Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Last Days of Rendezvous 2014

August 16th 2014, the last day of Rendez-vous! It’s happy and sad at the same time because we get to go home, but Rendez-vous is over. Same morning routine as every other morning. Though as soon as we were done breakfast we had to pack up our things and bring it to the University Center. The closing worship was a whole three hours today. There was music, stories, prayers, dancing and goodbyes. 

  Right before it was all over there was communion, and one last song before having to go get our lunch and say our final goodbyes before getting on the bus.
The way home was a lot more squished travel and time wise because we had fewer days. It was a lot of the same stuff on the bus, just hanging out.
Though something super exciting happened! We went bowling and had pizza dinner! That night we drove till about 11 pm when we arrived in Saskatoon where we slept.

We were all matching with our University of Winnipeg hoodies and Bison tank tops.
~ S

August 17th 2014, another long day of driving. We got to sleep in a little bit but not a whole lot, certainly since we were sleeping on a church floor. At this point there isn’t a whole lot to write about because most of the time we were sitting on a bus. A lot of card games were played, songs were sung, food was eaten. 

We went swimming in Lloydminster, and had a snack there because we were going to have an early dinner, 4:30, at The Spaghetti Factor. It was super nice getting out of the bus and being able to walk around, and have real nice dinner.

After dinner we had a stop and a quick game of Zap! was played just to stretch. That night we drove until about 10 when we arrived in Jasper. Once at the church we did our worship, had a snack then went to bed for another early morning.

August 18th 2014. Last day of everything! Early morning yoga was a thing in the nice crisp mountain air. We got on the bus and drove, forever, again. We stopped in Mt. Robinson to drop off Kim, Carl and Nina. We had lunch at a cute little Café and were given Freezies! We got back on the bus and our next drop off was in Kamloops, where we dropped of Kelsey and Michelle. Then it was the Langley kids, which was sad and hard because everyone else wasn’t allowed off the bus so it was squishy trying to say goodbye.

We went to the Ferries after that for the Vic City Kids (woot woot).

Last to go were the Richmond and Vancouver kids.

A sad end to a long journey where everyone got so much closer and so many new friendships were made. I will miss everyone so much!
~ S

Monday, 18 August 2014


August 13th 2014. The day our other adventure started. We had to wake up early to get on the road to arrive on time at Rendez-vous. That meant having a bagged breakfast.
The bus trip was a lot of the same thing, hanging out, talking, listening to music, playing cards, etc. Though we had a problem along the way. We missed our pit stop. Now it doesn’t seem like that much of a problem, but with 40+ people who haven’t gone to the bathroom in a while, it becomes one. There was a bathroom on the bus, but it was only one, and it’s not the nicest facility. The line up started to grow longer too.
Lunch was nice. Instead of make your own sandwiches we got Greek food! We enjoyed a nice picnic lunch outside before having to hop back on the bus for the last little bit of the trip.
Now you see, it seems the BC bus has a hard time getting to our end destination on time. Even at Evolve we always seem to be a little late. That was exactly what happened today. The whole event started at 3 pm and we were supposed to arrive at 2, but of course we got there at 3. That meant we couldn’t go to our dorms right away because we had to attend the Opening Worship. There was music and singing and the announcements of what was expected in the days to come. After the worship, in our home groups, we brought all our stuff to our dorm.
The meals at Rendez-vous were great. We ate in a cafeteria and there were so many food choices, so meals were delicious. They even had a chocolate milk dispenser.
That night we had a keynote speaker. His name was Wab Kinew. He talked about reconciliation with the Aboriginals and how his dad “adopted” the bishop from a catholic church. He also talked about the effect residential schools had on his people. It was a really interesting talk over-all. After that we had a home group meeting to talk about the speech we had just heard from Wab Kinew. Lights out came next which was super great after. Having a bed was awesome too!
~ S

August 14th, 2014. I’m sure we all had a great sleep because we had actual beds. During the mornings you get a bit of free time because breakfast starts at 7, and the worship doesn’t start still 9. We had a singer named Coco Love perform and she was really amazing. There was also a speaker. This one was Kofie Hope and he talked about getting out in your community and just doing it, to not ask for permission first.
Workshops started today. You either had two or three. You only had two if you went on an exposure trip in the afternoon. There was a whole multitude of different workshops you could choose from. Everyone who went seemed to like what they chose. After the first workshop it was lunch and if you were going on an exposure trip you left early. A couple of the trips were French and Métis heritage or a visit to the Forks. When all was done and everyone was back at campus it was dinnertime and some free time. There was worship like there was every night, and after there were a few social events. They had a Coco Love concert and a talent show. A short home group meeting came after. Lights out/quiet time came next, and again, really beds.
~ S

August 15th, 2014. There was ANOTHER birthday today this time it was Annie’s! The morning was the same as the other two mornings. Breakfast and free time before worship and songs. This time though rEvolve performed for us! The speaker this morning was Nicole Marquez. She was a dancer who accidentally fell off the roof of a apartment building 6 stories tall. She was in the alley for 8 hours before someone found her. Though the doctors said she would be paraplegic, she learned to walk again. She talked about her story, and how she became a motivational speaker. It was really interesting and really good. Our first workshop of the day came after, then lunch and a nice free time break. You had one more “small” workshop after lunch then they had big group workshops. A few of the options were a First Nations blanket exercise, outdoor games, geocaching, and street art.
Dinner after that was delicious as usual, and then we had worship. The social events were a rEvolve concert or a Manitoba Social, which was just a dance. There was a short goodbye home group meeting before bedtime, but everyone was so awake people didn’t really go to bed.
~ S

On the last day of Rendez-Vous, August 16th, we had breakfast and then went to worship. At breakfast there was a surprise flash mob with dancing and clapping to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Personally I wasn’t there, but I heard it was exciting, energetic and fun. At worship we listened to the music of rEvolve and Regenisis. We clapped, danced, and sang along to songs such as Malembe and Hey Mama Heya. I really enjoyed having the piano playing, but also the djembe, guitar, drums, bass, and of course the egg shaker were great to have accompanying our singing. We listened to the bible story of the Israelites journeying from Egypt and we learned that the manna they ate as food was actually plant lice poo. It puts a different perspective on the story doesn’t it? After saying goodbye to all the great people we met, we boarded the bus and started a long bus ride to Saskatoon! We said a special goodbye to Angus, Jillian, and Danielle who were flying from Winnipeg instead of travelling home with us on the bus. We drove and drove on the straight road to a town called Yorkton where we stopped for bowling and pizza. The bowling was exciting and a certain person named Samantha managed to get strike after strike. As we continued on to Saskatoon, I learned that it is actually quite easy to fall asleep listening to the Vinyl Café on my IPod. We reached Saskatoon at 10:30 that night and gratefully enjoyed the hospitality of St. Martins United Church. Whoever baked the cookies that were served as a snack that night is a cookie genius. They were so delicious! We finally went to bed looking forward to a long awaited sleep and the next morning’s sleep in to an amazing 8:00am!
The bus trip to Rendez-Vous 2014 and Rendez-Vous itself has been so much fun and I am so thankful I got to go again.  Everyone on the bus bonded so much and by the time we got to Rendez-Vous we were the group with the most energy always ready for singing and dancing! Although I am sad to say goodbye to everyone I have so many new memories and connections from all across the country that I will cherish for along time to come.   

Rendez-vous was absolutely extraordinary! I’m so glad, because the bus ride home means that all the fun doesn’t have to be over yet. I must say I think my favorite part of the conference was the moment I realized they had a chocolate milk machine in the cafeteria!!! Which was closely followed by just about everything else that happened. All the speakers were AMAZING, and I really enjoyed meeting new people. Now back on the road you would think that we would all be almost dead after 8 days terribly lacking in sleep, but the energy people have is impossible and I can’t help getting caught up in it all. I think that has to be my favorite part of this entire trip, the contagious energy.
So today we wrote a story and we needed to share it…
There once was a pickle named john who had a love for Poptarts. So one day he went on an adventure to go find some but he ate an elephant, and then because the elephant was holy he went to heaven. When there he ate 100 watermelons covered in salt and pepper (because there is simply no other way to eat a watermelon). When he was finished he hopped on over to the hospital to help his parents cope with the loss of his grandmother. They were crying in McDonalds, because they ran out of BIG MACS and so they left and went to the park. When they arrived they were really hungry so they went to HFC (heavenly fried chicken) and then they toured the museum of life. Where he asked “I’m sorry to disturb you, but where is the washroom?” His companion answered with the call of a dove and ran to his lost lover, the mermaid Ariadne. She was trapped in her father’s ice palace, pleading for tomatoes to be brought. Instead potatoes were given and filled with anger the palace people left, and decided to swim in the river. However, when they got out they had forgotten everything, because they had swam in the river of forgetfulness. Without knowing who they once were they resumed their life.
~Pheadra, Justice, Kelsey and Michelle

Wednesday, 13 August 2014


 August 12th 2014. Another long day of driving from St. Albert, which is North-West from Edmonton to Regina, where we are staying the night.
This morning we got a bit of a later wake-up, only having to get up at 7 o’clock. The churches we stay at are all so nice and welcoming. Breakfast was yummy, of course, why would it be anything else? We were on the road by 8 this morning.

We had many hours of driving to do. Our first stop was Lloydminster where we picked up Chris. We were finally arriving at the prairies. We passed by a park where Bison lived and we even got to see some. Oddly enough we haven’t seen that many animals, other then like, squirrels and bunnies. Some of the others were hoping to see a moose!
We had another shower break today, but this time in North Brattleford. First off we had a nice wrap lunch in the hot sun of Saskatchewan, then to the super awesome pool. It had a wave pool, a hot tub, two slides and a big pool. Fanciest one yet! We had about an hour and a half there, maybe a bit more before heading for our final destination; Regina.
Though we had one more pit stop either in or near Saskatoon. There was a giant coffee pot and mug so of course we needed to get a picture with that, and have a nice snack of watermelon and chips. There was even cage with exotic birds in it.

The bus ride from then on was the same as always. People moving around, playing cards, sleeping, even the game mafia popped up today and a little group started playing that.
We arrived in Regina at around 7 pm at the Living Spirit Centre. They were super nice and got us some pizza for dinner and another salad which is always nice. Though here we are starting to notice the bugs more. Mosquitos. It was a bit of free time after diner before our closing circle and meditation time. During the free time we even went outside to play Chuck the Chicken with Chucky. Now the leaders are rushing us to bed because we need to get an early start tomorrow!
~ S

Today alone I was killed multiple ways, and was a murderer many times in our SIX hours of playing Mafia. As well as, was tackled in mad attempt to grab a single spoon, and ran around frantically after a rubber chicken. And even though it may not suggest it I did all that with a bunch of amazing people. All the games we’ve played have been super fun, in fact this is by far the funnest bus ride I have ever been on. I think this trip was secretly created for the soul reason of making all following bus trips a disappointment, because I can’t imagine a bus trip will be this enjoyable again.
~ Michelle

Rendezvous Bus 2014 DAYS ONE & TWO

August 10th 2014, was the start of a long journey. It started at Dunbar Heights United Church with two birthdays: Kelsie and Samantha. It was also an early start to our day, waking up at 5:50 to be on the road by 7. At the beginning it was mostly the kids from Victoria and a few from Castlegar. Slowly, around departure time everyone else started to trickle in. 

Sunday was a long drive day, going straight up to Prince George where we would be staying for the night. 
We stopped along the way to pick up a few stragglers, not to far from our start point. Of course we also have a few pit stops, because though there is a bathroom on the bus, who really wants to be the one to stink it up? 
Our lunch stop was at 108 Mile House. It was a little area off the highway that had older building, kind of like you were going into the past, but not. There was a house, a barn, a postoffice etc. all the things a little town needs. After about 45 minutes there we were back on the road again. The day, being our first, just felt long. Like really long, but it was okay in the end.

I believe we arrived early at St. Andrews church, which gave us a bit of set-up time before a super yummy dinner of salad, chicken nuggets and spaghetti. We even had cake, but it was just general cake.
We went swimming at the Prince George Aquatic Centre, which meant a shower! 
Back at the church, we had quiet time, which was meditation time. Then to bed for an early start the next day.
~ S

Today, August 11th 2014, was a long day. But not a bad day, just long. It was Merlin's birthday as well. 
The day started early, 6 o'clock am wake up, breakfast at 6:30. The church we were staying at, St. Andrews made beautiful breakfast sandwiches and yummy potatoes. They were delish! We were even early, leaving at 6:26 am, which is pretty good for 44 people. After a few photos, we hit the road, our first stop, McBride. It was in the middle of nowhere, off the 97 highway. It's a railroad town, with a cute little tourist centre and a pretty awesome park. We only stayed for about 10 minutes, long enough for everyone to take a bathroom break and to stretch our legs. The bus rides are long, but not unexciting. Singing and laughing can be heard through out the bus. Out the windows, mountains and trees sped by, the emerald waters following us along our path. 

We had a picnic lunch at Lake Lucerne, consisting or sandwiches, munchies and juice. It was a time to relax and converse and take in the 'northern' BC air, which wasn't short of Horse-flies.
After about 45 minutes, we made way for Jasper, where we were going to have a short visit with the Aquatic Centre. Seeing as the churches we stay at don't have showers, and even if they did it would take all night for 45 people to shower, we took advantage of pools. It was a short visit since Jasper National Park had some construction going on, slowing our pace. Though that didn't weaken our spirits.
After a short swim, of about 45 minutes, we hopped back into the bus, only one more stop on the schedule: Edmonton. It was approximately 4 hours, which is long to sit in a bus. Eventually your butt starts to hurt and you have to change positions, but that can be a bit difficult in a moving bus. We had on pit stop at a visitor centre off the highway. Hunger was eating at us, so a few snacks were taken out for our hungry tummys. After a short break in the warm sun, back onto the stuffy bus we went. Only a couple more hours till we reached St. Alberts, just outside of Edmonton. 

We arrived and brought all our luggage to our respected sleeping areas. Soon after dinner was had; spaghetti and salad. 
Surprise, surprise, there was a birthday cake for the birthday boy. He even got  little present.
There was some free time after dinner, which lead to a few "get to know each other" games since we got some new people. Then it was our circle time, which consists of some singing and meditation. A nice calm end to a long day.
Tomorrow we start all over, but thankfully we get a later start, which means more sleep!
 ~ S

My favourite moment so far is when my bus buddy and I started listening to Bohemian Rhapsody, and we started singing out loud, as anyone does to that song. And slowly, one by one, almost everyone on the bus joined in, and it was so harmonious and it felt like a true community.
~Kaylyn M. 

Life is glorious, beautiful, and stupendous. This entire trip i cannot stop feeling effervescent, jubilant, and rapturous! I am surrounded by friends who i would like to call my second family and i love each and everyone of them like I've know them my entire life! so happy to be here and am having the time of my life and know that it will never end just like my heart never skips a beat <3 -Merlin S

There is something incredibly poetic about travelling cross country on a greyhound for several hours and watching the world go by. I can't describe this experience except to say that I feel completely safe and comfortable with all the people around me on this bus, the ones I can call my close friends and the ones I have yet to connect with. Communities exist everywhere, but I can't help but feel like the community being created on this trip can't be paralleled by many of the communities in my life. I can't wait to see what these next days will bring, and experience them with a completely open heart. 
- Anthea F

I always look forward to traveling with Youth / and Young adults, and learning different qualities about people has always interested me. its kinda crazy that we get great chances like this to visit places all around Canada.  some certain things i've liked the best about the trip is just being out on the road and seeing the world flash before my eyes; it's truly a beautiful place to live . - Mason A

My first Rendez-Vous could not be with a better group of people! Probably the best part so far has been our stops at pools so that everyone can have showers. I'm so excited to see so much of this beautiful country with these beautiful people. If after just one day I feel this close to this many people I can't wait to see what the rest of this trip holds! - Tim H.