This year has brought a lot of changes and new faces to CVS, but we want to take the time to re-introduce to you one of our veteran teachers, Mrs. Alanna Devereaux.

Alanna graduated from Lakehead University, Orillia in 2016 with her Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts and Sciences. She worked as a Grade 2 teacher at a private Christian School for 3 years. Alanna is currently teaching a variety of subjects at a public school in Grades K-6. She began with CVS teaching Grades 5-8 Math, and now teaches the entire Grade 4 and 5 class: Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Language, and Health and Physical Education.

In her spare time, Alanna enjoys going outside for walks on nature trails. She likes to go canoe camping in the summer and cross country skiing in the winter.

Last summer, Alanna went on a trip to Nova Scotia and we asked her to share her experience with us.

Driving through the Cape Breton Highlands National Park

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” — Psalm 23: 1-3 (NIV)

I had the most amazing summer living on and exploring Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. We were able to catch a glimpse of the beauty that is found in God’s creation. Don’t get me wrong, Ontario is beautiful as well, however, you can’t beat the mountain and coastal views found on the island. Being exposed to the vast beauty of God’s world has left a lasting impact on my life. 

Hiking out of Money Point. The sunrise is above

Parked at a beach on the Island, working on the laptop for CVS

This opportunity started with a small idea of wanting to travel. My husband and I decided to buy a sprinter van with the hopes that it would give us more of a “glamping” experience. My husband converted the van to a camper in about 3 months. Most people usually take up to a year, but we wanted to go at the end of May.

After a big rush to get it done, we hit the road traveling along the Gulf of the St. Lawrence towards Gaspe. The drive to Nova Scotia was beautiful in itself. Our first mountain hike was in Gaspesie Provincial Park called Mount Hogs Back. This mountain had about 800m of elevation. It was a difficult climb, but the views from the top were breathtaking. After a couple of more days of travel, we made it to Cape Breton Island. We were absolutely blown away by the picturesque views that were set before us. 

Hiking at Lowlands Cove

We spent three months living and exploring the island in our van. We learned to live with less in a small space while also living within arms length to the outdoors. This allowed us to see countless starry nights as well as still and quiet mornings while the sunrise burned off the fog on the mountains. A few highlights from the trip included backcountry camping at Polletts Cove, Money Point, Fishing Cove, and Lowland Cove. Hiking in and out of the campsites were difficult, but it was all worth the views. We saw bald eagles, seals, whales, beavers, bears, and even wild horses. Some places were more crowded than others.

When we found ourselves in remote places, it was an extraordinary feeling to be surrounded by nothing but the quiet sounds of nature with no other human in sight. It gives you an amazing feeling of the overwhelming presence of something bigger than yourself. Nothing beats seeing nature untouched from humanity. We are planning to return to the island again this summer in hopes to explore even more.

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