Written by Patrick Hickey
Another day has come and passed in Nain. Time never stops, and it always seems that when you are visiting a new place, the pace of time tends to snowball. The first dozen hours move as slow as molasses, but before you know it, you’re rounding the final bend.
As time zooms by, it is remarkable to notice just how much has happened while you were swept up in the movements of everyday life. Friendships have been formed and memories have been made. With each new person who you meet, an exchange takes place. They leave a piece of themselves with you, as you do with them. This is the real form of education—of inter-personal intelligence—that will help you achieve success and happiness in life.
After a dense discussion on trauma (namely inter-generational trauma) took place today, all hands participated in a supportive activity that helped reinforce the idea of community in Nain. Everyone was given a sheet with a name of another participant on it. From here, a compliment was written for each name, which was then read out loud by an arbitrary participant. The feeling of warmth that was floating around the room helped everyone understand just how important community can be. Community, family, hunting, fishing, throat singing, drum dancing, Inuktitut, getting out on the land: all of these things that the people of Nain love to do are integral to their holistic sate of wellness.
As throughout all of the towns in Newfoundland and Labrador, the people are really the highlight of any experience, and it’s no exception here in Nain. Be it on a run to the Northern grocer, a visit to the school for a wellness workshop, or at a campfire with Nain in Focus participants as we enjoyed tonight, the minds, bodies and souls of everyone we have encountered so far this week really are what make Nain so very lovely. These people emit wisdom, kindness, hope, and happiness for the future, and it has been their warm embrace and openness that have lead to the successes that Nain In Focus have had, and will continue to achieve.
It seems like we just got here, yet we are leaving again in a few quick days. While this somber thought is preferably ignored, it does provoke heed, and in reflection one can appreciate the progress that has been made over the past week. Wide eyes and open ears have learned a lot about mental health and wellness after four days of programming. Hundreds upon thousands of photographs and video clips have been captured with creativity. Minds have been opened, words spoken, and conversations started and had. Through this and an awful lot more, the tight-knit community of Nain has perhaps become woven even closer together.