Rosthern Junior College

Watch this blog for Chapel information and our ALSO (Alternative Learning & Service Opportunities)


ALSO Alabama - Habitat for Humanity and Ransom Cafe

Hello readers, how are you today? I hope you’re doing well, a lot of us here are either sunburnt, bug bitten or somehow perfectly fine. Your bloggers for today are Alyssa , Emily and Makenna . Today was our first day spent as a split up group. Ten students went to Ransom café and the other 20 went to the Habitat for Humanity site. The wake up time was 6:30 if you were going to spend the day with Habitat for Humanity or 7:15 if you were going to spend the day at Ransom café.
Emily and Makenna spent the day with Habitat for Humanity and Alyssa spent the day at Ransom café, we will each be telling you about our days at the different sites.
Hey! Emily and Makenna here, today we spent the day working on one of Habitat for Humanity’s work sites. We arrived at the site in Mobile around 8am “bright eyed and bushy tailed”. We had no clue what was in store for us, but we were open to do anything. The day began with getting some brief instructions from Marcie, the supervisor. We got on our gloves, hard hats and grabbed our hammers and were ready to rock n’ roll.  We spent most of the day preparing the house to prepare soffits. Houses here are constructed  little differently here than in Canada. We knew it was going to be a hot day because after fifteen minutes we were all sweating like pigs. It’s amazing how hot it gets so quickly, especially when your swinging them hammers. Most of our crew had never done anything like this before, but by the end most seemed to get the hang of it and were becoming more and more efficient workers. We spent a lot of the day standing on scaffolding and looking upwards to pound nails into the overhang of the roof. (This explains all the burnt noses and sore necks.) What we didn’t mention before was we did everything by hand, no air guns or screwdrivers but we did have a table saw and a skill saw. It was a very well spent day we all worked as one big team and everybody had jobs they needed to complete. We were one big oiled machine! We may have ended the day with some bruised fingers and sunburns, but all in all it was a fantastic day!


Now its Alyssa’s turn. Our day started a little later than the Habitat for Humanity group. We had to do some gratis (chores) around the camp for the first part of the day. We swept, vacuumed, took out garbage’s and did the breakfast dishes. We completed our tasks pretty quickly and still had about an hour and a half of free time before we had to leave at 9:30 to make it to Ransom. That free time was spent napping. It was about a fifteen-minute drive to one of the many Ransom café locations, our group was separated into two different groups. One of the groups (the one I was in) started out in the café. Our task was simple; if you weren’t serving food, go talk to someone. We had a pretty steady amount of people come in for the first hour before we switched off with the other group. The other group was cleaning the “Clean Machine”, a mobile trailer that has two showers, three washers and dryers and two toilets and sinks. This trailer will drive around Mobile (the city, just to be clear) and allows homeless people to clean themselves. When my group went outside we walked around the property picking up garbage and taking little breaks to play on the Merry-Go-Round. After we finished that task we went back inside to eat some lunch of our own. We all sat at different tables and talked to the other people eating lunch there. I sat with a 73 year old man who had driven across Canada, stayed in every state, and insisted that Seoul, Korea, had the best shopping in the world. He also talked to me about how he was brought up with the knowledge of both Christianity and the Islamic faith, study’s both of them by reading the Bible and the Quran, and makes his own conclusions about faith instead of going to church. We got to celebrate an 80 year-old mans birthday with him and got to hear some more wonderful and tragic stories. After cleaning up the lunch dishes we headed back to Camp Christian and helped prepare supper. We listened to music, laughed, learned how to cut pineapples and added a ridiculous amount of powder to make our juice taste ‘up to par’.  

Matt Armbuster shared his power story of how Ransom Ministries came

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ALSO Alabama - Feeding the Gulf Coast

Sup fam,
 We started this morning at about 8:30 waking up to some rocking Bob Marley in room 2. Ate some breakfast made some fantastic sandwiches and were soon on our way to day 1 of work. We began our work week at Feeding the Gulf Coast, formally known as the Bay Area Food Bank. They are a non-profit organization whose goal is to give food and other things to any person in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Florida who need it. The southern folk love to look after the little people AKA children, and the people at Feeding the Gulf Coast are no exception, they offer many programs for kids whether in school, on weekends, or on summer holidays. During our time there we broke into two groups one sorting foods with due dates (Karalee thought it was funny we called them due dates) the others in the garden.  Inside the warehouse sorting food was grand ole’ time cracking jokes and tossing tea boxes at Karalee while she frantically tried to catch all of them and organize them. The two of us were both inside sorting food, but from the garden was hot, they pulled weeds, set up fencing, and dug trenches. 






After our long tiresome we thought a good way to kick back and relax for a few would be to head on over to Orange Beach. The beach was superb. The squeaky sand when you kicked it, and the football were just some highlights of the afternoon. The main event was the ocean, all the waves and salt made for fun dunking people and a splashing good time. To finish off the day we got some Italian ice drove back to camp Christian and enjoyed a talk from Ransom Cafes one and only Matt Armbuster. All in all it was a great day and we can’t wait for tomorrow!
Gulf of Mexico!


Beach fun


Must jump for joy every year!


Just beach it my friends!


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Saskatoon ALSO 2016 - We all came from somewhere else


Today, half of us  headed off to the Diefenbaker Center first thing in the morning. (The other half of our group went to Camp Shekinah to work for the day. I'm sure you'll hear from them later.) Once we arrived we were given a tour of a gallery paintings and stories of strong Mennonite women and their tough journeys to Canada. We learned about their hardships, fleeing war and persecution with little to no belongings or money and discussed the connection to refugees of today and the similarities. These stories were written out, and also portrayed in beautifully detailed watercolour paintings done by Ray Dirks. Then after our tour we had a presentation by Jake Buhler, who talked about his mother and her journey to Canada and all the challenges that she endured. This morning was particularly interesting to me as I had heard a lot about this exhibit but hadn’t seen it yet. My grandfather helped put it together along with other people I know so I was excited to see all these things they had been telling me about and learn some more about my own Mennonite background.

We ate lunch on the road as we drove to W.P. Bates School where we volunteered all afternoon. The school has 49% EAL (English as an additional language) students and has had many students that are new to Canada join them in recent months. There were many areas where they were looking for a little extra help and we were happy to fill in wherever possible. I helped out in a grade 4 classroom and to be honest I had a wonderful time despite again being a little apprehensive at first. The kids had so much energy and excitement and I really enjoyed working with them, getting a chance to try my hand at being a teacher. Adults always say how much younger kids look up to teenagers but you never quite believe it until some grade 4 kids just straight up say how cool you are and how much they can’t wait to be your age and be a teenager. I didn’t have the heart to tell them it wasn’t quite the same as they were picturing it, that it’s harder than it may seem to them and that I really wished I was their age again. I look forward to working with these amazing kids again tomorrow!

written by Katherine Penner

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