Island Kindness

Now that I’ve settled into a teaching routine, I’ve decided to do something different each day after school with the few hours of daylight that I have. Then, once the sunsets and I’ve had my supper, I return to school to work. Tuesdays and Thursdays I go running, so that leaves Mondays and Wednesdays to fill. On Wednesday the dump is open so I can take my recycling and refill my water (which is what I did last week).

Last night I decided to tour the “West Dock.” This is the area where the ferry boat arrives when it is running. The Transportation office is there, as well as the Township Office, Health Clinic, Police “Station”, a museum, several Bed and Breakfasts as well as Bar and Grills, and a number of things I still haven’t discovered.

Yesterday’s goal was to meet the employee at the LCBO. A mainland friend told me she was lovely and that I had to go in and meet her, so that’s what I did! I parked at Transportation, and went in to buy the most recent copy of the “Pelee Grapevine” (the island’s bi-weekly newsletter) because I’m front page news! (The Grapevine is “still only 50 cents”)

Then I walked over to the LCBO to meet this wonderful new person. As I crossed the parking lot, I ran into someone I had taken the plane with yesterday. We got talking about photography because I had taken so many pictures on the flight, and he was very happy to show me a large poplar tree that he had just taken down as well as the 80 foot cherry picker they used to do it. He bought a few bottles and invited me to join him a few houses down for a glass on the deck. Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day! Temperatures were warm, the breeze was light, and the sun was about to set off the west side of the lake. Without hesitation, I hopped in his truck with him and off we went! Literally just a few houses away, was a beautiful home with a few people inside surprised to be invited out for a glass of wine on the deck. I introduced myself and we chatted, and I quickly made some new island friends.

All the guests were on the next flight off island, so that left me alone with the cottage owner finishing off our glasses of wine on the deck. Then we walked up to West Dock together so that I could finally meet the person I had come to see, and she could get her mail. We had a wonderful chat on the way, and I look forward to visiting with her again.

Once I finally made it to the LCBO I was overwhelmed with kindness! I was glad to have left school early and taken the time to come meet someone new. I heard a little more information about the library project and the schoolyard equipment project (another blog post is in the works about the schoolyard equipment). 

I am truly thankful for mainland referrals of Island people I need to meet! I’m also incredibly blown away by Island kindness. Yesterday was a top notch adventure day! And then I went back to work…


Lessons learned from foggy days

So I spent a lot of time at the airport on Monday and Tuesday and I picked up quite a bit of new information. I learned that:

  • Sometimes you can fly above the clouds 

  • And sometimes you can’t 
  • You need to be able to see the runway in order to land 
  • Planes land based on wind direction 
  • Pilots are people, too! People who really love to fly and who want to take you to work as much as you want to go there, but also want to be very safe. Like teachers, pilots don’t get paid for all he paperwork they do, so, even when we boarded Monday and they had all the Ts crossed and Is dotted, they didn’t get paid until they were actually in the air Tuesday. However, if their remuneration is anything like teachers, then it would cover the couple of days they were grounded 

  • Pelee pilots work Friday to Thursday. My most recent pilots are new grads who completed a co-op with Great Lakes Air and took the Pelee job as their first big gig. It’s apparently a stepping stone to commercial pilot positions. Our Captain takes care of communicating with the island and all 3 flight control towers/centres based on the airspace we cross on the run. Our copilot packs the cargo, loads the passengers, provides the safety briefing and navigational support, writes lots of stuff in the flight log and does other important things I’m sure. 
  • My favourite new air knowledge was the “pogo” which you can’t see in the picture below but is basically a steel pole that hangs from the tail when we’re on the ground. It’s stored behind the pilots seat and it works as a counterweight/stabilizer (I think). I’ll ask next time I fly and let you know. 

  • It’s fun to be the only passenger on the plane!
  • Islanders are very helpful, even when they haven’t been islanders for a while (thanks H for all the rides, and the impromptu photo shoot)

  • This little plane is my friend and we will spend lots of quality time together over the coming months
  • Sadly, this plane isn’t quite fast enough for my adventurous spirit (it’s like travelling through residential areas rather than the highway), and at the same time it’s way too big for me to want to get one of my own
  • I wonder if they make smart-car sized jets that run on hopes and dreams? I have lots of those…

A day in the life…

A typical day involves waking up in the dark, enjoying coffee and breakfast in the dark and then heading off to work in the dark. If you’re reading this thinking, “yeah, that’s what my mornings are like,” you’re wrong unless you live somewhere without streetlights (and even then, the glow of a nearby city taints the dark). My house lights barely cut through the morning fog and mist and they certainly do nothing to push away the dark of night. At least in the morning there’s the hope of a coming sunrise.

This morning I walked the looooooong way to work (I walked down to the lakeshore and then over a hundred feet before taking the hundred-or-steps to work).

I spent some time before school preparing for the day ahead and then:

  • the bus came and dropped off all the students
  • once they’re all settled in, I teach Numeracy to the “Littles”
  • the Period 2 subject and student grouping depends on what day it is
  • Nutrition break (new to me) is 20 minutes to eat and 20 minutes to play outside
  • everyone is back in for 100 minutes of Literacy (I teach the Littles)
  • then another Nutrition Break
  • Period 4 also has different subject/student grouping depending on what day it is
  • the day finishes with phys ed
  • the bus comes and all the students go home

This is when the hard part of teaching happens! Luckily I’m still in the planning,organizing and setting up stage, but soon marking will creep into my evening, too!

Tonight I left after an hour to eat dinner (I forgot to bring my lunch) and call home. Then I went back to work at 6 and stayed until 10. I’m hosting an open house tomorrow and flying home Thursday though so I wanted to get as much work done as I could.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Up up and away!

All travel blogs are required to have a photo with luggage so here’s the end result… they piled the cargo area with my luggage as well as some freight. My baggage didn’t weigh more than 100lbs, so I’d say I did well! That’s all my food, clothes, toiletries and teaching materials 🙂

It was a beautiful day for a plane ride and the pilots were so smooth I barely noticed I was in the air (it was a little noisy). The plane is small with 3 rows of single seats on the left and 3 rows of double seats on the right. The flight took a whole 17 minutes! The position of the sun was excellent for a few photos (sorry they didn’t wash the windows before we left!). I was excited to see the southern tip as well as the north shore while we were landing.