Last thursday was the kind of day that is meant for hibernating. But not for us. The rising tide team is composed of 9 youth volunteers and we were awake and jiving before even the sun woke up. It was our first official day of the tour but no one would have guessed the day we had in store (as is the case with most Otesha tour days).
So after our graceful 5:30am wake up we all grunted and groaned as we rolled up our sleeping mats and stuffed our sleeping bags into their sacks. A peak out the window was all one needed to do to recognize that the day was going to be a rainy one. Dark clouds crowded the sky as rain pelted the beautiful park around us.
After a hearty breakfast of oatmeal and cornmeal (for those that are gluten free) we packed up our stuff and headed on our way. Being an Otesha tour ment that we would spend the next 2 months cycling on our bikes to bring a little sparkle of hope and inspiration to communities and students throughout New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
I was with the first group, the lead team as we call it. So we hitched up the trailer (the team has 2 trailers that allow us to carry all of our group gear without needing a car) and cycled out. Today our performance was not very far away, however after the first 5 minutes I was soaked. So I surrendered to the wetness, as the rest of my teammates also did, and just enjoyed the rain. After 45 minutes or so the whole team had arrived at the school. A school that insisted on providing us with food both before and after our 3 performances.
Such generosity is something that we will no doubt be facing many times on our tour, however every time I encounter it I am always taken a back by the reminder of how amazing people are. We are, essentially, strangers to the many people we will encounter on the road, and yet constantly we are welcomed in with open arms to feed us, shelter us, and simply just respect us. Such respect is sometimes hard to find, and so I am always so grateful for it.
But back to the rain, because of all of our wet gear, which we hung to dry during our performances, small lake systems started to form on the floor of the school's staff lounge. These lake systems soon became a hazard when I, in a mad rush to put food in my mouth between our 2nd and 3rd performance, slipped on one of the lakes and smashed my knee into the hard ground. I always thought those "careful: slippery when wet" signs were silly, however I now realize there importance. It was a hard fall, and my knee still hurts, it has prevented me from biking, yet it did not prevent me from performing. The show must go on!
And so, we completed our 3rd performances, spreading even more inspiration to create change simply through our daily choices. Its amazing what an impact we can make when we stop and think about how what we eat, wear, say can have on both our local and global community. Hopefully the students left inspired to be change makers. We planted the seeds, the watering is up to them.
And so after 3 performances, one nasty fall, lots of rain, and even more inspired students, the day ended. We will all pretty excited to crawl into those sleeping bags and say goodnight.