Dear KES Family:
A group of nine international education consultants came to the School this week. Representing nations from Brazil to Russia, our visitors started their cross-Canada tour of boarding schools in Victoria, British Columbia, last week. We were their 17th school in ten days.
Taking advantage of the gorgeous weather, Grade 9 students Aria MacDonald and Luis Gasteasoro led them on a mostly outdoor tour of KES and our unique environment. Our first stop was Danny Dill’s farm. What a hit! They loved the giant pumpkins, the proximity of the farm, the views to Martock, the orchard, and his horse which pranced and photo bombed the background of every picture. As we walked and talked, we saw Mr. Robinson’s class geo-caching (not staged) and Mr. MacInnis’ class doing an IB eco-system study at Long Pond (okay, that one was staged…but it was naturally done). Along the route through the woods by Turtle Pond and back onto campus, we met Vanessa Li who talked about our art programme and showed us her latest stunning oil painting. Ella Jollymore met us in the Chapel and in three minutes summed up our philosophy regarding leadership better than I ever could.
By the time we had finished and been joined by a dozen students for lunch in the Athletic Centre’s Committee Room, I was fairly confident that whether it was music or robotics, cadets or outdoor pursuits, we had provided a memorable and informative and impressive tour.
One never knows what is going to create a reaction, but of all the things we saw and said, the most immediate and excited reaction from the group was to something Luis mentioned. It was fascinating. Luis was describing his adventurous journey to Kejimkujik National Park, the 20km hike he did with his group, and the beauty of his natural surroundings. However, when he said that he drank water out of the lake our visitors gasped. They were astounded. I should not have been surprised but I was. After all, we live in a world where most people won’t drink water from their taps (even when it has been purified). Plastic water bottles are everywhere. To drink water from the source – from a lake or stream – is rare. We filter it of course, but being Canadian and being blessed with so much fresh water, most of us don’t have to go far to find clean water.
Our tap water at the School is delicious. It comes from a pristine watershed (series of lakes and streams) located above the Ski Hill at Martock. Hiking there is beautiful and the wildlife abundant. This Thanksgiving, I am paying a little more attention to being grateful for the most simple of our many blessings: water.