Friday, December 2, 2011

First Air and Winter Air

My dress never arrived. Canada Post had given it an arrival date of November 18th, today is December 2nd and my parcel still hasn't landed in Iqaluit. My Fairy Godmother made her appearance however, in the form of two of my friends.

The day of the Ball, Katie rushed me out to see if we could "find something." We had heard that Baffin Flowers had a small selection of dresses. So small in fact that they had one dress that fit me, one beautiful purple and black, floor length gown, it was perfect. Katie had the dress wrapped up and all of a sudden I was outfitted for the night.

After work, Holly, the new girl across the hall, sat me down with a bottle of hair spray and did my hair and make up. Everything worked out perfectly, just the way it did for Cinderella.

My dear friend Nick and I joined his close friends Richard and Juliette and made our way to the gala, where we ate, drank and danced the night away. Unlike Cinderella's twelve o'clock curfew, we stayed out a little later and the magic was gone when my alarm went off at 5 am. I woke up with my hair standing straight up, make-up smudged down my face and a head ache that I couldn't shake all day. The pain was worth the night, it felt so good to dress up and have fun. I was so thankful that Nick took me as his date.

Nick and I before the First Air Ball
 The night of the Ball was the coldest I have felt so far this winter. The days are getting much shorter. It is just after 10 am as I write this blog post and the sun is just starting the peak through the clouds.

The winter is a hard time in the North. Last year was very hard for me and I had assumed this year would be easy. I am free of stress and have a lot to be excited about but still I feel the drag of the darkness. I feel the illnesses that take over our bodies so easily. I feel the dryness that sucks life from our skin, even with a humidifier running full force next to my bed. The winter brings with it a depression that eats at one person and slowly moves on to feed off of others. I've seen more tears and more sensitivity since the darkness arrived. I let the summer light take the pain of my break up off of my soul, but this winter I am reminded by the pain resonating between other couples. Relationships get harder in the dark and waking up on the wrong side of the bed becomes all the more common.

There are wonderful things about the winter that I try to focus on. Every sun rise and sun set is all the more gorgeous when you long to see the light and the colours of nature. I love to bundle up and walk in the cold, fresh, arctic air. It stings my cheeks and fills my lungs like a deep freezing gas that stops them from working temporarily. 

 I love to take walks with friends over the ice and snow. My favorite friend to walk with is baby Shemekia, not only because of how sweet she looks dressed up for the cold but because she brings an innocence and a peacefulness that accentuates the purity of nature. As we walk, Mekia falls asleep in her warm pocket behind me. I can feel the heat of her tiny body against my back and in the hood that we share I can hear her soft snores. I think of how rejuvenating the fresh air is and keep walking as the baby, warm and free, sleeps in the outdoors.

Sometimes the cold is nearly unbearable but I always wait to see the sunset if I can. Every time the sun starts to lower behind the mountains, its like witnessing a reoccurring miracle.

The soft, rose coloured light of the arctic sunset casts a glow on everything in the City, illuminating the dullest of objects and making our world more vibrant

Today, the sun will set at 1:59pm, and I take such pleasure in knowing that I will be here to enjoy it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Inuusivut, Our Life

Just when I start to become comfortable, or ignorant in my lifestyle here, forgetting that there is often unease lying below the surface of calm, someone, or a couple people take gun shots just out side our buildings. I figured it out when I tried to leave for work on Wednesday morning and the street I usually take was completely blocked off by RCMP. The following article was posted by CBC news following the events of the morning.

2 men in hospital following Iqaluit shooting

Suspect in stable, but critical condition
CBC News Posted: Nov 23, 2011 7:42 AM
RCMP in Iqaluit block off a city block of the city after reports of gunfire early Wednesday morning.
The RCMP responded to a call about gun shots early in the morning in the 100-block area of the Nunavut capital. RCMP said when officers arrived at the scene, they were confronted by a man who pointed a firearm at them.
Shots were fired and the man fled.
Police said they found the man a short time later near house 238, bleeding from the chest area. The suspect was taken to the Qikiqtani General Hospital where he was treated for injuries. As of this morning, he was in stable but critical condition.
Another man living in the 100-block area of homes in Iqaluit was injured during the incident. He was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries in hospital.
Parts of the downtown area near the Snack restaurant and the Public Health building were cordoned off by police vehicles and tape.
People nearby described hearing multiple gunshots very early Wednesday morning. Iqaluit resident Travis Daley said he was sleeping inside his house when he was abruptly woken around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"I just heard a couple bangs and got up thinking some kids were messing around with the house and I looked outside and I saw an RCMP truck, doors wide open and they just chased a kid down the street."
Daley said he went back to bed and then woke up this morning.
"That's all I know, then they put tape around my house and I woke up this morning in the crime scene,” said Daley.
The RCMP’s policy is to have an outside police or independent agency investigate serious matters that involve RCMP officers.
Det. John Monette of the Ottawa Police Service Major Crime Unit were to arrive in Iqaluit Wednesday to oversee the investigation, and a team from the N.W.T. will handle the investigation, according to Iqaluit RCMP.

This is the photo that CBC published with the article, edited by me
I love Iqaluit, I love it's people, I love it's culture and I love its scenery. I spent all of Wednesday listening to people talk at work about the incidents of the morning. I had a good chance to converse with my friend Mai who works with me at Tim's. She's lived here all her life and as we talked, we recounted the events of the last year or so, the murders, the suicides and the rest of the life shattering goings-on. Regardless of how much I adore this land, I spent that day, as I have many times before, stuck with my thoughts. My mind filled with questions about faith, about love, about respect and about the blatant disregard for the value of life. A disregard which we have seen too often lately. Every time one person makes the choice to take or harm their own life, or the life of another, they are impacting an entire City. They are putting ache in the hearts of those who are touched directly and indirectly by their actions. In Iqaluit, or any small community, that ache is felt by every individual. I wish, daily, that the people around me would find faith in their hearts and hold onto it for dear life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

Bibbity bobbity boo.... Cinderella had mice to help her with the dirty work and a fairy God mother to dress, and transport her to the Ball.

Today, while we dipped donuts, Katie and I talked about how quickly the time has gone by since I booked a ticket for my mom to visit me in the North. I remembered thinking that the count down was very close to the 130 day countdown I had going while I waited for my vacation to arrive last June. There is little over a month left until Christmas, which mom will be here for. We came to the realization that there have been about a hundred days that slipped through the cracks without us noticing.

I don't do countdowns anymore, the anticipation hurts my brain. Days fly by because we keep busy with work. We tried to think of the fun things we had done over the last hundred days. The list we came up with was short. Poker night, girls night, Halloween party, thanksgiving dinner, one movie and one Friday night gathering. That's six nights out in a hundred days, I don't like that ratio. I'm young and single and have the entire world in front of me. Although I came here with a job, I came for the adventure, the travel and the excitement of a world other than my own. I often feel as though I'm a slave to a job that wont take me anywhere soon. It bothers me immensely but as long as I want to stay in Iqaluit, I need to have short term solutions. The best one I have is to try and get out more often.

One of Iqaluit's biggest events every year is the First Air Ball. Last year I watched everyone in awe as they headed for the ball dawning gowns and tuxedos. This year my good friend Nick asked me to accompany him. One problem... I left all of my stilettos, dresses and jewellery packed away down South.

I had my dad send me a gown as soon as possible. When you live in Nunavut however, as soon as possible, is never soon enough.

Que the fairy God mother I've been waiting for. The ball is on Saturday and I have three weekdays left to hope and pray that my gown arrives. I cannot for the life of me find the earrings I want to wear, my shoes don't feel right and if Canada Post lets me down this time... well, I don't know what I'll do.

These are the joys of living so far from the convenience of shopping malls. I never, ever, imagined missing them.

Crossing my fingers for a fitting pair of glass slippers, a pumpkin turned coach and a lady with wings to conjure me up a gown that is currently lost in transit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Welcome Winds

Its nearly quarter to four in the afternoon and the sun is on its way down in Iqaluit. I will never get over the way it excites me to see the sun disappear earlier and earlier as the winter falls upon us. As the weather and the habits of the sun change, everyone around us gets sick and we all fall into an exhaustion that has to be fought, yet still, every day and every season brings with it the excitement of change.

Today was the first day this fall that I truly felt the arctic winter had made its return. You can tell, because the wind feels like tiny blades running over your skin. It bites and lashes until your cheeks become numb. The temperature with windchill today is negative twenty four.

I'm sitting on my big blue couch, looking out my living room window, over the tops of my cats heads. I have been watching the moon float higher in the sky. I like to go for walks when the moon and sun are out together, its a time of day here that holds its own kind of peace.

With the snow falling more often now, the Bay, and the mountains beyond it continue to stun me with their beauty. The water hasn't frozen yet, other than in the rivers and around the shore. Every time I see a frozen pool of water I can feel the thrill of it in my stomach. The frozen Bay means the arrival of snow sports.

My friends Robert, Katie, Shawn and I are planning an overnight skidoo adventure between Iqaluit and Kimmirut, there are emergency cabins along the way and we have plenty of time to prepare for the trip. We wont go until April, when the spring arrives and takes with it the most bitter temperatures of winter.

For me, with the same routine and the same stressful job, day in and day out, this excursion is something huge for me to look forward to. I try to find something, always, to be excited about and help me to stay sane.

My friend Sherri just took this picture of the sun on it's way down. Sometimes all it takes is a sunset to remind me of why I stay in Iqaluit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Playing Dress Up

My second Halloween in Iqaluit was incredible. This spooky holiday may just be one of my favorites. It's the perfect excuse to dress up like something I could never get away with on an ordinary day. It's also a really creepy way to discover the strange things, like fangs, that turn people on. I'm laughing out loud thinking about the winks and come-on's I've received in the last few days. I secretly (or not so secretly anymore) fantasize about being madly in love with Edward Cullen. Inspired, I went out to party this year as a vampire. Contacts, fangs, a less than appropriate outfit and some fake blood turned me into a member of the undead club.

 My bakers left Katie and I for almost a month, while they vacationed and partied. They returned just in time for Halloween weekend. Katie and I took the weekend off. I actually had three days off in a row and with them I relaxed, partied and nursed myself back to health.

 Epic... I don't like to use the word unless it is perfectly suitable to the situation. Let me just say, the party we threw on Saturday night was absolutely epic. We got the gang together, some of whom brought along a few new faces to our party scene. We drank, we laughed and we used the night to unwind.

 It felt so good to get out of work mode and enjoy my friends again. I'm already getting excited for the next holiday to come around. Partly because I love throwing dinner parties but also because I can't wait to put up my tree and decor. My number one reason for the excitement however, is the arrival of my mom.

To end the Halloween holiday, I worked the closing shift at Tim's and took a quick break to accompany the babies of building 197 trick-or-treating for the first time. (The babes weren't fooled at all by my disguise)

 Proud mommas, Katie and Edith had awe in their eyes as they watched their little trick-or-treater's dressed up and ready to go. I was camera happy and documented the whole trip, to all three doors.

 Little Elmo (Dryden) and our little fairy princess, Shemekia, looked slightly lost but immensely adorable as they stumbled around in costume.

 The babies were satisfied with a cheesy each, which I can appreciate. The temperatures on Halloween in Iqaluit are far from the temperatures I remember down South. I recall a few years where we went out without coats or sweaters. In Iqaluit, the cold temperatures killed my camera after a few minutes outside. I was lucky to catch these memories and to see these beautiful babies all costumed up.

Here's to the most fantastic Halloween season and those dimples on Elmo.

With Love from Iqaluit

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Well, it's over

I have been dumped, painfully, through email. It was one of those, "it's not you, it's me," situations. I woke up the other morning at four am to get ready for work and I had an email waiting for me on my blackberry. I opened it and read the entire thing through my stinging, sleep deprived eyes. I nearly cried. has decided to start charging thirty dollars for shipping to remote locations.

I am not the only person taking this badly, apparently half of the staff at Northmart were equally as heart broken. I have been recommending to everyone since the first time I put in an order. They pack and ship orders quickly, they have decent prices and the best part of it all was that they offered free shipping. When I need something for my house, I use for their free shipping and when I need personal items I use well.

The email made so much sense, Ali, the CEO and founder of well, explained openly that they did not want to have to implement a shipping fee. It was simply too expensive for them to send our products to us, often times they were spending more on shipping than they were making in sales. It was mentioned that a long time employee of theirs had recently moved to Iqaluit and was looking for a solution to our problem. They are also attempting to find support from our Government.

Alas, these long distance relationships never seem to work. They say it takes half the time you're with someone to get over them once it has ended. This will sting until I leave the North. Shopping for shampoo just got a whole lot more depressing. I cannot believe that it's really over.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thanksgiving in Iqaluit

October 10th, 2011

This makes day 13 of working extremely long hours and surviving on very little sleep. Four am feels earlier every morning. Katie and I lost our bakers, Emily and Nadine, to vacation for most of the month of October. Because of this, we are working triple duty. I am taking the day off tomorrow and letting Katie suffer alone and then I will do the suffering on Wednesday so she can spend one day at home.
This life is crazy and often rewarding but is currently draining us of all of our sanity, energy and patience. It's hard to manage people when you can hardly manage your own emotions and thoughts. I'm lucky that I get to suffer with one of my dearest friends by my side. Instead of fighting with her when I start to get overwhelmingly frustrated, we get it out in less conventional ways.
This evening I went to throw out the leftover unfinished donuts, I took one in my hand and looked at Katie, "can I smoosh this in your face?" I asked. To my surprise she gave me permission. To her surprise the donut had already been filled with the filling of a Boston cream. The smoosh was satisfying and made us both laugh.
I came around the corner a few minutes later, got pegged against the back wall of the bakery and had no choice but to let Katie have her revenge. I took a glazed and filled blueberry fritter in the face.

We also celebrated Thanksgiving last night, which brought together many of our Iqaluit friends on the bottom floor of our building. We ate, we drank and we laughed. I say it all the time but thanksgiving reminded me of how thankful I am for each and every one of the people in my life. I am blessed to have the family that I have found in Nunavut. The people that surround me have changed my life, they keep me going and they inspire me everyday. 

The Dinner Table

We have had so many friends leave over the past year but have made so many new ones as well. This year Cara, Shawn, Marcel, Edith and baby Dryden moved to Iqaluit from Inuvik. Cara and Shawn are also Southern Ontarians. Matt, our new assistant store manager and his family joined in as well. We also had Kayla's mom Kathy join us this year.  

Cara, one of the newest residents of the 8 plex
It was another successful, family away from family, dinner in Iqaluit.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stranded on an Island

Thursday October 6th, 2011. 5:28pm

I always wonder what would happen if I were in Iqaluit when the world came to an end. Morbid and strange, I know. I imagine we would drown if it were water and ice that would take us down. The city is literally in a large bowl and I picture us being engulfed in cold water. I used to assure myself that somehow I would make it onto a plane and fly to safety.

Today, Northwestel's service went down, I'm not sure why or how but it resulted in an interesting day. Our debit machines went down, our atm's, internet, telephones and cells went down. We have been able to use land lines to call local numbers but we have lost all contact with the outside world.

Flights stopped coming in and going out due to planes not being able to communicate with airports and towers. A Canadian North flight went out a couple of hours ago, but all other flights are staying put. My bakers were supposed to leave for vacation today but have to wait until our world starts turning again. My friend Kayla was waiting for her mom to fly in today, which breaks my heart.

Obviously none of our departments at the store recieved any freight and no one could place any product orders. Our suppliers were probably stressing out trying to contact us but they'll have to wait for our excuses until service returns.

Earlier today I heard that we would be without connections for a minimum of eighteen hours and that we could go without it for up to four days. I'm not sure how straight those facts are, as I heard them through a very long grape vine.

I knew I relied much too heavily on my cell phone but today, I realized just how bad my habit is. I was sitting at the lunch table and went to message my friend who was sitting directly across the table from me, not because I'm sick and twisted but because we use that method for private conversation. While I was working on our Tims schedule for the next couple of weeks, I went to text Katie a couple of questions and ended up having to physically find her instead. This morning at 5 am I messaged my sister after she asked me for some advice, I never even found out what advice she was looking for. Life without constant social updates and networking, is very... last century, almost refreshingly oldschool.

I can live without my phone, but loosing all connection is a little unnerving. I couldnt call my family if there were a real emergency. We have no way to communicate with the rest of the planet. Which brings me back to the end of the world... it looks like my plan to fly out would fail.

I'm not going to lie, I enjoy a little switch up in the way my days play out. Internet and phone service down, rotating power outages, water cut off's, losing our satelite. We see it all in Iqaluit, perhaps a little too often.

Playing Catan by candlelight during last months blackout

I have four words ladies and gentlemen, Welcome. To. The. North.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

One Year Later

I had planned to celebrate my one year of living in the arctic with a glass of wine but I was so busy working that the day flew by and I forgot about it until a week later. I can officially say that I have lived in the North for a whole year.

I just got off the phone with my Grandma, who lives in Toronto. She told me about the last family gathering that I missed and how wonderful it was. The joy it brought to her made me so happy that I cried silently while she spoke. She talked about my sister, whose twentieth birthday just passed, and the cruise my family is planning to take in March. I cannot believe I have lived without the people I love most for a whole year.

In the last year I have moved across the Country, moved in with my boyfriend, started a new job, switched jobs, opened the first Tim Hortons in the arctic, endured an awful breakup and lived on my own for the first time. I have met incredible people who have changed my life. I fell in love again and had my heart broken. I have gone on amazing skidoo trips, hung out in polar bear feeding grounds and experienced sun that lingers in the sky all night. I have seen snow ten months of the year and made snow angels in a bathing suit. I have taken a polar bear dip in the freezing cold waters of Frobisher Bay and danced under the glow of the Northern Lights.

If anyone had asked me where I would be in a year, I would never have said here, living this life, blessed with the people I have around me. I never knew I had this kind of independence in me or that I was strong enough to overcome the challenges that I have faced.

This life is so unpredictable and has taken me on a ride that I never expected. Sometimes there are things I wish I could take back or do differently but when I think about it, I am a completely different person than I was before this year. I wouldn't take back all of the lessons I've learned or the experiences that I've had. I've always believed that everything happens for a reason, so I'm learning to simply hold on for the ride.

Here's to another enlightening year in Nunavut.

With love from a snow covered Iqaluit

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Swimsuits and Snow in September

To me, its humorous to see a day where it snows from start to finish in the middle of September. It feels so out of the ordinary. I remember as a child, I would walk home from school in September. After a long day, I would drag myself home in the heat, my school bag sticking to my back. I remember having no energy left, wishing for a five minute snowfall or a rain storm to cool the City down.

The other day, it snowed from the beginning of the day to the very end. I stood in the window at work watching the big white flakes, thinking to myself, as I always do, that they are such a beautiful gift. Then I would laugh. Snow in September. This is remarkable to me. I love how different my world here is from my world down South.

I wanted to indulge in the humour that I found in the day by bringing my worlds together. I got home from work and dug out my swim suit. I slipped into my winter boots, and mitts. I put my ear muffs on and I danced in the snow.

I showed up with Katie at the apartments on the plateau and we dragged our friends into the fun too. Welcome to September in the North and snow angel fun in bathing suits.

I may be crazy, and my cold may have gotten a little worse but I will never regret anything that makes me smile.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Walking in with the Tide

Next to the Bay of Fundy, Iqaluit has the most dramatic tidal changes in the world. I had always wanted to walk through the muck that is the sea bed at low tide. So I put on my rain boots and grabbed Robert, who I dragged into the muck with me.

 It was a beautiful sunny day and I know that we have to embrace them when they come around. Soon the winter will be here and we'll miss the warmth of the sun on our faces.

 We climbed on rocks that are completely covered in water at high tide. We would walk with the tide, find a rock to sit on and wait for the water to catch up to us, then hop down and find another rock closer inland. The water seemed to move so slowly, but as we got lost in conversation it would creep up on us and in the blink of an eye we would be surrounded. I was prepared for this, rain boots and all. Robert however, decided to wear running shoes and assured me he wouldn't have to take them off. I got a good laugh when we realized we were surrounded by at least thirty feet of water in each direction. He had to take the shoes off and walk barefoot in the freezing water while I walked through with ease, dry until the end.

I couldn't be more thankful for gorgeous days in Iqaluit.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chasing Ice

Before last Saturday, the last time I had seen an ice burg was the day I moved to Iqaluit. I remember seeing it from my window on the plane, it was sitting in the bay as if to say, "you really are in the arctic, welcome."

A disappearing Ice burg
When I saw the ice burg that floated to the edge of the bay, I wanted to get as close to it as I could. I figured I could hike to it. That hike ended up taking me to the most Southern tip of Iqaluit and further than I had ever been. It had to be made on foot and I had to race against the tide to climb back to a spot that wouldn't be engulfed by the salt water.

By the time my day off rolled around, the bulk of ice had shrunk but I was determined to get to it before it was gone.

The little black spot on the end of the rock is me, the ice is almost invisible
It is so nice to be able to get out on the land and enjoy a sunny day. Knowing that the winter season is on its way scares me into loving the weather while we have it. There is always something beautiful to see in Iqaluit.

One of the Ships on the water

Friday, August 26, 2011

Iqaluit's Air Show

On Saturday August 13th, I spent my day off at Iqaluit's air show with my friends Nick and Nate. I had expected something to actually fly but it ended up being more of an airplane show and less of an air show. It was very interesting none the less. We got to explore the insides of all sorts of planes, from the kind we fly on for travel, to cargo planes, a military plane and the small planes that are used in medical emergencies.

Nate and Nick, looking lost

The guys were much more taken with the mechanical aspects of the air crafts than I was. My favorite part about the day was exploring the Military plane, admittedly because it was packed full of incredibly good looking men. I also enjoyed seeing Nate and Nick's faces as they explored. Their expressions reminded me of those you might see on the faces of little boys in a candy store. It is always nice to get out and get involved in what is going on in the City. I happen to have most Saturday's off so I got lucky and got to enjoy this cold summer day with my friends.

Bow Head Whale

Last week Iqaluit was slotted to set out on a Bow Head Whale hunt. When a community catches a whale, everyone hears about it. The catch is always news worthy in the North. My friend Ashley from work shared the pictures that her boyfriend took while he watched the hunt.

These pictures were taken by Andrew Burry. I wanted to share them here because of the awe I felt when I first looked through them. It is traditional outings like this that inspire me. The banding together of community to take part in something so raw and so foreign to me. A whale hunt, or any hunt for that matter, is nothing I was commonly exposed to growing up in the South. To think about the beauty and tradition behind the hunt for Inuit people makes me appreciate it.

Before moving North, I scoffed at hunting. Lets be serious, I cried at the sight of road kill. Now, however, I have a new appreciation, seeing and being a part of a community that not all that long ago, hunted as a survival method.

It is incredible, the amount of people that one whale feeds. I have seen gatherings of community around seal and muktaaq and have been blessed to be able to see them. I respect the hunt not only for its origins but for its power to close gaps between strangers. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lets Talk Country Food

I am a semi vegetarian, I learned in culinary school that it doesn't just mean picky, it is a legitimate term for someone who doesn't eat meat but does eat poultry and fish. Knowing this about me, imagine the thoughts running through my head as I was faced with the chance to try muktaaq.

I cant be sure of the exact definition of the word muktaaq but I have heard it used to describe the raw meat of Beluga's, Narwhals and other whales.

This time, it was the meat of a Narwhal sitting on a piece of cardboard in front of me.

Our friend Alannah had said she had a freezer full of it that a friend had brought her from another, more northern community. Katie's face lit up at the mention of this country food delicacy.

Later that day, I found myself sitting at Katie's kitchen table, watching the excitement in her eyes as she cut the muktaaq with an ulu. I was mesmerized by the appearance of the food. I wasn't sure which part of it we were meant to eat. The skin of the Narwhal was beautiful, smooth and thick. It looked like a marble counter top of greys, black and white. I stroked it repeatedly with my finger tip, apologizing to Katie for playing with her food. She laughed at my intrigue.

Since moving to the Arctic, I have been inspired and filled with an unparalleled sense of adventure and curiosity. I do things now that would have terrified me a year ago. If it seems like something I wouldn't do, I make sure to do it.

And so I tried muktaaq, raw Narwhal, for the first time.

The taste was mild, slightly fishy and the texture disturbed my palate. I felt like I was chewing on a rubber band. The face I made had nothing to do with the taste, just with the texture. Please keep in mind that I have a flare for dramatics. I tried the smallest piece that I could get away with, just to say I did. Then I watched Katie enjoy her meal and listened to the stories she told of enjoying muqtaak on the kitchen floor with her mom and siblings when she was young.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Polar Bears in Iqaluit

I have never actually seen a live Polar Bear in Iqaluit but there were two who ventured into the City last Tuesday. The bears were found at Sylvia Grinnel Park, just down the road. Fellow Iqaluit resident, Annie Manning managed to get out and snap this fantastic close up. I love the North.

A Canadian Thank You

Some times in such a small City I wonder when things will stop surprising me, when the opportunities will run dry and boredom will set in. It never seems to happen.

I have a friend here named Collin, who moved up from Newfoundland. Collin has a friend in Iraq who buys a round of Tim Hortons coffee for his troops once a month on behalf of the Canadian Army Veterans Motorcycle Units. Collin decided that he wanted to do the same for the service personnel in Iqaluit.

We discovered that there were going to be about thirty soldiers in Iqaluit on stop over on Wednesday so we made coffee, packed up some donuts and headed over to surprise our new friends.

We had a fantastic time and it was wonderful to meet all of these kind men and women. Most of this group was stopped over and leaving later that day but we met a few people who stay in Iqaluit. One man in particular, Joe had only moved to Iqaluit the previous day. I'm glad I had the opportunity to welcome him to his new home.

To have the chance to get involved with the community I live in and to create relationships with wonderful people is something I always appreciate. All in all this was a fantastic day and we were so glad to be able to say thank you to our troops in a small way.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Why I do it

I have a friend who recently told me that he didn't understand blogging, he asked why I couldn't just keep my experiences private. So this is my list of the top five reasons I keep this blog.

1. I needed somebodies view of the North before I picked up my entire life to relocate. I was looking for the smallest piece of mind. I want to be that for someone else.

2. I wish I knew the details of the adventures my grandparents embarked on in their youth. As long as nothing happens to the Internet, my grandchildren will have my adventures at their finger tips in case they are ever interested.

3. My blog keeps my family and friends up to date on my life.

4. A woman named Erica from Tim Hortons head office once told me about her trip through Europe. She also told me about her regret in not writing down her experiences. She gave me advice, similar to the advice everyone else gives me. She said, 'Enjoy it while your living it.' I am taking both her regret and her advice and spinning them into something I will appreciate for the rest of my life. My blog helps me with that.

5. I have been found by incredible people who have contacted me after coming across the things I write.

Secretly, I also write for that friend, hoping that he cares enough to be interested in the words I write on the blog he doesn't really understand.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Northern flora

Since my return from the South, I have been blown away by the green that I've found in Iqaluit. Since September last year, I haven't seen a more beautiful month for flora. Tuesday was my day off so my friends Kayla, Sherri and Jill joined me for an afternoon on the land. We hiked as far as we could on the land across the bay. We climbed and scaled and even took a polar bear dip in a secluded spot that we found in the Ocean. We snapped some pictures of the cute tiny flowers that you can find on the land in the summer.

Other than this excursion on the land, I haven't done much since I've been home. I have been managing Tim's without my other half in business, Katie. I've been living at work and sleeping whenever I get a chance. It's a good way to keep my mind off of missing everyone and everything about Ontario. I did however, bite the bullet and max out my credit card to purchase my mommy a round trip to come and spend two weeks in Iqaluit over Christmas. This gives me something new to count down to! I used to think that no one in my family would ever get to see where I live. They wouldn't see my apartment or where I work. I cant wait for my mom to meet all of my friends here and of course, to enjoy the City with her.