After six and a half weeks that will never be forgotten, new friends and a mountain of life lessons, Blizabeth’s adventure has ended, and after splitting up in Montreal they are back to being boring ol’ Blake and Liz. (Blizabeth—> Bl-izabeth—–> Blake + Elizabeth) But due to our tardiness on the blogisphere, you haven’t been updated on our last week yet!
Unfortunately, our last week in Salluit was also exam time at Ikusik, so we didn’t get a chance to teach much during our last week. But with the primary classes we did get a chance to go to, we decided to send the teachers out of the room and make thank you cards for the teachers! Each student made thank you cards, and you could tell that the teachers really appreciated them after a year of hard work and dedication to their students.
What the lack of teaching did allow us to do however was to plan our game of Amazing Race: Salluit Edition (an acronym we later realised was ARSE bahahahah) for the primary students, since secondary students were in exams! This was a scavenger hunt around Salluit where the students would have to go to various locations around Salluit with their class, completing activities and answering health related questions! We had five stations: the first was in the Ikusik gym with Abdullah, a Tanzanian national basketball player. Their goal was to score a basket on him, and them answer a question about physical health. The next station was at the community centre with Aku, an Inuktitut teacher at Ikusik. At her station, the students had to sit in a circle and compliment the person to their left. It was great having Aku there because they were able to give the compliments in Inuktitut, and not have to worry about struggling with English or French! The next station, also in the community centre, was with Richard, a PhysEd teacher and hockey coach where the students had to shoot top corner on a hockey net, then answer three questions about Sexual Health. The fourth station was with Mary, the Ikusik guidance counsellor, at the municipal building. Here the students had to make their version of a human Inukshuk, then answer a question about Salluit history. The kids had a ton of fun with this, and got super creative! The fifth and final station was with Jean-Louis, a teacher at Ikusik, at the Co-op grocery store. Here the students had to run adn find one food item from each of the four food groups.
Overall, ARSE was a great success, and the two winning teams enjoyed their prize of Pizza and Ice Cream!
After our game of ARSE, we also organized a “Thank You” Meal for all Ikusik students, Teachers, and any other people who had helped us out during out stay! We made a scrumtuous meal of macaroni and meat sauce, some bread and Jello! It was very hectic serving so many people at once, but the Salluit team pulled through! There were plenty of leftovers, so we brought them to the Community Centre, and went to the local Radio station so that they could let the community know there was free food. It was all gone within a couple of hours!
The next day, we were told there was a mandatory meeting for all Ikusik staff and the QHO people in the kitchen. Little did we know, that the teachers had made us some cake and got us some gifts for our hard work. Bernard, the Ikusik principal got up and said some words to thank us and it was very touching. Blake attempted to reciprocate, but unfortunately it ended up being a speech full off “uhhhhs,” “ummms” and looking down in an attempt to avoid breaking down, much like Liz was behind him.
Our last day in Salluit was also the Ikusik Graduation! It was great to see some of the students we got to know graduate, and even hear from some of them they plan on moving on to university! It was an awesome ceremony, followed by a trip on a firetruck around the town for the graduates, and a great dinner cooked by the Ikusik staff in the gym. During the dinner, we were told by Sarah, one of the behaviour techs at the school, that they were hunting beluga down at the bay. NO KIDDING! Almost all of the hunters in the community were down at the bay with their rifles shooting at at least 10 beluga! Guns were being fired from all directions! It was insane! They managed to catch six, one of which someone cut off a piece of the head and we got to try! That’s right: The Salluit kids are Belugivores.
After this awesome night, we stayed up super late just hanging out with kids from the community, so we would spend as much time as possible with them before we left. Blake spun every kid around by their hands at least 10000 more times, and Liz gave a jumble of hugs to any child who yelled “Piyuriari Blake!” (You love Blake!)