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.

Jamie's shed

Well it didn't take long to realize that I would need a shed to keep my snowmachine nice and warm this winter. I gathered the material by going to Canadian Tire (aka the dump) and scrounging for whatever I could find. I found all of the material for free and used tarps that I had brought to cover the roof. In total, I think the shed cost me about $50 bucks in nails and $40 bucks in hinges. Not a badly assembled pile of scrap!

We have had snow for a couple of weeks now, and the shed sits proudly beside the other "lesser" sheds doing its jobs of keeping my baby warm. I guess all of that experience with Don Kennedy Construction finally came in handy!

Our place in Igloolik

Hello Everyone!
sorry it took so long to start posting some images. We have been so busy adapting to life in the arctic but with the Thanksgiving weekend upon us, we have some time to create our blog.

We arrived in Igloolik to discover that our living quarters were actually a lot better than we had expected. We live in row housing, sharing a building that has 5 units. We live on the end unit and have a side entrance while others have a front entrance.

On the side of the house, there is a connection for sewage. Every second day, a truck arrives and pumps the crap out of our place. Soon after, another truck comes and fills up the water tank. Everything is located above ground since the tundra is frozen year round. It is imperative that you are upwind when the pooptruck arrives!