Published: May 12th 2010May 12th 2010
Hello all you crazy people that i love!
I hope things are cruising along well for you all. I'm still here in Tofino and I am having the most ridiculously great time.
I met up with the wwoofing team and headed in to the Esowista community to get started on their garden. The organisation of this whole volunteer thing has been very loose but i have enjoyed the freedom that has given us. I'm working with another volunteer, Maria, who has been living in Canada for 9 years. She's originally from Russia and we get on really well which has made this experience awesome! Our first day involved the construction of the raised beds and a long wait for the soil to arrive. We met some local guys Cory and Shaun who were helping with the construction of the garden and who immediately took us under their wing! They're great guys and work for Tribal Parks which is similar to the National Parks except that it focuses specifically on their native lands and cultural areas. They invited us along to help them build a trail for a zipline (flying fox) which was being built for the summer tourist season.
So the next day we ventured off in a truck overflowing with gear and set up camp right next to a roaring river with snow capped mountains all around! It was pretty damn spectacular & I felt as though i was in a typically stereotyped Canadian scene. My jaw was basically dropped wide open the entire first day.
We spent two full days trail building which was pretty awesome too. It was great seeing the progress of our trail as we built steps, laid down mulch and pruned the areas to make a neat & natural path leading to the first zip-lining platform. Our nights were spent around an epic camp fire where we cooked delicious food, drank plenty of booze & laughed hyterically. The guys know so much stuff about the local area and their peoples history that I felt so lucky to hear what they had to say!
I've been seeing so much wildlife too. Apparently a black bear was spotted right near our camp when we were trail building one day. I was super keen at the beginning to see one but after the guys made me start taking a knife with me when i
went to pee, I started to get a build of fear! haha. Hummingbird, woodpeckers, squirrels, raccoons, river otters, sea lions, grey whales and bald eagles are just some of the other animals i've been seeing too!
After camping we had another day at Esowista finalising the planting and labelling of their vegetable garden before heading over to another community called Opitsah which is a 5 minute boat ride from Tofino. Our efforts with this garden are on standby at the moment after we started finding human bones! A really strange and eary feeling that's for sure! It is basically an archaelogist heaven in this community. The Nation use to be 200,000 people strong and now it has a population of only 2000 people as small pox and other things wiped out large portions of the population. They're sending in some one to asess the site and until they decide where the new garden should go, I think my wwoofing time here is pretty much up.
Maria and I are now planning to explore the area a little more during the next few days. Cory is taking us hiking up a mountain near by on Saturday which is awesome
because that will give us free access to all the parks and trails. The natural environment here is just awe-inspiring and I think I will definitely stick it out here for the summer and find some work.
That's all for now so know that I am having a great time and living large. I will post up some photos sometime soon. Flick me an email if you have time because I'd love to hear from you all! firstname.lastname@example.org
Lots of love, Annicka
There are more photos below