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John Robb
Katimavik Group 101, 1985-1986
Richmond BC, Calgary AB, Gatineau PQ

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During Katimavik

Nathalie and I at the Nature Park
This is an early shot of me. I couldn't find any pictures of just me. I guess that is because these are my pictures and we don't often take pictures of ourselves! But I don't mind if Nathalie shares the frame with me. She's a cutie.


After Katimavik

John, Tracey and Rachel
This is a picture of my wife Tracey and my daughter Rachel, and me too of course. It was taken outside the Vancouver aquarium in June of 2001. This was my third visit back to Vancouver since Katimavik. And yes I drove over to the old house in Richmond. My daughter's a real cutie ... wife's not bad either ;-)

You can find more pictures of our group here.

My thoughts on Katimavik:

I'll start simply enough by saying that it was a wonderful experience. I learned things I haven't realised I learned. It is such an intense experience that it is very hard to put into words. Even all these years later I still think about the program frequently. I wish everyone could of had the same kind of a positive experience that I have had but I don't think that is the case. Even for some in my group I'm sure it wasn't all roses for them.

First Rotation, Richmond BC: I wish I was a better writer so that I could convey to you how profound an experience those first three months were. I was away from home, 18, and loving it. I big part of why I joined katimavik was to learn french. I spent time with the francophones during our first rotation that really helped me in our second rotation. I have very few bad memories of Richmond, let me pause for a second to reflect on that ... I just can't think of any ... no wait ... being apart from my girlfriend at the time. Oh I was so much in love. Being 18, in love, and the width of the country away from your girlfriend is tough. That was the the hardest part of the first rotation for me. For the record Karen started seeing one of my friends while I was away. It was only fair as I started seeing someone during the second rotation, and no she wasn't part of the group. There are rules you know!

Second Rotaion, Calgary AB: What a trip that was! Here we were in Western Canada and we weren't allowed to speak English in the house! Our GL was upset with the progress the anglos were making on their french so she imposed the rule. Not everyone was happy. Our bedroom in the basement became a neutral zone of sorts. You were free to speak whatever language you wanted in our room, as long as Martha couldn't hear you. We did a lot more travelling in this rotation. We saw more of the country. My billet took me to BC. That was a cool road trip. Two things happened at the end of our rotation; I was forced to crawl into the house through the window in our basement bedroom (ask Chris about that story) and wer all received a written warning ... for what I'm not too sure.

Third Rotation, Gatineau PQ: Our most bizarre rotation yet! A few days into this Rotation Nathalie left. Her decision was prompted by our GLs instance that we leave our journals on our bed before we left in the morning so he could read them. What a dink. It was a shame to see Nathalie go but it was her decision. As was usually the case I just kept on doing what I was doing regardless of the shenanigans our GL was up to. I came close to getting the boot on more than one occassion. Lucky for me I made it through. Near the end that $1000 was looking pretty good! One consequence of our crazy GL was that we came together as a group. Just as we were supposed to be drifting a part, getting ready for the end and all, we were getting closer. I seem to recall many more walks and late night talks in this rotation. Our camping trip to the Gatineaus really blew my mind. What a wonderful time was had by all, I think. A real highlight of the third rotation were the katimagames. How much legal fun could you possibly have? What a riot. It was made more special for me as it gave us a chance to say farewell to our sister groups. These where the groups the moved to the same geography as us on each rotation.

Managing this website has become my fourth rotation. It's really like I never left. Although I have to admit I'm not connecting very well with this new incarnation of Katimavik. I do hope you enjoy the site and it helps you connect with some long lost friends. If you have connected I'd love to hear about it. Please send me a message by going to this page.

You can find more pictures of our group here.

Or read the lyrics to our song.

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