Four-day odyssey is a learning and living
experience of culture and service
Part one of two.
Story and photos
By Yuliani Sutedjo
Knightly News Reporter
TORONTO – Hi, everyone. Follow me in my story on the four-day journey I took with other students and some staff to Canada in April.
Eight Central Penn students, all from the Summerdale campus except one from the Lancaster center, rendezvoused at the college on a day in early April, at 6 a.m., for the annual alternative term-break trip run by the diversity office, to provide community service— in Toronto. Two Central Penn staff members also went on the trip.
It was windy and chilly, and not fully light.
By 6:15 a.m., we hit the road to Canada.
On the way up Interstate 81 through Pennsylvania and into New York state – up, up, up toward Niagara Falls, and Canada – we passed towns and cities, mountains, farms, rivers, lakes and windmills.
We drove on and on, in two cars.
After about 300 miles, we arrived at the Canadian border at about 11:37 a.m.
When we reached the border crossing, the Canadian border guard at the gate asked Megan Cline, Central Penn counselor, some questions such as, where we were from, what we would be doing in Canada, and where we would stay and where we would go while in Canada. The officer’s tone was intense; she seemed like a drill sergeant.
Once through the grilling, and the gate, it took another hour and a half to arrive at the College Backpackers Hostel, in Toronto’s Kensington neighborhood.At 1:30 p.m., we got our room, had a quick nap for an hour, and then came back to meet up around 2:45 to have lunch at the Toronto Eaton Centre mall.
Some of us ate Chinese food and others had Indian food, while still others had food from Tim Hortons, a fast-food bistro. After a quick lunch, we explored the mall. The mall has a UNIQLo clothing store, among many others. I looked for some items, and then went to hunt a bubble tea at a place called Chatime. We went back to the hostel around 6.
The day was done. Some of us decided to rest or go to sleep, and some of us decided to watch a movie with Romeo Azondekon, Central Penn’s chief diversity officer. I decided to go to bed around 10 p.m., and skip the movie.
It was like the day before when we left Pennsylvania – cloudy, windy and raining, but we set out for our destination. The group of us arrived at the North York Harvest Food Bank around 9:50 a.m. We were greeted by Leslie Venturainol and Kadian Clarke. In the food bank, we had the chance to volunteer. Our task was to look for a good can of food, make sure the food was not expired and then to put it in the right storage box. We were proud to volunteer and feed 100 families.
The day wasn’t over then, though. We were very hungry and decided to buy lunch at the Eaton Centre, around 1 p.m. Right after lunch, Belinda Rivera, Jasmine Harvey, Danielle Gilbert, Sovit Adhikari, Paul Jones, and Romeo went to the Casa Loma landmark and museum. Megan, and Linda Brown, Johnny McGee, Tiyana Butler and I went back to the hostel. Casa Loma is beautiful. It looks partly like an old castle. My favorite part is the top tower. I was there on another trip.
Around 5 p.m., the group went back to the hostel. An hour late, Romeo, Belinda, Paul and I went to a nearby supermarket to shop for dinner. We came back around 6:45 and started to cook. We had chicken, rice, soup beans, green beans and boiled potatoes.
During dinner, we talked about who our favorite actor and our favorite singer is, and discussed what we liked about Central Penn College. Right after dinner, Belinda, Danielle, Johnny, Jasmine, Linda and Tiyana decided to go to the Ripley Aquarium. The aquarium closed at 11 p.m., so they wanted to get going.
When they were finished touring the aquarium, the students were waiting to get picked up around 11 p.m. Meanwhile, I stayed at the hostel to get some rest. All of a sudden, my phone vibrated. It was a text from Central Penn student Mbuyi “Steve-O” Osango, who had already been in Toronto. Steve-O came to visit, and spent two and a half hours at the hostel. During his visit, around 11:15, Tiyana called Steve-O so she could talk to me, because she couldn’t reach me – my phone was out of data.
“Is Romeo on his way?” she asked me.
“I guess so,” I said.
Because I wasn’t sure if Romeo was on his way to pick the group up at the aquarium, and my phone was no use, I went to the guys’ room, where Romeo was staying for the trip, to confirm that he was on his way to pick the students up.
“Yes,” they said.
Another phone call came in around 11:25. Romeo still wasn’t there, and it was cold. That’s when Megan decided to pick the group up.
Some people, including me, didn’t have data, so we were depending on the Wi-Fi.
As Megan went to pick them up, I kept in touch with everyone in the group chat and Steve-O decided to get some food at Subway. Fifteen minutes later, Romeo came in with Steve-O, whom he met outside the hostel, where he had been waiting for the call to pick the group up.
It turned out there were some miscommunication and technology issues. Eventually, though, we all settled down, and things were cleared up.
Editor’s note: Watch for the next installment of this story!
To comment on a story or to suggest a story idea, contact TheKnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.edu.
Yuliani Sutedjo is vice president of The Knightly News Media Club @ Central Penn College.
She is also Central Penn College Student Government Association president.
Edited by club co-adviser Prof. Michael Lear-Olimpi.