Fall 2007 rolls around and I was studying Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Management at Sir Sandford Fleming College, in Haliburton; a program that seems to hold the promise of unlimited possibilities from one side of the world to another. We are told that at the end of the year we will have to decide between a field placement and a field trip in the eco-tourism field. My mind drifts back to the rugged cliffs, colourful houses and interesting people in a faraway place called Newfoundland. For the next few months I find myself doing research about the Island, simply to learn the geography. What a place! I decided then, that I would have to choose one area to experience first.
When the snow began to melt and the first signs of spring showed in 2008, I was working diligently on a project for a Tourism Promotion class. This project required developing a package to promote a product, and our product was a park of our choice. Since I had already been researching Newfoundland, I decided to choose a park in my dream destination. Gros Morne National Park is a very large so I decided to develop my package using only the south half of the park. The tour began in Rocky Harbour. It included hiking, a tour of the bay, local restaurants, and a local music show, and ended in Woody Point on the south side of Bonne Bay. At this point I knew so many of the communities, restaurants, accommodations and local information I felt as though I had already been there. When I came time to decide on a field placement I decided, with some encouragement, that I should to go to Gros Morne.
Through one of my university classes I knew of a man who worked in park development for Parks Canada. I had his contact information and e-mailed him, asking if he knew who I would contact at Gros Morne National Park (GMNP) in order to arrange my field placement. I also contacted the park directly and spoke to the human resource manager; she took my information and promised to pass it along to the appropriate person.
And then I waited.
It felt like forever until I heard back from anyone.
One day I checked my e-mail, and there was a message from the woman who was in charge of interpretation for Gros Morne National Park. She said she would LOVE for me to complete my field placement at Gros Morne National Park. And six weeks later, after what seemed like a mountain of paperwork and e-mailing back and forth, I was on my way to Newfoundland.
|Off the Ferry, on my way to Gros Morne|
|My first view of the Park, the Tablelands in the distance|