On Wednesday we got to help out and volunteer for different activities. Some of us got to help out at an animal shelter petting feral cats, helping painting a picnic table, selling cookies and raising money for Cancer research, cleaning out a church and Jake, Kaili and I helped out with the elders. We got to help out put out lunch for them. We got to play Bananagrams and they are really good at it. It was really nice to get to talk to some of them and learn how long they have been in Haida Gwaii and to get to experience the language they speak. I donated sweet grass to them. I got it from up in my cottage in Haliburton. A close friend of ours who is Mohawk, picked it and braided it. They were so thankful and happy and we all took a big picture.

Once we had finished our volunteer activities, we went to the Haida Heritage Center to learn about and try to paddle a war Canoe. The canoe was made out of fiberglass and was paddled to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. The first task was to roll the Canoe into the Ocean. It took all of us to lift the 1500 lb canoe (it was this heavy because there was water that had seeped between the two layers of fiberglass) and get it down to the water. Twenty people at a time got to go out on the canoe. We had to paddle together and listen to our elder who was coordinating us. At first he didn’t think we could do it, but we proved him wrong. As we were paddling, there were whales near us in the water.

On Wednesday night, there were a lot of exciting events and my favorite event was archery. Archery is one of my favorite sports ever. Some of us took turns shooting some arrows at targets while others were kayaking. And then after awhile, we switched.

Jason set some crab traps earlier in the week and he went and picked them up. He brought them to the Living and Learning Center and cooked them up and set them out on a table. One of the teachers, named Rein, ate a lot of crab. At the crab fest, they gave us a very special paddle and we did a special traditional dance. With our legs burning from the dance, we said goodbye to our new friends.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Blog written by: Jenta and John Moses

Youth Exchange Canada: Haida Gwaii – Day Three

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