Hey, my name is Matt Kanayok, I’m 17 and I’m from Ulukhaktok, NT. I’m currently in the Northern Youth Abroad program at the Canadian phase, meaning that other participants and I are placed all throughout Southern Canada to experience life in the south.
My placement is in Belleville, Ontario. Sadeedi (my placement buddy) and I are staying with Maggie and Billy, our super awesome host parents! Not to mention Monty, the cutest googly-eyed dog I have ever seen.
My host parents are amazing and kind and I can keep going on, but to summarize they are the best and I can’t rightly express how grateful and appreciative I am of them.
The day after we arrived they took us to Waterfront, which is basically a carnival with so many new things that I never had the chance to try until then. One of our favorite rides was Zero Gravity, that didn’t require you to use any seatbelts because it spun and used centrifugal force to keep you on the ride, so you could just relax with your back against it. Least to say, it was definitely one of the best first day experiences I’ve ever had! We also did other cool things like attending a Pow Wow, going through the entirety of a 5-km run at foam fest, and checking out the nearby beach!
I work at the Quinte Arts Council and I’m currently in charge of managing and improving the online store, but I try to help out where I can. My coworkers are also very nice and welcoming people, and our chats together are always fun!
My time in Belleville has definitely been great and I love every moment of it so far! I’m so glad that I was chosen and that my mentor encouraged me to try in the first place. NYA has really allowed me to grow as a person and cultivate my own identity, meet incredible people I’m
happy to call friends, and to let me make new memories that I’ll definitely look back at fondly.