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July 31st, 2019

James volunteers in Costa Rica to help save the turtles

Hola a todos, mi nombre es James Evaluarjuk, I’m going to be telling you about one of the best and heartwarming memories I had in Costa Rica. One night we were able to participate in a Tortuga patrol (Turtle). Turtle patrols happen every-day usually after dark between 7-12 at night. We were told no loud noises or bright coloured clothes. You use a Red light and be quiet and bring lots of water.

Our patrol was from 8:00- 10:00PM and there was about twenty-three people. It was warm but a cool night. The first responders went out on electric bikes to move faster than the group to search. We began walking from Cirenas and headed toward the hatchery. There are markers on the beach to know where we are on the beach and to show miles. We walked in a straight line parallel to each other, looking back and forth on the ground for signs of turtles coming on the beach. It was important to use the red light at this time. The normal white light hurts their eyes and might scare them off. We stopped at the nursery and continued on to markers numbered 19-20. We waited for about 30 minutes to get a text from the first responders if there was a turtle sighted. After 30 minutes we were told that we had to head back to Cirenas. We weren’t going to see a turtle that night. As we were walking back to the nursery there was a text saying TORTUGA. Hurry!

So, Vamos! James (a volunteer) and I started running to the first responders. We were the first to get there. We had to walk around and wait for the signal that we could come see the turtle in small groups.  The turtle laid ninety-six eggs that were collected by the first responders and we all walked back to the nursery.  They were put in a hole how the turtle would make it for the eggs. They will hatch in about one month. It was very rare for a person to see a turtle their first patrol. Some people were there for one month and had not seen any turtles. I felt very honoured to be a part of what they do to help the turtle species survive. 

Thanks for reading my blog y’all this was one of the best times I had in Costa Rica. Pure Vida/live life.

July 29th, 2019

Victoria’s summer with Next

Greetings! My name is Victoria Piryuaq I’m from Baker Lake, Nunavut I did my Canadian Phase two years ago, I was placed in London, Ontario working at a daycare centre, which I sort of enjoyed, I was placed in the toddler room and shadow job one of the workers there.

This year I decided to do NYA Next Program because I recently graduated and wanted to see what programs they have at Algonquin College, what the program does is to help you get ready for college or university. Life on campus is active, busy, lively, full, bustling, and energetic the dorms at Algonquin College are neat, you share a living area but you have your own rooms, to get into the residence and your room you would need a room key ALWAYS keep the key with you at all times. You can talk to your roommate if you want to know them better, when you have assignments do finish them as soon as possible if you want free time without worrying about the deadline, ask for help when you are stuck, have perseverance and hope you can get through it.

For my experience here it’s like going back to school, but I’m the one who picks the courses I want to do and what I want to do with it and pass down some knowledge that I’ve learned. During the weekdays are busy which is a good thing in the morning we go to construction class, in the afternoon we go to presentations, classes, activities, in the evenings we do group meetings, catching up on assignments that we missed of skipped.

We do have free time between those busy days either to relax or shopping or other various activities that helps relax, in construction we made a double sided picture frame, we are putting together a miniature picnic table, we went to many different places of Ottawa such as to museums, downtown tour, beaches, Rideau Mall, Parliament Hill, Ottawa Mission, visited other college or university and many more to come.

Each one of us have our own personal learning projects (PLP), to explore what we like to do or following our passion(s) for me I did pottery and sewing, the pottery class was fun! But not as easy it looks in videos that I watched. There’s so much I want to do here in Ottawa with such little time, the highlight here in Ottawa would be going to the beach, going to the movie theatre, going to the festival, Rideau Mall, the college itself, going to museums, camping and many more.

July 29th, 2019

Hayley’s time in Costa Rica

In the past 4 weeks I’ve experience a lot of new things and changes. Working in a completely different environment, with so many foreign scenes, tastes, smells and sounds, it really gave me a different perspective of the world that we live in.

Coming from such a small community to exploring Times Square in NYC to being in the tropics and planting trees in the span of two weeks was an overwhelming change to me. In Cirenas we learned a lot about permaculture and got hands on experience. We planted rice, 114 trees and made a “lasagna” out of natural materials to make a compost heap. We also did beach cleaning along the shores. I was really surprised as to how much plastic there was. After a hard day of work we always got the chance to dip into the ocean and watch one of the most beautiful sunsets. We rode horses, learned how to make traditional tortillas and did some traditional dancing as well.

Here at the United World College we recently did a three-session course called “The Agents of Change” where we talked about issues around the globe while coming up with strategies to work against them. We are currently taking Spanish classes, which isn’t the easiest thing for me but learning this new language really helps me to communicate with locals.

In the time of being in Santa Ana we went to an organic market where we tried fresh local fruits and bought some homemade souvenirs to bring back home. We also gave the Canadian embassy a presentation about who we are and where we come from, we talked lot about our culture and language. The other week the group and I got a tour of an old historical town called “Sarchi” we had the chance to check out one of the oxcart factories which still runs without electricity and is run only by hydroelectricity.

I’m exploring a lot and learning new things every day. Northern Youth Abroad is a great program that really helps you to grow as a young adult. Not only am I learning about different cultures but really getting to embrace mine as well. Getting to travel internationally has given me a great understanding of how I can have an impact on the world.

July 26th, 2019

Nicole on the East Coast

Hello, my name is Nicole Blackduck, I am 16 years old and I live in Gameti, NT. I am a participant in this year 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Canadian program. A HUGE thank you to everyone that supported in my community and helped me get here. The first week of this program was great! Meeting new friends, who are family to me at camp and learning new cultures. Getting to know these amazing youth and the NYA staff is something I won’t forget. The memories I made the first week is sacred to my heart forever.

The second week, all participants left camp and went to our host communities. When I got into my host community (which it is in Prince Edward Island.) I was welcomed with big hugs and smiles from my host family Rick, Heather, Brooklyn and Cole. They were excited to have me for 5 weeks. My work placement is at 2 different locations, which I love because of the animals. They have horses, rabbits, donkey and many more.

I kayak, go on bike rides and other amazing activities with my host family. We like to sing and play guitar together. Sometimes my host parents’ friends like come by and join us on the weekend for music.

So far, from this program, I met another First Nation group and went to a county music festival with approximately 35,000 people in attendance.  Soon I will be going to two other provinces of NB and NS.

Being in this program really made me feel more confident about myself. What I noticed about the differences about here and back home is the weather, its greener here and a lot more activities and events ( Brooklynn says is caring and helpful).  I highly recommend that you join this program if you are thinking about it. It will prepare you for the future travelling on your own and job experiences. The staff and youth are great people to meet. They actually treat you like family. Masi Cho for taking your time to read my blog.

 Sincerely, Nicole.  

July 26th, 2019

Alaasua’s summer so far with NYA Next

Hi, my name is Alaasua Audlaluk I am a participant of the NYA Next program. I did my Canadian phase last year and I was placed in St. John’s Newfoundland.

With the NYA Next I am staying at the Algonquin College Residence with 12 other youth and young adults. We are taking a 3 week construction class which I didn’t enjoy in the beginning but learning how to use some tools and other participants helping each other makes it fun. We also volunteered at the Ottawa Mission. Some of us helped volunteer with picking up trash outside the building and some of us helped with making candy bags for the homeless.

We did a presentation on where we are from, our traditional clothing and games to children which was fun. I went to the Lebanese Festival with some of the other participants, we went on rides such as the Starship and Area 51 which was really fun. We also tried different kinds of food. I am hoping to go to the Afro festival next weekend on my free time.

Last weekend we went camping for a night at the Naategamaa camp with other youth, we got to know each other’s culture. We did a medicine walk and learned about what some plants can do, we also had a campfire and ate s’mores and hot dogs while telling stories which I enjoyed. I am also excited to go to Montreal for a few days and explore the city.

Thank you for reading my blog.

July 26th, 2019

Sheba in Castlegar, BC

My name is Sheba Nattak I am 16 years old and I live in Baker Lake, Nunavut. I’m a part of this years 2019 Northern Youth Abroad program. I’d like to say a big thank you to the NYA staff and my community for their support for helping me in this program.


My host parents are John and Lisa Sloot. They’ve brought us Swimming, shopping, hiking and much more over the past few weeks which was awesome. We’ve tried different kinds of food that were delicious, my favourite place that we’ve been to was The Black Rooster. This summer has been the best experience with my host family and my work placement so far.


My work placement is the Doukhabor Museum, the one main thing I do there is gardening which is unexpectedly fun for me.
This is my blog for this summer and I hope you enjoyed it.


Sincerely, Sheba Nattak

July 26th, 2019

Jailyn’s time with NYA Next

Hi! My name is Jailyn Edgi, I’m from Fort Good Hope, NWT! I am part of the NEXT program of NYA, so far everything has been going great! We just finished making picture frames in construction class and now we’re building miniature picnic tables! Some of us are even finished our new project. Other than our construction class, we’ve volunteered at the Ottawa Mission and made some candy bags with inspirational notes placed in them.

One of my favourite experiences this summer was when we went camping with A7G! A7G is an organization in Ottawa that works with Indigenous youth. It was a great weekend because I got to hang out with some more indigenous people here in Ottawa and participated in activities such as bonfires and relaxing in the shade looking out at the Fitzroy Harbour. I also liked hanging out at the beach our first weekend here, the water was nice and cool, it wasn’t warm or nothing!

Living in residence has been great! It gives you a real sense of what it’s actually like to live in a college residence and prepares you for the future. So far, my friends and I have watched movies or play video games in the theatre lounge or play pool in another lounge, we’ve played volleyball in the courtyard outside of the residence, or make new friends with the students living there too! Like I’ve met people who are either from Brazil, Kuwait, or Spain, I’ve gotten to know their lifestyle and what it’s like for them to move across the world just to attend Algonquin College, while they got to know my lifestyle up north and how I adjusted to the change of climate and settings.

I hope to gain time management and punctuality as a skill for the rest of my time here in Ottawa, as it is the most important skill to have.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog

Jailyn Edgi 🙂

July 25th, 2019

Ali’s time in Six Nations

My name is Ali Grandjambe and I am from Fort Good Hope, Northwest Territories. I’m a participant in this year’s 2019 Northern Youth Abroad (NYA) Canadian Program.


My host community is located in Six Nations, Ontario. There are so many interesting things to do here on a reserve. Through the weeks I’ve been here, I’ve learned how to paddle board, been to a lacrosse game, seen pow wows, gone to the beach, been out tanning, done a spin class and checked out Niagara Falls. The first thing I did in Niagara Falls was going through The Nightmares Fear Factory with other NYA participants that we met up with. My buddy didn’t want to go through but I personally didn’t find it scary at all.


My host family has been very welcoming and have gone above and beyond for me and my placement buddy. We have become closer as friends to the point where we have been calling each other “my twin” and it’s been a great journey so far. 


I have had the opportunity to volunteer at the local food bank and it is nice to be able to help other people out. 


Honestly, participating in this program has helped me see a better side of myself. I’ll be finishing high school next year and I’m hoping to further my life/work experience and to also travel the world.


Thank you for reading my blog!

July 25th, 2019

Ayla shares about her summer so far

Hi, I’m Ilumigarjuk Ayla Kreelak, I’m from Baker Lake, Nunavut and I’m a part of the Next program. It’s been two weeks and we’ve been on the go. Every. Single. Day. Whether it was settling down, figuring out our constantly changing schedules, or even getting to our classes and sessions on time (which we’re still getting the hang of).

And we’ll be starting our Personal Learning Projects pretty soon. If you’re not interested in reading the whole blog, everyone’s basically doing things to help them in post-secondary. I think Algonquin College was chosen mostly ‘cause they emphasize how much we can get from hands-on learning. When we’re not working our butts off, we make a lot of good bonds. It’s almost like a stress relief when we make fun of each other.

My Personal Learning Project is obviously art related, and I’ll be working on a couple of different areas I feel like I need to improve in. I don’t really draw buildings, facial expressions, or colour that much. So that’s I’ll be working towards. And it’s probably not gonna feel like much work because drawing is something I wouldn’t mind doing 8 hours a day. In fact, it was only recently that I realized that art is gonna be an important part of my life, ‘cause it’s been 5 years since I started drawing and I’ve never felt like I should stop.


There’s a couple “mini-projects” that I wanna do. Like finalizing the small comic I wrote before coming to Ottawa, and actually draw the things I’ve been requested to do so. Not to mention the ideas I had for making funny webcomics (like the ones you see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever sites you check). I do have an Instagram profile if you wanna check it out, and it’s @aylakreelakart.


Something I have to get used to in the Residence is doing laundry. Don’t get the wrong idea that I don’t do chores, but it’s really different when it comes to doing laundry here. They have a communal laundry room where we have to pay. Sometimes some random person will be a jerk and take your clothes out of the washer or dryer and you have to start all over again. For me, I’ve been prioritizing my downtime to recharge over the pile of musty, dirty clothes under my desk. Right now, I’m wearing my fancy pants, a tank top that’s been reused 3 times, and my favourite jacket so I wouldn’t annoy anyone with my b.o.


The last thing I’ll say is that there are great ups-and-downs when it comes to living on campus. I lost both my glasses and sandals, I dropped my iPod in an outhouse and a couple of other things. On the other hand, I’ve got new art supplies, I’ve made a lot of memories, and I went on a Ferris wheel! And a lot of great things like these happened because I said: “why not?” Hopefully, the Canadian phasers do too! This has been my blog, and wish you all a happy experience with NYA.

July 25th, 2019

Sophie tries lots of new things in Halifax

Hi my name is Sophie Idlout, I’m from Resolute Bay, Nunavut, the population is about 198 people that live there, it is the second highest community in Canada. This summer I’m living in Halifax Nova Scotia, which has the population of over 400,00,000 people.

I’m volunteering at The Indigenous Students Center which is located in Dalhousie University. Because of NYA in their Canadian program, I am able to have this experience down south. So far I went to the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, it was amazing and it was about 3 to 4 hours and it felt like 20 minutes that’s how amazing the live show was and Betsy and I got to get pictures taken with some of the people who were in it.

I rode the bus for the first time to my placement, we saw a soccer game. The second weekend we went to PEI and New Brunswick, on our way to PEI we took the ferry and that was my first time on one. In PEI we went to the Wax Museum and I got my hand moulded by wax, I also went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and I finally meet Sully.

We went to Sandspit and I rode the Roller coaster, cliffhanger, Ferris wheel, Scrambler, swing, bumper car, bumper boat, tilt a whirl, the train, carousel, laser tag, mini putt, haunted house. We went to the beach for the first time, it was so nice and warm. I mowed a lawn for the first time, saw the Lion King,  went to a pride parade for the first time, it was so hot that day, and we went to a multi Cultural festival. I swam in a lake and a pool. Saw cows, calf’s, sheep’s, chicks and I rode a tractor, been in traffic. Thanks to my host mom Michelle Martian most of this is possible. She has four cats and their names are Oreo, Gracie, Mollie and Kula and my host mom Michelle, I love living in her house.

Almost everything is different from my home, I’m not used to hearing the sirens all the time, I have seen young people disrespecting elders which is something I am not used to, lots of homeless people, trees, it’s humid, buildings, ginormous stores, everything is cheap.

I have tried lots of new foods, including Jiggs dinner which is from Newfoundland where my host mom is originally from. Real Chinese food, pecan pie, Wendy’s fast food, subway, little caesars, and Mary Brown’s to name a few. 

Thank you for reading my blog!