Monthly Archives: October 2013

Weekend Fun…

This past weekend I had a chance to have a break from taking care of my mum 24-7!  My sis-in-law came up to Lindsay to spend the weekend with my mum.  Thanks so much Kat for giving me a break!  I went on a bit of a road trip north to Dorset, Ontario. It was roughly a 2 1/2hour car ride…with a quick stop in Minden at the liquor store.

(PS. for this first photo…I wasn’t driving or even in a car..my car was parked off on the left hand side of the photo…I was just standing on the road to get the photo!)

Weekend Fun Weekend Fun Weekend Fun

My cousins decided to celebrate their 45th and 50th birthdays this year to have a HUGE party at Camp Dorset (complete with a pig roast!) Being the awesome people they are…they turned the party into a fundraiser for Camp Dorset.  This camp is run by the Lions Club…it’s an awesome facility that has everything a camp should have…lake front, walking trails, and even a pool! The best part about this camp? well it has a full dialysis clinic so that people that require dialysis can go have a ‘camp’ experience with their families…while still getting their medical treatments.  I stayed for the two nights in an ‘efficiency’ unit basically a small bachelor with a full kitchenette… so cozy and comfy, complete with board games!

Friday night…there was a fun game of bingo..and lots of prizes to be won! I won a really cool snowman nightlight! My cousin called the numbers…in one of the games we were working on getting an X…so that meant he didn’t need to call any “N’s”.  The first time he picked up the N he looked at it…and said “38” into the microphone!  He didn’t call the N… He did an awesome job, for a first time bingo caller!

Bingo...

The next night was the night of the pig roast, music and fundraiser…let’s get to the food…it was an amazing spread!  Everyone that came brought either a salad or dessert or side…

mmmmm food!!! mmmm my plate of food!

The fundraiser was set up into a few different things. (I really didn’t take photos of all the awesome displays…oops!) But let me tell you about a few of the fundraising things… There was a “guess how many Jelly Beans in the jar”.  A new fundraising idea to me was where a deck of cards was face down glued to a board.  There was ONE card face up.  People for $2 could sign their name on the back of a playing card that was face down.  After all the cards were “bought” the winner was the one that signed the back of the card that matched the face up card.  Such a cool idea!  There was a silent auction for lots of wonderful donated items.  There was also a ‘raffle’ draw for some items…where you buy a ticket and put it in the bag, and then one is pulled to be the winner!  There was a 50-50 draw.  The big prizes were in the door prizes… 1 for $20 or 3 for $50.  There was a cooler that plugs into your car/truck, a Tassimo Machine, and an iPad!

The first thing I won in the evening was a $50 gift certificate for The Keg (a really nice steak restaurant here in Canada). I “thought” I won it since I had a ticket ending 5-8-1…but me being a person that switches numbers around…the winning ticket was actually 5-1-8… So that was kind of embarrassing going up to claim a prize only to be told…you didn’t have the right ticket.  So I went to the back of the room, and continued to check all the tickets I had…and it ended up that I also had the ticket ending 5-1-8 too so I won it!

The draws went on… and I didn’t win anything.  Then they started to draw for the Big Prizes…since the tickets were for all three prizes they made the decision if you won, your ticket would go back in the draw to have a ‘chance’ at winning one of the other prizes. The had all the tickets in an awesome drum that rolled and could be ‘shaken’ up…(that’s the bonus of doing a fundraiser at a camp run by the Lions because these things were there!  The first draw was for the plug in cooler.  Then they drew for the Tassimo Machine…and I won!  I made my cousins double check my numbers before I ran up… (didn’t want to embarrass myself.) I was pretty excited…I don’t drink coffee, but then again I won something so it was pretty cool!  I had just gotten back to the back of the room…when they drew for the iPad…. and then my cousin with a smile on her face said…my numbers again!  YES, that’s right… my ticket was pulled yet again!  So I went back up to the front… so stoked..because I really wanted the iPad.  I made the immediate decision to give back the Tassimo to be re-drawn…it just seemed like the right thing to do!

I WON!!! :)

I’m pretty happy with the iPad…still trying to figure out what apps to download!  (Let me know of any great ones that are your favourites…and I’ll check them out!)

The rest of the night was filled with amazing live music.  This was a mother, daughter, son-in-law team (I think that was what the relationships were)…but they were awesome!  Had so much fun listening to the live music…and talking with my cousins.

live music...

It was a great weekend. Thanks to my cousins that invited me…it was an awesome party! I came back to Lindsay refreshed and ready to take care of my mum again…which was the point of my weekend away.  It made me so happy to be close enough to family to be able to attend events like this…that’s one thing that’s a bit of downer when you live at the Arctic Circle…you are so far away from family.  So during this time I’m embracing the time and the moments I do have while I’m in the south!

Expat to Expat Q & A: October

I’ve been following Bailie’s Adventures in Sweden for over 2 years now!  Every month she’s been co-hosting Expat to Expat Question & Answer link up with Belinda from Found Love Now What?  The idea behind this was to have Expat Bloggers from various countries share some of their experiences along a similar theme. The hope that doing this once a month it would provide a sense of online community that could support and encourage one another! The other really cool thing is that there’s a link-up so that you can find other awesome blogs to read.  So that’s pretty awesome…everyone likes new blogs to read~!

Before I got any further…a question you might be asking yourself is…What is an expat? Well my friends over at wikipedia tell me that…

An expatriate (sometimes shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).

This month I decided to participate…even though I don’t really think of myself as an “expat”…I am after all still living in Canada.  But the culture and language is not my own…so in a sense it is a kind of expat experience. I think one of the main reasons I don’t think of myself as an ‘expat’ is that I think of Nunavut as my home, where I’m a part of the community in Pangnirtung.  I’ve lived in Pang now for almost 2 years and 4 months and before that had lived here for 10 months in 2009.  I guess what I’m trying to say is that Pang has become home and I don’t really feel like an outsider.

Question #1: How does your family and friends back home perceive your new life, and is it accurate?

Most of my friends and family think of me living in Nunavut as a big adventure…and don’t get me wrong it is an adventure! Some friends think it’s all about seeing polar bears and going ice fishing…yes these things are possibilities but not usually an every day occurrences. Honestly my life for the most part is pretty normal.  I get up Monday to Friday and go to work…have my week nights and weekends free to do hobbies, visit with friends and do “normal” stuff.  But the one main difference is the location where I live I suppose!

Things my friends and family  think seem exotic, weird or just awkward about my life have slowly started to be “normal” for me.  For example: Living with trucked services for water delivery and sewage removal.  This means I rely on the Hamlet’s awesome Water and Sewage drivers to deliver water and pump out sewage in my holding tanks that I have in my house.   Another example: living in a community with no bank. Yes, the nearest bank is a $500–1 hour flight away in Iqaluit.  Yes, there’s time where the two ‘no-name’ cash machines are out of money… and there’s no cash to be had in town!

Walking in my Kamiks and Parka

Lots of my friends and family think it’s freezing cold 100% of the year.  Yes, I do live in the Arctic…almost at the Arctic Circle so it is a bit colder.  But summers are really nice, the tundra comes alive with heaps of flowers…and it can get quite warm up to around 20C!  (For the record now I have a hard time being in temps over 25C+) For the dark winter months…(end of November to February) it is dark and cold…but you learn to just add extra layers and have outer gear to keep warm!

flowers on the tundra

I love SPRING in the Arctic…but for my friends and family…it’s nothing like a “southern” Canada spring…no April showers and May flowers!  Spring March to May is when the daylight is quickly returning and we are starting to get LONG days. It’s warm enough to go out and go ice fishing or skiing on the fjord. The temps are around -25C or so… so more typical for a “southern” winter!

pang blanket...

All in all lots of people don’t fully understand or appreciate the nuances of life in Canada’s Arctic and there are quite a few misconceptions about what life is like. Through my posts, photos and stories it is my hope that by sharing glimpses into my life in the Arctic that friends and family can get a better understanding of what it’s like.

Question #2: Do you find the need to edit your life from friends and family?

The quick answer to this question is no…I don’t need to edit my life from friends and family. I talk to them about everything.  Sometimes it’s easier to talk to friends that have lived in Canada’s Arctic because they have perspective on what it’s like to live in a remote northern community.

But if you are talking about my “public” presence online…then yes I’d say I do edit my life a bit.  Not everything I experience is posted on my blog, facebook, twitter and/or instagram…somethings are just meant be kept offline!  This “editing” is just mainly to keep some aspects of my life private…but friends and family usually get the whole scoop. But a gal has to have some secrets!

Found Love.  Now What?
There’s my take on the Expat to Expat Q & A for October make sure you click over to see what other bloggers have to share about their experiences with how their families and friends perceive their new lives!

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing all my Canadian Friends and Family a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Turkey...

I’m excited to be having my first Thanksgiving with my mum in 5 years.  This year I’m the one that gets to do the cooking…which should be interesting but yummy! There’s so much to be thankful for…I could go on and list many different things.  But for now I’ll say I’m thankful for all the wonderful friends I have…that keep in touch and are always there when I need them!

A post isn’t a post without some photos…here are my some of my favourite shots my friend Ryan Bealer snapped of me the fall of 2010.  We were in Birds Hill Park just outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  We were out taking photos on our weekly photo night…and happened upon this wild ‘flock’ of turkeys…

~ photo taken by Ryan Bealer~

~ photo taken by Ryan Bealer~

~ photos taken by Ryan Bealer~

~photos taken by Ryan Bealer~

Have a safe and wonderful long weekend. What are you thankful for right now?

Hello Autumn…

Last Sunday I woke up in Toronto and looked out the window from my little bro and sis-in-law’s apartment I was so happy to see all the glorious fall colours.  I must admit one of the things I miss the most about my awesome life up north is the absence of trees…especially in the fall. It’s the first time I’ve been in Ontario for a fall in 5 years…
Hello Toronto 1 Hello Toronto 2

This is why being in the south right now is so exciting…the temperatures are so awesome… just warm enough but not too hot!  As I mentioned last post I’m in the south right now to take care of my mum after her hip replacement surgery.  She’s got a matching set now!  The surgery went well so now we are onto the recovery and physio…

Fall...

On Monday I brought my mum home from the hospital.  It’s been a busy week, but we are finding a routine.  Mum is slowly getting better…but it’s a process!  I’ve been enjoying getting reacquainted with the sights and smells of fall.  There’s nothing like the smell of fresh grass being cut, or the smell of leaves under foot also hearing them crunch under your feet as you walk!  It’s been awesome… Lindsay Market... 11 Lindsay Market... 14 Lindsay Market... 16 Lindsay Market... 17Mum has been very helpful with finding me things-to-do-to-get-aqauainted-with-life-in-Lindsay… Every day she has a list of new “errands” for me to go out and do.  Places for me to find…things to pick up!  But it’s been good… except I never have lived here, and it only took me 15mins of driving around random streets to find one of the spots she wanted me to get something from yesterday!  But then I had time to stop to take some photos… so that made me happy.

This morning, I went to the Lindsay farmer’s market…it was awesome to go and get such awesome fresh produce.  The choices were almost overwhelming…but I survived to tell the tale.  I find shopping especially for food overwhelms me…there’s just too many choices.  After living in Pang for over 2 years…shopping in grocery stories in the south really freak me out.  It’s weird, can’t figure out why…but it’s not something I really like to do.  But one must eat so I have to go!  The farmer’s market was a pleasant surprise.

Lindsay Market... 1Lindsay Market... 6Lindsay Market... 13Lindsay Market... 4

mmmm fresh carmel kettle corn! 

Hope you all are having a good long weekend…and can’t wait to update you with more of my random adventures while in Ontario!

 

Inuktitut 101

Disclaimer: This post has been sitting in my dashboard patiently waiting to be posted!  I thought I had it scheduled to go up immediately following my Northern Lights photos…but apparently it was just saved and not scheduled.  I’m down in Ontario for a bit as my mum had surgery on October 4th…and I’m taking care of her in her recovery phase. This is the first moment I’ve had some time to sit down and work on my blog. But enough about that…without any further ado here’s the post!

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For the last two weeks in September I was a student!  Pirurvik brought an Inuktitut Course to Pangnirtung. It was an Inuktitut as a Second Language course-the first level PIGIARVIKIt is designed to help people who have no background with Inuktitut to help learn the essentials of the language and work on correct pronunciation.  This website is also another great tool for helping people learn more about the language.  If you live in Iqaluit you can sign up to take this course over 12 weeks with two sessions a week for an hour and half.  Our course in Pang was a bit more intensive it was for 2 weeks…every morning for 3 hours!  We also had homework every night as well…but it was so worth it! Practice is everything when you are working on learning a new language.

inuktitut-class-sept-2013

Here is our class… (missing 3 people!) {Photo Credit: Joy from Life in Nunavut}

I was pretty stoked to be able to take part in this course. It was the first time since January of 2011 a language course was brought to Pangnirtung.  So for two weeks I went up to Pang’s Arctic College Campus for 3 hours every morning.  On day 1 my first shock was that it was 100% immersion…so all instruction was done in Inuktitut. To be honest my first reaction was “oh crap”.  But then I took a deep breath and went with it.  We had an extremely talented instructor we worked our way through our lessons…learning about basic conversations, talking about how we are feeling, the weather, questions about having tea and coffee…learning my department, and job title!  Plus other things along the way.  Our instructor was from Pang but has been living in Iqaluit…she just recently moved back to Pang. It was great because she was able to teach us lots of ‘local’ dialect…which is helpful when you are learning a language!

The Jerry Cans are a band from Iqaluit…they just released their first music video of their popular song, Mamuqtuq (which means Delicious!) It’s a song about the thrill of the seal hunt in the spring…and pretty catchy tune!  For the first time after listening to this song I realized that I understood more of what was being sung…it was a pretty awesome discovery! I suppose it is true that languages can be learned easily from music.

Languages have always been a bit of a struggle…added to the fact that I switch around letters and numbers that makes life a bit more interesting.  Especially when you are learning a language where little changes like that can make DRASTIC changes to the meanings of the words.  But the more class time I had and practice…slowly my Inuktitut skills improved.  I must admit I am in no way fluent.  BUT I understand so much more about how the language is put together.  It also helped increase my vocabulary.

My friends in Pang have been really helpful listening to me as I practice…and my hope is to continue to learn and practice what I know and gain new words! For now I can say this though: Inuktitusuungnujunga mikijumik (I can speak a little Inuktitut).

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