightly, or trying to get Scott on another flight (but his ticket was non-refundable or non-transferable) we ended up taking the overnight bus but got off a stop early and took a cab straight to the airport. Scott JUST made his flight. Happily, he is here now in Kash with me for my remaining two months. He will be working with NAPS (the police) and also volunteering at the school while completing a .5 university credit course. He says, "hi" to readers :)

Kashechewan has undergone some large changes while we were away – most noticeably is that almost all of the snow has melted, leaving in its wake (literally) A LOT of mud, A LOT of water, and A LOT of garbage. I look forward to helping organize a town clean up with the school. Also of note is the "break-up" of the Albany River. Scott and I and some friends took a drive past the airport to see the river breaking up – ice chunks piled high upon ice chunks as the river quickly shifts. A flood warning is in effect and so school was cancelled today, and until further notice. If we have to evacuate it needs to happen quickly, and therefore school authorities can't risk having 400 kids away from their families. It's pretty neat to see, and hear – overnight you can hear low rumblings of the ice sliding against itself, louder noises of it cracking, too.

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