Well today the residents of Sandy Bay left the Cosmo Civic Centre in Saskatoon, boarded three busses and started the 8 hour drive back home which ended the evacuation from the community. Before the busses had left the Cosmo Civic Centre parking lot, the Salvation Army Community Centre had packed up our stuff and were heading back to the Centre via a Tim Horton’s for some much needed vitamin supplement (vitamin: caffeine). Shortly after that I was back home taking a much wanted nap.
Since I last posted, a lot changed. On Sunday I got a call to be at the Centre for a meeting where I found out that I was taking over the food service operations at the Cosmo for the next seven days which was fine and dandy except I have never done anything like that and I don’t have my safe food handling certificate. The good news is that I was taking over from someone that was really competent and she gave me an amazing job description. With some help from the bulk of the staff and volunteers who were at the SaskTel Sports Centre (they had 590 people there), we made it through at Cosmo (we had about 120 people there). Thankfully a couple hours later the weather forecast changes, the fire and smoke had abated and people were told they were going to go home on Tuesday. That took the anxiety out of the whole place, from the supporting organizations to the evacuees and the end result was that everyone was in a pretty good mood. That mood was further boosted by Fire Creek Gas station brining in 160 large pieces of fresh off the grill bannock which was loved by everyone. I was persuaded to give bannock a try and I don’t think I had ever had it before but I liked it.
One thing to note. Yesterday I was wearing a green shirt and one of the kids runs up to me and told me I was a pretty big guy. He looked at my shirt and said, “You are big and green like Shrek!” His dad heard him and said, “That’s Mr. Shrek to you.” So for the last two days, every meal or snack time he would call me “Mr. Shrek”. Today about a dozen kids under five years of age were calling me “Mr. Shrek”. I don’t know if they got the reference, just overhead me being called that, or think I am an ogre but they were polite and solicited a laugh from whoever heard them so it was okay.
It was up at 5:30, at the site by 7:00 a.m. There all day until I came home around 11:00 p.m. I wish I could have slept when I got home but the neuropathy is killing me right now to the point where the Neuragen can’t deal with it. I know that the long hours make it worse but I think it is just another cycle of a lot of pain right now.
A quick list of what I learned…
- No matter how professionally dressed and educated, give a ring pop to a person who is overtired enough and they will put it on their finger and wear it as proudly as the kids. They also will lick it for the sugar rush.
- Coffee perks work better with coffee grounds inside them.
- Never carry your bottle of Aquafina into a conversation with public health officials. It just starts a long conversation about the commercialization of water that you may not want to have. My explanation of “I don’t like the way city water tastes” doesn’t really end the conversation either.
I wish I could have tomorrow off but I have to get some funding applications finished this week but it is off to the lake for a bit this weekend.