For our third week of skills, we learned how to guide a whitewater raft down Class I rapids. This was week one of two weeks of “river touring” instruction.
…I’m an American on the Canadian Shield
And I’m putting down roots in your frozen fields…
Sam Roberts Band’s An American Draft Dodger in Thunder Bay (Chemical City, 2011)Continue reading “Reflections from the Canadian Shield”
Skills days at Wilderness Tours (WT) happen on Thursdays and Fridays in the first term. Otherwise I sit in academic classes Monday to Wednesday and bounce back and forth between Pembroke and Toronto on the weekends.
Contrary to popular belief, summer does not end with the Labo(u)r Day weekend. I re-discovered this the hard way, sweating buckets overnight in my brand new MEC TGV 2 tent and slapping at imaginary insects crawling up my arms. Welcome to your new program, career change, and new life! Air conditioning? Long gone. Showers? Forget about it. That’s what the Ottawa River is for.
Twenty-eight months ago I had a vague feeling that I needed to be working at something other than finance in a financial services firm. Twenty-eight months. That’s all. It feels like eons ago.
I took five months off to travel, study, network, see if I could bring any sort of shape to that vague feeling. It felt virtually impossible to know what else was out there in terms of careers when I had been doing more or less similar work for eleven years. As my “find myself” nest egg ran out, an old Boston College classmate dropped a Chief Financial Officer opportunity in my lap. With his introduction smoothing the way, the role was mine to win or lose. “I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to be CFO,” I thought to myself as I accepted an offer of employment.
You spent the formative years of your childhood playing in the yard that took your dad three hours to mow with a push lawnmower. He carefully edged around the vegetable garden that sprouted baseball bat-sized zucchini in the summer which your mom turned into chocolate zucchini cake with orange cream cheese frosting when she ran out of more traditional uses for the squash. You and your sister made paths through the fallen maple leaves in the fall, sledded down the yard’s sizeable hill in the winter, helped turn over your mom’s tulip beds in the spring, and swung on the swings of your aluminum tube swing set in the summer.
The sun sparkles off of Cayuga Lake as Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, ploughed farmland, and lush vineyards roll past on the 65 kilometre drive down the west side of the lake towards Ithaca. In the land of “if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes” the sunshine is most welcome and showcases the region’s natural beauty.Continue reading “Ithaca is Gorges”
We shifted uncomfortably in our seats in the international terminal of Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport. No amount of rotating achy shoulders or stretching restless legs could erase a poor night’s sleep on an overnight KLM flight from Boston. After struggling to prop open our eyelids during a three-hour layover, my sister and I boarded an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin, our excitement muted by exhaustion. We were one sleepy hour away from the homeland.Continue reading “Irish Beginnings”
The insulated quiet of the fresh snowfall was broken by our huffing and puffing as we blazed a trail on snowshoes through two feet of new powder.
Soft flute and clarinet music interspersed with birds chirping pipes into the warm moist room through speakers on the walls. A mix of six men and women dressed in form-fitting yoga tops and bottoms are already warming themselves on the black silica rock filling up about a quarter of the room.Continue reading “Iyashi Bedrock Spa”