September 15, 2002
Well, when one thinks about traveling to remote areas of this country, especially in the north, it's hard to believe we have to travel south to get back north! That's exactly what happened when we left Iqaluit on the 13th, we flew back to Ottawa. On the 14th, we spent the day getting to Goose Bay via Halifax and Deer Lake. Upon our arrival in Goose Bay, we were greeted by Tim Borlase and his team of volunteers who were ready to load up all our gear and luggage in their vans. The only problem - most of our gear didn't make it! So, for those of us who had to wait for our luggage the next day - it was a bit frustrating to say the least.
Cathy took a few of us around the community of Goose Bay - it was a worthwhile trip and a scenic one as the sun was setting amidst a beautifully clear sky on a fall day. After another quiet evening at the Labrador Inn, our day started at 11 a.m. on Sunday with a trip to Sheshatshiu (pronounced Shay-Shaw-Jeet). This community is 45 minutes north of Goose Bay, and our first stop was at Peter Penashue's home for lunch. Peter is the President of the Sheshatshiu Band Council. Lake Melville surrounds the community and provided a scenic backdrop to a spectacular lunch and gathering of some folks in the area. Peter's wife Mary Anne gave Susan and Tom a lithograph of one her latest works of art. It was great to hear so many of the guests speaking their Native language - Innuaimun. After lunch we met at the Band Council to conduct a workshop for approximately 87 students - some of whom flew or drove in from various remote communities. All the youth who attended the workshop were granted admission to the concert later that evening. Once again this was a very compelling workshop due in large part to Tim's passion at getting us to come to his community. Suicide is a predominant stress for this area and we were happy to see many caregivers come out as well.
Volunteers prepared a fabulous meal for us - although most of us were scrambling to eat our food before the show as we were still waiting for various pieces of equipment and instruments from the airport! The crowds lined up early to get in to the theatre, and every seat was sold. The locals couldn't believe that tickets were gone in advance as most Goose Bay residents generally leave buying tickets for events to the last minute. While Tom and Susan signed autographs, the rest of our crew took our gear to the airport in preparation for our early departure the next morning. (That's tomorrow's story.) Before packing in for the night Tom visited some young people at the hospital. Get well wishes to Dorothy….
Many thanks to Cathy and Jenny, Tim, Gerry, AHS volunteers and Nicole who brightened up our visit to Goose Bay. Hopefully we'll be back!
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