Our second stop in Québec took us across the St. Lawrence River to a town called Rivière-du-Loup. This would be one of the last ferries would take on this tour (we would take the same ferry back on our way to Alma). The roads here were small and windy like St. John’s, but not quite as confusing! Our set-up at Riviere-du-Loup was in a gymnasium that was in a public space, so our load in involved pushing our equipment past parents and their kids. The theatre was also a good distance away from the truck, so we spent some time pushing everything through long hallways and then down an elevator.
The new recruits were starting to learn that our set-ups are not always so easy! Although we try to prepare as much as we can in advance, sometimes there are things that are unaccounted for (i.e., a small step or light fixture on the ceiling can be the small factor the determines whether we have to bring in each panel at a time). This venue was not as bad, but we were close to not fitting our big LHC crates and panel carts.
Our friends from Actua, another science outreach organization that is a part of Innovation150 was with us at this venue and so we had some company in the exhibit space. Our public night was actually a pretty big hit for a small town. We had 75 people coming in and engaging with the exhibit which was impressive. I think it helped we were in a public space, as it garnered a lot of attention from people passing by. Everyone really enjoyed learning about what we were doing and had fun in our interactive exhibit.
French facilitation has been an interesting challenge. I am not completely fluent in French, but I am able to carry out conversations and explain things to an extent. Unfortunately, I can’t go into as much detail as I would like to. However, I am steadily learning and despite my accent, people are understanding me which is great.