Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 9 - Nicki Smith


- Your disability is your opportunity

-You can’t measure time in days the way you can measure money in dollars because every day is

-The less you change, the more you remain the same

Today was just another average day for ECOEE 2011. It started out with a good breakfast
prepared by Brittany. Then we packed our bags and headed for the land of the Maple Leaf! Canada was on everyone’s mind, as we entered this new and strange land to some of us, we saw views upon views of this gorgeous place. Ft. Williams was our destination today.

This Ft. had been important asset to the fur trading business. Owned by what was the
Northwest Trading Company to spefecily for making connections, building relationships and most
importantly for the trade of valuable goods to the Aboriginal people. During that time there we
learned that the trading system was done on a credit type of system sometimes, and it was also set around a beaver pelt. This meant that the fur of a silver fox was worth 4 beaver pelts. Along with some interpreting we got to see and experience some dances, traditions, drums, dedications and dressings of the Aboriginal people. Some books and suviorners were bought and then we piled into the vans for the long ride to English River Inn. An Inn right across where we would put the canoes in and head off for an expedition along the English River for 18 days with only the 14 of us to keep each other company!

When we had finally arrived, 3 hours later, the view from pulling in put into perspective about
what was to be going down within the next months to come. I think all of us know how blessed and
lucky we are to be doing ECOEE, but to see the view here is overwhelming and really pounds that nail. Once dinner was started and the trailer and vans had packed up it hit all of us that we were not in Illinois anymore. For some, including me, the more the hours pass and push off becomes closer the anxiety skyrockets. Yet all of us seem to be stoked about doing this river expedition. For the rest of tonight and up into the wee hours into the mourning we are finishing packing our river bags, preparing our lesson plans, or at least getting a little comfort before heading into 18 days of seclusion. Before I sign off we want thank Bruce and Louis, the owners of English River Inn! ECOEE 2011 will be forever grateful for your hospitality, warmness, and generosity.

With Love,

Nicki Smith

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