For our Breakout Week trip, we explored downtown Toronto as a cultural journey. Our trip was dedicated to better understanding the people around us and the intersecting cultures present in and around our home. We started our Breakout Week by watching a film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and we learned about the bushman lifestyle and the struggles of being in a foster care system.
We then worked in small groups to research and plan scavenger hunts in Chinatown, Kensington Market, Danforth and Cabbagetown. Each scavenger hunt required groups to look for cultural, historical and tourist locations.
On Day 2, we returned to Toronto and set out to find everything on our scavenger hunts. For example, one group went to Chinatown and learned about the Chinese culture in Toronto and tried traditional Chinese cuisine. Then, we went to the "29 Rooms" exhibit where we experienced a twist on palm reading and games. It was a cool way to interact with art, strangers and our friends. Later, we got to eat Middle Eastern and European dishes at Fat Pasha.
At the end of the day, our group split in half to watch our choice of two plays both addressing real-life problems and issues in two creative ways. One play, Yaga, took the Slavic folktale of the story of Baba-Yaga, a frightening old witch with an appetite for eating people, to show women living their lives disregarding expectations and stereotypes. The other play, The Jungle, was about an interracial couple and their struggle as immigrants to sustain their relationship in a big western city.
On our last day, we visited the ROM and the Bata Shoe Museum. In the ROM, we spread out to look at different cultures through histories such as the Chinese and the Egyptians. We ended our trip with a visit to the Aga Khan Museum which is dedicated to Islamic art and was a look at the shared history of West Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from the 8th to the 16th century.
Overall, The Cultural Journey gave all of us an opportunity to better understand and know our home, our history and our connections with others.