Cuddles Meets Canadian Troops in Bosnia

Cuddles is the name of another wee little teddy bear that traveled during the first year that Teddy Bears On The Go(R) became a reality: 2001-2002.  

Her adventures are special because her journeys took her to meet Canadian Troops in Bosnia-Herzogavina.  The pictures that we received back in the classroom were incredible, as it gave us a chance to see a part of the world that we are so protected from.

Cuddles started off her journey being photographed with the troop’s mascot, a guerilla. 

She had a number of other major photo opps:

l.  in the razor wire that surrounded the Canadian compound.  Most of us are familiar with the regular barbed wire, but the razor wire would certainly cut you like a knife if you tried to scale the fence;

2.  beside the map showing fields of mines;

3.  in pictures showing how weapons were stored, after Cuddles’ ‘mine awareness’ training;

4.  during a survival training session using helicopters;

5.  with the troops that wore these funny "Green Relish Suits"!;

6.  playing cards with the troops; and

7.  after successfully completing her training.  Apparently, Cuddles didn’t get enough marks to go by herself, but she decided that that was still okay!

During Cuddles’ stay, she ventured to Budapest where she saw beautiful buildings, monuments and lots of people.  At first, she was confused because she got on a bus that had food in it.  Or so she thought!  She was hungry so boarded the bus, but it turned out that the bus was traveling to Hungary.  I guess that those two words are easy to mistake for a wee little bear, traveling in a country where you don’t know the language well.   Since she had a hard time figuring out how to complete all the necessary paperwork to travel to Hungary,  she decided that it was best to hide and sleep through the entire trip to avoid being discovered as a stowaway.  🙂  So, she did!

Cuddles was also fortunate to get close to the Governor General of Canada.  At that time (January 2002) it was Adrian Clarkson. 

A side trip to a British Camp, where 100 Canadian troops had been deployed, was also part of her agenda.  Many photo opps later, Cuddles returned to base camp where the troops tried to engage her in a game of chess.  Well, that didn’t work out very well!  Cuddles had to call for emergency backup from the Police because, we are told, that there were some corrupt chess players trying to scam her.  All was well, once the Police arrived! 

Our wee little traveling bear arrived back at the school safe and sound.  She even brought a set of Russian stacking dolls as a gift for her friend in the class.  They called them Cachinka dolls.