“She’s not my biggest fan!”, Day 6, June 17th

This morning the boys came to the bus well-fed and clean.  You should’ve seen their shoes.  It was amazing to see them turn from mud black to almost gleaming white.  Many of them stayed up late learning to do their own laundry; and some of their hosts stayed up even later to make sure the laundry was finished.  Although it was an early morning, the boys arrived with smiles.  Their day immediately got brighter when they were greeted by Stella the Shitzu, wagging her tail and saying “good morning” to everyone she saw.
After the bus loaders were finished packing the luggage, we were on the road.  On the way out of Thunder Bay we stopped by the Terry Fox memorial which overlooked Lake Superior.  The site featured a great view of the “Sleeping Giant”, a large island visible from Superior’s shoreline that gives the illusion of a gigantic sleeping person.  They read about Terry Fox, talked about the legend of the Sleeping Giant, took pictures, and then were off to Sault St. Marie.

To set the tone for the lengthy drive the staff took some time to remind the boys of where they are in the tour timeline.  With only being a third of the way finished, and having many more days to spend together, the gentlemen needed to remember to treat each other with respect and honor.  Over many tours, Aaron has observed that this is the time when boys realize they’re not going back home any time soon.  They start getting worn out and lose their cool easily.  They need to know they have 12 more days, and it’ll only be a great tour IF they practice respect and think of others before they think of themselves.  It’s easy to be respectful of each other when you spend a short time together, but when that time gets extended you have learn to DECIDE to be respectful.  This is why tour changes boys.  They learn to CHOOSE respect and honor.

That seemed to be all the boys needed to set their day right.  During the whole bus ride they got along well, and enjoyed each other’s company.  Even without devices, they enjoyed time together.

At the beginning of the drive, I talked to another “first year” boy: Anthony Mwangi.  Anthony’s from Champlin and is 10 yrs old.  He also turns 11 on tour, June 22nd.  Much like Josiah, he was relieved to discover hosts provided lunches for the boys.  (It seems to me the boys are really concerned about being fed on tour.)  At first Anthony thought tour was “ok, I guess”.  He’s been having a hard time adjusting to the no-WIFI rule.  But we chatted more about that, and he told me tour has been great.  One thing he didn’t expect was all the Code Red they had to be in because boys were talking too much.  I also asked him my standard get-to-know-you questions…

What do you want to be when you grow up?  “Three things: a basketball player, a construction worker, and an engineer.”

If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?  “Teleportation, to get to places easy. My Dad doesn’t like getting to places late.”

If you had three wishes, what would they be?  “Infinity wishes (huh, go figure!), a million dollars…a TRILLION dollars, and world peace.”

If you could be anyone in the world for a day, who would it be and why?  “Kevin Durant, because I like how he plays basketball.  He has a good range when he shoots.”

If you could time-travel, where and when would you go?  “I would not want to go in the past. I would want to go to the very far future.  To see flying cars, see the new video game consoles, see how the world has changed.”

Thanks Anthony for sharing about yourself.

In Winnipeg and Thunder Bay, people bragged about the scenery we would enjoy on the Trans-Canada Highway.  They were right!  While we played bus bingo there was several times the boys were invited to look out the window and see the beautiful landscape.  Over every hill a new view revealed the vibrant greens and layered blues of Ontario’s breathtaking topography.

We arrived at our destination this evening, and checked the boys into the hotel before going to dinner. Tonight Camden reiterated our expectations for them while eating out.  He asked the boys to tell HIM how to behave in a restaurant: always look your server in the eyes when ordering, always sit with napkins on your lap, bring straws to your mouth when drinking, always push your chair in before you leave, etc.

Dinner was at Wacky Wings, a Canadian wing-joint much like “B-Dubs” in the States.  Having brought us downstairs to a party room called “The Coop”, the servers gave the boys pitchers of pop while they waited for their wings and fries.  Music videos from the past three decades played on the walls around us.  Selena Gomez came on the screens, and some of the boys started singing along with her video.  I asked them if they liked her.  I laughed to myself as one of the boys seriously answered, “Oh, she’s not my biggest fan”; and the boy next to him agreed, “Yes, she’s not a fan of mine either.”  They are so funny, even when they don’t know it.

The boys are now in their rooms chilling for the evening, getting rest for another long drive in the morning.  We head to Niagara Falls tomorrow, and will be there for a couple days.

Good night.


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