Monday, July 22, 2013

And I am Off!

I know I was going to talk about my adventures exploring Kimmirut in my next blog. but I found out I will be traveling to Igloolik to do a relief for their store.

I was a little hesitant at first because I am comfortable in my store and I know the ins and outs.  Igloolik is on an island off of mainland Nunavut about 2 and a half hours flight from Kimmirut . The town and store is much bigger than mine ( population is 1700ish)

I leave tomorrow from Kimmirut and overnight in Iqaluit . I have a 7 am flight from Iqaluit to Igloolik and will arrive there around 9ish. I am pretty sure I will be put right to work.

I am looking forward to seeing another community and maybe getting a picture of a walrus.

The next update from me will be in Iqaluit or Igloolik which ever I get inspired by first!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I have been Horrible

I have been a horrible blogger.

That is right it has almost been almost 2 months since I have updated my blog. I did not mean to fall by the way side. It always seemed that life interrupted and by the time those things I was too tired to write.

I have also been suffering from writers block for a bit too. Alot has happened since I came back to the North from vacation and I have had a few new experiences but just did not have the "bug" if you will to write about them. Not that I did not want to share my experiences with you ... I did but just did not know how to get the thoughts out in a decent post.

My blogger notepad is full of half written posts about a few different things .I am looking forward to updating everyone on my current goings on in Kimmirut. Personally I have been on a path to a healthier me and part of that is keeping up with this blog. So that means now there will be more frequent posts by me. :)

Upon my return to Kimmirut I purchased a four wheeler. According to my friends that practically makes me a Nunavut lifer now. I on the other hand feel it gives me more of an opportunity to explore Kimmirut and the surrounding area.  So I have had fun learning to drive it ( that was an adventure and a half) and exploring places that I only ever knew the general direction of ( Reversing Falls and Soaper Lake)

Tonight's blog is going to be short ... mainly because I have to get up early in the morning . I will be posting some new posts this weekend about my first few excursions on the four wheeler this weekend...(psst there will be lots of pics!)


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

One Year

One year ago I left behind all that I was comfortable with and made the decision to move to Kimmirut Nunavut. I don't think i have ever been more scared to do something in my life!

The last year I have learned alot about myself. The move to Nunavut was crazy I spent days buying things I thought I would need, stuff I was not sure  even existed in the Great White North.  It is crazy to look back on that time because I did not have a sweet clue as to what I was getting myself into. I knew a little about Nunavut and I researched the hell out of Kimmirut but you don't really know what it is going to be like until you try it.

For me the move to Kimmirut would be the first time I would be away from my family. I have never lived more than 2 hours away from them.... hell I had never lived outside New Brunswick! Being 2000+ miles away from them in a fly in only community was different.  I have to say Skype and the Internet were my saviours during the first three months in Kimmirut and the fact that my family got kick ass long distance plans didn't hurt either!

I went to Nunavut with a very open mind. I was going to soak up as much culture as I could . I even committed to learning some Inuktitut, my vocabulary started small with two words (Dayma- meaning finished and Emito which basically translates to thingy lol and yes I know my Inuktitut spelling is bad but hey I am a phonetic learner!) My vocabulary quickly grew because I kept asking our local staff how to say things. I am  not fluent in Inuktitut but every day I learn more and more and begin to understand more and more.

I got to experience new foods that I never would have even touched if I still lived back in New Brunswick. I have eaten 7 different country foods ( goose, 2 types of seal, walrus , ptarmigan, caribou, arctic char and Beluga mukktuk( skin and cartilage) I have been out boating in an arctic canoe amongst the ice bergs , hiked over trails that Inuit have been using for centuries , trail blazed over the frozen Hudson Straight. I have experienced so much in my first year in the Arctic I have been amazed at my own sense of adventure.

When I left St.Stephen I was so sure I was going to be alone in a frozen town . Instead I have a amazing and diverse group of friends!  There are some Arctic veterans ( 7 of my friends have lived in the Arctic for at least one year prior to us meeting) and some Nunavut newbies and we all share something with each other.  It is crazy to think that a dozen of us ended up in the Arctic all for different reasons and have become such a tight knit group. My friends have helped me get through each hurdle that I thought would have be screaming to come back to St.Stephen I appreciate each and every one of you !

My family is also one of the biggest supporters of my move North. Everyone thought I would be able to cope and as much as I doubted them many times I have to say without their backing I don't know that I could have made it in the North. The North can be a lonely place to a single girl who moves from a loud house full of family to a small house on the harbour with a cat. When ever I needed anyone back home for a pick me up or just some TLCFS( Tender Love and Care Family Style) they were just a phone call away.

I am looking forward to what the next year brings in my Nunavut Adventure!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Experience of A Life Time

(Before I get into my Adventures. I was offered an opterunity to "guest blog" over at a fellow blogger Lily's Blog Nunavut Chillers she lives with her husband and super cute puppy Pepper in Baker Lake. Check out my guest blog here )

Yesterday I got to experience something that many "southerns" only dream of doing.

My friend Jen and I had been talking about going on a skidoo trip out the harbour to the floe edge for a couple of weeks now but we wanted to have someone to go with us since we didn't have a clue where to go.

Jen and one of the relief RCMP officers wanted to go on Monday and they invited me to go along since Monday is my day off .  It was an absolutely beautiful day here in Kimmirut! The sun was shining and the sky was clear you could see forever , which made it perfect weather to go out in.

 Jen and Michele had to get the skidoos gas and oiled up so I went out side to sit on my deck .... and it was so warm out I didn't put on my coat ( Ok so the coat I was wearing was my goose but minor detail!) I was able to capture a picture of the plane coming into Kimmirut.... something I haven't really had a chance to get since most of the time I am at work when they are coming in or asleep!

We ski dooed out on to the harbour and along a well used trail that Michele and Jen had taken on an earlier trip out. We had decided to to take a picnic lunch since we did not know how long we were going to be out. We left Kimmirut a little after one and our first stop was going to be at an ice shelf about 15 mins outside of Kimmirut. Jen had been there before at low tide and it was massive! Unfortunately when we set out it was high tide so we didn't get to see it larger until our way back .

Once we got there we went and took some pictures. Unfortunately the snow was rather deep and since I was not blessed with long legs I got stuck on my way to take a picture with Jen and ended up flat on my back ... I made a modern snow angel though :)

                                          (My not so graceful fall)
                                         Jen and I in front of the ice shelf

We continued on past the ice shelf on a very well traveled skidoo path it seemed like we were going to the ends of the earth. It is so flat out there with the exception of the hills on the sides. We ended up going up a "mountain" I call it I am sure it would just be considered a hill but it was pretty cool. We decided to have our lunch on top of said mountain!

                                          Looking down the mountain

After lunch Michele placed a call into the detachment to confirm the location of the floe edege from another member who had been out their earlier . It seems like we were way off in our approximation of where the floe edge was ( we were approximately 38 kms from Kimmirut when we called in I later learned the floe edge is about 10 kms from Kimmirut ) we decided to attempt to find the floe edge.

Down the mountain again and this time instead of following the trail back we broke off  on to the unexplored (ok well un skidoo marked ) Hudson Straight. It was then that I realized that I am experiencing something very few people in the world get to experience. We were "trail blazing " as Jen called it. There was something thrilling about exploring the unblemished Straight.  I know alot of you are probably thinking HOLY CRAP off the trail!?? We had a sat phone , GPS and a gun so we were in good shape.

We would have gone further toward the open water but we came across a largish crack that we didn't want to go across. We decided to turn toward Kimmirut and ride parallel to the crack . We never saw another human being or animal the whole five and a half hours we were out .

I can see why so many people want to go hunting and fishing all the time. It is absolutely breathtaking out there. I am still in awe of the trip . I came back excited , cold and smiling... Perfect Day!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring and Summer plans

Ahhh Spring....

I still cannot believe it is here some days! Maybe that is because some days it is beautiful and others I am damn sure I should be wearing the Goose again. I haven't given in yet! As the days get longer and brighter I cannot help but feel full of energy.

I have a good many plans for spring and summer which I am just starting to plan out now which is fun and exciting. Some of my friends and I have started to get healthier ,eating more veggies and cutting out the processed foods. This is week one .. not going to lie this week has been a bit of a struggle. We are following a mashed up version of Joel Furhman's Eat to Live( the book we are reading)  It basically promotes lots of fruits and veggies and limited meat and dairy .... which for this carnivore is very hard. I was doing good until Wednesday when I realized I had two thawed pork chops in the fridge so I invited a friend for dinner and we ate those :P They were yummy too!

As side from eating healthier I am also trying to walk more and more which is good because a couple of my friends have dogs so we can go for walks with them. Last week my friend Jen and I went out on the ice with her dog Sophie ( who is adorable!) I also am starting back into my Wii workouts which I always had a blast with because it was fun.

One of my goals for this summer is to get my first DSLR camera and learn how to use it! My friend Jen has one and has learned a bit from fiddling around with it but wants to learn more and so do I . With the help of a good friend of mine Sarah she helped me decide on one camera and I will be getting a Cannon Rebel T3i!

Soon it will be time for me to start getting ready to go back to New Brunswick for vacation which is exciting! I don`t really have much planned at the moment other then a visit to my nephew`s class room to talk to his class about living in the North. I have started preparing what I am going to talk to them about and show them. I am going to make a slide show presentation of pictures for them and bring home my Wolf mittens to show them! As well as write all their names in Syllabic for them.

Once I come back from vacation I have decided to buy a Honda ( or as my New Brunswick friends call them 4- wheelers) it will make getting to the outskirts of town easier and I wont need to rely on friends to drive me  except in those very deep winter months when everything freezes to death. My friends Devi , Jen and I are going to go exploring in the Reversing Falls and Soaper river which is just outside of town but up a couple of very steep hills that really arnt the best for walking.

So far my spring and summer are shaping up to be very fun and eventful!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Why Hello Spring Welcome To Nunavut!

Spring has hit the North!!!!!

I was so excited last week to wake up to some amazing temperatures here in Kimmirut. It was mostly around 0 degrees for most of last week. I think I did the happy dance in my entry way as I did not reach for my Canada Goose parka. 

It has been very interesting to watch Spring come to the North. In talking to my family down south ( who by the way on the first day of Spring got a blizzard and I had 0 degree weather with sun) they are having much warmer days. That is ok a warm day to us here in the Arctic is -5.

My friend Sarah who lives in Pang was having much more Spring like weather than Kimmirut and she is farther North! I loved looking at the pictures she took for her blog which showed tundra and shimmering roads. Here not so much we are still snow covered and it is cool enough to keep everything frozen which is keeping the hunters happy.

I think it is funny that last year in May when I arrived it was what I would call "frigid" and now I am basking in the Spring weather. Does that mean I am dancing around in carpi's , flip flops and a tank top ...nope! Spring in the North means you downgrade your Canada Goose or like sized parka for a "southern" winter jacket or if you don't have one ( as is my case) the spring jacket you arrived with. Hats are optional except on windy days and you down grade from homemade leather or animal hide mitts to store bought ones. Your heavy duty -65 degree rated boots can be exchanged for a light winter hiking boot or rubber boots and Sunglasses are a must.

I always thought it was funny before I moved here when I read peoples blogs about the different layering practices in the North now that I am almost full circle I can say to those people who I thought were crazy.... I bow to your superiority in this department. 

I was not prepared for layering. I am actually going to be purchasing a winter jacket when I am South on my vacation just so that I have something for in between light jacket and Parka and Parka and light jacket. The best blog post on layering is located at  now it says Iqaluit but take out Iqaluit and substitute Nunavut and it is basically the same thing. According to some I live in the Hawaii of the North and I follow the practices mentioned in this blog.

Though Spring has sprung looking at our temperatures forcasted for the rest of the week . The Parka may make an appearance once or twice .....or maybe I will just find a hoodie to wear under the spring jacket....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh Sweet Vacation ...only 2 Months Away

Happy St. Patty's Day or rather late St. Pats Day !

Yesterday  marks two months until I leave for vacation!  I did not even realize it until just now . On May 17th 2 days after my one year anniversary of landing in Nunavut and 1 day after my 1 year anniversary of moving to Kimmirut. It is crazy to think that a year has almost come.

Vacation is exciting and scary as hell! I wonder if I will be able to adjust... it is funny to think about having to reintegrate into southern society! Things will definitely be different .. the grocery store will be an interesting experience.

I feel somewhat country bumpkin living in the North... going to Iqaluit which is only 1000 more people than St. Stephen was a shock. I don't know how arriving back in New Brunswick will be I know things will be a lot different than the North ... I am so use to the slower pace of the North that I don't know how the hustle and bustle of the south will be.

I think the things that I will need to adapt to are the following :

Driving in Kimmirut is very slow max speed limit is 30km/h and most times we go much slower due to the road conditions. As well there is probably about two dozen vehicles in Kimmirut , most of them belong to the Hamlet or the Housing corp. Very rarely will you see more than one other car on the road. The south will have a multitude of cars , trucks  all going 50km/h or more in a crazy line.

Shopping in Kimmirut is way different than the south. There are only two stores and they are more grocery stores than general merchandise so alot of shopping happens online here in the North to be able to go into a store and physically buy something will be an almost new experience. One of the things I am planning to do when I go home is buy new clothes and that might be an all day experience!

Weather is also something that will be a change. May in New Brunswick can be one of two things Sunny and HOT or somewhat overcast and rainy. Although I am hoping for the sunny part I am not sure how I will deal if the HOT part is true. I spend few days here in the north wearing t-shirts but most of the time I was wearing jackets and jeans.... I may melt in the south!

Eating Out... in Kimmirut that means I went out to someones house for supper. No restaurants in town so I get to look forward to yummy treats when I am home. For Christmas my dad sent me a card that entitles me to a sub from the local sandwich shop, Chinese food at our favorite Chinese place and a plate of homemade french fries from the greasy spoon.  I am sure I will gain 20lbs on vacation but I will enjoy all the delights I don't have access to here in the North.

Grocery shopping falls into a separate category then regular shopping. A few of my friends who have lived in the North before say that going to the grocery store in the south is a religious experience. I know I work in a grocery store now but I am sure I will spend an hour our more in the local Superstore and Sobeys when I am in the south. The range of fresh produce and goods will be astronomical. I will get to remember what fresh meat looks like rather than frozen.

When I first thought about my vacation I was debating on where to go what to do . I only have three weeks and seeing my family was an important part of my vacation. I was planning on going somewhere for  a week and spending two weeks at home. The only down part is I don't want to travel by myself though I shall have to do so eventually. This time I think I am just going to plan a short trip to Bangor Maine for some shopping  and a trip to PEI to hang with my sister.

Next year however I am planning a 10 day long trip to Scotland and England hopefully with my little sister. I have decided that even if no one goes with me I am going to go . I figured I moved 1800 km away from home I can go another 3000 or more by myself!