The past few days in Pond Inlet have been eventful to say the least.
On Saturday and Sunday we wandered around town looking for friends and thankfully we ran into some great people who suggested we check out the flea market that happens every Saturday in the community centre! We checked it out and we bought some pretty great food. Jon got a red velvet cupcake (yummm) and I bought a pretty fantastic cinnamon bun and some deep fried bannock (a traditional type of bread that is common in Pond). Upon our wandering we also found some awesome kids who let us try out their sleds! Seeing as Pond is situated on a hill and everything is covered in ice there are some pretty sweet toboggan spots around town.
Monday was our first day in the school! The school’s name is Nassivik and it is a junior high and a high school (grade 7-12). We met all of the incredible teachers there who were very helpful in showing us around. We went into the room that holds all of QHO’s lessons and resources and we found a very inspirational letter from the PE’s who came to Pond last year (Thanks Liz and Reba)! It was awesome to look through all the old lessons and we got some really fun ideas for what to incorporate in our lessons this year! The rest of the day was spent participating in “A Walk to Remember”, which was an event held by the nursing station to support mental health awareness week. The walk celebrated life, remembered loved ones in the community who were lost to suicide, and allowed the students to spread the message that there is love and support for each other, and to never give up. The walk gave us a chance to talk to students and to learn and see more of Pond Inlet. The walk was followed by very moving speeches from the mental health nurse Melissa, as well as community members and students. It was so moving to see the members of Pond Inlet share their stories and show incredible support for each other.
Later that day we sat down with nurses at the health centre in Pond and got some really helpful input on our lesson plans for the students. We then went to the co-op for the first time (the grocery store here) and saw some of the crazy prices (the prices are about three times as much for almost any product in the north). After making some lovely dinner with our host family (Juana and Pat Fuentas) we went out with them to see some of the sled dogs! There are several dog teams that stay out on the ice when they are not in races, so we decided to go say hi to them and give them some treats! The huskies were soooo beautiful but also kind of scary because they were so big (and so excited about treats!)
On Tuesday we did introductions to the kids and they had so many great questions about Queen’s and university life in general. They also shared some of their skills and interests with us, and we learned that many students are very good at sports (especially hockey, basketball and volleyball) and there are many artistic and musical students (Metallica and Eminem seem popular, and One direction and Justin Beiber…obviously). Class was followed by a pep rally which was held to wish the boys and girls volleyball team luck in their tournament in Iqaluit After school we got a chance to go on our very first Snowmobile ride, which was scary and exciting (exciting for Jon, scary for me).
Today (Wednesday) was our first health lesson. We taught hygiene, and we incorporated singing to learn hand washing, games to learn how germs are passed, an egg science experiment to show the effects of not brushing your teeth after drinking pop, and a relay race to teach proper teeth brushing techniques! At the end of the day there was volleyball in the gym and Jon and I got to work on our volleyball skills with the students!
It has been an incredible few days in Pond learning about the town, meeting all of the fantastic community members, and doing lessons in the school! We can’t wait to see what the next few days have in store!
-Linds and Jon
Jon and Jordan holding up signs during “A Walk to Remember”
Us visiting the sled dogs
Lindsay on a snowmobile
Us and the mountains!