Posted by: pointsevensnowball | November 28, 2008

Regina: thinking pink, being dealt a losing hand and painters paradise

I wasn’t sure what to expect as we headed to Regina. The only thing I really knew about Saskatchewan, aside from the fact that there is a lot of farming there and that it is very flat, is that old joke about how the last person to leave Saskatchwan should turn off the lights. Knowing that a lot of people had left the province, I wondered what those that were left would be like. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Regina was a lot of fun.

After singing our hearts out at Karaoke on Monday night (Gangsta-style), then seeing Craig Kielburger on Wednesday, I already considered the week a hit and we still had half of it left.

But the last few days didn’t let us down. I have to give Regina props for having some really great residents.

Our new friends at SARBI

Our new friends at SARBI

Case in point was Thursday morning when we went to SARBI, a brain injury rehabilitation centre where we met some really inspiring people recovering from car accidents and strokes primarily. After losing a game of crib to Brielle and another fellow, Kris the recreational therapist and I teamed to try and kick some serious crib butt, but to no avail. The fellow next to me, whose commentary included some of the most creative curse words I’ve ever heard, had us all laughing and took away the sting of the second consecutive loss. It was a great way to spend the morning.

That afternoon we headed off to Dr. Martin Leboldus high school, where we did a presentation for a group of grade 10 students. The presentation came as a result of another happy coincidence. The students from Leboldus were some of the many in attendance at the Kielburger talk the previous night (and he had visited the school earlier that day). So, we went in knowing that the students were already thinking about giving back. The teacher, Liz Fogarty was also really supportive of the campaign and said she would like to get the class involved in a .7% fundraiser of some sort! We can’t hera that enough times. Seriously.

That night we met some really cool kids at the Eastview Community centre. The centre is located in a neighbourhood where the poverty rate is high and where the majority of kids come from single parent families. So, the centre co-ordinator said the centre gives the kids a safe place to hang out, play games, check email and just generally be kids without having to worry about some of the other issues in their lives.

Brielle was super stoked to see the kids setting up a volleyball net in the gym, so I knew she would probably be posted there for the remainder of the night. I decided to hang out with the younger kids, supervising them while they painted. It was hilarious. I wasn’t sure exactly how far we were allowed to let the kids go, so I basically just let them go wild with paint — mixing the colours together with their hands, throwing paint at windows and smearing paint generally everywhere. I then became paranoid and spent the rest of the night wiping it up.

After managing to clean up most of the paint smears and drips (with help from the awesome kids), we spent the end of the night tracing the kids on paper and then letting them fill their outlines with whatever their imaginations could dictate.  It was so much fun and the kids got really creative. I especially loved meeting a family of sisters who were from Tuktyuktuk and who told me a lot about their people and their traaditions as Inuit. It was a great night and I learned a lot from the kids. The centre co-ordinator, who often spends the night alone trying to manage all of these kids, was an amazing lady who should be commended for her dedication.

We spent our last day in the ‘Gina speaking with students at Luther College, a sort of private faith-based school which has a large international student population. The day went well – the students asked a lot of   questions which always leads me to believe they are getting it.

After our day at high school, we headed to university where we met a “our new best friend” Nakia. Brielle and I were volunteering at the University of Regina, where the girls and boys basketball teams were taking on the University of Victoria. We couldn’t help but cheer for our home province team, even as we sported University of Regina Cougars t-shirts.

We were there to help out with a breast cancer fundraiser called Shooting for the Cure, in which the girls

Brielle, Sarah and I

Brielle, Sarah and I

donned pink Russell Athletic sweatshirts (with an embroidered Cougars insignia on the front, a Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation pink ribbon on one arm and the individual player numbers on the others) for their warm up. The sweatshirts were then auctioned off, with all of the proceeds going to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The most touching part of the event was that a lady (somehow connected to the team, but I am not sure how) decided to collect funds to purchase the sweatshirt of a player from Europe, whose family couldn’t be there to support her. Her sweatshirt ended up going for more than $300. We had a lot of fun and loved hanging out with the lively and energetic Nakia, a soccer player for the university.

The next morning, we finished our week the way we started it, enjoying a meal with Sarah and her boyfriend Curtis before we hit the highway for a very flat drive to Lethbridge. On the drive Brielle and I were treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen and I couldn’t help but snap about 100 photos of it.

Beautiful sunset (pic 1)

Beautiful sunset (pic 1)

Sunset on the way to Lethbridge (No.2)

Sunset on the way to Lethbridge (No.2)

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Responses

  1. Enjoying reading the blog . . . you girls are doing GREAT stuff. Really, really great stuff. (I could keep going with that, but I think my point is clear.)

    Also got to say that “Beautiful Sunset (pic1)” is a tremendous shot . . . for so many reasons. Well done.


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