2010 Canadian Tour

Last Day

Posted by: ChrisH

Today is the last day of the exhibition. Already over 17,000 people have attended. The rain has just stopped in Waterloo, so come and join us!

Visitor Feedback

Posted by: ChrisH

Again, during day 2 at Waterloo many people with real life experience of refugee camps came to visit.  I include some video footage of our volunteer Remmy, from Rwanda, who grew up in a refugee camp.  His comments about water are nothing short of shocking.

Later in the day I met a Doctor from Afghanistan.  He explained why he thought that it is good that people in this part of the world see the “ugly reality” of what is happening in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Waterloo: rain and my fascinating group.

Posted by: ChrisH

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.

Arrival in Waterloo

Posted by: ChrisH

We are all set up and ready to go in Waterloo.  For the first time we are on concrete rather than grass, which means we have to use sandbags to hold down the tents.  We’ve also had the first bit of rain, but thankfully we set the camp up before it started.  I guess real refugees would like rain, as it might provide some clean drinking water, but it’s a pain for us.  I hope it dries up.  But we’ll be opening at 9am tomorrow rain or shine.  We’re expecting it to be quite busy as some of our guides have departed and we have had a great response from local schools.  So all us logisticians are on tour guide duty.  I’m looking forward to it.

Rainy Waterloo

Waterloo, here we come

Posted by: ChrisH

1st of June has arrived already and we’ve packed up the roadshow in Toronto and drive to Waterloo today. Opening day is Thursday 3rd and we’ll be there until Sunday. So far over 13,000 people have taken the time to see the exhibition. We’re all really pleased as it’s a lot more than we expected so far. So if you have an hour to spare in Waterloo, swing by and see the problems facing the 42 million people in the world fleeing conflict.