Tristan Sanders First Lighter Final Report

With Tristan in Scotland

 

A final report from First Lighter Tristan Sanders

 

As you all have read in my last letter the last weekend I was in Lochaber we had a wonderful farewell dinner. I said my goodbyes to all the friends and family I had made in my time over there that had made my stay so welcoming as though I was home away from home.

 

From there I had a long trip home catching a train from Fort William to Glasgow where I then had to spend the night. Lucky for me, the guy who I was working with, happened to be in Glasgow the same weekend. This made the few hours I had to pass the time more enjoyable before I settled into the hotel for my early start the next morning.

 

When I heard my horrid alarm going off at 3.30am in the morning, I had to drag myself out of bed to catch my flight which didn't depart till 4.30am.

 

Next stop was Heathrow London where I had seven hours to kill before my flight departed to Vancouver. To pass time I walked around, had a couple of quiet ones (orange juice) with some of the people waiting for the same flight.

 

After a long 9 hour flight I was pleased to arrive at my destination were I would be staying for two weeks. Looking around at the wonderful sights Vancouver had to

offer.

 

Onto a train trip I had pre booked through the Rocky Mountains which was an experience in itself. It was a magnificent view.

 

When I was in Banff I had the privilege to experience dog sledding, which I never thought I would. Although I am glad I did. It was very relaxing and an enjoyable experience. At the same time the dogs thrived with the exercise - it was a good way to spend a day in the snow.

 

Making my way to see more family such as poppa's sister Great Aunt Alison Collis, with whom I would be staying for the remaining time in Canada.

 

A couple of days after I arrived I was taken out by my second cousin Tim to enjoy my first experience of ice fishing where I caught my first pike fish which was something new and exciting.

 

The next day I was asked if I would like to go ice skating. I jumped at the opportunity to try something new. Ice skating was a lot of fun not as easy as what I first thought: it would be. As soon as I thought I got the hang of it and doing well, that's until primary kids were skating circles around me. I realized I was still skating around with two left feet.

 

I couldn't go to Canada and not experience watching a live ice hockey game. The atmosphere was not like anything I had ever experienced before. The whole crowd was getting into the game and could tell all were having a good time.

Another outing I did was going to the historic site of the Buffalo Jump Head Smashed In.

 

If you're wondering how it got the name. This was where a young boy decided to stand at the base of the cliff while the other Indians chased the buffalo off the edge. They had done this for centuries which they would use for food. The young boy wanted to watch this event. Although it did not have a happy ending for him as like the name of the cliff his head was smashed in as he was at the bottom of a pile of buffalos.

 

I was really enjoying my time in Canada meeting family members I have not met before or had a lot to do with growing up. It was well worth the extra miles to spend time with them.

 

I have so many good memories I can keep forever. It was then time to say my farewells once again and make my way home which comprised of a 13 hour flight.

 

Coming out of the customs I was greeted by my Aunty Shona and my dear mother Vivienne. It was good to be home and seeing all the familiar faces I had grown up around.

 

All and all I must say it was a trip of a life time. Thank you to everyone who organised and did their part to make it happen.

 

A big shout out to Astie and Tracey for having a good mattress ready for me and making my stay so enjoyable.

 

I strongly advise people to get behind the First Light Exchange Programme as I have grown as a person from it.

 

Tristan. December 2011

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