Sunday, March 27, 2011

Work It Out

When I first thought about moving to Iqaluit one of my biggest fears was that there wouldn't really be anywhere for me to exercise.  It was bad enough I'd have to stop doing my absolute most favourite things (i.e. muay thai, boxing and jiu-jitsu), the only "exercise facility" I could find online was a pool!  Needless to say that I was ecstatic to find out there are actually way more options than that!  In fact there are two gyms, one of which has this weird posh/elitist vibe to it (and charges $500 just to join).  That one is called the Racquet Club and although I could never justify paying their prices, my friend who happens to be a member took me there to play squash and it was SO MUCH fun!!.... BUT, $500 plus the monthly fee is not going to happen.  The other gym has more reasonable prices but I'm waiting for them to get back to me about volunteering there (since that entails a free membership).  Anyhow, the reason I am mentioning all of this is because I also happened to find a THIRD amazing option: "Old Res".  Old Res is the unofficial name of one of the residences for the students attending the Arctic College.  I was lucky enough to find out about this class called Bootcamp that happens 3 times a week (although it's nothing compared to the type of workout I'd get from a muay thai class).  I've also been playing basketball on Sundays and going in once in a while to jog around the gymnasium.  OH AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!  I found a PUNCHING BAG!!!  Woohoo!!  It is quite decrepit, but, it will most certainly do!  This also leads me to some other exciting news: I've started a women's boxing/self-defense class!  Next Thursday will be the fourth class and so far the ladies have been really into  it and getting super pumped!!  I am really excited about these classes and will eventually make a post dedicated strictly to that, but in the meantime, here is where I get my sweat on:

The gym.

Why have multiple machines when you can have just one?  Pretty sure this picture appears in the dictionary next to the word "contraption".

The above-mentionned contraption is O.K. in my books though because it has a punching bag!  Tattered to say the least, but existent nonetheless!

This is what the Ol' Res looks like.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Hi again!  I am on a posting rampage!  So, I was recently faced with quite a difficult decision.  One that really fundamentally challenged me to define who I am, or at least who I want to be.  In a nutshell, I was offered a position as a "payroll officer" within the finance department of the government of Nunavut.  Sounds boring, I know... But here is the kicker, this job was going to give me literally DOUBLE what I make at the daycare.  DOUBLE!  And that was with a 10 minute interview.  It says something about the state of the government here when someone can be offered an $80,000/year job over a 10 minute interview.  So, the money sounded really appealing... Like REALLY appealing.  So appealing in fact that I quit my job at the daycare and prepared myself for life in "the office".  I have never worked a desk job, and whenever I have spent long amounts of time sitting in front of a computer I have always felt like I was going a little bit crazy (or a lot).  I basically feared that I just was not a deskjob type of person... And quite frankly, at this point in my life I KNOW that I am not a deskjob person.  Maybe when my body starts to give out, but right now I feel the need to move around and be creative, which is exactly what the daycare could offer me--as opposed to the government.  Now another factor comes into play as well, which is the fact that the daycare decided to significantly raise the wage for my position (educator).  It's as though my departure made them realize that the insane turnover rate is directly linked to money.  As sad as it is, it's practically impossible to live in Iqaluit and say that you don't care how much money you make because everything is so much more expensive.  SO all that to say that upon much soul-searching and a lengthy chat with my mommy, I came to the conclusion that I would rather have a creative (although extremely exhausting and somewhat chaotic) job than an extremely well-paying but unbelievably monotonous and stressful one.  SOOOOO what that means is: you will be seeing lots more posts about crafts!  Wahoo!!!  I could also elaborate further on the different factors that affected my decision, but ultimately it can be boiled down to my desire to stay true to the person I am as well as the person I want to be.  On that note, here are some more pictures from the daycare.. How could you say no to these faces??

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Invasion of the Munchkins

Alright so, here is another post dedicated to those cute little rugrats from the daycare.  


Taught some of the kiddies how to draw pirates.  This one is Jayko's.

This one is Nathan's. (note the hook)

This is my little buddy!  He is the newest friend at the daycare and has really taken a liking to me.  I really think he is a supergenius babychild, it's incredible how quickly he learns things!  But I wanted to post these pictures of him because one morning he came out of the coat room with a cache-cou (neck warmer) that isn't even his own on his head and it was probably the funniest thing I'd seen all week.  (Note that it was pyjama day that day, which is why the kid in the back is wearing PJs.  I also love how these pictures captured the little guy in the background wiping out)

Thug life.

Yeah, i have a cache-cou on my head, what?

Masks!  They could choose any shape they wanted...  Most picked unicorns, other than one who picked a heart and another who picked an owl.

This is the owl.  

SO cute.

Eyelashes worthy of a CoverGirl ad.

Rainbow unicorn, 'nuff said.

Qamiks on the Dancefloor

Wow, I can't believe it's already been two weeks since my last post!  I have so much to put up here but I can't seem to find the time, so this post will be short (and hopefully sweet).  This is a video of two women dancing last Friday night at the Storehouse.  The Storehouse is basically just this restaurant/bar type of place that is inside the "eight-story" aka the Frobisher Inn.  I love that since there are so few tall buildings here, when someone is talking about the "eight-story" you know right away which one someone is talking about.  But I digress, basically every Friday night people come to the Storehouse to dance and have a good time.  And there were some SERIOUSLY amazing dancers out there!!  Of all ages too... I have never seen someone over 60 groove as well as I have here.  The other amazing thing was that the first two guys to break the ice and hit the dancefloor were two openly gay men who were NOT afraid to show it!  I also found out that there is in fact quite a large gay and lesbian population here!  Moreover, these guys were dancing it up together in a room where there were elders, which speaks to the level of acceptance here.  Now the reason I wanted to put up this video is because in it you see two women (well their feet) dancing and I just thought it really spoke to the meeting of cultures: Qamiks and "clubbing" (no pun intended). 

I will make another update very soon as I have lots to put up here!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Arts and Crafts

Here are a few pictures from the preschool I've been working at.  Needless to say that my favourite activities are the crafts!  Playing musical chair and dancing around is fun too but there's nothing like seeing how kids interpret the craft I show them.  My absolute favourite are the spaghetti plates we made. We had been playing tomate-spaghetti (essentially duck-duck-goose) and I thought making spaghetti would be fun.  So I shredded some yellow paper in the paper shredder, got out some glue, red paint, paper and markers.  The results were hilariously awesome.   Even though I've seen 1000s of crafts over the last 7 years working with kids at the NGC, I think this one is in my top 5.

Jayko and Nathan showing off their spaghettis!

Sometimes they are angels..

And sometimes they are not.

Ava's spaghetti.

Aurora's spaghetti.

Showed a few of them how to draw tigers.  This one is Jayme-Lee's.

Jona-sten's tiger.

Inez's tiger.

We made a boat and they filled it up with people.

We also made little owls.

This is Jayme-Lee's volcano erupting onto an unfortunate by-stander.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Day at the Museum II

Until reading an e-mail from my grandmother about how much she liked the pictures I took at the museum I had completely forgotten that I had originally intended on posting pictures of artworks from the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum.  Like I mentioned in the last post, the temporary exhibit was the Pangnirtung 2010 Print Collection.  Pangnirtung is apparently incredible and I plan to make my way there at some point.  What is interesting about the art that is created in these small Northern communities is that some of the prints created become world-reknown and yet the recognition of Inuit art doesn't match the fact that many of the artists still rely on welfare.  While not all artists can make a living from their art, the discrepancy that exists here is that the percentage the artists make from their works is often a tenth of what the work is sold for in the South.  Basically, a sculpture that an artist will sell for $100 here might sell for $700 in Ottawa.  Anyhow, needless to say it's an interesting reality for artists up here... And by no means an ideal one.  With that in mind, here are some of my favourite prints from the temporary exhibit as well as some of the prints that really caught my eye from the permanent collection.  I forgot to take down the names of the artists from the permanent collection but I'll rectify this when I go back to the museum.

Andrew Qappik, Relentless Pursuit, Etching/Aquatint

Andrew Qappik, Akuluk (Term of Endearment), Etching/Aquatint

Piona Keyuakjuk, Bird Woman, Relief
(This one made me think of the type of poster I would see at my aunt France's house)

Elisapee Ishulutaq, Three Snow Geese, Stencil

Permanent Collection - Artist info to come

Permanent Collection - Artist info to come

Permanent Collection - Artist info to come
(There is an aesthetic quality to these prints that I just can't get enough of.  I think it's something about the simplicity of the figures and the composition.)