Treena's Travels

This blog was set up to journal my experience of living in Nunavut and keep friends and family up to date on these happenings. It's a wonderful place, this hideaway in the north, and I'm loving my time here. An unforgettable place with unforgettable people. I'm lucky to be here.

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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada

Monday, May 21, 2007

Temp: 0

Well, this long weekend was pretty darn nice up in Baker Lake. We've had fantastic weather! Feels like spring is finally here.

Friday night was fun; a music night with everybody and then Saturday night we went to one of the teachers who had a last party for everyone before people head out for the summer or relocate down south. It was fun. Unfortunately I've had a flu bug this week so I took it pretty easy. Man, I'm sure glad I got my flu shot in the fall. I never was a believer in them until this year. Helps so much when working in the schools.

Only 14 school days left now. I'm looking forward to spending some time down south. I even dreamt about Subway last night ~ how crazy is that?! I'm a good baker, but I'm sure sick of my own cooking. Chicken this, chicken that..... I am going to go restaurant happy when I get home! :-) It's funny because the same thing is happening this year for me as last and that's I'm craving salads like you wouldn't believe. Lookin' forward to the variety again!

And with the warm weather, comes extended daylight. It is getting harder and harder to convince the old brain when bedtime is because it's not getting dark now. We just have dusk now and so I've been forced to tin foil my window. If there was any doubt which apt the Albertan lived in before, there isn't now! :-) But hey, whatever works...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Temp: -10
Wind chill: -18
Sunrise: 4:05
Sunset: 10:36
Snowing..... again!

Well, we're coming closer to the end of the school year here; 16 school days left, 23 days including weekends, and 28 days until I fly home for the summer and see green grass ~ woohoo!! As of today we still have A LOT of snow, but it turns out this time last year we were spoiled with all the melting starting in March as it was not the norm. This is the norm.

Here's the view from my apt today

A Ptarmigan hanging out in front of the high school

A couple pictures of the cemetary. It's quite a beautiful, peaceful place. Because of the permafrost, caskets are not buried but rest on the ground and are covered with rocks. When Karen was here, we borrowed Chad's machine to tour around and take some pictures. Unfortunatley, it broke down at the cemetary and Chad had to rescue us. Afterwards he hauled us out to the Inukshuk for some pictures.

Tania's parents and Chad's mom were all in town the same time that Karen was here so the 12 plex was bustling with social activity. A lot of dominos and cards were played and we had a couple music nights; it was really nice. Here's a picture of them dressed up to brave the elements during Hamlet Days.

Here's a picture of people dressed up in the traditional caribou clothing. Toasty warm!

Here's a picture at the 45 gallon barrel pull race. It's a lot harder than it looks trying to keep an empty barrel on a Komatiq over rough terrain!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Here are some more pics from the last week.

Now to dispel the myth of what girls do when they hang out, here's a picture of what we did when Karen got here. No pillow fights, no playful romps. No, no... we candled our ears! :-) Hee hee. Oliver was quite concerned by the flame apparently jutting out from my head.

You know dogs get along when they prefer to share the same bone

Karen in my parka

The two of us dressed up and ready to face the elements

Karen and Oli in his favorite position ~ the little weirdo took to doing this as a pup.

This is called the Swing Kick. A belt is looped around the neck and legs and then you must lift yourself up and swing your feet to hit the target. The trick is when you come down to land feet first and not on your bum or it doesn't count. You get three tries.

Temp: -11
No wind chill and it's SUNNY!!!! Woohoo!!

Well, since I last wrote, my friend Karen made it safe and sound into Baker Lake (after a wee bit of a delay in Churchill as the plane had to drop them off, fly to Arviat, pick up people that had been stranded there the last couple of days due to weather, fly back to Churchill so those people could transfer onto another flight, pick up Karen and the rest of the passengers and then get into Baker 2 hrs late). Not too bad for her first experience flying into the North I must admit. I had visions of her being holed up the whole time in Arviat or Rankin in a tiny hotel room because of the iffy weather we'd been having and not even get into Baker, so 2 hrs late was not a big deal! And it was a good thing she got in when she did because planes didn't get in on Sunday because of a mild blizzard and Monday wasn't any better. Whew!

Sunday and Monday were spent hanging out with everyone, playing Dominos, the Stick Game, enjoying a bit of a music gathering and just relaxing on the long weekend (Monday we were off for Hamlet Days here in Baker). Tuesday after work we took in some of the Inuit games at the RA school and down on the ice. There was an Igloo building contest and an ice chipping contest so we took those in and can I just say Holy Crap!! I've never felt lazier than I did when I watched the competitors do their thing with such ease and skill. Unbelievable...

Now, I may be the only person out there who did not know how an Igloo (also spelled Iglu) was made, but in case I'm not here's a brief description of the process. First, a circle is cut in the snow with a Puna (snow knife). Then, slowly the blocks are cut from this circle in the 'floor' and laid around the edge, the tops being shaved down with the Puna to give the Igloo a spiral effect. Blocks are laid in a full circle and then on top of each other, slanting inwards slightly so that at the end there is just a small hole to fit one last block in and the entrance to cut out. And Igloos are much deeper than they appear because the 'floor' has been cut out to make it. It's so amazing to witness the elders building them and know that it is such a recent part of their history.

So the sun is finally out but some of these pics are from when it was blustery and grey outside. Too funny though because kids are the same anywhere; as soon as the weather warms up, out come the bikes! Here's some pics of the festivities on the lake.

The bikes are out in full force now

And they're off!

Starting to resemble an Igloo

Round and round

Putting in the last blocks

Last but not least, the entrance

Karen in the finished product

Then we headed on over to the ice chipping contest. The ice is still really thick, about 6 or 7 feet, but it didn't take very long for the pros to knock out their holes. Times ranged anywhere from 15 mins and up and there were both male and female competitions.

Feels a bit like you're standing on a perforation when you're this close to the action