We are champions of the wilderness. Not only do we have a nose for adventure but we also possess piercing eyes to see our goals, ears to hear the terrified scream of nature cowering before us and mouths to taste the oh so delicious taste of victory. With our (not so) bare hands, we engaged Mother Nature in an epic struggle for northern supremacy and came out not only alive but also slightly sun and wind burnt; proud scars of our triumph and also a humble reminder of nature’s 1-2 punch – the ferocious wind and the relentless sun. From here on forth, we shall be known as the ones that can leap large ravines in a single bound and make mountains look nothing more than what they are: large mounds of dirt. Someone better call animal control cause we are wild and free!
It may be surprising to know that this isn’t just the premise to the next Hollywood blockbuster but also the summary of our high flying, sweat inducing arctic adventure this weekend! And this wasn’t just any weekend. This was a rare and elusive type of break. The kind of vacation where senile folk would gather the young’uns around a fire and refer back to “the good’ol days” for years to come. It was a legend – wait for it – dary 4 day long weekend. For 4 days, the north was at the mercy of our unimaginable curiosity. (Also, most of the community members were away…)
We started off Friday by deciding to conquer the mountain that’s been staring down on us ever since the say we came to Resolute. Signal mountain was a large and intimidating mountain, its snow covered rock face deceivingly masking the steep incline that’s shaken the confidence of many mere mortals. But are not any mortals, we are Andrew and Andrea, the slightly above average mortals, and no matter how high the mountain was, it paled in comparison to the size of our will and determination. Aided by 3 local kids a dog, we made the perilous climb and were rewarded by the amazing view of the town from the top of a mountain.
The next day was more subdued as our bodies begged tried to recover from the vigorous climb. Even though not much adventuring was done, we still got a chance to go out as the teachers from Qarmartalik banded together to host a dinner for us. The fine food was accompanied by even finer company and we were very happy to leave stomachs and hearts feeling full.
Sunday was another busy day of preparation for our busy week ahead. We taught about mental health issues such as anger and grief management as well as sexual health. So Sunday was full glue sticks, markers and mastering the laminator machine making relevant posters and teaching tools for kids. This included a life-size pre-pubescent person with cut out body parts and words to stick on to depict the physical and emotional changes associated with puberty. Further, we made our “Did you know…?” posters to be placed around the community to promote healthy living as well as our Community Health Education Forum happening on Tuesday May 31st!
Then came our last and final day of the long weekend. We knew it was going to be a big one but we just didn’t know how big. We started off our day with our most ambitious adventure yet. For the past few weeks we have been hearing legends of a mythical place known only as “the pocket”. After snow suiting up, we embarked on our expedition to find this mythical “pocket” and see it for ourselves. One and a half hours of trekking, climbing, crawling and clawing later, we found ourselves not at the pocket (though we didn’t know that yet). Instead found something even better; a magnificent ravine that made the perfect slide. After a few minutes of heart thromping rushes down the mountain we decided to return home. Nature was clearly not happy with our decision and decided to crank up the heat on us. Now this far north, you’d think that this change in weather would be welcomed like soy sauce on sushi but when you’re wearing all the clothing you’ve brought, a hike in the temperature is, well, uncomfortable. As we slow cooked ourselves walking home, Andrea realized she lost her gloves at “the pocket”. A half hour later and 5 layers less clothing, we finally found the gloves. Crisis avoided! But that wasn’t it for out epic day. Without a moments rest, we were hosting a BBQ for the kids to celebrate the long weekend and Victoria day. With Andrew manning the grill and Andrea managing the condiments, drink and snacks, the kids had finished the long weekend with burnt hotdogs in hand a smile on their face.
As for us, we ended our adventure with burnt faces (instead of hotdogs) and the warmth of knowing we were able to go out and have a once in a lifetime adventure (maybe the warmth’s just from Andrea’s still peeling face).
Keepin’ it real,