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SOI Arctic 2016: Day 2

Today was another great day as students began the day with a morning of educational workshops. Groups moved between education stations focused on the following themes:

    1. People, Culture & Arts
    2. Science & Ecosystem
    3. Politics, Development & Youth
    4. History, Exploration and Adventure
    5. Flora & Fauna

These key themes will help prepare youth and to help them make the most of the experiences ahead in the Arctic.

The afternoon provided a learning experience outside of the Ottawa University campus as students divided into groups to explore Canada’s capital city!

Students visited nearby Gatineau Park where they enjoyed a beautiful piece of nature at Ottawa’s doorstep, ziplining amongst the trees at Camp Fortune.


#SOIArctic2016 Day 2: student zip lining at Camp Fortune as part of pre expedition Ottawa activities. Photo (c) Lee Narraway

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#SOIArctic2016 student at Camp Fortune Aerial Park during pre expedition Ottawa days. Photo (c) Lee Narraway

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#SOIArctic2016 student Rackley Wren zip lining in Gatineau Park as part of pre expedition activities. Photo (c) Lee Narraway

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A group of students also toured the Canadian Museum of Nature’s collections facility, led by museum scientists. This is an impressive facility that houses more than 10 million specimens and where scientists conduct research in zoology, palaeobiology, mineral sciences and botany. This facility is also where Students on Ice headquarters are based, thanks to the generous support of our largest partner, the Canadian Museum of Nature.



Day 2: Student inspects specimen at the National Heritage Campus Photo (c) Martin Lipman

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#SOIArctic2016 Day 2: group of students explore Canadian Museum of Nature’s Collections facility. Photo (c) Martin Lipman

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Abhayjeet Sachal – Surrey, BC, Canada

It felt like the life of a child was in our hands as Robert and I towered above the ground. It was my baby, and I couldn’t drop it no matter what happened. It was my GoPro.

The day began with an early wakeup and breafast followed by introductions of most staff members of the expedition. Then, after a bus ride to Gatineau, Quebec, we arrived at Camp Fortune to go ziplining! I realized that this would be a great opportunity to use my GoPro; however, I didn’t have a GoPro slide on my helmet. Luckily, Paleena offered to let me attach my GoPro to her helmet, and we chose the most difficult obstacle course despite having little experience. I passed through most of the course with ease, but suddenly heard a loud beeping noise coming from the GoPro. The memory card was full. I felt horrible, as we were just about to reach the zipling part. As Robert, Paleena, and I stood on a platform high in the air, Robert realized that his GoPro was in his pocket. I had to take the GoPro off Paleena’s helmet quickly and replace it, but we all took a sigh of relief when I slid the GoPro off without dropping it. To end the experience off,  I saw a beautiful scenery when ziplining, and I felt completely refreshed.

Soon, we took a bus to Parliament Hill in my pod group (named Hippop-podomous) and got a tour of the entire building. I found this amazing because I had gotten a tour of the West Wing of the White House in Washington, D.C. a few days ago.

Finally, after dinner, I really learned about the significance of the Arctic from people who call the vast area their home. The Arctic is more than just a place with a lot of ice and polar bears. It’s an interconnected piece of the world that we are all connected to. Climate change is forcing Inuit who live in northern Nunavut (which means “Our Land”) to adapt to these changes, costing the territorial government millions of dollars. I learned that only one percent of Canadians have ever gone above the 60th parallel to the Arctic.

I really can’t wait to fly to Iqualuit tomorrow and learn so much more there.

Allison Dyson
Makkovik, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Tomorrow we embark on our expedition, to say that I am overwhelmed is an understatement. So far in my experience, I’ve met so many people from all sorts of different places. It’s been an amazing adventure so far, and I CANNOT wait to board the ship to head north!

Andrea Phillips
Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada

During this amazing week of traveling i have met so many people. Yesterday was actually the best start of SOI for me because i went white water rafting with the Inuit on this program. We went body surfing through rapids, swimming and there was cliff jumping; all that was new to me. later we got a secret surprise from our PRIME MINISTER JUSTIN TRUDEAU!!! Today I went Zip­lining. Tomorrow i will be flying out to Iqaluit and from there our adventure starts.

Blake Russell
Lewisporte, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Great first couple days in Ottawa. Not much wildlife or scenery here, but that is okay. Cant wait to fly to Iqaluit in the morning. Nice to meet Justin Trudeau last night and all the other fabulous instructors. Nice to meet some others from Newfoundland and Labrador as well. Only thing missing is salmon fishing but that can wait!

Darrell Wells
Instructor at the Marine Institute
St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Having a fantastic adventure so far. Students are super excited. I am super excited. We go to the
ship in the morning.

Denise Lee
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Greetings from Ottawa! Needless to say, I openly welcome the cold of the Arctic. At 44 degrees, the sweltering heat is a stark contrast to the weather we expected on this expedition. Yet not even the temperature could deter our group of explorers from sprinting to Parliament Hill. Never had I been to Ottawa, but at the sight of the familiar green roofs, it felt like home. I was filled with an overwhelming sense of nationalism, a pride for my country. With a smile, I proudly glanced at the date British Columbia joined Confederation. I have been shaped by it’s landscape, the people I’ve met in my hometown of Vancouver. I still look for the mountains, the sound of the ocean, before I remember I’m thousands of miles away. As I gaze at the flag at the top of Pariliament Hill, I happily added Ottawa to the many facets of my identity.

Eve Martin Riverin – Pessamit, QC, Canada

Vendredi le 22 juillet 2016, c’était une journée d’activités à Ottawa et nous nous sommes levés très tôt. En avant-midi, il y a eu plusieurs rencontres avec tout le personnel concernant leurs domaines d’intérêts et ce sur quoi allait porter leurs ateliers durant l’expédition. En après-midi, nous sommes allés faire de la tyrolienne au Camp Fortune à Gatineau. En soirée, il y a eu une réunion où l’on fait un résumé ainsi que les plans pour le lendemain. D’ailleurs, il y a eu un changement de plan de dernière minute concernant notre itinéraire, nous devions se rendre à Kuujuaq mais la grande surface de glace de mer rendait impossible cette option. Donc, le plan B est de se rendre à Iqaluit et de prendre un autre chemin.  Cette soirée-là, il fallait faire notre valise car le lendemain était le grand départ pour l’Arctique.

Sang Lian Kham Thang Tlong
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The second day of our journey in SOI and it beautiful, I meet a lot of peoples from different country,Tomorrow we heading to North by plan and ship I can’t wait.I want to THANK to Ms. Tremblay and Ms. Jennifer who make this happen.

William Sanders
Warwick, Rhode Island, U.S.A.

Well so far I don’t have much to report in respect of the Arctic because I haven’t been yet. But yesterday the Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau just waltzed into the first SOI orientation. That was the first time I ever saw a head of state in front of me and he was literally only 20ft away. So tommorrow I leave for the Arctic and that’s about it for what I can say.

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