Josh at orienation camp
I am really having a good time here in Ottawa so far and enjoying the college right now. Everything has been really great right from the time we arrived on the twenty fifth of June. I met some really great people while at Orientation and also reunited with a couple friends which was really exciting. At the college we are staying in right now, we went to classes for carpentry and sadly our last class there will be tomorrow. We also went to Spanish classes, our last one is today, but from those two classes, we have learned a lot and enjoyed them very much. I hope to can meet these teachers again someday because it was such a great time here learning from them. In our carpentry class, we built a dog house and it was really great to get that experience and learned some Spanish in Spanish class which was exciting for me because I’ve always wanted to learn a different language. We also did some volunteering at the Hope Volleyball Tournament and enjoyed it very much parking bicycles for a couple hours. The thing I enjoy the most so far in Ottawa so far is being with the group and doing things together which I really like because we get to learn from them and also teach them things they want to know, and that’s only if I know I can teach it to them, for example, teaching them Inuktitut words... So I really hope everyone is enjoying their summer and having a blast!
Jasmine (right) with group leader Kevin and fellow participant Trent
So far in the International placement I am having a great time with these amazing people. On Canada Day we got to go in the city and go to the parliament, it was pretty crazy! There was so much people, I had a great time then we got to go shopping for awhile it was pretty crowded there as well. It was my first time in Ottawa on Canada Day so it was pretty cool. We are staying at Algonquin College at the Residence for three weeks and then traveling to Totonicapan, Guatemala for two and a half weeks working with the local people and building homes, also working with Habitat for Humanity. I am getting pretty excited and nervous about traveling to Guatemala but mostly excited i’m really looking forward to it. Here at Algonquin College we get an opportunity to go to trades school and learn about building, using tools, and also the safety when using tools. We are split into four groups working on a doghouse which is really coming along great! It’s my first time making a doghouse and using different power tools. I really like learning new things at trades school and being involved in my group, we are almost finished with the doghouses and soon we will be working on something new. Also at the college we have spanish classes 2 x a week, I find it fun and interesting to learn a new language, it can get overwhelming sometimes though but I am trying my best. We got to check out the Aboriginal Centre here at Algonquin and we had a scavenger hunt with another Aboriginal group of people from around Ottawa, I had an awesome time it was fun and felt challenging a little. Buut my group won the scavenger hunt we were first place and won an Algonquin College t-shirt and a chocolate bar. When we are not at trades school or taking spanish classes we get some free time to ourselves which is always great cause I get to catch up on assignments or go to the gym at the college. Or we do group activities which include going to the museums on Thursdays, shopping on Fridays or recently a group went to the movies and one day we had a spa night at our residence. We also had golf lessons which was interesting to me because it was my first time golfing and I had a lot of fun. We are volunteering in the city as well, last week we got a chance to volunteer at Hope beach where there was a volleyball tournament and we helped park bikes. I’ve learned so much here in a short amount of time and I can’t wait for Guatemala! I am missing home though but i know I’ll be home before I know it.
- Jasmine Sangris
My name is Mindy Tatty i am from Rankin Inlet Nunavut. I am a participant for Northern Youth Abroad. I'd like to thank my mentor Donald Clark ( last year) and Jessie (this year) for helping me with my assignments, it took a whole year for me to travel here to Ottawa and meet everyone! At first you'll be scared but once you get used to meeting nice, friendly people, you'll be making alot of friends which is a good thing. I was placed in Kitchener Ontario where I met my host family Carol and Eldon Binkley they are very friendly, nice and kind. Kitchener is such a beautiful place, what I did so far in Kitchener was watch the fireworks on July 1 the day me and Leanne (my placement buddy) arrived in Kitchnern. We went shopping, and we are going to Canada's Wonderland on July 20th which will be exciting and fun. My work placement is at the White Owl Native Ancestary Association, I have to take the bus which was something different for me, I never went on a city bus by myself, it was scary at first but I got used to it. What I do at my work is I make coffee, tidy up, answer the phone, help get ready for camp which is on July 21 so yeah I'm going to be with the kids and help with activities. My experiance with my work is going great meeting new people and learning more of what their culture is like, and we have a group activitys with the kids every Thursday night and we make dream catchers, do sprit painting, play games for like an hour or so just to have something to do so yeah its fun. When you're shopping be careful not to spend all your money at once because you're going to be broke and it's no fun when you have no money, you have to set goals for yourself like the thing you been plaining for awhile to get, for me i did set a goal for myself like I got my prom dress :) and after that went crazy on shopping so yeah set goals for yourself.... but anyway have fun, make new friends, learn new things, and enjoy every moment :) not everyday theres an oppertunitiy to travel and experiance what life is like in the south and live south for week's so yeah trust me its a great experiance you have fun, you learn, and get to travel :)
Vanessa and her placement buddy Sunita having a blast at the beach
I am Vanessa Sheetoga, from Whale-Cove, NU. I am in London, Ontario. I joined NYA because I wanted to do something different, and have new experiences. I work at the Children's Museum, which I enjoy, a lot. At work, I do arts/crafts demonstrations to the youth that visit the museum, and other things, (such as preparation, and tidy). During my time here in London, I've done things I thought I wouldn't do, such as water slides, driving a go-kart, (that was the best)! and I made new friends, and I have amazing co-workers. I've reached some of my goals, and I had so much help along the way. There were so many ups and downs, and times where I almost gave up, but I never think of "giving up" as an option. My main goal for this summer, was to complete the program, and it is exactly what I am doing. I wanted to have an understanding of what it would be like to be away from home for a long time, and because I wanted to go to college in the south, I needed to know how I'd do without my family with me, and figure out ways to become independent before I do. Ever since I came here, I've learned a lot. I began going out of my comfort zone, I began to go to places on my own, and I learned to get to work and come home from work, on a city bus. Which I thought I wouldn't do, but it became normal to me. There are other things that I became used to. There's so many things to do, endless opportunities, and amazing experiences with being an NYA participant. I encourage any youth, to try this program, as it will give you a completely different outlook on being in southern canada, there's so much to learn, and great memories to be made. It's up to you wether you want to try it or not, and there's nothing to regret. You'll meet an awesome staff to help you through, a buddy you could talk to, and a host family to spend time with.
Colleen (right) hanging out with some other Nunavummiut participants at orientation camp
My placement community is in Vanderhoof, British Columbia, and I work at the local co-op. :) I like it very much. It reminds me of home because of all the smiling faces and welcoming people! I
work in grocery at the moment and I re-stock the shelves and make the store look pretty. In my host family I have 7 siblings. We also have 2 horses, 9 goats, a sheep, 6 dogs, a cat, a dozen chickens, a cat and 10 fish. My host parents are Katie and Steve and they're just amazing. They make real good food and desserts and they're so welcoming and they make you laugh! I love my family <3 The difference between the south and the north are the prices! Hahaha. Also how things can happen so quickly. Barely any time. The culture here is pretty similar to home because its a small community and everyone knows each other and they say Hi. I have visited Kamloops and have gone shopping, and I am camping right now. We also have gone to a park for a family gathering and we got to meet Steve's family. That's the day that I climbed a tree for the first time even though I have gone to the south every summer my whole life, and I drove a doom buggy in the field at home and it was exhilarating. I love it here, but I get pretty homesick. My host buddy Monica has been here for me all the way :) she has taught me how to play the guitar and ukulele. I also have met tons of people, and still meet people every day. That is how my summer is going so far!
Twyla (right) enjoying dinner with her friend Crystal at orientation camp.
This is Twyla Nitsiza from WhaTi, NWT. I'm having an amazing time here in Mount Stewart, PEI. So beautiful, breathtaking even.. I love it here, and I hope to even come back here one day to visit! Anyways... My work placement is at the Cari Complex. I work with kids, I prepare them to go swimming, to play outside, do crafts with them, go bowling and boating. The only thing that I find challenging in this job is to remember the kid's names, but other than that I like it! My placement buddy is Brooklyn Marie Cayen, I've spent three weeks with her and three more to go, as far as I known her I think she great, sometimes funny, I find her odd in a good way, I thought I wouldn't feel comfortable around somebody I hardly know but now I can't stop bugging her.. literally, I poke at her hair because her hair is amazingly amazing. It's hard to believe I've come so close to somebody I just meet 3 weeks ago. My host family are AMAZING! My host parents are Angie and Brien McCarthy and they have an awesome little girl name Abigail McCarthy and a dog name Dexter. Ever since Me and my placement buddy, Brooklyn, got here we do things that I didn't expect to do. We just recently went to a Serena Ryder concert, it was awesome! And after that day we went to go meet Angie's parents at their camp site, it was beautiful, we went swimming, it was cold at first but it was good. They said that were gonna go somewhere this weekend to go to the Zoo, and probably next week were gonna go water skiing, paint ball. So much fun, so much to do, so little time. So far my summer is going amazing and I wouldn't trade this summer for anything. I'm enjoying every minute of it! and I'm happy that I got picked for this program, that I got the chance to experience all of this. So Thanks you NYA for giving me this chance to explore the other side of Canada eh'. and My Host family for taking us in your home, knowing we were strangers, but now I can't imagine Angie not taking us to work, or Brien not cracking jokes at the dinner table, or Abi coming down the stairs to say goodnight to us. So once again thank you and for sure I'll try for the International Phase!
- Twyla Nitsiza, WhaTi, NT
I believe in adventure, and I find it in everything around me. From experimenting with new foods, sports, activities, music and trends. One can never be bored with a right mind set. So far my taste for adventure has led me to water skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and mural painting. The chains we're imprisoned in are the ones we cast upon ourselves – so with everything I do; I go with a full spirit and a light heart. I have noticed nature has many forms of beauty, and I allow my spirit to sore with the wind, in every colour of the sky. "Change is good" or so I've heard, so adaptation to a city from a northern isolated community is better to do sooner than later. Being placed in an active, wonderful family that is full of joy and love, helps a lot. They also help me to grow as an athlete and to develop more health/sporting techniques. I've realized that everything I do, I can grow from it; whether in personality, creativity, health, knowledge, emotional health and wisdom. I have learned to understand that no matter where I am, my family, friends and loved ones will always be under the same sun and moon as me. I'm no longer a caterpillar in the world. I've broken out of the cocoon of my isolated community, the wind currents of the sky won't break the flutter of my wings that NYA has provided.
Kaytlyn horseback riding with her host family.
Kaytlyn horseback riding with her host family.
I'm Elizabeth Aglukark, but I prefer to be called Beth. I am 16 years old and looking forward to finishing my last year of high school. To begin, I'd like to thank Charlene, my mentor while I was an alternate last year, and Danielle, my mentor this year. You both were very supportive and really awesome teachers. Also, I'd like to thank all the teachers that helped me fundraise, my family and friends for supporting me the whole time and all the staff/facilitators. Continuing, I'll just tell you a bit about NYA and what I've been doing so far in Abbotsford. So, I am a participant of Northern Youth Abroad, or NYA, which is an awesome program for youth ages 15-22 to take part in this amazing volunteering experience. You also get to meet many people, who are totally cool. I learnt about NYA from my sister, Karen, who was a participant in both phases of the program, and is now a facilitator at Orientation and also on the board of directors of NYA. I'd go into the specifics of the program, but that'd take forever and I don't really want to bore you. Anyways, after completing our assignments, all participants go to Orientation for a week, which is held at a camp just outside Ottawa. There we all got to know each other, have a few water balloon fights, learn our own strengths, and how to deal with home sickness, while we are here. Than after Orientation we all go to our host communities with our placement buddies. That's where we are right now. Currently, me and Kate, my placement buddy, are volunteering at the Greater Vancouver Zoo which is about a 20 minute drive from our host parents’ home, that is in Abbotsford, BC. The zoo, which has animals and reptiles like cheetahs and ostrich to geckos and caimans, is more of an educational zoo, rather than an entertainment zoo.This week we are working at the information booth and at the family farm, which really is just a petting farm that has very cute piglets and bunnies, and maybe an ant or two. There are five piglets; Harley, Hamlet, Wilber, Sherman, and Stanley, who are all about four months old, and six bunnies; Smokey, Stripey, Chubbs, Bear, Caramel, and Biscuit. The farm is the first petting farm at the zoo in four years, so it's new for the staff, as well as the animals which are like really shy. Our host parents are Nellie and Willis, who are great people and are totally awesome. So far we've been to the movies, went on a few walks which had amazing views, went shopping, and are looking forward to horseback riding sometime this month. Abbotsford is close to the American boarder and has very beautiful mountains surrounding it. It's also well known for the agriculture, and berries. That's pretty much it for my blog, I suppose, I've only been here for about a week and there is still a lot for me to experience, as I'm sure I will. Anyways, bye!
Monica posing for a picture on departure day at orientation camp.
As a participant of the Canadian phase of NYA, I have been placed in a cafe and I do things like help make desserts, water flowers around the building and help out around the kitchen. It's not really my forte and I find it too girly but I enjoy it when I try to. The host family I was placed in was with Katie and Steve, they've been so kind and welcoming that it feels like I'm at home. They have seven amazing children and their names are Eden, Jalen, Zeke, Autumn, Destin and Hero. I'm glad I get to be around great people and also with an amazing host buddy named Colleen. She's been there for me this entire trip and I couldn't ask for a better person to spend my summer with. I find that the south is much different from where I'm from and to name a few; the food prices, paved roads and the lifestyles. I'm not use to waking up early and making the most of the mornings so it was a drastic change to become a night owl to an early bird. On the other hand, there were some similarities in culture. For example, being welcoming to new people & being respectful, which is pretty much a universal thing I guess. While I was here in Vanderhoof, BC Colleen and I went along with or host family to Kamloops and met Katie's parents. They were really nice and had a great sense of humour, which reminded me of my own parents. For the first time in my life I got crawled all over by ants and it freaked me out so much I almost wanted to cry hahhaha jk. In a more positive outlook, I got to learn how to play the ukelele and my host buddy and I have enjoyed playing music together almost every day. I really enjoy that Katie & Steve have all sorts of instruments they avail us to and I've learned to play a lot of them. This is my summer in words and I hope to add like a million more but due date's tomorrow.
Nicole (right) and fellow participant Mindy at orientation camp in Ottawa
So, Newfoundland is very similar yet so different compared to my community… the scenery is the same… the temperature is the difference and the humanity from my community. The people here are just as welcoming as Naujaat (Repulse Bay). I find it comforting to be welcomed by these friendly people, my host parents are caring and adventurous also their daughter and her little family are very… well I love them no doubt about it. They essentially make me feel like family (= . They took Dora and I shopping and swimming. They also took us to the salmon festival, it was my very first concert and I enjoyed it a lot. I forgot to mention the work placement we have, it's what I haven't done before and I enjoy it when we have something to do (= during the day. Next week there is a festival called 'the crab festival' and I am looking forward to it because the theme of it sounds interesting… I will also try and act with the cast or I should say be part of the cast. All and all I am enjoying my fantastic stay in Newtown, Newfoundland I am happy with what I have here (=
It's that time of year again! The 2014 Northern Youth Abroad Participants have completed Orientation and travelled to their host communities. Soon they will be posting their blogs and telling you all about their adventures. We are excited to have 49 Participants taking part this year - the biggest group ever! We are also trying out a completely different International Program that has the group doing training in Ottawa for 3.5 weeks before travelling to Guatemala.
We hope that you will follow along and keep up to date with this years Participants! You can also check us out on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/NorthernYouthAbroad where we have photos, quizzes and fun facts about NYA and this years Program.