Dalfaa Abosabaa was one of 20 teens who paddled three voyageur canoes from Peterborough to Curve Lake First Nation on the 100 kilometer ‘Adventure in Understanding’ trip in the summer of 2016. The program, developed by the Rotary Club of Peterborough Kawartha in co-operation with Curve Lake First Nation, Camp Kawartha, and the Canadian Canoe Museum, brought Indigenous and newcomer youth together to learn from each other as they explored the rich history and culture of the Mississauga Anishinaabeg of Curve Lake First Nation. The trip was made possible, in part with a $5,400 grant from the Community Foundation to Rotary Clubs of Peterborough Foundation.
For Dalfaa, who had recently arrived to Peterborough from Iraq, it was a life-changing voyage. In addition to learning how to paddle, she forged friendships with youth from Curve Lake who attend the same high school where Dalfaa was soon to begin classes. She documented and reflected on the trip in her journal:
“It was six days on the water under the sky . . .
“Six days and my eyes keep looking to sun beams in morning and to glittering stars in night . . .
“Six days my breath mixes with the smell of plants, with the smell of water and with the smell of burning wood . . .
“Six days with the sound of wind, with the voice of the trees, with the waves of water, with the beats of my heart increasing . . .
“Six days with beautiful places around me, with wonderful people around me . . .”