Fabienne Macé

Mother Nature worked its magic and participants started to share their experiences. Smiles widened, jokes were told, and kilometres travelled too!

The end of our trip was near, but we were only concerned with the present moment. While the mercury dropped, chemistry did its thing and the atmosphere grew warmer within the group.

Humour, a wonderful human sense

During this third day of our adventure, intestinal discomforts may have affected each and every participant, but not everyone suffered! An ovation broke out, celebrating a period during which all were feeling well. A poem was even written in our logbook and recited, to our delight!

Happiness barometer

When we woke up on Saturday, the fire was burning, steaming coffee awaited in the pot, and the omelet was in the pan. After a breakfast fit for the dining room of a grand hotel, we were ready for the next 13 kilometres.

We performed our ritual songs and dances, warming our muscles up before we donned our lifejackets and grabbed our oars. Going with the flow, as simple as that. A precious, carefree moment that became part of the voyage. Then, as soon as the rabaskas started to move, bantering and games resumed.

That evening, Jimmy would sum things up by saying that getting to meet people had never been this easy before. However, mouths and arms seemed to be unable to work simultaneously. The kilometres inched by at a snail’s pace, and thank goodness it was slow. After all, the scenery was grandiose. Islands, big and small, dotted the panorama. We saw beaches and rocky points that jutted out from the land. The forest was wearing its very best, a kaleidoscope of colours that continued to impress.

Jeremy and Jimmy took charge of the rabaskas that morning. They successfully oversaw their teams with brio. It was a great pleasure to see that the expedition gave participants strength and self-confidence, among other things!

Little signs that have great meaning

Weariness set in during lunch. It may have been the cold, or it may have been the effort. In any case, the carpet of colourful leaves was a lovely place for a nap or a short rest. With the participants in a circle once more, it was even the occasion for a sweet melody that we sang under the affectionate direction of our favourite conductor.

Kylie collected leaves for an activity with her kindergarten students in Winnipeg, selecting them with care according to shape, hue and the pattern of their veins.

In keeping with her mother’s teachings, Samantha built an Inukshuk at the water’s edge.

Like a model student, Feno wrote in our logbook, diligently filling a great number of pages today!

The rain resumed right after our pleasant photo shoot on the beach. No one seemed to be thrilled with the idea of having their pictures taken, but through my viewing lens, I saw only sparkling eyes and radiant smiles.

Kaylee, Kylie and one of our physicians, Anne-Sophie, met their challenge with success: they dove into the chilly water of the reservoir! Yes, really! The three of them climbed onto a rocky outcrop. With much energy and vitality, they launched themselves into the lake… a courageous, gesture performed with audacity. It invigorated them and brought them joy. Congratulations, ladies!!

Words with great meaning

On still waters in the middle of the lake, under a charcoal black sky slashed by stunning rays of sun, it was time for our spiritual moment. Catherine asked each participant to think of a word that described our experience. Around the fire at camp Natjeleme that evening, we shared our special words:



















All had been said… the most important things, vibrating among us.

A string was passed hand to hand, connecting us one to the other. A highly conductive wire that received our best moments and feelings, thus shared forever.

As if by magic, the sky suddenly cleared and twinkling stars appeared. A lovely gift to top off these exceptional experiences that have been forever etched into the very heart of everyone there.

What matters is not the destination, it’s the journey. That’s what’s worthwhile. And, with overflowing hearts, our journey continues.



Fabienne Macé, photographer and blogger

Translated by Sylvie Lemelin