Saturday Night Lights…

Last night the lights came out to play over Pangnirtung.  After having dinner with a friend…we hoped into a vehicle and took off to the end of the road, to get out of town’s lights!  (This is so you can see the northern lights better.)

The lights did NOT disappoint…I’m pretty excited to share with you these photos of the northern lights. Enjoy!

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Everywhere we looked the lights were dancing up and down…SaturdayNightLights002

…shooting up from behind the mountains!
SaturdayNightLights003 SaturdayNightLights004This is a funny attempt at a self portrait…by shinning a flashlight on one side of my body. Kinda like how it turned out.

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This one I had my friend shine the flashlight on me…but left the light on a wee bit too long, but still pretty awesome! SaturdayNightLights006

The lights just wouldn’t stop… it was a fabulous show…and so glad I got to get out and take some photos! SaturdayNightLights007 SaturdayNightLights008I’m thankful for good friends with a vehicle that can take you to the end of road so you can take photos of the lights!

 

…a walk to the store!

The weather here in Pang this week has been sunny and clear, but winter is definitely here.  Today I got all my gear on and walked down to the store to get some groceries.  Felt so good to be home.  There was a lot of excitement happening at the beach…narwhals were in Cumberland Sound and by the end of the evening there was lots of fresh mattaq for everyone!

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Even though it’s getting colder and the days are getting shorter… life in the Arctic is still pretty sweet!

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Happy Saturday everyone!

Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble!

As you know travelling in the Arctic is never 100%…weather happens, mechincal delays happen…sometimes you just don’t land when you want to land.  Friday was one of those moments. The weather in Kuujjuaq  turned from fall to winter overnight!  There was tons of snow and delays for lots of the Nunavik Community flights.  My flight to Iqaluit went as scheduled, however we couldn’t land in Iqaluit–it was too windy, so we headed back to Kuujjuaq.

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After some phone calls and finding out the next available flight from Kuujjuaq to Iqaluit would happen on Wednesday (as the Monday flight was full)…I headed south to Montreal from Kuujjuaq.

Then I started my super surprise for my family.  Once I collected my bags I headed upstairs to Air Canada and spoke with a really nice and friendly lady. (seriously, I was surprised…but there are some GREAT people that work on the ticket booking counter!) I was able to get a one-way  flight into Toronto on the last plane.  I then texted my brother, John and asked if he and Kat could pick me up from the airport…which he did!  It was so awesome to see them.

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(SIde note: this display greeted me at the Toronto Airport..one of my biggest beefs with that airport is that you have to pay a loonie or toonie to get a cart and I never have change and always have too many bags… but apparently CIBC is paying for them right now. Bonus!)

Then on Saturday morning, I got up and phone mum from John and Kat’s… I *might* have stretched the truth…and said that I had just gotten home from Iqaluit and I was tired and needed a nap.  I asked her how to make pumpkin pies, we talked about our dinner plans over the weekend…and I hung up.  Then John, Kat and I (plus Gus) headed into the car for the hour drive over to mum’s.  On the way Kat called mum and asked if she had any lunch…she said no, so we picked up subs for all of us.  Then the surprise happened….John and Kat headed into mum’s… (I stayed in the hallway of the apartment).  As they were putting out the subs Kat said something like… “that’s weird there’s 4 subs?” John said something like… “Maybe there’s someone else joining us?”…and Kat walked to the door and said…”let’s just check the hallway..” and IN I WALKED.  My mum was thrilled and shocked…and didn’t have a heart attack.

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We had a fabulous afternoon talking and driving around Lindsay… then had a little dinner together before John and Kat (and Gus) headed home.  (They were going to Kat’s family dinner the next day…)

On Sunday we got up and headed up to Haliburton.  We stopped in at a good friend of my mum’s…it was so nice to visit Lynn for a short, quick visit! Then we went to my great Aunt Anna’s for a visit.  Dinner at Jamie and Dana’s was scheduled for 5pm… we got to Aunt Anna’s at 4:15… she lives just next door to my brother’s house.  Mum left at 4:30pm to head to put on a casserole she made for the Thanksgiving dinner…and I stayed to visit with Aunt Anna a bit longer.  (I hadn’t visited with her since last Fall when she came to visit my mum after her surgery.) It was lovely to catch up.  I walked over (with a chair because Jamie had already borrowed one from Aunt Anna for dinner)…at 5pm to join dinner!  Let’s just say Dana and Jamie and the boys…were very surprised to see me.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any awesome photos from dinner.  Except for these two taken with my fuzzy dying iPhone 3!

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Samuel and Benjamin are getting so big!  Benjamin read the funniest story book…and Samuel played a really funny bean game with us…. all about planting and trading different kids of bean crops… (sorry dont’ remember the name).  But it was a fun game to play after dinner!  It was so great to see everyone… thanks Jamie and Dana for hosting Thanksgiving dinner…the turkey and all the fixings were wonderful!

The last surprise was a visit to Haliburton Lake… and to my Gramma and Bart’s cottage. It was so much fun to see Gramma and Bart.  We got caught up and even brought out old family photo books….to see some shots from the mid to late 80s.  Lots of great fun remembered. Thanksgiving007

Before I left I had to do a ‘selfie’ a tradition I started in February. This one is another for the memory books. Thanksgiving008It was a whirl-wind weekend…and too fast I was sitting on a train heading back to Ottawa to catch a flight back north the next day.

I’m going to leave you with my all-time favourite photos taken the fall of 2010…by my friend Ryan Bealer!

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Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble was complete for once I was thankful for a weather delay…and not being able to arrive to a planned destination!  I learned once I got back to Nunavut…that there was bad weather in Pang all weekend…and people didn’t arrive home until Monday!!! So this plan worked perfectly.  All in all it was a great thanksgiving surprise…I have so much to be thankful for….hope you all had a great day!

Sun Transits…

It’s that time of the year when we lose internet, TV, radio, and long-distance telephone communication for a few minutes each day. They occur when the sun is aligned directly behind a satellite every spring and fall. The satellite signal is briefly overwhelmed by the radio frequency noise radiated by the sun.  This should begin on October 9 and continue through to October 18  and will affect satellite communications for a short period each day over the next two weeks. Television, internet, long distance and cell phone services will lose their connections temporarily, beginning with a few seconds each afternoon and increasing to as much as fifteen minutes each day.

Every year we get a reminder of this and a handy-dandy chart that shows the ‘affected’ predicted times…along with the duration.

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Usually I don’t notice a difference…but sometimes if I’m uploading a file or trying to email someone during the affected time, well it doesn’t work!  I have been on the phone with someone and had the phone ‘cut’ out mid-convo…but honestly, living in Nunavut the phone lines are pretty unpredictable at times (but I’m not one to complain I do live in the Arctic, just thankful I do have internet and a phone!)

Just something else that’s a wee bit different, but become a part of normal life here in the Arctic!

Hello from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (Quebec)…

This week I’m in Kuujjuaq, Nunavik which is located in Northern Quebec.  Did you know that there was Nunavut…and a Nunavik? Nunavut is the 3rd territory in Canada…where I live!

Nunavik comprises the northern third of the province of Quebec, Canada. Covering a land area  north of the 55th parallel, it is the homeland of the Inuit of Quebec. Almost all of the 12 090 inhabitants (2011 census) of the region, of whom 90% are Inuit, live in fourteen northern villages on the coast of Nunavik and in the Cree reserved land of Whapmagoostui, near the northern village of Kuujjuarapik. Nunavik means “great land” in the local dialect of Inuktitut and the Inuit inhabitants of the region call themselves Nunavimmiut. Until 1912, the region was part of the District of Ungava of the Northwest Territories.

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Kuujjuaq  means ‘Great river’ is located on the west shore of the Koksoak River, about 50 km upstream from Ungava Bay.  Kuujjuaq was previously known as Fort Chimo…You can see on the map below the 14 communities that make up Nunavik…and see where Kuujjuaq is located.

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Coming in for a landing I was excited…TREES!!! Yes, there are some small trees around and in town!

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I have been to Kuujjuaq 3 times before…but have never left the plane, rather just waited to be ready to take off. (The first time was on my first trip North to live in Pang in March of 2009, the second was on New Years’ Eve 2009…when I was flying south to Winnipeg.  The third time was a few springs ago…when I couldn’t land in Iqaluit and we were diverted to Kuujjuaq for more fuel–then continued onto Rankin Inlet.) Kuujjuaq004

It was really nice to GET off the plane…and be able to explore this fabulous community!

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The weather was so gorgeous… so warm and nice not to need a hat or mittens! Kuujjuaq006

Tuesday night I went for a walk with someone I met at the conference I was attending.  It was nice to walk around, get familiar with the town..and enjoy the gorgeous evening!  Kuujjuaq008

We walked down to the river and beach area.  I was reminded that my mum came to Kuujjuaq about 20 years ago at the end of August…to visit a friend.  She had lived in Haliburton working as a Social worker…but then moved north to Kuujjuaq, and invited my mum and another friend to visit for 10 days!  I’m quite positive there have been many changes in the past 20 years!

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The youth centre was just painted this summer…lots of buildings are painted ‘graffti’ style…as a project for the youth to claim ownership of their buildings. Kuujjuaq012

It was great to visit Kuujjuaq…I met lots of great people. My brain was also stretched into trying to think/understand conversations in French.  I am no way bilingual… but have small understanding of French, but have limited vocabulary…sometimes I do understand but then respond back in English… for the most part it works!
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Just before we headed back to the hotel restaurant for an amazing pizza dinner…we were greeted to this amazing site.  Hello, Moon…so nice of you to join us. Kuujjuaq017

 

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