We are now sitting on the floor of the living room of the one and only Alice Panipakoocho! Quite a journey getting here, from a lovely car ride being forced to listen to Ellie’s mom’s boyfriend’s country beats to propeller planes and skidoos!
Ellie and her mom arrived in Kingston early Monday afternoon to pick up Emma and hit up to infamous institution that is Costco. We quickly discovered that one should go to Costco with an open mind, not a shopping list. So with three hockey bags, and one suitcase – over 300lbs of food – we were on the highway to Ottawa. When we arrived at the hotel a fourth hockey bag was added after a row with Ellie’s mom over whether or not to take the commercially freezer packed meat (it’s here).
We got on the plane to Iqaluit at 9am yesterday morning and arrived in sunny Nunavut at approximately 12:30 only to be informed that our connecting flight to Clyde River was 4 hours delayed. No problem. We wandered to “downtown” Iqaluit and found the brand new Tim Horton’s where we enjoyed a lunch and some interesting looks. Back at the airport Emma slept while Ellie read a Harlequin novel picked up off the book rack called “Shotgun Baby”.
Finally we hopped on the prop plane and had two very smooth flights from Iqaluit to Clyde River, Clyde River to Pond. The Arctic really does look like a snow covered Sahara!! We got to Pond Inlet and were warmly welcomed by Shelly (our main contact) and Alice and Ely (our Pond parents). We snow-mobiled the one minute journey to the house and ate Arctic char and iceberg water for dinner yum!!!
This morning (yesterday) we met up with Shelly at the Arctic College and she gave a tour of the town. We went to Nasivvik (the high school), Ulaajuk (the elementary school), the Co-op/coffee shop, the Health Centre, the Parks Office, the Hotel, meeting LOADS of people all along the way. Shelly is one connected lady! Other sites included polar bear skins, adorable kids in parkas, icebergs, dogs, sewage trucks and the most serene view of the mountains across the water. We met Rob and Lorne the principals of the high and elementary schools and they are both enthusiastic about our program and having us in the schools. Tomorrow we will be meeting some of the teachers and hopefully sitting in on some classes. Then in the afternoon we are going to help with a fundraiser at the Arctic College. All our practice this year will pay off!
Emma managed to lock herself out of her room but her and Alice solved the problem by brute force. Ellie was impressed.
Tavvauvuti from where the sun never sets,