I wrote this short text last year, as a submission to Rupert Writes 2011. It is the right length for a blog post, was inspired by one of the most beautiful spots around here, and I have tons of pictures to illustrate it. Done deal!!!
Kasiks River, August 14th, 2010
It must have been the warmest day of the summer on the Northwest Coast of British Columbia. I could imagine people in Prince Rupert complain that it was way too hot. But we didn’t mind the warmth; we were having lunch on the shore of the Kasiks River, alternating between devouring our food, sun bathing on the beautiful beach, and diving in the frigid waters.
As I was recovering from a brain freeze, Amanda,* sitting on the sandy beach with her friend Debby,* was telling Dan* and I about her participation on Prince Rupert’s Dragon Boat team for the summer. I suddenly got interested. Canoeing on the Kasiks River that day was so much fun. What if I was able to paddle every week? “How did you get on the team?,” I asked Amanda, already picturing myself cruising the Harbour in the huge canoe. “Well, she said, survivors get priority, and then the team recruits new members as needed.” “Survivors,” I laughed.
Nobody else laughed. Through my laughter, I could see everybody’s puzzled, almost horrified, faces. “So priority is given to returning members who survived last year’s training?,” I continued, still laughing but feeling strangely awkward. Relief suddenly replaced horror in my friends’ faces. And as Amanda spoke up, shame suddenly replaced amusement on my own face: “Actually, priority is given to breast cancer survivors.”
And this is how, on this extremely warm day of August 2010, while taking a break from a wonderful canoe trip on the Kasiks River, I learned about the commitment of Dragon Boat’s participants to raise awareness about breast cancer among the public.
And I am now proud to say that in the summer of 2011, you will see me paddling on the Prince Rupert Harbour, along eight breast cancer survivors and about 20 of their supporters, “to promote and raise the level of breast cancer awareness”** and “honour the memory of those unable to take up the paddle.”**
** Welcome Aboard: Prince Rupert Rainbow Warriors Dragon Boat Society Orientation Package.