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

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Temp: -17
Windchill: -25
Sunrise: 6:09 a.m.
Sunset: 8:41 p.m.

Well, here we are on the Easter long weekend and I do mean loooong weekend! The way our school calendar fell this year we ended up with 6 whole days off. Sweet!! So yesterday was spent watching home renovation shows and lazing about and it was awesome! Today Oli and I got up reasonably early, went to Tania and Chad's for waffles (something I am REALLY going to miss doing in a few months) and then headed out for a walk with the posse of pooches onto the ice.

This week saw the end of soccer with the little ones that my friend Erica and I coached. We had a blast doing it but the best part was for sure the parent/kids game last Saturday. It definitely does a heart good to see parents playing with their kids. One of the girls came up to me at one point and pointed out that they were winning. I'd have been embarrassed had they not since there were 10 kids on a team and 4-6 parents on the other! Too funny.

Lets see.. what else is new? Oh! I got the most BEAUTIFUL homemade quilt from Chad's mom a couple weeks ago. Big shout out to Jean!!! I absolutely love it and look forward to many years of curling up with it and staying cozy. I'm a lucky girl for sure.

And as if that wasn't enough, my dear friend Tania knit me this beautiful sweater! It is my first ever homemade sweater and also super cozy. Yup, I am totally spoiled and absolutely blessed.

And for Nunavut's 10th birthday our class went down on the ice to play some Inuit games and just have fun. We had a great time and had some elders in to make caribou stew and bannock, which we enjoyed once we headed back inside. As well, some kids from the high school volunteered to come in and play games with us and help out. It was great to see several generations in one room, celebrating the culture. What a great morning!

And last weekend we took a trip out to the ice shack and let the dogs romp for a bit. It was such a beautiful day and delightful to get out as we really haven't taken the opportunity this winter to do so. Here is Chad bringing Oli out for me; he ran nearly the whole three kms. Needless to say he slept like a baby that night.

This is Kent, getting in some rays and fishing in his terribly snazzy chair. Blends in very nicely with the surroundings....

Oliver catching a ride back to town. Fitting for the little fella I'd have to say. :o)

An ice fishing jigger.

And this week Chris went out of town and Tania/Chad and I took turns babysitting Diesel. Lunchtime the day Chris left I arrived at his apartment to find this waiting for me. Check out the title on the book. Yup! Dog Training for Dummies! Too funny...

And Kara, I haven't forgotten. You wanted the pink popcorn recipe that I had used for our party at school. I used the first one, and it turned out quite well. I'd be very interested to try the second one though as it may taste a wee bit more like the original.


1 cup white sugar
4 Tbsp water
3/4 tsp red food coloring
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
12 cups popcorn
Boil the first 4 ingredients to the thread stage (about 230F on the candy thermometer). Add vanilla. Mix well. Pour over popcorn and mix together well until it dries. (A big roaster works good for this). It is much better to use a candy thermometer but if you don't have one try the old fashioned method to determine the right stage is reached.

Thread Stage: At this relatively low temperature, there is still a lot of water left in the syrup. The liquid sugar may be pulled into brittle threads between the fingers. Or, take a small amount of the syrup onto a spoon, and drop it from about 2-inches above the pot. Let it drip into the pan. If it spins a long thread, like a spider web, it's done.

Pink Elephant Popcorn

3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
4 tablespoons dry strawberry flavored gelatin
2 quarts popped popcorn

Melt butter over low heat. Stir in marshmallows until they are soft but not melted. Add flavored gelatin mix. Stir until everything is a nice pink color throughout. (The gelatin may not dissolve completely, but that's all right.) Pour evenly over popcorn and stir until all flakes are evenly coated.

I don't have a picture of it but a few weeks ago Brad, our gym teacher, had Olympic Badminton athlete Andrew Dabeka come to the school and run a clinic for the kids, as well as give a demonstration. He was great and the kids loved him. And much to my embarrassment I got pulled up as one of the staff to try and return one of his smashes. Yikes! I was able to connect (albeit poorly) with two of them but he was so skilled he practically aimed it at my racquet so I couldn't miss. 330 km/hr is how fast those hits have been clocked at and I can believe it!

And so, we find the year winding down quite quickly. The days are getting noticeably longer and soon we will not see darkness again for some time. That's always an interesting time of year. And with that, I am going to come right out and say it - Spring is here! We still have a windchill off and on which means the spring gear can't come out to stay just yet, but it's such a nice reprieve from the cold weather. It has been a very long, bitter, winter and this is the first year that I've experienced joint pain from the extreme dryness. Thirty-five and I have joint pain. Yeesh!

So, with that, all good things must come to an end. I've decided to make this my last year in the North and have mixed feelings about it. I am happy to be going back to Alberta and have four seasons again (I haven't seen a southern fall in four years!), be near conveniences, and be less isolated. But, having said that, I am going to miss Baker Lake terribly. I have made amazing friends here and have LOVED my job. The culture is so interesting and I feel privileged to have lived here and shared in it for all this time. Still, it is time to head back home and be near my family and friends that I haven't seen in wayyy too long. I hope to head back to college in the fall; that is one of the many things I have come to realize while living up here. That I want to become a teacher. So, off I go to head in that direction. But, I still have two months to the day left and I plan to enjoy the time I have left. Amidst the packing and mailing out of parcels (which began a month or so ago), a house sale to be held the first week of May, working on an English correspondence course to qualify for college, trying to relish the remainder of time spent with friends, and finishing up with work, it is going to be a very busy and fast two months.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Treena.

I am looking at a position in Baker Lake and I am wondering if you can provide any insight into life there and what kind of challenges you face there. Thanks in advance!


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