Saturday, December 16, 2006

High Ho, it's off to Cape Dorset we go

Hello everyone,

Let us start at the beginning. Our first flight was leaving at 6:15 am Tuesday morning so we decided we better get packed Monday evening :). Unfortunately the power went out at 8:00pm when we were only 1/2 way through our packing and didn't come back on until 1:07am Tuesday morning. With 10 bags and 3 animal carriers to get packed and loaded candlelight doesn't cut it. We finally left the house at 2:30am to be at the airport cargo by 4am the parents helped take luggage for us.. Security and baggage was a pain. Michele was randomly selected for a body search. Trust me it is not as fun as it sounded. I wish she would let me be as attentive. :) We arrived at Toronto and transferred to another plane going to Ottawa where we spent the night at a hotel.

The stay in Ottawa started out a bit rough when we couldn't find our animals. The airline had sent the dog to the cargo but didn't tell us the cats where going to come our with our luggage. Then we couldn't find a taxi that would take us and the pets. The driver that finally took us made a good dollar. We are lucky enough to have a mutual friend in Ottawa who took us to dinner and a tour of the city. Michele has never been to parliament hill and it has been over a decade since I was there. We seen a few sites including parliament hill, the canal locks, the lost soldier memorial, governer-generals house. It was no problem to tell which building was the American embassy. Overall the end of the day in Ottawa was a better end than start.

The next morning we got on a plane to Iqaluit, Nunavut. They fed us on the plane including heated cookies, coffee, etc. It was like being in first class. I soon learned they were just setting us up for the landing in Iqaluit. They let us off on the tarmac and it was about -20C and the wind was howling. The first thing that happened when we got in the door was the airport manager meets us and says that we will not know until 2pm if we will be able to fly to Cape Dorset because of weather. So we wait and wait and wait.....We did finally get to go and the culture shock begins.

As we get on the plane the flight attendant/mechanic? tells us it is first come first serve for the seating. Michele and I didn't get to sit together. The flight attendant was wearing coveralls and work boots. It was a bit crowded because every foot of space was taken up for cargo. There was a bit of a delay getting started because the airplane door had frozen open. Yep frozen open. Although the rest of the flight was uneventful a person couldn't stop wondering. When we got to Cape Dorset it looked like a blizzard was going on turns out it was just blowing snow.

The airport was an adventure because of the kids, because we have a rotty 3 cats 14 bags! Now as we gather our luggage and animals we are beginning to wonder what to do next. We actually didn't know where to go because no one ever told us. Finally my new bosses arrived and got us moving. We were taken to our condo/apartment/townhouse we don't know what to call it. Then immediately we are taken to the co-op/home hardware (sorry Tim it's all they got) for groceries and off to supper with my manager. Back home around 11pm and then to work the next morning. It is a shorter walk to work from our home than it was to go from the parking lot to the time cards at Fawcett's.

Have a look at the pictures. The Inuit name for Cape Dorset is Kingait pronounced Ken ite. Means mountain. When you look at the picture called 'Our Condo' the white stuff on the outside of the building is actually frost. The condo is a lot nicer inside than outside. Fist Day picture is my first day of work the time of the picture is 8:30am and the building I work in is in the background. You will love our Christmas tree :). Kingait is the center for Inuit art. The carvers will come to our door to sell there work. I got to hold a Narwhal tusk (tooth) in my hand. It was about 3 1/2 feet long. I will be going to Pond Inlet in January for orientation and then to Pangnurtung to advise on a project the Hamlet there is proposing to do. All communities except Iqaluit are called hamlets. The second night here we got to see the northern lights the way they are meant to be seen. We walked out our front door and looked straight up...amazing...greens, purple, white...amazing. We are lucky here we get at least 4 1/2 to 5 hours of sunlight. Some guys from the Pond Inlet office were down and it was the first time they have seen light since October. We haven't seen any polar bears yet. That's all for now.


Anonymous said...

Welcome to Nunavut.

Anonymous said...

Way to go guys. Wish I was in your boots, although it has felt like it here in Edmonton lately. Am talking to Sara while I type so will read the whole thing later.

Living in Cape Dorset said...

Hey Folks

Welcome to Cape Dorset. By the pictures, I can tell you are living up near some colleagues of mine. I am heading back to New Brunswick to spend Christmas with my wife and kids. I am really looking forward to the holiday. Maybe we can get together after the holiday