Deep ecology and my initial awakening (pt 4)

Part 4 – The travel bug bites and my activist days – Late teens and Early twenties

Just before going to CEGEP, which is Quebec’s trampoline school between high school and University, I went on my first school exchange. CEGEP usually lasts about 2 years if you plan on going to University or 3 years for technical or vocational schooling. This is when I was truly <initiated> to the pleasures of traveling, discovering new places, cultural and natural, and meeting new people and making new friends.

In 1987, I enjoyed a one-week exchange program to Chilliwack, BC with about 30 friends. I was in Secondary 4 and about 16 and truly loved the experience, made many new friends from here and BC, and met one of my most important friends, still to this day, M. Pierre Beauregard, who was also one of the instigators for this exchange.

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My two BFFs still to this day! I love you guys, Pierre and Steph.

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.

—Thomas Aquinas

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Most of my teenage core group of friends, mostly still to this day!

Pierre has been one of my greatest friends since then and also one of my biggest inspirations as he has traveled a lot, has done many endurance sporting events including 8 Ironman competitions, and has been the planner of many of our common adventures. He was also my first roomie in CEGEP, and had the idea for our 7 month+ European work/play trip after CEGEP (to be explored in part 5 next week).

 

“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”
― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
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Group pic from our Chilliwack, BC exchange, Circa 1987, in front of Massey-Vanier HS

Part 4 - Oct-20 HP - Picture framer

Part 4 - Oct-20 HP 1
The end of a journey is always bittersweet, but the hopes of starting a new one spring forth soon enough.

In CEGEP, as my environmental concerns and knowledge grew, I felt compelled to start acting out my purpose (more about this at my page), and so joined the fledgling school environmental group and thus began my activist days that lasted a good ten years. During this time, I was initiated into a provincial-wide environmental education group called ENvironment JEUnesse or ENJEU for short and started volunteering with them also. They organized a yearly event called La Bise D’Automne (Autumn’s kiss) which brought in hundreds of students from across the province to get together in a natural setting for a couple of nights to exchange on all sorts of environmental issues, listen to renowned speakers and to bring back specific actions to their respective schools and colleges.Oct-20 - Mark Twain travelThis is also the first time I truly felt a sense of community, more than in scouts, cadets, school or any sporting team I had been a part of. One of the reasons I feel that this community was so tight was that we had a shared mission, nothing less than saving the World, or at least our little part of it. I also felt true love for a group, something that had eluded me until then. I learned so much about myself, about being part of a clan, probably the best word for it and about the importance of sharing common goals and actions. These were some of the best days of my life, but that probably was Europe which will be in my next post (part 5).

 

“I read; I travel; I become”

― Derek Walcott

 

“The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.”

― Augustine of Hippo

“To travel is to live.”

― Hans Christian Andersen

“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”

― Clifton Fadiman

May-15 1 Aug-21 2 PPPS Jul-3-15 RP Bowlines Mark Twain

If you have enjoyed this post, make sure you take a moment to leave a comment, perhaps share it, and like it!

Look out for Part 5 coming out next week:

Part 5 – University, travel and the teacher that truly changed my life, a Native Moroccan Berbere Philosopher – Manager – Psychologist!

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