The week of April 6-12, 2008 I went to Ottawa for an Encounter with Canada politics theme education program. I met oodles of people from all across our country.

Almost half the people in the program were from beautiful British Columbia.

Sunday, I arrived in Ottawa at around 4:30 pm. This was my first trip ever flying by myself. When I got to the Terry Fox Youth Centre where I was to stay, we were split into groups. Sunday evening we played games like friendship bingo then we watched a biography of Terry Fox.

Monday morning we got ready for a visit to Parliament Hill. We toured the House of Commons and the Senate. We met Senator Fraser who answered our questions. Our tour continued around Parliament where we went to the Supreme Court of Canada and the Federal Court of Canada as well. A highlight this day was attending the House of Commons Question Period where I saw our Prime Minister.

Following breakfast on Tuesday morning we produced and starred in skits about what we knew about the people we met so far. On Tuesday evening and the highlight of the day was a super interesting museum tour featuring the lifestyle and history of Canadian First Nations people.

Wednesday, saw our group visit the Thailand Embassy where we met the Ambassador. He was really friendly and showed us some Thai artwork. Some of the art was made out of food such as roses made out of carrots. I was fooled because I thought they were real roses. Lunch was Thai food and it was very good. Wednesday, evening our group attended a citizenship ceremony where about 50 people from all over the world became Canadian citizens. The ceremony welcomed them to Canada and following, each Encounters group member renewed our Canadian citizenship. The framed certificate now hangs in my bedroom.

Thursday, more skits. This time they were about our provinces to show each other what our provinces were like. We the journeyed to the main square in downtown Ottawa and viewed the tomb of the unknown solider.

Friday, was a talent show in the evening but before that some free time for one of my favorite activities, mall shopping. The talent show was really cool, a couple of people sang and others played the guitar. I was amazed when this one guy sang opera, he was so good.

To finish the night off and the week we had a banquet and a dance that lasted until 4AM. My flight left Ottawa soon after the dance ended so now (like most Canadians) I now know the meaning of the term ?red-eye.?

I had a great time, one I?ll always remember. I made many new friends and learned quite a lot. I missed my family and friends though and yes, there?s nothing quite like sleeping in your own bed.