Pink Fire Pointer Guest Wednesday! - Hanne Smith: African Tales/Tails

Guest Wednesday! - Hanne Smith: African Tales/Tails

Welcome Sign!!
Hanne giving her presentation!
So my lovely momma is an avid gardener, like seriously, there are plants in our house that are older, taller and much more quieter (as my mom likes to remind me) than me! My mom likes to call them her favourite children ... it really makes my sister, brother and I feel REAL special! Thanks Mom!

Recently, a couple years ago we moved to our new house and the year of my graduation from high school my mom started her new project of renovating her garden with the help of her creative and genius landscape designer friend, Buena! Now that my mom's garden is finished, she's been fostering and weeding like crazy over her outdoor friends. 

So, this year my mom found out about some Bee Pollinator Seminars/Movie Documentary Nights being hosted by Rossland Real Food (see website here: where a local entomologist was also going to be hosting some field trips into local farms/gardens give tours that expound on producing bee friendly gardens! 

I, sadly, missed the movie night! The documentary to be shown was called "Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us", here's the trailer: 

Anyways, this summer I made up for my absence by attending 2 of the field trips! One to a lovely local Fruitvale Organic Farm and the other to a quaint and beautiful home garden in Rossland!

And looooooong story short (too late!) that's how I meet Hanne Smith! She works for Rossland Real Food and organized our field trips - and did a fantastic job, I might add!

And so when I started working at the library, I started thinking about possible people for our Guest Wednesdays! I thought that Hanne would be great! or even may know other people to suggest! And what a response I got! She's enthusiastic and welcoming! I quickly received an essay of a reply that told me of her experience in working as a student in Africa and of friends and acquaintances she knew who fit into the perfect Guest Wednesday material! Thank you Hanne!

So that is how we at the Beaver Valley Public Library were able to score the opportunity to hear of the wonderful stories and African Tales from Hanne first hand! I told her about our theme: Strange ... But True? and boy! did she ever have some fantastical and strange things to share! 

Upon her arrival we laid out some monkey/baboon/chimpanzee books for the kids to check out and Hanne got set and created a makeshift outhouse from some paper and crayon! haha! (more on that later! for now you'll just have to wait in antici ... ... ... pation! Or of course you could be super crazy malefactor and skip ahead!!! :O ) 

So as the kids started to arrive we had them settle once a fair number of them had assembled. I introduced Hanne - whose lovely name I managed to mangle every time I try to say it! - and off Hanne went! She told us about her fantastic opportunity when she attended University (hers being in partnership with the great Jane Goodall!!!!), and how she was able to travel to Tanzania to study baboons and chimpanzees! WOW! 

Hanne went through the culture shock and differences between living in Canada, and living in Africa, where time is measured differently, where the day lasts long all year round (equator proximity!) and where the animals and climate are quite different! BIG BUGS! The kids were great, and Hanne's soft and quiet speech gave an atmosphere that definitely left the kids calm and listening intently to Hanne's stories!

So, Hanne had told us that Africa is a lot different from Canada, hotter, brighter, and for someone not raised in the culture, Strange ... But True?! So here's the story that Hanne told us regarding outhouses, cockroaches, and light (as transcribed by moi!):

So one major difference between our Canadian homes and the place were Hanne was staying, was the outhouses. And one night Hanne learnt a major lesson about cockroaches: Cockroaches do not like light! >.<

One night Hanne had some business to attend to in the outhouse, and since is was night and for some of us a bit scary, Hanne brought along her trusty flashlight!

Now the dark wasn't so scary... but as Hanne entered the outhouse she flashed the light throughout the entire house-of-out and something peculiar - and something I imagine to be quite horrific occurred! 

Oh! So have you ever seen a cockroach? They kinda look like aliens! They are creepy crawlers and to be able to survive a lot of things ... like living for days with their head chopped off! And if you've ever seen one in Canada, just know that the ones in Africa are bigger!!!!

So when Hanne arrived flashing her flashy flashlight into the outhouse, all these cockroaches fluttered off away from the light! They went straight to the darkest place in the outhouse they could find!! Where was that? Any guesses?

 Right under the toilet seat! All these masses of cockroaches went under the toilet seat to escape the blinding light, their antennae sticking out in all directions! Now, I'm sure you could imagine now how Hanne probably felt, she quickly decided that the business she had to do was no longer a priority, and she politely left the cockroaches alone in the outhouse with no light to do their own business!

And that's how Hanne learnt to go on outhouse adventures during the day, rather than at night!

So while telling the story Hanne got the kids to step up from their seats to pretend to be cockroaches and she had them wag their little antennae to and fro! 'twas fun!

Hanne was full of stories! The kids asked questions and more and more stories came of adventure, of chimpanzees, of nature, of all these awesome and interesting things!

Hanne even told the story of how as she was working, studying some chimpanzees, she followed a momma chimp with her baby and male friend. She stood so close to them, like maybe a meter or two away and watched as the baby chimp - who could barely walk - cling to its mother's fur and the two adult chimps who were relaxing and picking the bugs and such out of each other's hair!

Hanne got Emily, Kyleen and Cohen to pretend to be the Chimpanzees that she studied!
She told us about how the baby was suddenly compelled to learn to walk and must have though Hanne to be a Strange ... But True? creature indeed, since the little babe made its ungraceful way over to Hanne.

Now this quickly grabbed the momma chimp and male chimp's attention and thankfully Hanne tried her best to not seem too intimidating! She avoided eye contact and tried lean back far away from the baby... but the baby keep coming closer until it was on her lap!

Thankfully the momma chimp quickly grabbed her baby and ran off, without hurting Hanne and the male chimp shoved her, but Hanne didn't get hurt! Whew!

We then went into our craft for the day! We made some door hanging monkeys!

Cute right?

Sara investigating an elephant's tooth!
And while the kids went about colouring their door hangers, Hanne shared some animal treasures! She had a massive quill from a porcupine and teeth from an elephant!

The porcupine quill!

And then for snacks I handed out some cooked banana cookies, called bear paws, that my brother found at No Frills! They were delicious! And I also snagged some bananas for the kids to munch on!

Our libraries very own monkeys!

Ta da! A happy Cohen with his lovely monkey!
Cody making a long distance call on his banana phone!

This picture makes me laugh every time! Cody with his beloved banana!
And that was our Guest Wednesday for last week! It was fantastic and magical! The kids had a blast! Thank you to Hanne Smith and her friend John, for their wonderful presentation and lovely presence in the library! It was a fantastic day!

Happy Reading my friends! 

Make sure to come this Wednesday for our last Guest Wednesday :( ! 

This week we welcome Les Anderson from Rossland who grew up in Northern Saskatchewan and lived off the land like a time machine! Here's the poster: