“Oh, we won’t even see it.”


“No, a small town of probably 1,500.  We just pass by.”

I sat mute, wondering what I had gotten myself into.  Trish, a volunteer with Child Haven offered to pick me up and deposit me at the front door.

Giving time overseas is one of my goals, but to be led to a possibly creepy farmhouse in butthole, Ontario?

My mind swimmed with exhaustion.  I hauled my pack through buttery heat at 5:30 am to board yet another Greyhound.

These buses are all beginning to look the same.  Semi-stiff airplane seating and the familiar sounds of snoring from a passenger lulled by the motions of the bus.  Budget travel is never boring, that much I can attest to.

5 hours later I stood outside the Ottawa Greyhound Station, noticing the heat had followed me.  I wasn’t given a picture of Trish, so wandered aimlessly lingering on someone’s face a bit too long.  They returned a quizzical expression.  Shove off, you are weird.

From behind I heard a woman say to a passenger, “Are you Jeannie?”

She, too, was doing the blind date ritual, which was grossly out of place for a volunteer pick-up/drop-off scenario.  I turned and began following her like a lost puppy.  Finally our eyes met.

“Are you Trish?”

“Yes, you must be Jeannie.”  Jackpot.

Trish looked about sixty, but exuded a youthful energy in ivory shorts and flip-flops.  She greeted me warmly, admitting she was slightly flustered due to car problems.  A sleek, white vehicle had easily replaced any car issues and off we went.

Maxville is about 1 hour from Ottawa.  I felt slightly chipped on what Ottawa had to offer as the main landscape zipping by were freeways and other cars.

I had done some paltry