From the Mainstreeter board

Bonnie Weppler while in Papua New Guinea in 2006.

Bonnie Weppler while in Papua New Guinea in 2006.

Bonnie Weppler, Secretary, Board of Directors

The Mainstreeter

I’ve been thinking about risk lately. I consider myself fairly risk-tolerant in most areas of my life. For example, days after graduating with my BA, I made the big move from southern Ontario to Montreal. Friends let me stay in their apartment while they were out of town. Otherwise, I knew no one in Montreal, had no permanent place to live, nor did I have a job. In the late 1980s, it was only a matter of a month or so before everything was sorted out.

Ten years later, I made an even bigger move: from Montreal to Papua New Guinea. This time, housing and a job were arranged. But I knew no one and I couldn’t speak any of the 850 languages or either of the two lingua francas, Melanesian Tok Pisin or Police Motu. I had to learn a completely different culture and it really seemed that everything I had “known” for the past 30 years had to be thrown out and I had to start all over again.

Another 10 years later, it was time to come back to Canada so that I could do my MA. I not only had to learn my subject but I had to learn how to be a student again. In the 80s, we went to the library, to the card catalogue, searched for a book or subject, noted where we would find the book, went to those shelves, picked up what we wanted and checked out. What is this Scholars’ Portal? Online journals? I didn’t have to leave my house and could still do academic research?!

There are other risks in life journeys too. Getting married. Buying a house. Having children. Changing jobs. Risk, risk, risk, risk.

The Mainstreeter is looking for an editor. We’ve plastered the neighbourhood with posters. We’ve advertised in The Mainstreeter and the Old Ottawa East eUpdate. Sadly, there hasn’t been much interest in this position. Some Board members have stepped up to make sure that The Mainstreeter lives on during this time but this arrangement isn’t a long-term option.

You don’t need to have any journalist or media background to hold this position. In fact, the essence of the editor’s work is an organizational and coordinating role. We are looking for someone who can identify stories and assign them to our writers; someone who can track which articles are expected for the issue; and someone who can work with our team of volunteers and help to recruit more volunteers. What we need the most is someone who loves our community and has some time to donate so that our neighbours remain engaged and connected. Are you that person? Are you willing to take a risk? We’d love to hear from you.

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Filed in: Features, FP, Front Page

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