Jeka of Nunavut: {Guest Post}

Jeka is another southern blogger living in Kimmirut, Nunavut.  We ‘met’ when Jeka was planning her big move up north a few years ago and emailed me.  We had quite a few emails back and forth about what life is like and what to expect…and since those inital emails we have become friends.  It’s a small blogging community here in the north and it’s great to support each other when we can! I hope I get to “meet” Jeka in person…you need to come visit me in Pangnirtung for a weekend, you can’t leave Nunavut without visiting!  Thanks for sharing with us all today a little a bit what life is like for you in Nunavut.  Make sure you go check out Jeka of Nunavut for more stories of Jeka’s Adventures.

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Hi everyone! My name is Jeka and I blog over at Jeka of Nunavut. Sarah asked me to tell of her awesome readers about what it is like to live in my neck of the woods.

In May of 2012 I left my hometown of St. Stephen New Brunswick and my family to fly 2000 miles to the arctic territory of Nunavut. I was moving for work to a place I had never seen, except for pictures, never been to and only had scant knowledge of Kimmirut except what I learned from my month of research.

I left New Brunswick on May 15th and got stuck in Iqaluit overnight… not a good thing when you’re an emotional wreck from leaving your loved ones. Once I arrived in Kimmirut it was much better.

Kimmirut named for a rocky outcrop that is shaped like a “Kimmi” or heel in Inuktitut is a small hamlet of about 450 people 120kms south of Iqaluit. Kimmirut Harbour View

People coming in to our community can do so on four flights a week from Iqaluit on a Twin Otter* airplane. This plane also delivers all the cargo for the store, mail, and necessities of a fly in community. Twin Otter coming in

It was an adjustment at first learning the way of the North. Our water is delivered by a truck and sewage is removed the same way… though not from the same truck!

Once I made friends in town and people grew accustom to seeing me the North did not feel as lonely as it did when I first moved. Kimmirut has so many fantastic sights from the hills that surround the bay to the historic buildings in town such as the old HBC store (which is now our furniture warehouse) the church and the Soper house which is named after a prolific arctic explorer called Dewey Soper and the Parks and Visitors center in town.

In my time in Kimmirut I have gotten to experience so many cool things. I have tried 9 different country foods (Canada goose, Seal, Mattq (skin, cartilage and fat of a beluga whale), Arctic hare, and walrus, ptarmigan, clams, caribou and Arctic Char I love seal meat boiled and eaten with sweet mix pickles but my absolute favorite is caribou! Num!

I have also got to experience so many things living here:

…like shooting a gun for the first time ( it was at an ice burg and I don’t think I hit it!) Jeka Shooting…being out on a boat for my birthday ( it was rather cold ).Boating for Jeka's Birthday…Skidooing out on the Hudson Straight with no skidoo trail with my friend Jen!

…Watching the Northern lights dance above your head.

….I have made my own amauti (woman’s traditional parka with a pouch to carry a baby).

amoutiq

I was also lucky enough to have some of my family visit me. In October 2012 my Nannie came to visit me for almost three weeks (she got stuck due to the weather!) Jeka and her Nanny …and my Mom who came in September 2013.. She stayed for two weeks plus a few days because….. Can you guess? Yup weather! Jeka and her Mom

The North has been an amazing place for me. It has helped me become more independent, confident and sure of the path I chose to follow. I have learned Inuktitut (not well but enough to get by) I have embraced the people and the culture. I love that when someone walks into the store I know them by name.  I will miss these things when I leave. The North can be a lonely and isolating place and even if you’re prepared for it you never really are until you arrive. If you keep an open mind and are ready for new experiences, adventures and a look at a thousand year old culture then the North will never be lonely.

Jeka of Nunavut

* Sarah’s Note:  Jeka is lucky to get to fly on a smaller plane like a Twin Otter! I don’t get to fly on Twin Otters…as Dash-8s & ATRs have the regular commercial flights that come into Pang.

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