Canada World Youth!

Hello! My name is Adam Helfand-Green and today was my first day of volunteering here at the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre in Morden, Manitoba.

Personally, I am from Toronto and what you may ask is a Torontonian doing way out here? Me, along with 8 other Canadians from all over the country, and 9 Indonesians are here as part of the Canada World Youth Program (or the Indonesian-Canadian Youth Exchange Program). Each one of us has been paired with a counterpart from the other country and are living in pairs in different host families around the community.

We arrived here in Manitoba two weeks ago and spent the first week at an orientation camp which is where we first met the Indonesian partcipants and found out who our counterparts were. We all moved into Morden and our host families' homes on the friday evening and since then we've spent a lot of time getting oriented within the community, learning to deal with cross-cultural experiences, and teamwork. The program is split into two phases, the first is a Canadian phase, in which we will be living and volunteering in Morden for three monthes or so. Then on Dec. 8, the entire group will fly to Indonesia where we will be staying in a town on Sulewesi Island called Dumbaya Bulan and once again volunteer in different jobs and live with host families for another three and a half monthes. An important part of this program is the work placements that we are placed in. Here in Morden they range from the Friendship Centre (Working with the elderly) to working at the Morden Art Gallery.

I must admit that when i first heard that i was going to be working in a fossil musuem for three monthes i was a little bit dissapointed. I used to be really big into fossils as a kid, mostly becuase my Dad was obsessed with them, but I THOUGHT I had outgrown them. We arrived today and i really didn't know what to expect. Canada World Youth tends to be pretty unorganized and we (There are three other partipants in the program working here with me, Pierre-Luc from Quebec, Nahla, and Mei) had no clue what to expect. Sadly the musuem has been somewhat tucked away in the basement of the community centre here, but once your inside the musuem you completely forget where you are. The museum is very nice, clean and well-kept, and of course, has some amazing fossils! As we were being given a tour of the museum and seeing the almost fully complete skeleton of Bruce, I remebered how amazing fossils and dinasours are and why I loved them so much as a kid. I also realized why there are people like Anita and Dave who devote their lives to studying and trying to understand what the world was like so many years ago. It is amazing enough to imagine just how different Manitoba, and the rest of the world looked 80,000,000 years ago, let alone the wonderful and spectacular creatures that inhabited the Earth during this time.

Although, I can't exactly speak for the rest of my counterparts, I think it is safe to say that we, so far, have been throughly impressed by the Museum and are all very excited for our time here. I know that personally I am really excited to be able to partipate in all of the Museum's activities and I really hope to learn as much as possible while I am here. Thanks for Listening!

-Adam Helfand-Green


Lori Smith said…
Hi guys... it's very coincidental that I found your blog. I am Katie Smith's mom! I was doing a google search for Dumbaya Bulan and your blog came up. She seems to be enjoying Indonesia but I expect like the other Canadians she is experiencing a period of adjustment.As parents we would like to see some photos...maybe you could, if you have the opportunity, continue with your blog and add some pics...hope you are all well and enjoying the warm weather...we're up to our eyes in snow here in Nova Scotia!