FOXY does Fort Smith… again!

After all that northward travel, FOXY decided to change things up a bit, and hit one of the more southern (northern) communities. Going almost all the way to Alberta, the FOXY team found themselves in a small community of about 2500 people called Fort Smith.

The funny thing about the north is that when you’ve grown up in it or have come to call it home, it’s hard to go somewhere where there aren’t ties of some sort. Fort Smith just so happens to be the hometown of Candice Lys, who is the fantastic FOXY Project Lead.

So there’s something I’ve left out. This trip was… well, special. FOXY trips always have that one thing. That one thing where at the beginning of the trip we stop and ask ourselves what we’re thinking and then realize that we’re awesome and can handle anything. This time that happened to come in human form. Oh wait, that was me… and my recently broken leg. So, the planes we take aren’t exactly standard. They’re cramped and creaky and creep the heck out of me, and did I mention that the steps are only about a foot wide? And that at the beginning of those steps is a two foot empty space down to the concrete. So there we are, pre-boarding with the cripple, as I crutch my way up the tiny steps. After the heart attack I gave both Candice and Nancy from almost breaking my neck getting into the plane, we were off.

It wasn’t long after arriving that we started realizing that we were in the cuddliest place on earth (minus all the shooting and skinning of animals for food and stuff). Walking into the airport we were greeted with a big smile from Candice’s lovely neighbour, who then took us to where we would be staying. “Your brother is in the car” were the first words I heard, and the look on Candice’s face confirmed my suspicions. It was that chubby dog I’d heard so much about; Chester. I got into the vehicle and laid my eyes on probably the fattest shih tzu I’ve ever seen, or ever will see, but man was he cute.

We got to the school at around 8:45 the next morning and immediately gawked at how techy the school was. No word of a lie, they had a water fountain that tells you how many water bottles it’s saved. Fancy. They also had a chess board big enough to sleep on. OooOOOoo. I don’t know about you, but if I got to school every day and saw a chess piece big enough to murder someone with, I’d feel a little more inclined to show up. When the girls finally showed up we happily realized we had a returning FOXY girl! The day started off great; beginning with the student lead sex ed, the girls were engaged from the start.

You know when you brush your teeth, and get tooth paste on the fresh, clean shirt you just put on in preparation to go to work, or school, and you drop a massive blob right in the middle of it? Substitute shirt for condoms, and tooth paste for lube, and you’ve got FOXY’s second Fort Smith dilemma. As we opened our goodie bag suitcase of safe sex, Ruby, we found that a bottle of lube had exploded. LUBE. EVERYWHERE.

The day passed quickly, the girls full of energy and having a blast, Nancy and Candice-equally enthusiastic about the day- were often put on edge as I expertly maneuvered around with a broken leg. At lunch we were surprised by two more Foxes from our focus testing days last spring! They’d heard that FOXY was back and just couldn’t keep themselves away. They asked to spend the rest of the day with us, and spend the day with us, and that they did. It was fantastic having three familiar faces amongst our new girls. They brought new energy and “umph” to the group, and we couldn’t have been happier to have them!

Packing up was hard to do, not only because we were leaving the cutest ball of fat I’d ever seen, but because Fort Smith was just so wonderful. The girls were fantastic and the FOXY team definitely enjoyed our time there. FOXY loves Fort Smith, and will hopefully be returning in May of 2013. Fingers crossed!

– Jessie Shaw, FOXY Peer Leader