OUT ON A LIMB | Jocelyn the intern

  • Published on Feb 01 2011 |
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Jocelyn Lougheed is the newest edition to CPAWS-OV. The current CPAWS staff and volunteers are delighted to have her on board! Read all about her intern adventures and Ottawa adventures as part of the Katimavik house in her weekly blog posts - all part ofOut on a Limb”, CPAWS-OV’s brand new online journal documenting the life of CPAWS staff & volunteers.

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GREETINGS & SALUTATIONS (Post #1)

Hello everyone,

This being my first blog entry, I feel I owe you all a little set up – the basic who, what, where, why, when and how?

WHO: Jocelyn Lougheed (Also called various other names around the Katima-house including JubJub)

WHAT: Katimavik “Eco-Citizenship and Active Living” Volunteer & CPAWS-OV intern.

WHERE: Living in Ottawa, coming from Coquitlam, a suburb of Vancouver, BC. Needless to say, I’m finding it a little bit cold. Yesterday it got up to 12 degrees back home… oh the west coast.

(Photo: Jocelyn attempts to get the full CPAWS experience, hard at work dressed as the famous BOU)

WHY: A very important part of Katimavik is the work placement. So here I am, placed to work at CPAWS-OV. All of my house mates have their own theme related work placements. Examples include Otesha and Envirocentre.

WHEN: My first day at CPAWS-OV was Friday, January 14, but I arrived in Ottawa on January 5. I’m going to be in Ottawa until the end of June. HOWEVER, the jury is still out to lunch on whether I get to spend my six months here at CPAWS or if all of us katima-volunteers are going to swap spots after three months. There is much debate on the pros and cons. But not to worry, the big decision is scheduled to be announced February 9th, so the anticipation will soon be over.

HOW: Okay this one is a bit odd, I feel like I’ve already been over this. Well, to reiterate - I got the job, well more accurately “volunteer work placement”, through Katimavik… so there you have it.

Now you are all caught up on the basics of me, Katimavik and CPAWS-OV and the way in which we are all connected.

Maybe it would also be appropriate to tell you a bit about the program, how it relates to CPAWS and bit about my experience thus far. SO as I mentioned, me and my Katima-family (apparently when you’re in Katimavik, its really quite cool to just put “Katima” in front of any word) are all part of the ECO-CITIZENSHIP AND ACTIVE LIVING cycle of Katimavik. We’re stationed in Ottawa for 6 months, and our mission is to do just that. Be eco-citizens and live actively. We eat super healthy (some mixed feelings about this), we exercise for a minimum of 1 hour a day (success rate is slowly climbing), and we are working on an Eco-Policy for the house to reduce consumption of energy, water, ect. We have an official mission statement, and it’s really awesome! There are 12 of us all together living in the house, including our Project Leader (PL). It’s a cozy little house, 3 bedrooms for the volunteers, 1 bedroom for the PL, and 2 bathrooms for everyone. It’s been an adjustment… the bathroom situation in the morning is always a little interesting, but we’ve managed to work it out thus far.

So what exactly am I doing at CPAWS-OV? Good question! My first couple of days were spent trying to get the lay of the land, reading up on CPAWS campaigns seeing what the organization is all about. It’s been really interesting seeing what’s happening in the Ottawa Valley - what the conservation concerns are… it’s a totally different environment than what I’m used to back home in BC. However, logging concerns always seems to be a common theme. After doing a bunch of research I’m officially working in the office, I have my very own desk and computer! We’re working on creating some awesome events for the coming year, revamping our info booths to make them rock and organizing and creating databases in an attempt to make everyone’s lives easier. Also I get to input information from all the postcards you wonderful people are signing. I must say though… I didn’t realize just how many people in the world have illegible writing - Maybe you can all work on that. I would really love that! It’s cool to see how many people are passionate about CPAWS-OV campaigns, and want to see changes happen!

Saturday night at the house we all got the chance to calculate our eco-footprints. It was a bit of a shocking experience, and I have to say I left feeling a little bit guilty about my result, thank God I recycle or it could have been a lot worse. Although, I didn’t feel nearly as bad as our resident car buff, who’s hobbies include drag racing and burnouts… his footprint was pretty freaky, they had the rescale the chart for his results to show against the national average. I believe he has actually sold his truck since, because he was so distressed. After the results, we sat down and talked about the different ways we can lower our footprints in our house. Shorter showers, low flow faucets, fluorescent lights, buying more local organic products all came up as options. We’ll be finalizing our house “eco-policy” within the coming weeks. Wish us luck with all the changes! If you’re interested in checking out your eco-footprint, we used www.myfootprint.org and it was really awesome. Googling eco-footprint is pretty foolproof too.

I was hoping to be able to go on the CPAWS-OV snowshoe walk at Forêt La Blanche this past Sunday, but my Katima-group was scheduled for a tour of Parliament. One of the girls in the group has a blog, and a tech savvy father, who posted her blog on the Katimavik group on facebook. This meant that a former Katimaviker and tour guide at parliament saw that we were in Ottawa and offered us a private tour! So we were all pretty excited. I think only a couple of us had seen the parliament buildings before, so it was all new to the majority. It was SO pretty, that’s what surprised me most. The library was STUNNING! I would not mind just moving in there, it was just beautiful. I’m inspired to become an MP just so I can be allowed to sit in that room. I had visited Ottawa with my family when I was seven, and we’d done the tour back then. However I was too scared to go to the top of the Peace Tower, and I was mistaken for a boy and given directions to the wrong bathroom. The whole experience was mildly traumatic. So I was happy to be able to create some really awesome memories of Parliament. We’re trying to figure out how we can manage to see a session of parliament and get in on the action.

Well it’s been a slice. I’ll be posting new entries every few days, updating you on life in the Katima-house, life at CPAWS-OV and life in Ottawa.

Jocelyn