Last Days of Okak

The View From Here: Volume 11.3

The View From Here: Volume 11.3

The Last Days of Okak is now available on NFB.ca. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should do so!

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Easter Break!

Them Days will be closed on Friday, April 18 for Good Friday, and Monday, April 21 for Easter Monday. We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope that you have a good long Easter Weekend with your family!

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Heritage Fair time!!

This is a bit of a guest post today…Alicia, one of our former co-workers here at Them Days (we miss you very much!) e-mailed me some photos of the grade eight Heritage Fair projects. Her daughter is in grade eight, so she got to see them all.

(Oh, if anybody involved with the Heritage Fairs is reading this, I would LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEE to be a guest judge for these sometime!)

Alicia says “There was a great mixture of projects there…All around, the kids did a great job with their research topics and it was evident that Them Days magazines was a big part of that!”

Awww…*blush* that is so great to hear!

I knew Heritage Fair time was coming up because we had some people come in to do research, including a couple of students who came here of their own volition–on a SNOW DAY!–and did some digging in the magazine back issues and archives. It’s rare to see students do their own research these days, so I was really excited when they came in!

So without further ado, here are a selection of projects from the 2014 Heritage Fair:

Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador

Ghost Stories of Newfoundland and Labrador

Growing up in Them Days

Growing up in Them Days


(The theme of the fair this year is “Growing up in Them Days.”)

Home remedies

Home remedies

Caribou!

Caribou!

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Mmm...food!

Mmm…food!

Alicia was a big fan of this project, since her family history lies in Spotted Islands

Alicia was a big fan of this project, since her family history lies in Spotted Islands

Wow, a great little house!

Wow, a great little house!

The Hubbard expedition

The Hubbard expedition

Cute little tent

Cute little tent

The Innu of Labrador & the Shaking Tent

The Innu of Labrador & the Shaking Tent

Lots of the projects included little models and diaramas

Lots of the projects included little models and diaramas

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Little details!

Little details!

A colourful display!

A colourful display!

Alicia says the students were very knowledgeable and talkative, and it was a pleasure to be there and talk to them.

Thanks Alicia!

Aimee

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Churchill Falls Library

When I travel, I like to see if Them Days is around. For example, if I’m at a library, I’ll check out the magazines. Or if I’m in a different town, I’ll go visit our retailers and say hi.

I was pretty sure that the Churchill Falls library had a subscription, so I decided to take a peek into the library. Sure enough, it was there, and I had a great little chat with the librarian.

The lovely and inviting Churchill Falls library.

The lovely and inviting Churchill Falls library.

The library was a very friendly place, brightly lit and I wanted to take a look around (but we were waiting to go on the tour, so I popped in for only a quick visit). If that’s not a great way to feel in a library, I don’t know what is.

Can you spot Them Days at the library?

Can you spot Them Days at the library?

Them Days is not in as many libraries (especially school libraries!) as I would like, so I’m always happy to see it where people, especially young people/students, can access it. The school is in the same building, so students can easily read the magazine here. I forgot to ask if this library also functions as the school library (as they’re in the same building, I assume they are), but if that is the case, this is one of only two schools in Labrador that maintains a subscription to Them Days. A disappointing fact, for sure! (If you would like to have Them Days in your child’s school, ask them to get one, or ask the school board. Or sponsor one yourself!)

Thank you to Churchill Falls library for being a subscriber!
Aimee

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My Visit to Churchill Falls!

I had a chance to go on a trip to Churchill Falls out of the blue with one of my former Inuktitut classmates, Shannon. He was taking his annual leave from work and wanted to have a vacation at home, exploring local things around town. He had an invitation to go visit a friend in Churchill Falls, so he decided to go, on a whim. And then, I joined him, on another act of whim!

I was excited to go meet some new people in Churchill Falls, sniff out some good stories, and learn more about the building of the dam and of the town. Shannon and I were booked in for a tour of the hydro facility.

It had been awhile since I had been out on the Trans-Labrador Highway, and I was impressed to see that it was almost completely paved. Except for a 60-km stretch close to Churchill Falls, it was all paved and all clear, no snow at all. So we got out there in only a few hours! Even the unpaved portion was pretty good.

The road ahead

The road ahead

When we got there, we went to the main building in town, met up with Shannon’s friend, Frank, and had a bite to eat at Midway.

Before and after

Before and after

Shannon trying his hand at winning a stuffed animal

Shannon trying his hand at winning a stuffed animal

We were then picked up at the main building by our very friendly and very knowledgeable tour guide, Karen. She showed us around town, and we watched a video and were shown displays of how the facilities work. Then we suited up in safety gear, and drove over to the main facility.

Inside the entrance of that building is a display of the famed bottle at the falls. This bottle was left by Bowdoin College students back in 1891, and then other people added their own names to the bottle, people like trappers and explorers, and, in later years, mostly prospectors and people surveying the falls.

The famous bottle at the falls

The famous bottle at the falls

A couple of Groves guys

A couple of Groves guys

Then we headed to the elevator, and headed down about 1000 feet underground! (Even so, we were about 400-and-something feet above sea level–the elevators are marked in height above sea level, not feet–they don’t call this the Height of Land for nothing.)

Shannon and Frank

Shannon and Frank

The tour was everything I could have hoped for. We got an overview of the mechanics behind the facility, interesting trivia, historical background, a guide to emergency procedures, and more.

You have to keep to the left (and vehicles drive on the left, too)

You have to keep to the left (and vehicles drive on the left, too)

Underground, there are some holes in the wall, filled with money–an old miners’ superstition!

Money in the holes

Money in the holes

Pretty much everything there is impressive–the scale of the facility is huge, and you find yourself amazed at just about everything in this engineering marvel.

Me at the end of the tour

Me at the end of the tour

Overall, we couldn’t have asked for a better day in Churchill Falls. I met some really lovely people, learned a lot about Churchill Falls, and had a lot of fun. Thank you so much for taking me there, Shannon, and thank you to Frank for showing us a good time, and to Karen, for her very informative tour. (I used to be a tour guide myself, so I am very aware of the art of being a tour guide, and believe me, Karen is up there with the very best!)

On the way back

On the way back

And then it was back to Goose Bay. The unpaved portion of the road was a little rough by this time, because the day had been so beautiful and sunny, which softened the ground quite a bit. But all in all, it was again pretty good.

Thanks again!

Aimee

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Back to Grade Three for Me! (Adventures with History Pin)

Yesterday I headed back to grade three for the afternoon. I visited Peacock Primary to talk about “getting the story behind the picture.” The grade three classes are working on a History Pin project, in which they have to collect one to three (or one, two, or three…hehe) photos and then interview somebody about them, to get the story behind the person or place in the picture.

Me and the smartboard at the Peacock Primary Learning Resource Centre.

Me and the smartboard at the Peacock Primary Learning Resource Centre.

The students were enthusiastic, well-behaved (SUCH good listeners…they’ll be good oral historians, I know!) and engaged. I explained my job, what they were going to do, and then how they could go about it to get the best stories from a picture. Then I had them do a little exercise where they asked me about some photos that I brought in. It was a ton of fun! We all had some good laughs about the pictures.

One of the pictures I brought in was a picture of Jessie Ford, from the time that I was stuck in Nain. I asked the students for their first impressions on the photo, what they thought it was. “Your nan,” they guessed. Well, then I got them to ask me questions. The first question: “Who is in the photo?” “That’s Jessie Ford,” I said. “And she’s not my nan.”

A hand shot up in the front row. “That’s MY nan!” The girl right in front of me exclaimed. That was pretty cool!

Today somebody came in (for an unrelated purpose) and upon seeing our shop full of magazines, he said that he’s been looking for old photos lately, because his son was working on a project where they had to find the story behind a picture.

“He must be in grade three,” I said.

“Yes, he is,” he said. “He came home very excited about this project yesterday.” That made me feel very good! I’m glad they seemed to get excited about what I was saying. I’m excited to go back again when the project is done and see what the students have accomplished.

Local grade six students in previous years have done this project. You can see their History Pin channels here and here.

Aimee

P.S. Isn’t school equipment so cool these days? Smart boards! Amazing!

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Volunteer Day Lunch!

It’s Volunteer Week, and we wanted to give thanks to the volunteers in our community. Not just Them Days volunteers, but volunteers throughout town, who help make our community a great place to live! Them Days sure wouldn’t have made it to 39 years without hours and hours of volunteer labour. Even now, in the days of having regular funding, we still rely on volunteers, to run the board, to help out with events, and to get stories in the magazines! (Oh, and I miss my Katimavik volunteers SO MUCH, you don’t even know!)

So, with a bit of money from the Community Sector Council and their sponsors, we were able to host a volunteer lunch. Volunteers do so much, and we wanted to be able to say thank you somehow.

So I made chili, and Daphne made pea soup and fish and brewis. (and oh, Daphne’s food was delicious! You are missing out if you didn’t make it in.)

We had about forty people show up…the place was packed! I had to open the windows…it was getting hot in here (not to mention, it was a beautiful day and above zero!!).

Jill helping herself to some food.

Jill helping herself to some food.

The volunteer lunch gets underway. We were standing-room-only by the end of it!

The volunteer lunch gets underway. We were standing-room-only by the end of it!

Tuesday was also Daphne’s birthday!

Daphne's cake from Linda...very tasty! (I got some

Daphne’s cake from Linda…very tasty! (I got to taste some later on)

I baked her a cake the night before with the help of my two-year-old, Beatrix (who also designed the look of the cake). She chose a fudge swirl cake…very appropriate for the birthday girl, whose last name is Fudge! Bea was SO upset to have to go to day care on Tuesday…she was crying and saying she wanted to come to work with me to give Daphne her cake on her birthday. Well, wouldn’t you know it, day care was unexpectedly closed, so Beatrix got her wish.

I told her she had to keep the cake a secret…and she did, at least until she gave Daphne her card.

Standing in my office doorway, she jumped up and yelled “AND WE MADE YOU A CAKE!!!”

At least THAT was a surprise. LOL.

Daphne and her birthday cake...Beatrix was the design director.

Daphne and her birthday cake…Beatrix was the design director.

A special thank you to the volunteer board that runs Them Days…you give so much of your time and effort…and your hard work is much appreciated by the staff in the office. Thank you for what you do!

Aimee

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