Contributed by Sebastian Ennis
On the tip of her toes, with only her index finger resting on the side of the wheel, a young girl turned to her father and scrunched her face into a questioning smile; he nodded. As her heels came to rest upon the wet grass, with both hands now tightly pulled to her side, the wheel began to spin – “Twack thwack thwack”. A plastic wedge at the top flapped, quickly at first, then gradually slower and slower. When the wheel stopped moving, the wedge pointed down to a question written in elegant cursive letters against a backdrop of red: Where’s the most romantic place in your community? The young girl turned to her father, unsure of how to answer. He knelt down beside her. “Where would mommy and daddy go out to dinner?” he asked. But she simply shook her head, keeping her eyes to the ground. And then, with a sudden confidence, she turned back to the table where we sat. “It’s the church where mommy and daddy got married,” she said. Her father smiled, briefly lost in a distant memory, and shook his head in agreement without a word.
Building Caring Communities team members joined in on the fun at the Burnaby Youth Week Block Party this summer with a carnival-style question wheel and a map of Burnaby.
Over the course of the day, kids of all ages (and some adults who just wanted to be a part of the fun) spun the wheel and put together an intricate map of the assets in the neighbourhood. The answers would sometimes generate conversation with others huddled around the map. Others hung out nearby, just listening to those working away on the map as they identified places that have made a difference to them.
They were looking to find places of care in the community: beautiful places, romantic places, friendly places, safe places and even the best places for bubble tea. It was an exercise in community mapping and a reminder of the places of care we sometimes forget about, yet long to remember.