Current North Spirit Lake time

The current North Spirit Lake First Nations time is

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“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

I finished off last week’s post saying that there was no school Monday and Tuesday because the water was off. Luckily they were able to fix the problem and it came back on Tuesday afternoon. That meant that school opened up again on Wednesday.

My students were pretty rambunctious all day Wednesday, but despite that we ended up getting a lot of things accomplished that day. We started learning about Lines of Symmetry in math and they picked it up pretty well. In science we talked about where different animals live in the world and by the end of the class most students were able to name some of the continents and animals that live there. So proud of them!

I don’t have much to report on Thursday because the day went by so fast that I don’t even remember what we did! We, once again, accomplished a lot of work. Thursday evening I did a little baking!

Friday the power went off just after 8:00am. There were some students at the school and when it didn’t come back on around 9:00am(for the start of school) they were taken home until it came back on.

The power came back on a little while later so some of the kids came back to school. However, it went off again shortly after they got there! It kept going on and off and I only had 5 students so they got to play for most of the morning. Around 11:00amit came back on and stayed on. A couple more students showed up so we started class up – finally!

The afternoon was normal. The power stayed on and most of the kids were there. They didn’t get free time in the afternoon because of the morning. I was surprised that they weren’t mad about that!

That evening the power was off for a while again. Myself and 3 other teachers all had dinner together. We had to cook on a fire outside. So we made chicken and steak! Later in the evening it came back on so we played a couple games of euchre. I gotta practice for the summer!

Saturday the power was off in the early morning, but it came on by the time I decided to get out of bed. However, it took a couple hours for the water to come back on. I had a ton of laundry to do so when I finally came on I was about to start when the power went off again. The power ended up going on and off a bunch of times throughout the day/evening.

I did manage to squeeze in a Skype conversation with my parents with only one power interruption.

Saturday night I played radio BINGO with a couple other teachers. It was to raise money for the grade 7 and 8 students’ class trip to Vancouver. I came close to winning a couple times, but someone always managed to beat me.

Today has been uneventful – like most Sundays up here. The power was off this morning until around 11:00amso I laid in bed watching movies on my computer. When it came back on I was able to finish my laundry and wash my dishes. Other than that, I’ve just been watching a couple movies.

That’s about it for last week. I’m hoping that this coming week will be the first 5 day week since December! It’s also Shrove Tuesday so we’ll probably be doing some pancake activities.  

I made this head dress Friday morning while the students played. I used wire, safety pins, beads, sinew, and feathers. 

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“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

Good morning! So I’m writing this post from the school this morning because I still don’t have internet at home. I also don’t have school this morning so this gives me something to do. Last week was a fairly regular week. We had school Tuesday to Friday. Which I guess is our first full week since December – kind of crazy!

Wednesday of last week was an okay day. The kids were a little out of control. I don’t know why but they are always good the first day back and then wild the rest of the week after a long holiday.

Wednesday evening I went back to the school to watch a high school folk dance troupe perform. It made me feel like I was back in practicum helping with folk dance. They all did a good job and then at the end I and another teacher were pulled up to join in the audience participation dance. It was pretty fun!

Thursday was a little bit better. The power was turned off over lunch so that they could do some work on it, but it came back on in time for the afternoon. In the afternoon we did science and drama. Right now we’re learning about animals so in drama we acted out various animals. It was a lot of fun and I kept laughing at all their interpretations of animals. They also kept calling out what they wanted to act out so it was nice to see them getting into it.

Friday felt like a very boring day at school. The kids were pretty good and we seemed to be moving pretty slowly. The last half hour of class is usually play time on Fridays so I get a little extra planning time.

Saturday was cleaning day for me. Since I was in Winnipegthe week before I hadn’t cleaned in a while. But now my house is nice and clean!

Sunday was pretty uneventful. I woke to discover that the water was off. It came back on around 5pmfor like 10 minutes, but it was just a dribble. I managed to barely wash my hair in the dribble before it went off again for the rest of the night.

Apparently it was off in the morning because they were trying to fix a leak. There are tons of leaks all over the community. Then in the afternoon the snow plow hit a fire hydrant when he was clearing the roads so the water was off in the afternoon. It snowed a lot over the last few days so the hydrants were buried.

Monday morning the water was still off. They’re having a hard time fixing it. Since there isn’t any water we can’t have school – no way to cook for the kids and no fire system. Staff still had to go to the school so I sat around all day trying to make projects for myself to do.

Today is the same thing. The water still isn’t fixed so I’m sitting at the school writing this post. I’m not sure what to do with my time when I finish because I don’t have a whole lot to do. I’ve planned quite far ahead and now with these days off I’m going to be planned even further!


Here's me participating in the Folk Dance!

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“That’s how stories happen — with a turning point, an unexpected twist.” – Haruki Murakami

This post is a little late this week because my internet still wasn’t working. It was on Tuesday evening on and off so let’s see how long it lasts!

As you know from my last update I traveled to Winnipegon Sunday. Let me just say that Winnipegis not my favourite city! We just didn’t seem to get along. It probably didn’t help that my hotel was pretty crumby – to put it nicely.

The hotel was really old and hadn’t had renovations done in forever. The way the heating system was set up in my room meant that it didn’t work. I had someone from the hotel come up and look at it because I had it on full blast and I was still frozen. They told me that because of its location the room probably wouldn’t heat up. So I had them bring me some extra blankets and I put a towel along the bottom of the door since there was a large gap and the heater was near there.

There were water issues in the city – a water main break somewhere. So my sink ran clear, however my shower was brown all the time. It only cleared up twice, but that was after I let it run for almost half an hour. The hotel was also very noisy. People were constantly running around the halls.

I also found out that it was haunted! I tried to put off looking it up as long as I could because I didn’t want to get scared. When I finally did I found out that there are tons of ghost in that place! And one of them was on my floor in the room either next to or across the hall to mine. I don’t know if I believe in ghosts, but it could explain why someone kept calling my room in the middle of the night and kept hanging up!

Needless to say, the hotel didn’t add to the trip. If anything it took away from it. It wasn’t the hotel that the conference was at, so it was unfortunate that I couldn’t really get to know other teachers. Well that’s about it for the hotel.

Monday was a free day so I decided to ‘sight see’ around Winnipeg. In the morning I took the bus to the mall. I’m not very skilled in riding the bus, so I’m shocked I made it there and back without issue! I did a little shopping – bough a couple sweaters and some tea. I bought loose tea and forgot to get a tea strainer so that was dumb of me!

In the afternoon I decided to go to The Forks to do a little shopping and maybe have dinner. It was supposed to be close to the hotel so I decided to walk. Well the directions I had were kind of crazy and I ended up getting lost. Luckily I ran into a nice man who told me how to get there. What was supposed to be about a 15 minute walk turned into 45 minutes of ‘sight seeing’ around cold Winnipeg– I wasn’t wearing my long johns either!

When I finally got there I did some shopping. There are a few cute shops, but it wasn’t worth the amount of time it took to get there! I also decided not to eat there because I was pretty cold. I decided to take the bus back to the hotel. The bus ride was so short!

Tuesday was the first day of the conference. The day started off with way too many very long speeches! The speeches took up the whole morning to lunch. I should be used to it by now though because, like in Burundi, speeches are super long up here.

In the afternoon I went to a workshop about Early Emergent Literacy Skills. It wasn’t bad. It was geared more towards the Spec Ed students which was fitting for most of my students. I took a few things away from it so that was good. That night I ate dinner in the hotel restaurant. The food wasn’t anything special, but it did the trick.   

Wednesday morning I was a little late to the conference – oops! I thought it started at 9, but it actually started at 8:30. I wasn’t too late and the leader of the workshop I was in didn’t mind. I didn’t find the morning workshop useful at all. We actually didn’t learn anything. It was more about asking our opinion on things. I did win a set of cultural books though.

In the afternoon I went to a really good workshop – Oral Language and Writing in Play Based Kindergarten and Grade 1. I took a lot out of it and plan on implementing it into my lessons. What I learned won’t completely change my Language program, but it will enhance it.

That evening Monika, Adrian, and I went out for dinner. Adriandid research on restaurants before coming so it was a very nice place. We splurged a little bit, but it was definitely worth it!

Thursday morning’s workshop wasn’t too bad. I spent the morning making various crafts from common supplies found on the reserve. Some of them also tied into Science. The afternoon was once again filled with too long speeches! I also didn’t win any of the prizes.

After that Monika and I wanted to walk about the mall that was attached to the hotel. When we got there we found out that there were literally no stores. So we spent about half an hour in a card store until they said they were closing – at 6pm!

Adrian, Monika, and I went out for dinner again Thursday night. This time we went to a restaurant where you order a variety of dishes and share. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it starts with a ‘T’. Then we went to the casino for a little bit. We played one game – Baccarat. We had no idea how to play and after the woman explained it we were intrigued so we gave it a try. I didn’t do very well though.

Overall the conference wasn’t too bad. It was nice to see some of the teachers I met back in August. I also met a few other teachers from a reserve close by. Majority of the workshops I attended were helpful, so that’s good.

Friday we headed back to NSL. I can’t say that I was sad to leave Winnipeg, but it was nice to go to a city for a bit and actually do something. We took a bus from Winnipegto RedLake– about a 6 hour ride. Then we flew to NSL – the flight was pretty quick.

Saturday I spent the morning watching TV and doing laundry. That night Monika and I made homemade pizza and played some cards. Sunday I didn’t do anything all day or night.

Monday was Family Day so once again no school. I had dinner with Monika, Adrian, Brandon, and Destiny. The power went out at night for a few hours. I was nervous that it wasn’t going to come back on in time for school, but it did later that night.

Tuesday we were back at school. My kids were pretty good – however they usually are and then get crazy the second day back. I did have a couple kids away though, so smaller numbers always help with the craziness. I started doing some of the things I learned at the workshops and it went over well. I think it’ll help them be more confident in their writing.

I found out last week that Bujumbura, Burundiwas hit by flash flooding. Everyone that I know in Bujumburaweren’t affected and neither was HopeSchool. The flooding was mainly in the city with heavy rains up country. Some of the worse hit communities were the poorest communities in Bujumbura. Water rushed down the mountains and drains were clogged so everything flooded. Houses are made of mud so they collapsed and washed away. Some roads washed away also. Last I heard, about 70 people died – and most were children. They weren’t tall enough or strong enough to make it through the rushing water to a safe place.

So I ask that you keep Burundiin your thoughts and prayers while they cope with this devastation. If you’d like some more information the two blogs below are written by people living in Bujumbura. 



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