Recently I appear to have been suffering from writer’s block. There is an abundance of topics which I could choose to write about, from personal experiences and current events, through to tackling a typically Canadian pastime or a newly discovered (to me at least!) location within Manitoba; yet I cannot seem to decide upon an interesting and informative subject to relay to you about Canada. So, to help me get some ideas, who better to ask than the locals?
During my three weeks teaching a class of eleven and twelve year-olds, I set them a class project. As a class they made a tourist guide with many colourful photographs and entertaining captions to present to the world what they consider to be the ‘must-knows’ about Canada. Here is the result:
With a little encouragement from yours truly they agreed to add some details such as the provincial flowers, National holidays, iconic buildings and other facts and figures such as the capital cities and population. Otherwise the consensus for ultimate Canadian knowledge was split 50:50 between 1. Winter sports: Curling, Figure Skating and of course, Ice Hockey – I was even given a scrapbook with all of the Jets players’ fact-files (Winnipeg’s local team) to help me learn the essentials! and 2. Rural life: Hunting, Trapping, Farming and Canadian wildlife. So, any future post I may wish to write about animals will (at the request of grade 5/6) be about authentically Canadian beavers and the abundance of geese rather than the stereotypical moose and bears that I still have yet to see.
In Manitoba farming and hunting are a major part of the rural lifestyle, nevertheless I was surprised to learn that many of the boys in my class recall getting their first gun at as young as six or seven years old. The children were all very excited to teach me about their country as well as more specifically their provincial culture and it was a privilege to learn at their hands all about curling bonspiels and the local rodeos. I suppose the next step for me is to get in on the action and experience some of these confirmed Canadian pastimes for myself.