Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pictures from the summer

We loaded our camera with our other memory card and found a bunch of pictures from the summer. We thought we would post them to remind us what the sun looks like!

Here is a picture of Dad at the beach. He looks very happy to be going into work on Monday. I guess he could always retire!

This is one of the many beautiful sunsets that we saw while we lived out at camp this summer. It was a beautiful time. It looks like there is just enough sand for the kids to give another wooping to the adults at beach volleyball. Next year, we'll be able to put 2 courts side by side.

We love this picture because it reminds us of a warmer time. It also reminds me what a row of trees looks like! If you look really close, you can see Boudah's boulder. It was a family swimming favourite when we were younger.

Laura loved holding Shannon's little girl, Brooklyn. Brooklyn now has a little sister named Kendra but we didn't have a picture of her on our camera.

Mom is probably still having an upset stomach from looking at her cabinets. Laura and I painted them at camp because she kept complaining how the brown was way too dark. I'm sure she will adjust well to the colour (eventually)!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Inuit carvings

The North is full of great artists who do amazing work. I am going to post a few pictures of the many carvings we have purchased since moving to Igloolik.

Laura's grampa was very excited about her moving to the North. He requested that we try and buy him a polar bear carving with a cub.

Here are the same carvings (at a different angle). They are done by a local artist named Esa. The material used in these carvings is Marble. In the winter, the carvers drive their snowmachines about 8 hours away and harvest the stone from another community.

This is the family of bears that we purchased from Esa. They are also made from Marble and are in different poses. In the real world, the male would not be found anywhere near the mom and her cub.

At Richard and Lee's cabin

We took a drive on the snowmachine to Richard and Lee's cabin. He's a construction worker in town and Lee's father lived up in Igloolik for over 20 years. It wasn't far from town but it was nice to get out.

Here is a picture of us taken from the step of the cabin. There is lots of frozen ice and nothing much else behind us.

Here are Mike (RCMP) and Reagan (temporary RCMP) outside the cabin by the fire. It was very cold and it took a while to get a fire going. Luckily, there was a can of camp fuel that Mike poured all over the wood.

The girls spent most of the time inside by the fire. On the left are Laura and Jessie (teacher). On the right, there is Reagan and Sharon (nurse).

Here is Mike on the ski-doo. He is on the roof of a cabin. The snow drift is pretty high and has all but buried most of the cabin.

Christmas in Igloolik

We hung up our Christmas lights two weekends ago. I don't think we will win any contests but it does help to brighten up the neighbourhood!

On the inside of our place, we strung up some blue lights. In true "Don Kennedy" style, I didn't have a ladder so I improvised and climbed on the cat condo to install them while Laura prayed in the corner.

On the outside, we put some icicle lights on the house and then decorated the shed. You probably noticed the burnt out string of lights. They worked inside but broke when I put them up. We tried to get a replacement bulb but they don't sell them anywhere.

Exact same picture but taken at 2 in the afternoon (top one is taken at about 6). It starts to get dark really fast now. Did I mention we haven't seen the sun in 2 weeks?

Two guys and a smoker

We had the opportunity to smoke some Arctic Char on the weekend. We will both be trying to bring some home on the plane. The early reviews say that we did an excellent job and everone seems to enjoy it.

We smoked three Arctic Char. This is the biggest of the three. I caught this fish using a 10 dollar bill. I would love to say that I caught the fish, but we bought them from a kid at school who has a net under the ice.

This is our friend Marty who is a supply teacher at the school. He is a trained chef and the brains of the operation. He made the brine and did most of the filleting.

Here is the smoker. We picked one of the coldest days to smoke. We had the smoker in my shed, covered in cardboard, with a space heater and it was still freezing. We smoked the fish for about two hours and then finished it in the oven at a low temp. Since the smoking, my shed and snowmobile now smell like ribs!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some dogs, a cat and the orange igloo

Well, here is a collection of random photos that we wanted to share but couldn't fill up an entire post by themselves.

Here are Dan and Kim's new Husky pups, Kayuq and Toby. This was the best picture I could get of them together since they are usually wrestling or running. Notice the expert carpentry of the dog house entrance that I cut for Dan with my circular saw.

Here's Laura with our (neighbour's) dog Arcpiq. We took this guy for many walks and Laura is enjoying trying to keep him still. Arcpiq really enjoys bitting Laura's mitts. Unfortunately, Arcpiq has moved to Iqaluit with his owner. He was a great dog!

Even cats need to stay warm in the Arctic!

Kayuq was able to sit still long enough so I could snap this pic. The dogs were fed with seal as pups and smell really bad. Dan and Kim gave them baths so they are smelling much better these days.

This orange igloo was built behind our school. Scarlett, a photographer from Holland, hired some elders to build the igloo and then dyed the blocks orange.

Rememberance Day blizzard

On Rememberance Day, we had a blizzard in Igloolik. The winds were about 100 km/h and we couldn't see across the street because of blowing snow. It was very windy and cold!

We went to Mike's house (RCMP officer) for diner. He gave us a ride home in his truck and we got stuck in a drift. It took about 6 guys 30 minutes to dig it out. When we got home, this is a picture of the shed we jumped from into the snow bank. This was the best picture that turned out because so much snow was blowing!

The morning after. This is the front of our neighbours house. Believe it or not, there is a snowmachine buried beside the shed on the right (left side of picture). It will take Dan some shoveling to get it out.

This was the drift we found behind out house. The day before, the snow was only about a foot high.

Ice fishing in November

Here are a few pics from the ice fishing trip we took on Saturday (November 10th). It was a beautiful day but it took us about an hour to find the lake because everything looks the same. Needless to say, you don't have to ask why there are no pictures of fish posted! We went fishing with two other couples: Dan and Kim (our neighbours) and Jessie and Mike (teacher and an RCMP officer).

Fishing up here is much different than the south. You lie on a caribou skin (or piece of foam insulation) and stare down at your hole. You keep jigging your line and watch the fish come to it. I don't think they actually bite because people just tell you to snag them when they get close.

Laura made sure she stayed warm while she ice fished. She wore her big parka and her dog fur mitts.

It doesn't take long to get a good buildup of snow on your beard up here. We had to chip our holes and the perspiration just clung to every little hair you had exposed.

Laura loved ice fishing. Look at the beautiful smile on her face. She wanted me to add that she did have fun and that she was smiling under her balaclava. She looks forward to venturing out on the land very soon!

Our friends Dan and Kim were excited to bring their new Husky pups on the trip. Kim is holding the male Kayuq and Dan is holding the female Toby. I had to rescue Toby from the ice fishing hole when she fell in butt first. She was cold and Dan had to keep her in his jacket the entire afternoon!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Animals around town

Here are some pics that our principal Paul took around town.

This is a seal that was harvested. I wonder what Paul McCartney thinks of this image?

This is a walrus head. The tusks will be used for carvings. Our friend Maren witnessed the harvesting of a walrus on the weekend and they even let her skin it with them. The approximate size of a wlarus is two pools tables stacked end to end.

Some of you may recall the polar bear warning we told you about....her it is. This guy didn't know that coming into to town was going to be his last footsteps. The value of the hide is about $5000 and each claw can be carved and worth around $100.

Here is another seal that was harvested. I had the chance to buy some sealskin mitts that look exactly like this guy....they are very warm!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Random pics around town

We thought we would just post some random pictures that we have taken around town. Although some are hard to see, read the description and I'll try and give an idea where the picture is.

This is a picture taken with Laura in front of our house. This is Thanksgiving weekend and look at all that lovely snow!

This is picture of the town taken from the hill behind our house. It was taken in August. I guess the biggest thing you can notice is the absence of trees. All of the ground is tundra and in the spring/fall is a combination of rock and mud.

This is a picture of the Igloolik waterfront; the commercial center of Igloolik. It was taken from a man-made shoal in the bay. The shoal was made to protect the boats in the harbour. Most of the boats are gone but a few remain.

This picture is taken from the top of the hill behind our place. It is the other side of Igloolik Island. Notice the absence of hills and mountains. The terrain here is so flat that you can see for kilometres. It takes about 1 hour to walk to the other side of the island.

The connection is very slow right now and I'll add more pictures tomorrow!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Our happiest day in Igloolik was when the ship arrived with our sealift. The sealift is our yearly supply of groceries (both dry and frozen) that we ordered during the summer. There are two grocery stores here, the Co-op and the Northern, but it is much cheaper to order a sealift. We also had our snowmachine delivered on our sealift. To put the size of the ship in perspective, the boat to the left is the coastguard. They guide the ship and were also in town doing some health checkups/surveys on some of the locals.

Everything is unloaded from the big ship and floated in on barges with tugbots. Then, 3 huge forklifts deliver everything in town. It is quite an operation. They operated the forklifts from morning until nightfall!

The forklift delivering our food. Our snowmachine was at the bottom of our food. We were very happy to have food. Did I mention we liked food?

Staff Orientation: completely unlike the south

For our staff orientation, we were sent to a popular camping spot just outside of the "big city". We met with some elders who told us stories about the past. Many of them lived in canvas tents that they sewed together themselves and rarely went into town during the warm summer months.

A couple of years ago, the town was granted a tag for a bow whale. It took about 20-30 hunters to harvest this whale. Laura and I are standing in front of the skull of this enormous fish (mammal). The eye sockets were the size of frisbees and we were told that it was about 60' long when they harvested it.

Here are some fish that we took out of a net. We all were able to take one home. We had an Arctic Char fish fry that night.

Three sealskin hides that are being tanned in the sun. We thought this was a special occurence until we realized that we could count about twenty hides being tanned on our walk to school. Everyday, we see caribou and seal skins being stretched and tanned. Once, we even saw a dog being skinned!

Clearing out the nets with Dan (blonde guy) and Jeremy (with the paddle). It's hard to believe we were getting paid to do this!

A picture of Jamie holding an Arctic Char that has been cleaned. If you look closely, you can see the lines where the fish was caught in the net. Sorry I couldn't get this picture facing the proper way!

setting up the inside

Finally after moving here in late August, our stuff arrived in mid-September. It takes about 2-12 weeks for your stuff to arrive here since it is shipped on a plane. We had moved out of our place July 30th, so we were anxiously awaiting its arrival. Before our stuff arrived, we were eating from 2 plates, we each had a fork, knife and spoon and our selection of cookware was limited to camping pots and a kettle.

Here I am covered in a pile of boxes. All of our stuff arrived while we were at school one day and we couldn't even get into our place. We spent a whole night just unwrapping our stuff and left a garbage pile outside the size of a half ton truck!

This is what our living room finally looks like. It took a lot of work but it finally feels like home. Notice the swedish inspired designs (IKEA) and the bookcase on the left side holds our small collection of local carvings.