About a year ago, I was making my way to Encounters with Canada: Medicine and Health at the Terry Fox Centre in Ottawa!
Encounters with Canada for those of you who do not know what it is, is a Canadian government funded program for youth of grades 9-12 around Canada to meet in the capital city to learn about a topic they’re passionate about!
For more info , check out: https://www.ewc-rdc.ca/en/home.html;jsessionid=E8AC825391D33FC6D3D8E4A485CF77CE
Mostly this page will be describing my experience. And I’ll be honest, that one week in Ottawa, was the most peaceful week of my life. I took a week off of school, and that was a big mistake, but I’m so glad I went that week because I met amazing people. I didn’t have to worry about responsibilities like taking care of my family, or writing homework, or leading my clubs, or going to work, or going to class and all of these heaps of things. Literally 24/7 was about making new friends, immersing myself in new environments, and having fun.
I thought I would learn a lot in the medical and health field and I did learn a bit but it was mostly the history of Canada that intrigued me. You see I was Gr.10 at the time but taking S.S. 11 so this trip really helped me get a head start on an advanced course! I went to the War Museum, the cemetery where Canadian soldiers were buried and did a candle light ceremony, the Museum of Civilization, and many more. I got to take part in a CSI crime scene investigation for a forensics workshop, and there was a career panel talking about their jobs.
I think the Parliament Building tour was really fascinating. I got to step into the Senate, and the HoC, and just feel my hands brush themselves against the rare limestone they used to construct the building. Never have I ever felt closer to the Senate scandal than this because all those senators who were involved in the scandal were questioned by reporters here. The building was incredible and soooo beautiful. I also got to visit the Governor General’s house, where he has a garden with trees planted by famous people and a fountain of Hope in front of his door dedicated to Terry Fox<3
Another memory, was shopping at the Rideau Canal, it was so fun to think that while I was here shopping with my new friends, my friends back at home were writing a test. Okay, actually I was a bit freaking out because I knew I had to make it up at some point. But I got to taste my first beaver tale, and boy was it good. For those who don’t know, I did not actually eat a beaver’s tail, well I did, but it’s this bread cooked with toppings like cinnamon and sugar. And it’s so warm, and sweet, and full of this oozing goodness, you’ll definitely need to buy one now;)
People there are amazing. We had talent shows, where everyone was so talented! Then we had dances where some people danced, and others just chilled. We also pin swapped, swapping items with other people, and I guess for my friends and I we met through playing charades on the first day. I just went up to people and we all crowded around the bunk beds and started to play.
Honestly, it didn’t feel like that long ago. I couldn’t stop bawling my eyes out at the end, because really when was I ever in my life go on a road trip and visit every single one of them? I highly doubt it! So we all held each other, British Columbia peeps were the last one to arrive but we were the first to leave, so it was even more depressing. I was able to get past my emotional trauma of not having my new friends at school anymore around 2-3 months after, but I still thought of them. Even now, when my friends at school have gone to encounters and I see their Snapchats, I can’t not feel sad and depressed. People have gone off to university, or moved, and yeah….
Pictures from this fab events: