Saturday, October 22, 2011

Much overdue update (cont.)

Here is a continuation of the previous post.  I felt these pictures required their own post since they were taken in a completely different season (beautiful Fall!), and since they are all from when my father came up to visit! They also deserve their own little bit of mise-en-contexte considering the significance of my Dad taking time out of his ridiculously busy schedule to come to Iqaluit for a few days.  My dad has a very demanding job as chief of staff for the City of Ottawa and essentially works 18 hour days and barely sees the light of day, other than on his drive to and from work.. and even then, he gets up so early and comes home so late that he doesn't see much sunshine then either!  Ok, maybe I'm slightly exaggerating since he does take in a few hours of daylight here and there on the weekend (when he's not busy renovating something in his home.. a serious workaholic I tell you!).  Anyhow, the point is that when my Dad left Iqaluit, he had walked, hiked, and slept more than he had in the last 6 months (see 6 years).  Not only that, but I can proudly say that his face had regained a bit of colour!  I was overjoyed that he got to experience what the fresh Iqaluit air can do for you, and infinitely thankful for his visit.


Beautiful Autumn on the tundra.

Sittin'.  (I pretty much took him on a treck to Apex as soon as he came off the plane, so I don't blame him for wanting to take a little breather.)

Another side-effect of fresh air?

Sylvia Grinnell Park.

Sylvia Grinnell in all its Fall colours!

Much overdue update!

Hello all!  When I wrote my last blog entry the snowy banks of Koojesse Inlet were just beginning to melt away, and as I started writing this much overdue update it dawned on me that not only have both Spring and Summer come and gone, but Fall has also made way for an early Winter.  That's right, it's Winter here right now.  In fact, at this very moment, all I can hear are blistering gushes of wind blowing powdery snow onto my window screen, thus completely blocking my view of what would be a very cold but extremely beautiful Winter scene...  and all this merely a few days before Halloween!  I remember the disappointment I would feel on Halloween nights when our parents would make us wear our snowsuits under our Halloween costumes because they deemed it too cold outside.  I am curious to see how kids fare up here in that regard!  Anyhow, I have so much to update that I don't know where to begin.  So much time has passed and so many things have happened.  I suppose it's becoming increasingly harder to update this blog because with every day that goes by I feel significantly less like I'm "visiting" and more like I am at home here.  This shift actually took place back in the Summer and was triggered by my visit to Ottawa; that was when I realized that I was beginning to feel more at home in my house on Road to Nowhere and with my friends from small northern communities like Rankin Inlet and Resolute (communities of which I admittedly knew nothing to little about before moving here).  Speaking of the people I have met up here: the people I have come to call friends over these past 9 months (can you believe it has been NINE months?) have had such a meaningful impact on my life.  Every day I am thankful for the connections I have made and the amazing individuals I have the privilege of calling my friends.  But to get back to my original point about finding it difficult to update this blog frequently: it has become increasingly difficult to do so because I no longer feel the need to report to the world "back home" about my life "up North" because "up North" has become my home (for how long, even I'm not sure) and my life "up here" is simply my life.  That being said, I know there are lots of things I would love to share with the people who look forward to these updates, especially the greatest woman I've ever met, my grand-maman Isabelle!  So I will put up some pictures with a small bit of information and let your imagination figure out the rest!

My first time gutting a fish. This Arctic Char was caught in Pangnirtung and given to me by a friend.  It became sweet potato and char burgers.

There is something infinitely satisfying about knowing where your food comes from and preparing it yourself.  (More satisfying than any processed packaged tofu hot dog can ever be.)

Went boating with my friend Joe's family.

Joe's sister Nell.

Joe and I in the foreground, with Nell's son and partner in the background.


Sylvia Grinnell Park

The berries were starting to come out!

Hi Joe!

Nell and her panik.

Mom and son huddled, and the only fish caught all evening...  Caught by grandma nonetheless!

Paternal grandmother, mother and son.

This was at the feast put up for the Governor General's visit.. The tuktu (caribou) went fast!

Nap using her ulu to cut off some tuktu for me.

Tuktu stew.  Mamaktu!!

Ivalu!  She is a little ray of Greenlandic sunshine! haha

Sunset on Upper Base Road with Ivalu.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gone Fishin

Yesterday evening I went with my friend Jeff, his friend Sam, his cousin Kevin, as well as his cousin's wife Louise and daughter Shauna to set up nets to catch fish in the hopes of picking up a few tips on how to catch fish.  The trek out to the edge of the land was really stunning.  We didn't end up being able to set any nets because the ice was too shifty and they didn't have a safe way of getting down to the water from the icy edge.  Hopefully I will get to go again soon!  I love learning about anything that has to do with living off the land.

Walking to the edge.

Getting closer.

Closer still, and the landscape changes drastically.

Walking back after deciding we wouldn't set up nets.

Jeff, Louise and Sam.

Neat-looking boat.

Jeff had to pick up something from his (his family's?) boat so I got to climb on.  Oh and it's not the boat from the picture above.

I'm on a boat.

Wolf skull in the back of Jeff's pick-up truck.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Springtime in the back of my mind

So, I know all you fine folks living it up in the "South" are pretty much over Spring at this point, but out here, it is in full effect!... And it is wonderful!  Springtime in Iqaluit has been AWESOME and I am almost sad to be leaving (for a two-week vacation in Ottawa) right as the weather is getting nicer.  Not only is the weather super nice right now but the sun also never completely goes down; there is a lengthy blue-ish dusk that goes from midnight to 2 am but otherwise, the sun is shining!  It is both incredible and infuriating: incredible when you feel like staying up late and infuriating when trying to sleep--but I generally find it incredible.  Alright, so here are some pictures of some of the beauty springtime in Iqaluit has to offer.

Standing on a sandy shore looking out onto a still very snowy landscape.

Slow melt.

Oh hi!

Oh bye!

What I call home.

About 30 seconds from my front steps.


The melting pond forces me to find new paths to work.

Paths like these.

Daily walk to work is never boring.  YES PLEASE!

What lies to be discovered beneath the melting snow.

Only the toughest plants can grow up here.

Artist at work on a beautiful sunny day.