To our Family, Friends and Followers of the Champions Program
After an amazing and life changing three and a half weeks of teaching, the Champions were more than ready to see what lied beyond our schools yards. I have been anticipating Mojo’s tour, also known as “Jo’s magical tour” since week one. We were informed that Mojo’s would begin at 10 am, and last to 4pm. This tour has been a secret to us Champions, and we were extremely excited to find out what was about to come our way. It is my pleasure to inform you, and take you along, as if you were a passenger seeing this with your own eyes. Buckle up, here we go!
The cars rolled in, and out came our three smiley, and matching tour guides of the day. Dr. Sheppard, Inderpreet Bring and Mitch Hardington, stepped out of their cars in matching hats and khaki shorts. In that moment, I knew that this tour was definitely going to be magical! With a quick speech of our agenda, we hopped into our cars and off we went to St. John’s fire station. Here we were greeted warmly by some of the fireman and women, with handshakes and questions about us Champions. Dr. Sheppard explained that we were, “the Canadian teachers”, and that we have been teaching in eight primary schools during our four week visit. They were all very appreciative, and were happy to have us drop by and visit. Before we said goodbye, Dr. Sheppard presented the fireman and women, badges, hats and t-shirts from the Abbotsford fire department. Us champions, quickly snapped a few pictures, thanked St. John’s fire department, and were off to our next destination.
We found ourselves in front of the majestic national cricket stadium. Sir Isaac Vivian, “The master blaster” stadium was built in 2007 for the World Cup of cricket. Built by the Chinese, this stadium can hold around 10, 000 spectators, within it’s four gigantic towers. As we entered the massive building, the stadium was constructed into two different stands; indoor, and outdoor. The blue and yellow sea of seats encompassed a large, spacious circular green field. Since Antigua is built quite compactly, seeing a building so large, tall and wide was out of the ordinary. I imagined looking out to a game, and wondered what cricket would look like, what it would feel like, and what it would sound like. Seeing such a great stadium, I could only imagine watching a cricket game, and what an amazing experience it would be. I was quickly snapped out of my day dream, and off we went again!
Our next stop was quite the bumpy journey. The Champions bounced up and down on a dirt rocky road until we arrived at, “Devil’s Bridge”. This was a spectacular view. The beautiful volcanic rock covered the ground while it’s natural blow holes, sprayed high in the air. The dark blue Atlantic Ocean waves crashed against the cliffs. The Champions learnt that behind this beautiful view, disguised a dark and tragic history. The small and treacherous rock bridge was an area of mass suicide for the slaves. They believed that the devil was calling them; therefore, they would jump to their death, into the crashing waves, and would never return. The history of Devil’s bridge is by far spooky, yet memorable and fascinating. Pictures were definitely a high commodity at this stop. The natural orangey rock erosion was breathtaking.
Now, I think it’s safe to say that the cutest, and most heart-warming stop lied at the Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary. This Sanctuary offers a permanent home for donkeys at risk. These insanely cute docile animals were feasting on hay and grass as we arrived. They did not seem cognisant of our intrusion, although the Champions and I were thrilled to pet and snap pictures with our little friends. We learnt that these passive and quiet animals can carry up to twice its weight, for example a baby elephant, as they reach the age of three! How impressive! We were also informed that the Sanctuary currently shelters 150 Donkeys, some who are were up for adoption. It is my pleasure to inform you all that the Champions adopted a donkey! Pumpkin, our donkey, is a very sweet little guy. He was born in the Donkey Sanctuary, and his fathered by an elderly donkey, “the Old man”, since his mother was stolen. Pumpkin is light brown, small, and lovable. It was love at first sight!
After three interesting, and enjoyable stops, our tour guides drove us to the breezy, scenic Half Moon Bay. We spent some time here, body surfing, relaxing on the beach, and eating our lunches. This beautiful half-moon shaped beach was very charming, and quiet. We all had a great time catching some rays, and visiting another one of Antigua’s exquisite beaches. By this time was tour was almost over, and I couldn’t have been more pleased to what I had experienced so far. We packed our bags, and drove through the enchanting rainforest to our final destination, Fred’s ice cream.
After six hours of entertainment, an ice cream cone was the cherry on top. Mojo’s tour was equally as tasty, and delicious as my ice cream. The Champions and I are extremely grateful to Dr. Sheppard, who gave us the opportunity to experience the many treasures Antigua offers. As I sit here, completing my blog, I am overwhelmed with joy. I cannot wait to share my experiences, and what I’ve learnt in just a short four weeks.
Green Bay Primary