Our Adventure up North
FFNI Exchange to Winnipeg and Ottawa, Canada
Our Canada exchange was full of diverse scenery, fascinating history, lots of information, and of course, many new friends. Our group consisted of ten members of FFNI, two from FF Greater Orlando, and two from FF Cedar Rapids/Iowa City.
We began in Winnipeg, the capital of the province of Manitoba. After being welcomed at the airport and settling in to our hosts’ homes, we had a wonderful welcome banquet, complete with a very challenging trivia game.
The next day included a walking tour of the old business district of Winnipeg, including many interesting buildings and tales of the old days. We had lunch at a restaurant which featured Native Canadian foods, and then visited the wonderful Manitoba Museum.
Our next day included a guided tour of the Manitoba provincial Legislature building, followed by a walk along the river. We were able to see the building of the new Canadian Human Rights Museum. The museum is not yet open, but we were able to have an outdoor tour to see the architecture and hear about the plans for this unique institution, dedicated to the struggle for human rights in all nations throughout history.
Our weekend was free of scheduled activities. Many of the hosts took our ambassadors on excursions outside of the city, while others participated in the hosts’ family events. It was very nice to have the time to get to know each other better. We also enjoyed small dinner parties at the homes of other FF Winnipeg members.
On Monday we began with a sumptuous breakfast at a French Canadian restaurant, followed by a walk to Winnipeg’s French area, called St. Boniface. There was a docent-led tour of the St. Boniface Museum, and a stop at the original St. Boniface Cathedral alongside its very modern replacement.
Our final activity in Winnipeg was a visit to the Fort Whyte Nature Centre, a wonderful area of woods, grasslands, and other habitats, with many native animals to see.
The Farewell banquet was our last chance to meet the Winnipeg group – a great potluck dinner. The guest of honor was a veteran Mountie, who told great stories of his career in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.