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

Friday, May 11, 2007

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



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