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Reisverslag Well Hey Hay River!!! - First Impressions
31 augustus 2014
Well Hey Hay River!!! - First Impressions
Hey guys, time for an update. I’ve been in Hay River for not even two days now and I have already done and seen so much! I'll try to give you an idea of what it is like over here. Here we go:
What have I done so far?
Among other things I have… seen a bit of the Aurora… become a member of the local library… fixed the tv at the apartment all by myself (lol)... gotten a bike from a teacher for free (!!! Amazing I will try it out tomorrow. I is a blue mountain bike)… been to a local dance at the activity center… swam in the pool (they have a pool!!!! YES)… taken and eaten vegetables from the school garden… spoken French (so many French speaking people up here! I might take lessons because j'ai oublié tout 'eh?)... bought a radio to listen to Moose FM all the time... walked to a farm to feed a massive pig... and met and talked to lots of different people already. So pretty good news, eh?
Well I got here on a relatively small plane, with only 5 other passengers. It was a bumpy ride but pretty fun (this coming from someone who loves roller coasters). Hay River is surrounded by a river (ORLY?!) and lots and lots of trees. Some industry. There is a railroad track and trains full of not people but mysterious goods pass and make a lot of train noise. There are big roads only for cars and then sidewalks next to them... some big stores.. the buildings are not too pretty but the purple school looks quite cool (like a Cadbury/Milka chocolate factory) and I can see it from my balcony. I live right next to the school.
So I am in the "high rise” as they call my apartment building. I am on level 9, and it has 17 floors in total, so quite a few people live here. Students, teachers, drunks, dogs, you name it. My neighbour seems to have a dog I hear a lot of howling. Haven’t seen it though so it could be a wolf. Could be a bear. Could be a moose… They say the higher up you live the better you are (apparently all the addicts live on the same floor below and I should avoid going there or so I have been told). Jen, another volunteer who shows me around, lives below me in a single apartment and I am in a double, waiting for a girl from England to arrive. I’ll be alone for about two more weeks I guess so I took the biggest room HA (sorry Kate if you read this. Your bed is nicer though I tried it). The kitchen is cool and the whole thing is spacey but yeah, no internet unfortunately.
On my first day (in my first hour here, even) Jen basically RAN with me through the school for a quick impression. School starts on Tuesday so I guess I will get or ask for another tour then, because it went quite fast. The building is very new and clean on the inside, with a kitchen for the students too and the classrooms organised by level. The teachers, whom I met after the tour at “Book Club” (this is code for “teachers meeting up at the pub once a month”), seem amazing people, they were all so nice and welcoming and I feel extremely bad for only remembering two of their names. What I have heard about the school is that students really do have problems with addictive stuff, that about 80 percent is from aboriginal descend, and that the school has no real policy against phones (this is what probably scares me the most. Other teachers may understand. No consequences for using phones in class, WHAT!). Skipping school is a common hobby and the teachers said I could probably help with literacy class, reading, writing, and they love the idea of me teaching improv comedy so I will definitely try to organise that rather soon, so the students who join my team can perform on Goat Fest (a Christmas student performance evening thing).
I have already talked to so many nice people so if I had to describe the people in Hay River the first thing that comes to mind is SO NICE. And welcoming. Also quite relaxed and not nosy at all, but willing to talk once you take the time to sit down with them (I did this at the dance. I knew nobody so I thought I might as well introduce myself to random people ‘eh???). But of course there are many different people here. Have not met any students yet and I have not been to the reserve yet or to the other side of the river, I have just seen New Town really. I did talk to an aboriginal lady (she teaches Slavi (probably spelled it wrong. Aboriginal languages) at the primary school) and her husband at the dance and they told me all about the aurora and life in the North. Met quite a few people who graduated from Diamond Jenness too and none of them knew where the Netherlands was so I will definitely have a chat with the geography teacher at the school.(!!!) But yeah, in short I am in good hands and it is good to know that Jen, the other volunteer, lives below me, and a very super cool (chouette!) French teacher lives above me (Claudia, I had breakfast with her today and she took me to the farm to feed the pig and is really into recycling - like most people here - and she can talk about compost for hours). Oui oui I am in good hands.
The days ahead
I will meet more teachers and talk to the lady who kind of 'hired' me about what I can and will and should and would like to do at the school. I will see the students!!! And I will open a bank account too and find a Canadian sim card for less than 99 dollars :O (they charge not only for the card but also for activation which is.. weird). Stuff is muy expensive up here. I will probably get the apartment a bit more organised in the days ahead, and I will explore the area with my bike. I already put the bell on it (to ward off any bears, LOL) and I am excited to see the lake (I haven't yet). Anyway I am really excited and happy and you don’t need to worry about me at all. A reminder if you want to send me mail send it to the school of which I put the address in my previous post!! (now that I have seen the flat + mail boxes I get why it is not safe to send things to my house).
Pics on facebook soon. Thank you dankjewel tot ziens, smokjes!!! :*
Foto's bij verslag (7)
1 september 2014 06:56 | Door: Marjet
Dus toch een zwembad, net Peize ;).
1 september 2014 11:17 | Door: oma van heereveld
Hi Mathilde, wat ben ik blij met je fantastische ervaringen. Zo fijn dat je het allemaal uirvoerig vertelt! Blijkbaar heb je het al goed naar je zin. Volg je met grote interesse. Dag lieve Mathilde, love, Oma