By: Justin Humphries
As the bus hums along the highway, Shola Olaniyan sat quietly but with a big smile on his face because he was part of a ski trip that brings students together from all different corners of the world.
Aware of the risks, students were unfazed by the possibility of broken bones and damaged pride. It was a trip that would have memories lasting a life time.
The trip was made up of mostly students from Algonquin’s International Education Centre. Not knowing what to expect, students showed up at Camp Fortune with clothes ranging from snow pants to track pants.
Olaniyan, an internet applications and web development first year student from Nigeria, was excited to hit the slopes.
“I’m very excited for today,” Olaniyan said. “I just want to experience the Canadian way.”
This is Olaniyan’s second semester at Algonquin and he loves Canada.
“In Canada you don’t really notice the difference between the rich and the poor,” Olaniyan said. “Although Nigeria has had an economic boom the difference is more obvious. Rich kids and poor kids may go to different schools.”
Many students who had never skied before or had very little experience decided to take the plunge and go skiing with no direction. After a few minutes on the bunny hill, they realized it was a tougher task than anticipated when they couldn’t travel more than a few meters before falling over.
The hills that day were filled with international students but with smiles glued to their faces. Michelle Cameron, the event organizer, said the trip is a blast every year.
“Even if the day isn’t ideal for skiing, most of the students bring an enthusiasm that more than makes up for it,” said Cameron. “I love running the trip every year.”
After the trip was over, the only complaints were that it didn’t last longer. Kulmanik Singh, a business administration student from India, commented on his day.
“I had a great time,” Singh said. “It was a little cold out there and pretty windy, but I will definitely come again if I can get the chance.”
For an avid skier, the day’s conditions were perfect. There was little ice on the hill and lots of powder. Although many of the students were not used to the chilling Canadian winters, the enthusiasm and excitement they brought was felt by everyone involved.
As the day concluded and the buses came around, the students decided to end the day with their own rendition of ‘The Harlem Shake’. The Harlem Shake is a popular internet phenomenon that perfectly captures the enthusiasm the students brought to Camp Fortune.
“Everyone had a great time,” Cameron said. “No one was injured and the only complaints I got at the end of the day was that the trip didn’t last longer.”