In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
The rhythm of the wilderness
It’s only the first day and we already have experienced and seen so much. In the morning, looking out the window, the Canadian mountains greet us and immediately we see why we are here: the forests, which originally covered the whole area, show bald spots almost everywhere.
Right after breakfast we start planning for our expedition. Tomorrow we will paddle across the lake next to Strathcona Park Lodge, find a place to camp and prepare ourselves for the wilderness life in the Toba Valley. Our English language skills were required for the first time today because both of our guides are Canadian. In the beginning it’s a bit weird, also speaking English with our German team members, but it becomes normal relatively quickly. One’s ears shift to the other language and I think I learned more English today than I did in a week in school.
For lunch Uncle Harold (an elder of the First Nations), Tina and Jorge arrive. The two of them show us how to build a traditional drum and drumstick. Now each of the environmental ambassadors is a proud owner of a horse-skin drum. The song that Uncle Harold sang for us impressed me a lot. Afterwards we walk across the area with Tina and she shows us plants that are safe to eat. I am particularly interested because this is what my project will be all about. I feel so comfortable here, and am excited about what we will see tomorrow and what we will experience in the next few hours before we go to sleep. For all of the concerned parents out there: No reason to worry. Strathcona Park Lodge is very luxurious compared to what’s up next for us.
PS. We will write again on Monday after our trip. Have fun watching soccer!