2010 Canadian Tour

Waterloo: rain and my fascinating group.

Our opening day started with over 1,000 people all keen to see the refugee camp.  Then it rained.  It rained hard.  We had over 30mm of rain in 1 hour.  I know this because we could measure it in all the pots and pans that we have in “the village” where we show people the different types of shelters that people might make in refugee camps.


I had a great group today, they came from a school and included refugees who had grown up in Kenya, Yemen, Sudan, Pakistan, Iraq and Thailand.  They all had interesting stories to tell: one disagreed with me that refugees tended to only eat rice and beans – they only got beans where he grew up.  The girl from Yemen knew that to get water there people often have to drill to 100 meters.  The boy from Pakistan recognized the “Sahara tent” I showed them.  They are quite good at keeping out the rain and wind, but don’t have much insulation.  “20 people would share a tent” he told the group.  At the end they thanked me, but I also thanked them, not just for listening but for their wonderful stories.

And then that rain.  I’ve been carrying my ski jacket around since day 1 and we’ve not really seen much rain since I arrived.  But today we did.  Emily (one of the other logisticians) and I grabbed the gum boots from the Cholera exhibit but most of the guides got soaked.

Peter, the logistical coordinator, made some ponchos from plastic sheeting.  Mental Health Officer Catherine models one below.

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