Nursing instructor part of 2019 Rivershed Fraser River journey

Originally from Williams Lake, Bhavna Pooni hopes to raise awareness of the river

As she prepares to embark on this year’s Rivershed Society of British Columbia’s trip down the Fraser River, Bhavna Pooni expects it to be a trip of a lifetime.

“For me the cup is never half empty or half full, I’m just happy I have a cup,” Pooni said. “Some people will say the grass is greener on the other side. It doesn’t matter if the grass is on the other side if you have the seeds in your hand and you are planting them.”

Born and raised in Williams Lake with her parents Jackie and Charlie Pooni, the 34-year-old has been teaching perioperative nursing at Saskatchewan Polytechnic the last five years and working casual in the trauma centre at Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

She’s also the president of the Saskatchewan periOperative Registered Nurses’ Group.

Growing up she played soccer, basketball and volleyball and was the top female athlete in Grade 7 at Marie Sharpe and Williams Lake Secondary School in Grade 12.

“I was scouted to play soccer at Okanagan University College and went there for two years.”

Eventually she graduated in nursing from Langara College, worked in Vancouver as a student nurse, in Williams Lake in public health and at Cariboo Memorial Hospital in the operating room.

She has the summers off because she’s a teacher and she always returns to Williams Lake for holidays.

When she arrived home last week she learned from Oliver Berger there was an open spot on the Sustainable Living Leadership Program, and signed up.

Berger has participated on the river trip before and now mentors in the program.

Read more: Williams Lake pair to immerse themselves in challenges facing Fraser River

She also teachers yoga in Williams Lake and has decided her sustainability project for the journey will be to provide awareness of the Fraser River, the river’s connection to Williams Lake, and tie that into yoga.

“I see cultural appropriation in yoga. I went into a yoga studio and there was a mat on the floor that said, ‘namaste.’ People are wiping their feet on a very sacred word. It doesn’t mean ‘hello.’ So for myself there has been a lot of exploration through teaching yoga as to who I am.”

Another area she volunteers in is with language circles to help newcomers feel more comfortable about speaking English and help them integrate in Saskatoon.

Describing her adventurous side, Pooni said she runs ultramarathons which are 50 kilometres and over.

She’s done three —Reckless Raven in Whitehorse, Yukon that was 80 km, Trailstoke Mountain Marathon in Revelstoke that was 60 km, and she ran a half-marathon in the winter when it was -35C.

“I love hiking, I haven’t owned a car for three years. I live downtown and walk everywhere. I think it’s important to set an example by who you are and how you live your life.”

Her adventure will begin on Friday, July 19 at Robson Shadows Campground near Mount Robson Provincial Park and ends on Friday, Aug. 16 at the Jericho Sailing Centre in Vancouver.

They will stop in Williams Lake on Thursday, Aug. 1 spending the night and depart on Friday, Aug. 2 to continue the journey.

During the 29-day adventure she will be writing a letter everyday to retired teacher Ross McCoubrey, something she said she is really looking forward to.

She knows how to swim, but said being on the water extensively will be a new experience.

Read more: COLUMNS: Provincial land use planning through the Fraser Watershed Initiative

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LETTERS: Gas prices alone enough to keep you warm during cold snap

If you look at your Fortis gas bill Gord McAuley says your anger should warm you right up

IH requests funding support from CCRHD for Williams Lake and 100 Mile House

$1.355,420 request would support projects at CMH, OMH and Fischer Place

$10,000 for Gold Rush Trails marketing video and Billie Bouchie Day celebrations

‘We were very impressed by the calibre of both projects’

Walmart pharmacy offering free blood pressure and glucose screening tests Saturday

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walmart pharmacists will be answering lakecity’s health realated questions

Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists to host knitting event Saturday

Knitting group meeting Saturday, Jan. 18 at the arts centres in Williams Lake

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read