Thursday, January 12, 2012

Day 140 Thunder Bay to Kakabeka Falls, Ontario

Day 140, back on Shuttle 1 with Kayla as the medal bearer host. It has been over a month since I have been rostered on shuttle bus. Our first medal bearer briefing was at the Ogden Community school in Thunder Bay. Kayla has the class riveted as she talks about the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary relay.

This group of difference makers was in great spirits considering we had a 730 am meeting time.

It was definately still dark outside when we arrived.

We started day 140 of the relay in the gym at the Ogden school. Medal bearer #1, Krystian, was nomimated by her school.

Along the route we passed another school (the name escapes me), the students braved the cold to come out and cheer on the relay!
Medal bearer #5 for the day, Joslyn, waits on the side of the road with her family. One of our pilots, Josh, waits with her and assures her that that the convoy is on the way and it will soon be her turn to carry the Rick Hansen medal. She entered our contest to be a medal bearer and was given a spot based on her submission:
I am a member of the emergency medical services in the city of thunder bay I can remember your (Rick Hansen's)  journey through the northern part of Ontario

and stood out in the cold weather to bear witness to your courage and determination to complete your quest! I try to give as much as I can to

my community as I can by volunteering to be a trainer for area hockey teams and fundraising for local charities as I can. We have very busy

lives these days and I have passed the lesson to my 3 boys with them helping the elderly in the community by doing yard work for them such

as shoveling snow in the winter and cutting grass and raking leaves in the fall and spring.

Kayla with Gemma, a grade 7 student at Pope John Paul II school in Thunder Bay. This girl was an absolute delight, and her smile was infectious. She has cerebral palsy, but that was not an obstacle for her today. She was so excited to be part of the relay. Wow! is all I can say!

After we finished dropping off our first medal bearer group, Kayla and I had another meeting point this time in Murillo, about 20 kilometres from Thunder Bay. There were no restaurants there, so Kayla and I drove to Kakabeka Falls, about 10 kilometres farther up the road, and where our end of day celebration will be.

Interesting artwork at the Country side cafe. I am not up on my fish, I have no idea what kind it is.

Kind of looks like a brook trout, but feel free to correct me.

On the cover of the menu was a story about Green Mantle, an Indian princess who saved her people from the Sioux Indians. You can read about Kakabeka Falls and the legend of Green Mantle here
Well, the falls were impressive in their frozen state, I can just imagine what they would look like if I ever get to come through this way in the summer (two relays, both during winter)

It was mild enough that there was still some water flowing that we could see.

The falls is on the Kaministiquia river, which flow into Lake Superior at Thunder Bay

Downtown Kakabeka Falls, which, with Murillo, is part of a township by the name of Oliver Paipoonge, which has a population of about 5500

Our 2nd meeting point of the day was at the Murillo community hall.

A plaque commemorating the history of Murillo
Okay, this picture inside the community haul is excactly as I imagined Kakabeka Falls to be in summer.

Our proud difference makers of Oliver Paipoonge!

We started dropping off our second group at Crestview school in Murillo. Medal bearer number 19 was Cole, who was nominated by the school. Then the relay made a brief community stop to celebrate the medal bearers here at the Murillo community center, where we had a our medal bearer briefing.

Here we are dropping off Patricia, who had a huge support group waiting for her, most of them her nieces and nephews!

All the kids donned mickey mouse ears and joined her on her segment! Here is her story:

I have had an ISCI since 2002. I recently moved to Kakabeka and plan on having children with disabilities in my home. I want to show these

children that they too can live an independant life full of possibilities!! If you can dream it, you can acheive it!! " Harmony House" will be a place

for these children to play, arts and crafts, gardening, music, cooking , outdoor activitiesetc.. I hope all will be ready within 2 years , God willing!!

I have 9 Beautiful neices and nephews ages 1 to 10 who all live close to me and they are sooo excited to be a part of Harmony House. I met

Rick Hansen in Thunder Bay when I was 16 and it helped steer me into becoming an RPN which I absolutely loved for 11 years until my injury. I

feel soo Blessed for all that I have been given in my life and I want to share that with these Amazing children. One of my favorite quotes is :

Dont let your sorrow swallow everything!! Thank you sooo much for all you have done to bring awareness and hope to all who have sustained a

SCI, I would feel sooo honoured if I could be a part of your 25 Anniversary celebration. Take care , Sending love and happiness Always, Patricia

Another relay first, our end of day celebration was at the Kakabeka Falls public school, and it was great to have all of the students take part in our ceremony.

The final medal bearer of the day was the town mayor, Lucy Kloosterhuis. It was great turn-out, but it's time to head back to Thunder Bay for one more night. (no Zumba, please!)

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