We Are Stronger Than We Think We Are

Posted on the 13th October 2020

You may have read a recent blog post from the perspective of our hosts at Camp Cadicasu in Canada, where Ollie, our Lattitude volunteer from the UK, remained in place despite many other international travelers going home.

Here is part 2 of the story – from the perspective of Ollie. What a great story he has!

I came to Canada at the end of February and began my placement in March, with the snow of the Rocky Mountains still deep and the animals still asleep. I was a bit apprehensive about the coronavirus and my fears turned out to be well founded. I was really looking forward to working with kids but almost immediately we had to deal with the effects of the coronavirus. Suddenly, cancellations became the norm. In the absence of children, there was a lot of maintenance work to be done. To be honest I did not enjoy this work itself very much but I was with someone from New Zealand and we had many great times together. Because of that, I didn’t mind so much.

However, as the situation unfolded and the world plunged into lockdown, my friend from New Zealand decided to go home. I was unhappy as I didn’t wish to return to England so soon. I felt there was still more for me in Canada. It wasn’t as if there was going to be loads to do if I returned to England and I felt safe at the camp, so I decided to stay. To be honest, it was a bit boring at times, being by myself. Through it I did learn to become much more independent, having to cook and take care of things by myself.

Luckily, the two other guys at the camp were really supportive and we had many enjoyable evenings playing poker, watching films, or discussing the affairs of the world. Lattitude also regularly kept in contact with me and helped with any questions I had. I am extremely grateful for my family who have always been there for me. Their optimism and thoughtfulness always cheered me up.

It is amusing how much time you can put into planning something and how little reality resembles your plan. We cannot truly know what the future has in store for us but that’s okay. You do not need to control everything to be happy. In fact, I find that the more you try to control or worry about things that really are outside your control, the less at ease you feel. When life throws something crazy at you, yes it may suck! But sometimes you need a shake-up to recognize that we are stronger than we think we are.

When it became clear there was no chance of the summer camp reopening, a new path opened for me. I ended up on a permaculture farm where one of my main responsibilities has been looking after two lovely children, thus fulfilling my original desire of being with kids. Here I am learning skills that will be vital for the future. Finally there is a system of agriculture that not only doesn’t destroy the biodiversity that ensures the stability of our ecosystem, but actually promotes it. I hope that the permaculture philosophy rapidly expands in the coming years because our world hasn’t stopped evolving and imagine what it could be like if all species were allowed to thrive.

I don’t know who might be reading this but thank you for taking the time to hear my perspective. I wish you all the best and I know that perhaps you may have challenges big and small, like we all do, but we are all in the same boat. Challenge may always be with you but maybe that’s a good thing. Without it you may not have gathered the wisdom that you now have. My time in Canada was an incredible experience despite it being different to what I imagined. It will stay with me forever.

Live in peace,

Ollie

 

Click here to read part 1 of this story, from the perspective of the host at Camp Cadicasu.

 

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