Silence in the Convent

We’re halfway through our last week in Witless Bay, and a near-monastic silence has fallen in the convent once more.  Last week, Sister Lois Green told us that from 9 pm to 6 am, nobody was allowed to speak.  We aren’t being restricted by convent rules, but as we all scramble to finish everything we set out to do here, we may as well be nuns, retreating in silence.  Bedroom doors are closed, and the dining room table is host to people staring intently at computer screens and floor plans.

With all this silence, it’s a bit of a relief to go out and conduct interviews.  We’ve all been talking to community members over the past few days about a remarkably wide range of topics.  My own interviews have brought me to Bernadette Maddigan for a great chat about fairies and ghosts, and to the Alderwood Estates retirement home, where I got to meet a whole series of people who either believe in fairies, or who were happy to explain why they didn’t.

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Bernadette Maddigan

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Pat Carew

For all the stress we’re feeling at the convent, it really is starting to feel like home, and I know we’ll all be sad to leave.  This week has, once again, shown us how welcoming Witless Bay is.  So many people are willing to open their doors to us, and when an interview falls through, or we need more information about something, we’ve gotten to know people well enough that we know who to ask for help.  I can’t wait for Saturday night’s send-off, when we’ll get to say thanks to everybody one more time.

The tools of the trade (photo by Saeede Niktab)

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