Category Archives: Fun with Work Mates

Spring IQ Fishing Trip!

Friday it was time for our Department to get out of the office and head out on the land.  It was our  Inuit Qaujimatjatuqangit (IQ) Spring Fishing Trip! (IQ is Inuit traditional Inuit Knowledge. click on the link for more information.)

We went to 

Iqalukjuat it’s about a 2 hour drive away from Pang.  (We also went there last spring for our IQ day…).  Here’s a look at the Pang Mountains just after 6:30am. It is so peaceful that early in the morning.

Pangnirtung Pass...mountains at 6:30am

We had an early start, meeting on the beach at 6:30am…after everyone gathered and got there we took off for the fishing lake.  I was one of the first people to arrive, and I thought maybe I was being ‘punked’ but it just turns out I was on time and the first to arrive!  

IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0001I started out travelling in the back of a kamotik (sled being pulled by the snowmobile).  It was a fun but bumpy ride across the fjord! When we started to go up the Kulik River Trail…I jumped out and onto the back of a snowmobile.  (It was the safest way to get up…the trail was icy…and it’s a basic drop off a side of the mountain…with a heavy kamotik that might ‘swing’ off the side….so I was happy to be on a snowmobile!) 
IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0002IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0003 A shot of Pang in the distance from the top of the Kulik Trail… (see the edge of the trail?) IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0004 At one point we stopped to take some photos…but everyone else in the group was still on the move! IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0005 IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0006 IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0007 It was so weird… to see open water at this time of year…but one of the places we had to cross was open water!  Coming home…I was back in a kamotik and there was some serious splashing of water…that instantly froze on me! IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0008 Here’s the spot where two machines got stuck in the crazy deep powder.  I did a roll off the machine… and then was stuck in snow up to my waist.  It was crazy trying to walk to the top of the hill… I *might* have ended up crawling on my hands and knees, this *might* have been the only way to get to the top of the hill without breaking through the crust!
IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0009

Finally at the lake…we had sunshine and a gorgeous day for fishing!
IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0010 fishing trip Pangnirtung, NunavutIQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0012 IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0014 Yummy fish soup for lunch… so good!  IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0015

After lunch my luck jiggin’ changed!  I *might* have caught the edge of the ice once…but then ended up getting FOUR awesome Char! Here’s a photo of me with the first… and my ‘pile’ of four! Soon after we started getting ready for our trip back to Pang.
IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0016 Fishing trip in Pangnirtung, Nunavut Here’s a shot at the top of the Kulik Trail… (Pang is in the distance on the other side of the fjord!) Fishing Trip in Pangnirtung, Nunavut I got out and walked down the hill… as the trail was slick, and it took mad skillz to keep the sleds and kamotiks on the trail, not jack-knifing and flipping off the edge of the mountain! One of the guys took this sled and kamotik down the hill… took the kamotik off and then drove back up!  Then he drove down his machine and kamotik.  IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0019 Looking back at the Kulik Trail from the other side of the pack ice.  End of the day… it was such a great day!  I got home about 7:30pm… and it was still DAYLIGHT! IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0020 IQ Spring Fishing Trip 2013_0021 Fishing Trip Pangnirtung, Nunavut

It was a perfect day for fun with people I work with…can’t wait until the next day we get to go out!

Polar Bear at the end of the road…

Seeing a Polar Bear in the wild has been something I’ve wanted to have happen…but then something I totally didn’t want to happen.  Contrary to popular belief of many in the south…polar bears aren’t cute and cuddly.  They are hunters, they stalk their prey… and they are big, have big teeth and claws… and well I didn’t want to come across one while I was berry picking, or hiking in the hills around town! Because the polar bear would win any battle every time!

But then there was this other side of me wanted to see one…I wanted to be sure I was safe in a car, or boat…but have the ability to see one. People in town just looked at me and said, “No you don’t!” I’ve heard stories… and realized how life threatening seeing a bear would be…there’s no fences like the Toronto Zoo to stop that bear from eating you!

In April of 2009, one of my first trips out of town in a skidoo with neighbours and friends... we stopped along side a polar bear’s tracks on the fjord… I couldn’t believe how big they were!

~ Photos taken April 4, 2009 ~

….then a few weeks later I saw another ‘sign’ that they were living amongst us while I was walking through the streets of Pang.

~ Photos taken April 13, 2009 ~

Today, a coworker at work came past my desk and said, “Polar Bear at the end of the road…”…I jumped up grabbed my coat, got into a truck and headed down to the end of the road.  And I saw one… walking away from town… I couldn’t believe how FAST they walk!  It was HUGE, (even though it was way far away…). It went behind a hill, and then ended up jumping in the water and swimming for a bit!  It was so neat to see it, but I remembered that in July of 2009 I had hiked around where that bear was and this spring had enjoyed some time taking photos out there on the ice…!

I did take the following photos with my iPhone 3GS…that ‘white’ blob on the big photo-it’s a polar bear! Lots of people were down looking for the bear…we stood there watching it as the smell of the dump burning filled our nostrils.   As you can see from the photo on the bottom right the bear was pretty far away–going in the opposite direction of town, but had been quite close when it was first spotted!   And my zoom on my iPhone 3GS just isn’t the same as my 50-500mm lens on my camera!!

Well that’s my news… lessons I learned today:

1. …always be prepared to jump in a truck when someone says, “Polar Bear”!

2. …get in the habit of carrying my camera with me at all times again!

3. …and maybe walking to the end of the road–might not be such a good plan right now!

Goodbye Arviat, Hello Iqaluit!

On my last post about my trip to Arviat it seems fitting that I put up photos that ‘welcome’ you to Arviat!  I had such a great week in Arviat…it was really nice to visit another community in Nunavut.  The people of Arviat are so friendly and welcoming.

After our meetings wrapped up this morning…there was a bit of time to head to the ‘lumber’ store.  I took some photos inside, but promised the people in them that I wouldn’t post them!  Trust me they were pretty funny…my friend was looking for a tool belt, and the brand-name of the tool belt that they had in the store was hilarious! In the end she didn’t get the belt.

This store went on, and on, and on… anything and EVERYTHING you would ever want to have was there.  From food to sewing supplies to construction stuff to home appliances, the lumber store had it all!  That’s one of the fun parts about travelling…each community gets different things into their stores…and you never know what you might end up seeing!

Outside of the lumber store…was a group of kids.  They were jumping and running around-playing some kind of game.  They saw my camera and asked if I could take a photo of them.  So I did!

Our next stop was Kiluk-the Arts and Crafts Store in Arviat!  (This is the place that the Salia Doll Amauti are hand made!) While I was there one of the ladies brought out 3 cute Ookpik (Owls).  Immediately they were bought by two of my coworkers.  I quickly asked if there was another Ookpiks in the back.  The woman said there was one more ‘baby’ one…but it needed to be finished.  She quickly stitched it up, and cut the tail feathers so I could buy it. 

Posing with our new friends! 

Here’s another group of kids…waiting for their mum to take them home after a long day at school!

Then it was off to the airport to catch our charter flight back to Iqaluit.

On this flight I decided that this is kind of like a ‘bucket’ list item achieved… I was on a privately chartered plane…travelling from point A to B.  Glad that this happened northern style.

Kind of like another item on that ‘bucket’ list.  I always wanted to live in a house that had a porch swing. My basement apartment in Toronto–well that house it was in, had a porch swing! And the ‘Bucket’ list item to live by the ocean–well I’m doing that in Pang, but the water temps are a bit colder than I expected!

I guess sometimes our ‘bucket’ list wishes are a bit different than what we expect them to look at when we make them.  Maybe I need to start to define these items a bit more! Some last views of Arviat…

…and a view of Hudson’s Bay!

A quick stop for re-fueling in Rankin Inlet…

…a final wave, quick walk to board the plane, and two + hour flight back to Iqaluit is the way this story ended!

An Evening at the Elders Centre in Arviat…

Last night (Wednesday), our group was treated to an evening performance of singing and drumming at the Elders Centre.  (On Monday night we had ‘stumbled’ upon the group practicing for this performance!) It was an hour performance…and it was so amazing!  The women singing family songs to the men drumming.

The Elder that sang this song…had her grandson drum for her.  (She is wearing the red hat.)

This was one of my favourite photos I took last night.  

It was great to see so many people from the community of different ages enjoying the performance and also participating.

The Bead work on the Amoutiq was amazing!!! Here are two different examples from the front and back.

























There was also a bit of throat singing…

I loved how this father was one of the drum dancers.  But he also brought his children so that they could watch him as well as other Elders doing the drum dancing.

The thing that struck me watching the performance…that it was something the Elders enjoyed…as well as the next generation.

Leaving the Elders Centre about 8:30pm… looking up here was the view of the sky.  After living in Winnipeg and then moving to Pang… I miss these WIDE open skies….


The Breakfast Club

John Hughes films are legendary… those classic movies from the 80s, that are timeless. The movies of my childhood and teen years.  I must admit some of his earlier films I watched years after they were released in the 90s.  Some of my ultimate favourite movies come from ones that John Hughes was involved with… like 16 Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, National Lampon’s Christmas and Uncle Buck.  

The thing that I loved about The Breakfast Club that it could have happened in 1985 or 2012.  The writing was timeless.  I remember how it spoke to me as a teenager, and how it can and is still relevant to the teenagers today!  The movie captured some of the struggles that all teens go through…no matter what cultural background you come from.

Last night here in Arviat, the drama club from the John Arnalukjuak High School brought the characters alive from The Breakfast Club on the stage. The students did SUCH a great job-with the lighting, props, costumes, makeup and acting!

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. What we did was wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us. In the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club

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