An Eggsciting Trip to Brentwood Bay @SD63Bayside

Student Elyse and staff Ed are Bayside's players You know how when you're visualizing Italy you can talk about it as a boot and locate the different locations in relation to where they might be on a boot? Yeah, Victoria is nothing like that. The southern tip of Vancouver Island is a tangle of lakes and bays and inlets and straits and smaller islands that I could never quite get my head around. The advantage of driving from school to school in the area with the map up on the GPS is that you start to get a better sense of the terrain. And it's not just me: I talked to several locals on this trip who honestly couldn't tell me what place was what direction from any other place!

So after leaving North Saanich on the Haro Strait side of the peninsula that points up toward Salt Spring Island, I crossed over the hump westward toward Brentwood Bay on the other side headed for École Bayside Middle School. It was a beautiful drive that took me near the famed Butchart Gardens. But frankly, I have a hard time keeping the names of flowers straight. Instead, what caught my eye was the sign for farm fresh eggs at a little teaching farm along the highway. I was planning to provision myself for making my hotel kitchenette breakfasts later anyway so I stopped in and put my $5 in the jar for what turned out to be the most perfectly golden-yolked organic free-range eggs you'd ever want to see.

Bayside offered a stunning visual introduction - it looks a bit like an airy hacienda on a little plateau among the trees. I was greeted by vice-principal Steve Newlove and lead to the gym for set up. Once again the student and staff response to the presentation was just fantastic and the performances in the pocket were just great. Student Elyse Rutledge (pictured, left) gave us the day's second rendition of Vance Joy's "Riptide" with a natural performer's confidence. In fact, she seemed so taken with the portraits floating by on the screen during her song that she seemed to be enjoying them just as much as she enjoyed performing! She was followed by staff member Ed Timmermans (pictured, right), who - apart from making all the technical preparations for the day - had composed a new song for the occasion that touched on many of the themes that the Six String Nation project itself addresses - including reconciliation and the need for a new relationship with Canada's indigenous people.

Thanks once more to all the staff and students at Bayside - especially those who came up after the presentation to ask questions, tell stories and get closer to Voyageur.

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