This morning we flew in a chartered Piper Navajo (7 passenger twin engine) to Uranium City, or as everyone up here calls it – U. City.
U. City is on the northern shore of the Lake Athabasca – the largest lake in Saskatchewan and Alberta (it straddles the border). It’s about 50 km from the North West Territories. Flying in, I was surprised how “hilly” the area is. Well, “hilly’s” not quite right – bigger than hills, but smaller than mountains. With lake after lake between the hills, it must be absolutely gorgeous in the summer.
At one time, when the uranium mine was in full swing, about 5000 people lived here. Then the mine shut down and now the population is about 80. There are 13 kids in the school in Kindergarten to Grade 9. Don’t let the small number make you feel sorry for them. I have never met such an amazing group! The older kids are working on making a silent movie, and they performed it for us. What a creative idea! The kids obviously loved doing it and couln’t have been more engaged. Kudos to the staff and the students!
The younger kids had all made me cards, telling me which of my books they liked the best (they’d read them all) and why. Lining the hallway is a trail of 3X4″ cards that the kids have filled out for every book they’ve read for the Northern Reading Challenge. They read a lot!
The students and staff were so welcoming and excited to see me. Afterwards they lined up to get a picture taken with me. I felt like royalty. I was honoured that my visit meant so much to them.
That school is a real gem. Wait until I tell the teachers at my school (with rooms of 25-30 kids) about it. This is the kind of teaching opportunity that people get into the profession for. The school is small but dynamic, and those kids are going to make a difference. Just you wait and see.
From U. City we flew to Fond du Lac. No one was at the airport to meet us, so Kathy phoned the school. It was Winter Carnival in Fond du Lac this week, and they had forgotten I was coming. 🙁 The kids were just about to head over for the arena Grand Opening. So we hopped back on the plane and returned to Stony Rapids. If only we had known earlier, we could have stayed in U. City longer. That would have been wonderful.
Since we had lots of time, Mark and Tyler flew us over the rapids at Stony…
and the hospital…
And here’s one more Stony Rapids picture – their sign.
I stopped at the Northern Store in Stony to check out some more prices. How about bananas? Try $5.99 a pound! I think they were 89 cents a pound in Martensville last time I bought them. Yikes!