New week, new school! We were very excited to teach at Pigurivik this week with some of the younger students! We taught smoking and nutrition in the grade 3 and 4 classes. Though the K-2 students are adorable, they have not learned English or French yet, so sadly we couldn’t teach to them. Thanks to an Inuktitut translator, the classes with the grade 3 and 4 students were both informative and fun. The students love activities and visuals so our board outlining the dangerous chemicals that are in a cigarette, our black vs. pink lungs, and jars of tar and mucus were a big hit! Thank you to Mary, the guidance counselor at Ikusik, for providing these resources. A final thank you to Richard (the principal at Pigurivik) and all the staff and students for welcoming us into your school for the week.
Our week started on a very exciting note on Monday when we heard the annual “Salluit Candy Drop” would be taking place that evening. We weren’t sure about all the details when we went down to the frozen bay at 7:30pm but we left amazed! A Twin Otter airplane flew over the bay and dropped thousands of dollars worth of candy, money and prizes out its “bomb door”. The whole town was on the bay watching the plane fly over their heads as out comes everything from clothes to candy to toilet paper. It was raining candy! Everyone of all ages was excited to participate in this fun (and competitive) event. You’d be surprised how fast you people can jump icebergs to grab a Coffee Crisp or rescue a bag of chips as it floats away. If you were lucky enough to catch an envelope with writing on it, it could be turned in for bigger prizes, such as a TV, electronics and money! A huge thank you to the pilot, the village and the Northern Villages government who allowed us to participate in this fun event that marks the beginning of spring.
The rest of the week was busy with fun activities as we hosted two “Boy’s to Man-athons”! We have been having a great time with the girls with our weekly girls’ nights since we arrived, so it was definitely the boys’ turn to have some fun! Wednesday after school we held a huge competition for the primary boys (grades 5 & 6) that involved a lot of dodgeball, soccer-baseball, races and floor hockey! Thursday after school was a similar itinerary, this time with the secondary boys (grades 7-12). The older boys (or should we say men now?) asked us if we could have an “Inuit High-Kick” portion of the competition, and we excitedly agreed. It was very interesting and new experience to see this cultural sport and we were very impressed with the boys’ abilities. Emmaline and Erinn both tried (and failed) to kick the bean-bag as we are lacking the skill, flexibility and strength that these boys have!
Friday morning was our last time teaching at the Boys’ Rehab Centre. We taught a lesson on healthy relationships and different types of abuse. We were lucky to be invited to play baseball with them again after the lesson. It was a gorgeous sunny day! We also had lunch together up at the Rehab Centre. A big thank you to the boys for their continual enthusiasm and participation during our lessons, and thank you to the staff the Centre for having us!
Friday afternoon brought even more excitement as the sun continued to shine all day with the Salluit Terry Fox Run! We were so impressed with all of the hard work the grade 11 class put into organizing the run… it most definitely paid off! We could not have asked for better weather or a better turn out of students. The run was a 1km route that students and teachers could choose to run as many times as they wished, receiving a stamp each time they completed a lap. Some classes from Pigurivik and the boys from the Rehab Centre joined in as well! The mayor of Salluit brought a big track for the students to try and pull with a rope, and they were successful! It represented the strength and power they can have when they work together. The girls from the Junior Leader program helped out by making smoothies for the participants, and powered the blender using a bicycle! Erinn ended up with 7 stamps on her face, completing each loop with a new set of eager students! Emmaline may not have had quite as many stamps but she completed the loop with some adorable little kids and even had a baby in an Inuit coat for a kilometer! We are so thankful to have teachers at like Claude and Maggie at Ikusik who make these events such a success. Congratulations to all who participated!
We can’t believe that a week from today we’ll be on our way back down south. Though we are very sad to be leaving so soon, we are proud of what we have accomplished over the past 5 weeks and even more proud of the students we have met here. We are excited to finish off our trip with one more week full of smiles, laughs and excitement! Stay posted for our last week here!