Canuckistan: The First 48 Hours

Don’t worry, I’ll get back to Monday and Tuesday after I refresh my memory a little more…

Sunday, July 10
I pulled an all-nighter on Saturday evening. Hey, Roadrunner was picking me up at 2, I might as well just stay up the whole way through. Nick and Emily helped me stay awake for a while, then I hit the shower around 1:15 and got downstairs. I think I slept about an hour in the van… sitting straight upright and nodding off every now and then. Got to the airport around 3:30 and no one was there yet. Well, there was a group of about 6 tourists heading to Guadalajara(?) and a bunch of Japanese(?) kids heading off to parts unknown. So we all hung out at the Alaska Air ticketing area for about a half-hour waiting for everyone to show up. Finally got my stuff checked in and through security around 4:30… the flight didn’t board till 5:30. Bloody international terminal doesn’t have wireless internet. RAWR! Got hot chocolate and a lemon muffin at the Starbucks there, got on the plane, slept till Seattle.

When I got to Seattle, I’d assumed that I would just stay on the plane since I had the same seating and same flight number… but then they told me that the Calgary plane was down at the other end of the terminal. *bleeeeeeeeeep!* So I wandered down, found a shop and spent some money on a souvenir, then headed to my gate where I found Niki and Cori. They’re the CA State Ambassadors that I was supposed to chaperone. Like they needed me to chaperone them. MWAHAHAH! They’re such sweeties! So we hopped onto the plane and I read for a while (didn’t wanna sleep ’cause I wanted to see stuff as we flew in).

When we got off the plane, the Canadian arrows were very hard to follow. Customs was ridiculously easy – show your passport, say “I’m here for a 4-H conference” and get smiled at by the nice security people. I didn’t even have to show the contents of my carryon luggage. Sweet. Mark was standing outside baggage claim with a sign saying “4-H” — I’d told him to dress all in green like a giant clover but he didn’t. Brat. He was, however, dancing around with a goofy grin and waving like a fool. We were in one of the office vans (large, blue, and somewhat decrepit) and within 2 minutes we’d had a minor accident — someone backed into us while we were in the parking structure. Mark was kewl. Cori and Niki were a little scared (“Is he sane? Or is he just like Steven?”) but after he answered a few of their questions things were fine.

Niki: “Do you have the 4th of July?”
Mark: “No, we just go from July 3 to July 5.”
Niki: “Wha?”
Cori: “Oh yeah, that’s right, we’re in a different country now!”

Cori: “Do you have KFC up here?”
Mark: “What’s KFC?”
Cori: “Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
Mark: “What’s Kentucky?”
Niki: “Cindy, he doesn’t even know what Kentucky is?!”
Cindy: “Don’t worry, Niki, he’s just being weird.”
Mark: “Yes, we have fast food.”
Niki & Cori: “Whew!”

Mark: “Let’s go to the zoo!”
Cindy: “So is it all Canadian animals or do you have a normal zoo mix?”
Mark: “What’s normal? African animals don’t usually live in Canada?”
Cindy: “…”

Niki: “Cool! Their $1s and $2s are all coins!”
Cindy: “Yeah, it’s like monopoly money and play coins!”
Mark: “Could I interest you in Boardwalk?”

Yeah, so things were fun. We walked through a large chunk of the zoo and then headed to Mark’s place for nappytime. After we had refreshed our sensibilities, we took in the chuckwagon races and grandstand show at the Stampede with Mark’s girlfriend Alex, braved a large crowd, got Niki her 18″ corndog, and crammed into a taxi to head back to our cars (we’d taken the train – think BART). Once we got back to the van, I made a quick phone call to Nick. By the time we made it out of Calgary, both girls had fallen asleep in the middle of a group discussion about music and such.

I don’t remember much of the car trip to Olds. I know that when we arrived, we spent some time in the lobby and then woke up Shelley (my age, a Summer Staff member at Alberta’s office in Airdrie) to get our room keys. I stumbled into my room, vaguely woke up Virginia (my roomie), took a shower, and fell. Asleep. In the bed.

Monday, July 11
Woke up at 9 for a staff orientation. There were 6 Junior Staff and 11 Senior Staff — I was serving as a facilitator for a small group and thus Senior Staff. I got my list of delegates for whom I was supposed to be responsible, got oriented, got a blurry tour of the campus, and fell asleep around 8 PM. I didn’t wake up till about 9 the next morning.

Tuesday, July 12
I woke up, did some prep work for my assigned sunroom (think dorm lounge, 1/wing, 4/floor) and Small Group, and started showing delegates to their rooms around 1 PM. Lots o’ confusion. Oh, and since some delegate at a program last winter accused a counselor of kicking him/her in the head while they were doing an eyes-closed exercise, we were on massive “At Least Three” alert the entire week. Stewpid people! Why can’t we all just get along and act ethically? Because of your actions and accusations it took me at least an extra 10 minutes every time I had to take a delegate to the bloody first aid room! Where there was already someone else on staff! Can we not trust each other to walk down a 30-foot corridor?!

Bloody legalese annoys hell out of me.

I will discuss the rest of the conference after I return home tomorrow afternoon. I want to be accurate and I can’t do that without the schedule there to remind me of everything that happened.

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~ by jackelopette on July 19, 2005.

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