New adventures bring new friends for Neepawa 4-H


By Jessica Morton

Neepawa Banner & Press

Neepawa and Area 4-H members were able to visit a part of our nation that very few Canadians have experienced, and they made a few new friends along the way.

On Thursday, Oct. 11 the 4-H group held a presentation at Neepawa Area Colligate Institute to share the highlights of their most recent exchange trip with the 4-H students from Amherst, Nova Scotia.

“Our experience was awesome and we learned a lot about the communities involved in the exchange,” one 4-H member recalled. When the Nova Scotia students arrived they immediately noticed some differences in Manitoba compared to what they were used to back home. They noted that the landscapes were much flatter than the curvy, hilly lands in Amherst and the waters were clearer and less salty compared to the brown, salty waters that “look like chocolate milk” in Nova Scotia.

Each Neepawa 4-H member was paired up with a ‘twin’ from the Nova Scotia 4-H group. The first experiences that the ‘twins’ were able to share together was having lunch at the Forks Marketplace in Winnipeg and visiting the Human Rights museum. The Nova Scotia 4-H’ers visited the Neepawa area for 10 days (From June 29 until July 8) and there was no shortage of fun activities for them to participate in during that time. On July 1, the Nova Scotia students celebrated Canada Day in Minnedosa.

Many of the 4-H’ers noted how beautiful the fireworks looked as they reflected off the water and lit up the sky. July 7 was the day before the twins had to depart and go back home to Amherst and it was spent doing a tour with the polar bears at the Assiniboine Zoo and participating in the Escape Rooms. “We went to bed happy but unsettled because we knew we had to say goodbye the next day,” said one of the Neepawa 4-H members. On July 8 the 4-H group was sad to see their new friends go but they were happy to know that on July 25 it would be their turn to go to Nova Scotia and they would be able to see each other again.

When the Neepawa and area 4-H group arrived at the Moncton airport in Nova Scotia they realized that “The dirt was very red and there were lots of fields with potatoes.” One of the activities they did on the first day in Nova Scotia was go across the confederation bridge by bus to get to P.E.I and visit the Anne of Green Gables Heritage place for a tour followed by a visit at the goat soap factory and dirt shirt factory, where they were able to pay to get their shirts dyed in the red soil of P.E.I. On July 31 the 4-H groups took a tour of the Maritime Egg Factory where they learned that one million eggs are produced there each day. After their tour at the Egg Factory everyone did volunteer work at the radio station in Amherst which included painting the exterior and making commercials.

The day before they had to depart, Aug. 1, a few last adventures were planned. The day consisted of going to Pier 21 to learn about the journey many immigrants had faced on their way to Canada followed by a tour at Citadel Hill and the Halifax Museum. The last activity of the day, which was everyone’s favourite, was tidal bore rafting. Tidal bore rafting is when you sit on a wooden board that is surrounded by a balloon like structure on the outside and go over waves on the ocean. On the day that our 4-H group went there were six to eight foot waves and the instructor said that was mild for the season. One 4-H member, Claire Tomoniko, recalled that “it did not feel mild!”

When it was time for the Neepawa students to come back home they ran into quite a bit of trouble at the airport. When they arrived at the Moncton airport they were told that there was a storm in Toronto and that their flight would be delayed by two hours which caused them to miss their connecting flight home. When they finally got to Toronto they were able to get on a plane set to land in Winnipeg at 1:30 am.

Most of the group had been awake for 24 hours at this point but even through all the troubles it turned out to be a memorable event and being able to make so many long lasting memories and forming strong friendships with their ‘twins’ is something that will stay with this 4-H group for the rest of their lives.