Posted by: pointsevensnowball | December 17, 2008

Channeling the Grinch on Canada’s favourite island destination

mmm White Spot anyone?

mmm White Spot anyone?

After a great week in the Okanagan, Tracy and I zipped into the Lower Mainland. Knowing we only had an hour or so to spare before catching the ferry in Tsawassen, we made plans to lunch with my Dad and Tracy’s Mama. And while our parental reunion was perhaps not quite as fraught with emotion as Tracy and Gabe’s reunion, it was very nice to squeeze my pops. So fast forward through laughs, love and a ferry ride and you’d find Tracy, me and a pizza in our hotel room at the Ramada Victoria (thanks Ramada Victoria!!!). We were exhausted and happy to unwind by watching a little So You Think You Can Dance Canada (go Niko with your incredible self, that little lisp… sigh).

Next day we were up EARLY to present to 100 or so leadership students at Oak Bay Secondary. A few students in particular impressed us with well, their leadership. One girl showed her support for World AIDS Day by wearing all red. When we asked for a volunteer to stand up in front of the class she put her hand up confidently. With groups of 100+ we often ask one student (let’s call her Rachel) to stand to represent .7% of the room. Then we ask 1/6th of the room to stand up to represent people who live in extreme poverty on our planet. Then we say, “If Rachel can increase her Official Development Assistance to .7% by 2015 then half of the people in the 1/6th group can take a seat because they will no longer be living in extreme poverty. And if Rachel can maintain that .7% level of giving through 2025, the rest of you can take a seat because no one will be living in extreme poverty”. The point is to illustrate how much of an impact .7% and/or one person can have.

We're Grinchy like that

We're Grinchy like that

Later that day, Tracy and I scored a giant snowball – woohoo!! As volunteers at the Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, we helped to sort through a bunch of Christmas decorations given to the Centre from the mall. Basically, we were picking out the cool decorations and sorting out the recyclables. And then we came across a giant round cotton wad on a skinny wooden stand. It used to be a snowman apparently but now… now it was a GLORIOUS SNOWBALL! And the perfect accessory for our booth at the upcoming Winterfest. So in manner of the Grinch, we took that (unwanted) Christmas wad, stuffed it in the trunk, patted Cindy Loo Who’s wee head and commanded the little reindeer mutt to pull us back to the Ramada.

Tuesday Trace and I presented to another group of 100 or so students at Lambrick Park. Due to some technical issues at the beginning we didn’t have as much time as we would have liked with the students. I think it’s a bummer when we don’t get a chance to engage the students in discussion at the end. By giving them a bit of time to reflect on our points and then asking for their feedback or challenges, I think it deepens their understanding. Plus it makes for a more dynamic experience on our end as we get a lot of unique questions/feedback.

Vic High - oldest school West of Winnipeg and North of San Fran

Vic High - oldest school West of Winnipeg and North of San Fran

Mid week. Let’s see, what’d we do. Oh right, we presented at beautiful, old Vic High in the classroom of a very cool, very chilled out teacher. The vibe in the classroom was awesome. When we saw that students were free to help themselves to peanut butter on bread in the corner we knew we were in a special class. And the students didn’t disappoint, challenging us with insightful questions and giving us their full attention and sincere feedback. They were a really bright group and Tracy and I particularly enjoyed presenting in their class. Oh, and their teacher, Mr. Pine, was another teacher to pass a collection jar around the room in support of our fundraising for the Millennium Villages project. As we never request donations from the students, we are always extremely honoured when classes make that extra effort. Thank you Vic High.

Tracy and I with JoAnn Roberts!

Tracy and I with JoAnn Roberts!

After the Vic High presentation, we had a couple of media dates. I did the first radio interview with a local talk radio station and then we teamed up to do a radio interview at All Points West with Jo-Ann Roberts. We both felt the interview went well. Jo-Ann was really supportive of our mandate and made us both feel at ease during the interview. The next day we were excited to see an email come through from a CBC listener who while supportive of our mission, was critical of what she perceived as our failure to communicate the fact that Canadians are part of the government (as opposed to being a seperate entity). She made an interesting point but we didn’t fully understand her criticism and asked her to elaborate in our reply.

So that’s about it for the first half of the week. On the food side, lots of Earls and just for a change, we ate at Rebar one night. Mmmm… awesome veg fare. Okay, I must sleep. Night e-world.

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Responses

  1. Good day,

    Just a quick note to wish you all the best in 2009

    I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay at the Ramada Victoria.

    Cheers,
    Dodie Costain


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