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We are having Fun

August 3, 2023

Samantha Froud, AVC 2024, traveled to Sheshatshiu in 2023 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing. In this piece, Sam reflects on how remaining cheerful can make all the difference.

Since we are beyond the halfway point of our trip here in Sheshatshui I’ve chosen to reflect on the past couple days and to specifically focus on the humor and positivity every single one of my colleagues has demonstrated. A number of setbacks have arisen since the start of the trip including a cancelled flight leading to a night in a hotel, a cat stuck in the ceiling, the bathroom flooding, a dog getting locked in the bathroom not just once but twice and many more. Throughout these scenarios every single community member, teammate, and supervisor has shown humor, grace, and positivity allowing these challenges to become funny anecdotes to reflect on in the future. I firmly believe the cliché that laughter is the best medicine and that many of life’s inconveniences can make for some of the best stories, and we certainly gained a few of those over this week.

An example of our positive attitude occurred on our first day when we saw over 40 medicine patients and several surgery patients- leaving us extremely overwhelmed. However, by working together as a team and reciting what has since become the trip’s motto “we are having fun” we managed to navigate these challenges efficiently with smiles on our faces. Veterinary medicine is such a dynamic and unpredictable field and navigating these challenges in a new environment with limited access to supplies has proven the importance of not only positivity, but adaptability, when working with a team. Our team was great at coming up with on-the-spot solutions, and we made the most of everything we had available to service the community as best we could.

Another positive aspect of the trip was the response from the community. Although we received almost half of our total medicine appointments in the first day, getting to speak with some amazing people and see the love they have for their pets was incredible. Every community member was so thankful for all the help we were providing and welcomed us with open arms. In all the haze of such a busy day, I remember that there was always laughter in the air and being able to laugh with the members of the community was such a special moment of the trip.

To round off the week, on our last day we saw 18 surgeries and several medicine appointments… ending our trip the same way it started- with a bang. Many things went awry such as dogs getting locked in the bathroom… again! This led to an impromptu lesson in lock picking with a bent butter knife, also known as the master key. However, despite the organized chaos. we managed to use the skills we’ve developed over the course of the week (along with a lot of laughter) to get through it all together. And all in all, I think the most important part is that we accomplished all of this while we were having fun!

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