Final Day of Shack Experience

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Our final day in the shack began early in the morning, as usual. Yet as we set off to catch the bus at the highway, we all knew that today was different. Today, we had more than the end of the week to look forward to – it was Carly’s nineteenth birthday as well.

Our task for the day was rock picking on the beaches. While the task was undeniably mundane, we made up for it by joking, laughing and focusing on the evening ahead. Without our positive attitudes and each other, we weren’t sure how we would have made it through this entire experience. The fact that we had something to look forward to may have improved our moods, but it also reminded us that so many families down here don’t have a warm house or a birthday party to keep them going through the work day.

Soon our buckets were full and we made our way home early thanks to our focused teamwork. We settled down in the teepee to take a quick break- and awoke a couple hours later, refreshed but unable to believe where the time went! We finished our last job of the day, landscaping the bunkhouse yard with the rocks we picked, and finished final preparations for Carly’s birthday bonfire.

Neighbours and friends surprised Carly with cake, pizza and gifts, but the highlight was by far the giant piñata that ended the night. We managed to work hard, save our earnings and give her what we hoped was a memorable evening.

Our time in the shack is coming to an end. It’s been the experience of a lifetime, and we can truly say that we have walked in other people’s shoes. I think we’ll all go away from this week with a renewed sense of gratitude for our many blessings home in Canada, as well as respect for our neighbours. We will leave the shack questioning the consumerist mindset of North American societies, while also appreciating the support of our families and friends- the ones who really matter.

Shack week has been an experience that has changed our lives. Through the hard work and rain, we found UBUNTU and a sense of community, and that will never go away.

Written by Academy student, Paisley Newburn

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: April 26th, 2012