It seems like just yesterday that we first arrived, but our final week in Salluit has already begun!
Last week we taught many lessons on substance abuse, including some very successful smoking lessons where we showed the students other products that contain the same chemicals as cigarettes (gasoline, toilet bowl cleaner and moth balls to name a few). We even had one question in our question box asking how someone can quit smoking, so we feel this lesson was very effective! At the Rehab Centre we taught the boys about bullying and conflict resolution. They listened well and participated despite the lesson being far less exciting than their last lesson on sexual health.
After our lesson at the rehab we discovered that Ikusik (the secondary school) was closed for the morning, as two young women had gone missing while out fishing the two days earlier. Since Salluit is such a small community, everyone was affected by this upsetting news. Luckily, the girls were found later that day, and both were alright!
Salluit continues to surprise us with its many delicious delicacies…on Wednesday evening we were invited to go mussel picking! We snowmobiled to the “lake”, which is an open patch of water within the frozen channel. The tide was low so we were able to walk around in the shallow water and pull up the fresh mussels that were everywhere you looked. Unfortunately, we were quite unprepared for the temperature, having slightly overlooked the fact that we’d be dipping our hands into freezing cold ocean water. The Inuit women laughed at our method of taking turns picking mussels while the other warmed their numb hands…meanwhile they picked their mussels at rapid speed with their bare hands! We even tried raw mussels and fresh picked seaweed. Despite being frozen, we managed to get just enough Mussels for an incredible dinner. This was Mel’s first time trying them, so we suspect she won’t be impressed with the mussels in Ottawa after trying these fresh from the ocean!
On Friday, Mary (the school guidance counselor) said she would bring us some freshly caught Arctic Char for dinner. We thanked her and tried to tell her one fish was plenty, but she insisted on bringing three – one for each of us and one for Barbara! Since the last fish we’d made was gutted and these weren’t (plus they were all frozen together), this made for one very entertaining afternoon. But our culinary skills prevailed again, and we will be eating fish for the next seven days to finish it all.
The weekend consisted of more eating, planning, and then eating some more. We were invited to have dinner with teachers on both Saturday and Sunday night, plus Barb had a “healthy women’s lunch” on Sunday, to which teachers brought cheese cake, chocolate pudding cups and cookies. Though the “health” aspect was questionable, we weren’t complaining (until after when we realized shorts and bikinis are a week away). We have decided that since we are eating non-stop daily workouts in the gym have become necessary!
Today we continued teaching substances lessons, and continued planning activities for our last week. These include a scavenger hunt/modified game of “Chinese Masters”, a thank-you meal for all students, teachers and staff, and a movie night. If we can pull everything off it will be a miracle, but we want to give it our all for our last week! We also taught a lesson at the Adult Education Centre today, to a group of women in training to work at the nursery school. Our lesson on “Women’s Health” included nutrition, diabetes, pap smears and breast exams. It was a great opportunity to reach other members of the community, and we hope lessons at the centre will continue with the Salluit project next year!
Stay tuned for our last blog!
Sufficiently Satiated Sistazz