It is with great excitement that the entire group quietly met in the hotel lobby in Montreal. Some had flown in the day before, and some had arrived in the morning. The atmosphere is already festive, everyone is introducing themselves to others and very quickly the links begin to develop. On the bus, we switch from French to English and sometimes even mix the two. The language barrier disappeared quickly. Samuel, who speaks only French and Adam, who speaks only English, managed to spend last night playing cards together, learning to understand each other! Leena and Nikki practice their French with pleasure and ease.

When we get to the Air Eau Bois camp, we quickly head for the lake. We all look forward to testing our paddling skills. The White Fish Reservoir, surrounded by colourful fall trees, offers a breathtaking landscape. Once the Rabaskas in the water, we paddle quietly on calm water. The fresh air, mild sunlight and brisk wind immediately make us feel great. That’s it, the expedition has begun! We take the first minute of silence of our journey, each and everyone enjoys this moment of peace.

After supper, we received our equipment and then attended a discussion night. We get to know each other a little more; Catherine explains more about the days to come, and Marie-Michelle and Marjorie had us play a little game to make us realize that although we are all different, we are very similar. We all have similar emotions and questions.

Honestly, we share our expectations and fears about this expedition. The words respect, sharing, listening to oneself and to others emerge from this discussion. Everyone wants to go beyond their limits, join the group and have a lot of fun. We have just gone through our first moment of sharing. A relaxing evening of listening, filled with laughter and emotion.

We certainly have a wonderful group: unique, inspiring, funny, quiet, energetic, passionate, adventurous and determined people. We are ready for this exciting expedition and look forward to enjoying every minute.