For my partner’s birthday this year, I helped buy a trip to Ski For Light Canada. This is a 40 year old program run by volunteers, started by Norwegians that pair sighted guides with visually impaired skiers. My partner is visually impaired and has been to the American Ski for Light but hasn’t been to the Canadian. I haven’t been at all so it’s a first for both of us.
After a long delay and much waiting in the plane on the tarmac in Toronto, we made it Kelowna Airport. There were volunteers waiting for us and helping find the shuttle bus to the Vernon hotel the Ski for Light folks were all staying at. The volunteers are an older bunch who don’t do the internet too well but had a written organized list of the participants and what and where everyone was arriving from. There were no emails sent to participants from the organizers. I totally can relate to these outdoorsy, non-internet people but 50 percent of the attendees are blind so these written schedules we all got today aren’t helpful to any of them. So it would be helpful to either have braille or an email schedule sent beforehand. But again, these are mostly older volunteers, they did get cell phone (flip phone version) for the week, a big step up in technology!
We had a welcome dinner and were matched with our guides for tomorrow. I was put with my partner which isn’t right because my partner is very fast and was looking forward to getting a fast guide. Apparently we’ll be better matched with people tomorrow. I’m a bit nervous being a guide to a beginner skier, hoping for someone at my intermediate level but it’s an experience so whomever I’m matched with I’ll learn to guide. Apparently every skier has different guiding needs.
It’s 12:21 am. Toronto time now. I’m totally wired and probably won’t get a good night’s sleep. Maybe I’m better off if I get a slow skier tomorrow. Signing off from Vernon, BC.