May 20th, 2019 – Victoria Park and Dances

Another park day! We played camp games and soccer, as well as shared dances. A lovely end to a lovely weekend. Though it was a little chilly, all the movement kept us toasty warm. Afterwards, we watched videos about both Canada and the Seven Wonders of the world, as well as played board games and danced even more. We are blown away by the youth’s boundless energy. Looking forward to the week ahead!

Big thank yous to our volunteers today, Rachel, Avery, Sarah, Caleb and Nick!

May 19th, 2019 – Moccasin Making

The youth are now shoe makers! Today, we had a moccasin making workshop led by Mary Clause and organized by Fran of Healing of the Seven Generations. The youth put together, sewed and displayed their very own beautiful footwear while also learning about Indigenous culture and history. Some very powerful conversations were had and meaningful relationships were made. We are so grateful to the Indigenous community for sharing their stories, welcoming us into their space and educating us on their beliefs, values and customs. It was a truly insightful experience.

May 18th, 2019 – Theater Games

Today was filled with high energy games, singing and dancing! MT Space put us in touch with a group of Chilean actors taking a tour across Canada and they facilitated our second theater workshop. They brought contagious energy and a free spirit which the youth quickly adopted. At least three different first languages were present in the room today yet any barriers seemed almost non existent as everyone worked together to create dances and play theater games. The youth even taught the facilitators some dances from back home! We also had a lovely meal cooked by Mount Zion’s pastor and his wife, much gratitude to them, and to Mount Zion Lutheran Church for lending us the space.

May 17th, 2019 – Music and Sound Therapy

So much music today once again! Music therapy sessions this morning with Colin Lee, Emily Carruthers and Gerard Yun, some reflection questions on the project so far and what everyone was excited for when they first heard about it! We also taught each other some dances and then had a sponsored meal at Veritas. Afterwards we had a sound therapy workshop at Martin Luther University College led by Gary Diggins where we learned about different instruments from around the world and participated in several mindfulness exercises. Thank you to all the facilitators today!

May 16th, 2019 – St. Jacobs and Theatre

Today we explored St. Jacobs Farmers Market, checked out the vendors and had some apple fritters, maple candies and ketchup chips, trying out Canadian treats. We visited some animals and saw the lovely village of Elmira as we bused to the next workshop. This was our first theater workshop out of four which was led by Pam of MT Space, one of our fabulous partners. She taught us several warm up games including the human knot (pictured below)! We then moved into creating several skits based on themes such as our first ever memories and helping one another. Some beautiful ideas were presented. Finally, we had a lovely sponsored meal at a community member’s home and the youth said that it was the best pizza they have had since arriving!

A big shout out to our awesome volunteers from today: Niki and Nick! Thank you for your time, energy and support!

May 15th, 2019 – Picnics and Painting

The beautiful weather outside led to a fantastic day in Waterloo Park! We had a pizza picnic and the youth taught us how to play Coco, a game from their home which was super fun. Our energy ran out much quicker than that of the youth, who were ready to go on forever!! A big thank you to our volunteers today: Dana, Kristina, Nick, Andrew and Calvin! After the picnic, we headed over to Martin Luther University College where Fran of Healing of the Seven Generations led us in a spirit painting workshop. Some beautiful reflections were shared about the final pieces of art. This was the first time that we had all three youth communities together in one room: the youth from Mumbai, youth from Reception House and Indigenous youth. It was so exciting to see everyone share their ideas with each other and work together. We look forward to further collaborative workshops! We ended the day with a lovely sponsored meal, socializing with the sponsors and a game of ping pong.

Reflecting on the art and looking for images in the designs.

May 14th, 2019 – Exploration and Song

We had a very active day today! One of our volunteers, Calvin, took everyone for a tour around downtown Kitchener. We visited City Hall, City Cafe Bakery and Victoria Park. Calvin even let the youth have a go on his longboard! We then headed back to the airbnb and shared some songs with each other. After a much needed rest, the participants attended Inshallah choir, directed by Debbie Lou. They were joined by two youth participants from Reception House, an organization which supports newcomers to Canada. Friendships were quickly formed and we are excited to have them join us for further workshops in the upcoming days!

Attending Inshallah choir, a group of over 130 voices from all over Waterloo region.
Friendships building across borders.
Team members Olivia and Sara preparing for tomorrow’s painting workshop after a long day!

May 13th, 2019 – Music Therapy and Contemplation

Today has been filled with music! We had music therapy sessions run by Dr. Colin Lee and Emily Carruthers in the morning as well as a drawing activity and some sharing of music and song. We had a sponsored meal at Wilfs (thank you for your generosity!) for lunch, and then a beautiful contemplative music making workshop led by Dr. Gerard Yun. The youth have boundless energy and it was priceless to see them share songs from back home, as well as learn about many other instruments and ways of making music. Finally, we had a delicious meal sponsored by Mount Zion Lutheran Church. You have our deepest gratitude!

One of the youth’s drawings. Where she sees herself right now and where she sees herself in the future!
Some of the beautiful instruments used in today’s contemplative music making workshop.
Visual score of the youth’s journey from Mumbai to Canada. This image was used to create a musical story, beginning with when they were at home, moving to when they were waiting to travel, while they were on the plane, and finally when they arrived in Canada.

May 12th, 2019 – Rest and Painting

Happy Mothers Day! Today the youth have been painting for their mothers back home! After a rainy yet enjoyable walk in Victoria Park, the paints were brought out and everyone made beautiful works of art to be sent home to their families.

The paintings that the youth made for their mothers back home.

Saturday May 11th, 2019 – Arrival!

The participants from Mumbai have arrived!!! 8 youth and two social workers. After over a 24 hour day of travel, they have arrived at where they will be staying for the next few weeks and are settling down. We are so excited to start these next few weeks with them!!

Lisette Pineau, our project coordinator, with everyone’s suitcases! What a trooper!