It’s been a fun and exciting few days here in Res olute! Full days packed with new faces, inspiring discussions, and kids with limitless energy. Andrew and Andrea, who are typical night-owls, find themselves exhausted by 8pm.
Upon arrival, we had heard word from the children that the Breakfast Club at Qarmartalik (the elementary/high school) was the place to be at 8:30am—which was great to hear!! So Friday morning, that’s where Andrew and Andrea were headed, grins broad, ready to help! Buttered-toast was piled to the rafters as dozens of hungry paws were raised asking for more! With the sun shining so bright all day and all night, the kids have endless energy at all hours of the day. After the breakfast club, Jennifer, Qarmartalik’s principal, graciously showed us around the school, introduced us to all the teachers and discussed typical school proceedings. The clean, welcoming school has everything a kid could want, including a supportive, friendly staff. The teachers were very flexible and had adapted their programming to accommodate our health course, which will be run for one period a day for each class. With a room in transition between the music room and next year’s daycare, there was a spare room which will be adopted as Andrea & Andrew’s Room of Health!
After brief introductions with the community’s nurses, Cathy and Mary, and senior administrative officer, Martha, Andrew and Andrea attended a community meeting about the potential environmental impact of an iron ore mine that is being considered on Baffin Island. A really interesting discussion and presentation, Andrea and Andrew engaged in interesting discussions with the scientists and community members, including the most wise and thoughtful Louisa, a community elder. We are excited to get to know Louisa and other community members and continue to learn and develop a positive relationship with the people of Resolute Bay.
Saturday, Andrew and Andrea had a fascinating meeting with the local RCMP constable, Maria. She shared valuable insight about how to teach children and youth about serious issues such as substance abuse and sexual assault. She runs a hockey program every Friday afternoon and makes pancakes for the kids at Wednesday’s Breakfast Club and will provide great support for our programming throughout our time here in Resolute.
After further exploration of the community, a few hours of tag and piggyback rides with the kids, Andrew and Andrea naturally were drawn to the most happenin’ place on Saturday night— kids movie night at the Arctic College! With popcorn and pretzels galore and Yogi Bear and Booboo on the screen, who could ask for anything more? Andrea and Andrew jumped right in the front row with all the kids, experiencing Yogi’s roller coaster of emotions. Quite quickly though, Andrew noticed that though his own lap was drafty and vacant, Andrea had children climbing all over her with drawings and offerings of snow flakes, cookies, and even hand-made crowns. After many unsuccessful attempts at vying for the children’s attention, such as crying faces and offering secret toys and prizes, Andrew decided to give up and just sit back and enjoy the movie. Later we met a student, grade 12, who had been hunting a polar bear all day and would be going back out on the land early the next day. Really fascinating! After the movie, Andrew and Andrea quickly were transformed into zombies and played zombie tag for the rest of the evening as the sun “set”…
The rest of the weekend was full of planning and decorating our classroom with human body posters and health-related signs. We hope to plaster the walls with the students’ artwork and creations and are extremely excited (and nervous!) for our first day of class!!
Ta-ta for now! 🙂
Esolute-Ray Angers-Ray (there’s been lots of pig latin these days…)
PS- The title refers to the most common questions asked from the kids…