Wanda Anderson keeps her photograph collection in a special container, looking at them often and enthusiastically sharing them with others. In her collection are pictures of family, friends and the special occasions in her life. She is especially proud to show a photo of her mom, calling her “kokum” which means "grandmother" in Cree. Wanda also loves to collect bottles, cards and purses, just a few of her favourites.
Wanda’s brother ,Steve Anderson, is one of her three brothers and five sisters. As a sibling, he found Wanda bossy at home and says she still has that tendency today. But he enjoys her visits home, even though Wanda often gets restless, with less to do there than she has in her group home life in Grande Prairie.
Wanda has lived at the 90th Avenue residence for the past three years. Church suppers are a highlight for her and she spends time preparing her hair and nails for the weekly night out with her friends. She is particular about who does her hair and shows a great deal of interest in the jewellery and grooming in others see meets.
Wanda participates in DAP (Developmental Activity Program). Her friendly smile and twinkling eyes are a welcome sight at the program and Wanda is full of unspoken questions as she progresses through her day there. MJ Rigler, DAP Supervisor, has worked withWanda for many years. She knows how to cajole Wanda out of a bad mood, teasing her into laughing at a good joke.
In 2002, Wanda visited Las Vegas with fellow client Paul Goodliffe and Association staff members Kara Vatne and Natasha Buff. They had front row seats for the “Legends In Concert” show at the Imperial Palace and even though Wanda enjoyed the entertainment, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to shop.
In her early years at the Association, Wanda lived at the 109th Ave residence and was there on the day that roommate Barry Ferguson passed away. Group home Supervisor Myriam Uribe was touched when, during the stress of the day, Wanda brought her a blanket for comfort.
Wanda went swimming for the first time into a swimming pool on a camping trip to Jasper with supervisor Joanne Wiens. She got in the pool and was enjoying the experience. Joanne looked away for a second and when she turned back, there was Wanda doing the dead man’s float. She was just about to panic when Wanda stood up laughing; she just thought it was great.
Wanda is celebrating her fiftieth birthday in 2006.