To close to home. That's what I felt when I heard that we were reading Journey For Justice: How ‘Project Angel’ Cracked the Candace Derksen Case, by Mike McIntrye. The story begins 3 moths before I was born in November of 1984. Candace Derksen was walking home from her high school, Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute (same high school I attended) when she went missing. People were questioned and accused (people I know). And it took over a moth before she was found, frozen to death in a shed a few block away from where she was abducted. There was no killer found, no suspects left, and the case seemed to be at a stand still leaving communities in limbo. Fast forward 26 years, and Mark Grant is convicted of second degree murder of Candace. 
Journey for Justice shares the journey of the Derksen family through the abduction, the process of uncovering a case that had gone cold, and the trial and conviction of her killer. It also describes a place and community of faith that I am well acquainted with- it describes connections of my life.
Mike McIntyre takes excerps from Wilma Derksens telling of the story, Have You Seen Candace?, as well as interviews, excerpts from official documents, and news releases. The first part of the book relies heavily on Wilma's excerpts, allowing the read to connect with tragedy at a more personal level. You get to see and experinece what Wilma and her family went through. When reading I could see myself talking on the phone at MBCI, walking to cornerstone that Candace bought stuff from, and walking Talbot Ave. when she went missing.
As the story progresses McIntyre changes tactics and uses more official documents, court records and interviews to tell the rest of the story. As a reader I found it hard to connect with the parts of the book that relied more on documentation rather then Wilma's story telling abilities. It was also hard to believe as a reader that the quotes we were reading could be direct quotes, when some of the quotations happened a quarter of a century earlier. I felt like I was read a document rather then being a part of the story.
As a piece of non-fiction, I found it interesting the balance of story telling weaved in with facts. I know writing articles for a paper is a lot different then the story we read, but there were evident portions of the book that seemed to be written more in that style verses a story. I wonder for this story if it might be better told either in a more consistent voice, like Myrl Coulter's book The House with the Broken Two.
When the time came for Wilma and Mike came to talk to us in class about the book I was excited to see them in person. As they told their stories and why they needed to write it, I sat there wishing I could sit just with Wilma, to ask her questions like what did it take for you to survive? How did you keep your sanity? How did you learn to forgive? I wanted to chat with her about what she told the reporters after the case, about how she said, "We grieve. This is just putting another life away, so that's hard. This doesn't bring Candace back,". 
It was nice to hear about how the book was written, about the process and the content, but I longed to hear more about the story, and the life that was and now is Candace. I wanted more insight into their story, because I think with all the connections I had to it I was really looking for more insight into my story.

A Journey for Justice

It might not be spring break for me- I'm stuck in classes- but for high school students in Manitoba they are running through the streets instead of being trapped in desks. lol
And for a group of students they are experiencing something very unique. It's called SOAR Heartland, and its a 10 missions trip in the inner city of Winnipeg. For many of them Winnipeg is their home, so experiencing the downtown core gives them a whole new perspective on the city and the issues. 
Over the 10 days I got the insane opportunity to head up a media team for SOAR. The team was designated the task of documenting the 10 days, producing same day edits montages of the days events, and posting them and more online. Like I said before, I was in school though- thankfully I had an amazing team that worked their butts off and did a fantastic job. 
you can see some of their amazing work here:

Interestingly enough I got a chance to do a streeter in Journalism class... and I was lucky enough to write about whatever I wanted to... so knowing that all these kids were spending the day running around the streets, I knew what i was going to write:
355 students are hitting the street today for a learning tour on the inner city of Winnipeg. They’ve given up their spring break to find out about core issued in the city, volunteer with local organizations, and more importantly build relationships with the people that live in the area. SOAR Heartland, the program that runs the spring break trip, uses the first few days to orientate the students to the communities they will spend time volunteering in.
“We hope to see students learn about the issues in the city and experience and interact with the people,” says Amber Hamm, one of the special event coordinators for SOAR.
“I love to see students learn about something new and see them get excited about it,” Hamm said on the phone while running in between two of the 23 different sites that students will be visiting today.
Peggy Abbott,volunteer support staff at Siloam Mission, waits for a stream of students to arrive. Siloam Mission is one of the learning tour sites and hopes that students will get not only an understanding of what Siloam Mission does, but what some of the challenges their patrons face.
“I find it exciting to give students an opportunity to know what the issues are. They can’t turn things around if they don’t see the issues,” says Abbott.
From 11 a.m. till 6 p.m. students will be walking around the inner city stopping at specific locations to learn about a different topics faced by Winnipeg's less fortunate. From homelessness, to prostitution, and mental illness the students learn about a world different from their own.
“They come from a different frame of reference and bring their questions and insight into the issues,” says Abbott, about the students who typically come from suburban and rural areas.
“Its good to immerse yourself in the culture before you go into help it,” says Shale Tweed, who came all the way from British Columbia to participate in SOAR. 


Posters I make.... 

Posters I wish I could make...


*Satuday's always go better with a soundtrack. 
Today-- is the day that I begin making list upon list of things that need to get done. 
I'm officially calling March= March Madness! The list of things happening at school and in life is GROWING exponentially... So while I make some lovely lists... I listen, and sing along.

*these last two are the same song... but it is just to funny to watch-
Enjoy the weekend!!

soundtrack*to saturday

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