Friday 17 May 2024

Avola: The Second Largest Place We Lived In Canada

    After we lived three years in the extremely isolated Silvacan Resources Camp, we had really had enough of the sacrifices that we had had to make, and we needed a bit more freedom of movement.  I resigned my teaching job in the one-room school, and I started looking around for another teaching position.  I found one as Head Teacher, teaching in a two-room school in Avola, BC.  

    We had never been there, and I took the job over the phone, hoping it would be an okay place to live.  It was at least on a highway, so we could at least drive places, unlike the Silvacan job.  The first time we drove into Avola, we were met with threatening dark clouds and heavy rain; an indication of what our future there would be.

    Avola, wasn’t much.  The unincorporated community with a population of about 50, had a gas station, a motel, a pub, and a convenience store, but that was about all.  The school district provided us with a teacherage to live in.  There were very few people in the community that we could relate to or that shared similar values, only a retired couple with a small farm, who held the social and environmental views.  

    While we enjoyed a lot of new freedoms (being able to drive places, regular mail delivery, and television and radio reception), we found ourselves still isolated in many respects.  If we want to buy groceries (or other supplies), go to a library, or do our laundry, we had to drive an hour to Clearwater, BC, which was a larger community.

    My teaching job was horrible, with terrible kids.  In most places, the majority of kids are normal, with just a couple of “bad apples”, Avola offered the reverse.  As a result I resigned after that first year, and we looked around to find a more suitable community to live in.

  The pinkish house is the teacherage where we lived in Avola.  The log building with white windows was an old heritage school building. 

   Tomorrow:  Moving to McBride, BC


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