It’s been a few days since Ian and I were online at home – I still have internet access at work, but it’s work. I can’t exactly be spending time there writing blogs and the like. And so we waited.
We were able to attend my department’s Christmas party last weekend as well. It was a wonderful potluck style dinner where everyone brought something and the food was delicious! We followed the fantastic meal with dice games. I’m telling you, I have never had so much fun at a Christmas party, and cannot imagine such games every being played in the south. There seems to be no ego up here – everyone was involved, including the managers, directors and deputy minister. We all sat in a circle and threw dice to see who would be able to enter the circle to attempt to win a prize. The prizes were wrapped in various layers of newspaper and plastic bags, and to open them, you had to put on huge oven mitts, and use plastic knives to cut into the package. But by the time one put on the gloves or picked up the knives, a new person had rolled the appropriate dice to enter the circle, and you were force to return to the circle to wait for your next chance at the dice. There are pictures from the party in our Photobucket album, so check them out!
Things have all sort of come together up here in the past week. We moved into our new apartment on Sunday. Our personal effects were delivered on Monday. We’d been unpacking for most of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and we now have the bulk of our items sorted out, organized and in their rightful places. Our phone was hooked up on Monday. We discovered that our satellite tv is working (so there may be an angry phone call made to Bell if they decide to charge me full price for the month that we were not using the television service). We received our modem on Friday, and are now hooked up online and ready to go. Like I said, things have come together.
Our packers did an outstanding job. All along we heard horror stories of moves to the North. People told us not to pack anything glass…not to expect everything to show up…to expect to have forklift holes in our boxes…for our boxes to just be crushed or destroyed in some way. But I have to hand it to our movers. Every single piece of glass arrived intact. Most of our boxes were in perfect condition – only a couple had minor dents. Our dresser had some minor dings at the bottom. And the only thing missing at this point appears to be a folding step-ladder – that really would have come in handy when organizing the kitchen cupboards! Regardless, the movers packed EVERYthing in our apartment in Kitchener, and 99.9% of it arrived with no hassles. Even some half empty bags of chips – but to be fair, we were advised that the packers would not be packing any food items. Uh…yeah…
We finally feel like Iqaluit’s home.
And so do the Terrible Twosome. Brit and Jemaine can be found lounging, well…just about anywhere in this apartment. In our bedroom, we have pushed a dresser against the wall just in front of the window, and both of the cats love to sit on it and look out the window. I’m not sure what it is they watch – I’m sure they’re intrigued by the giant ravens…or perhaps are just as mesmerized as Ian and I are over the expanse of land that we can see from our window. They also like to sit on the wide window ledge in our living room. And sometimes they just sprawl out in the middle of the floor…lazily flipping a tail, or rolling around in complete contentment. I’m glad that they’ve adjusted so well. They quite like it here.
As for Ian, he’s been in his glory, faithfully taking pictures of every sunrise and sunset he can capture. It’s amazing how beautiful the sun can make this place. The snow just shimmers. And from our balcony, we have a lovely view. We can see Koojesse Inlet at the end of Frobisher Bay from here. Having grown up in Niagara Falls, smack dab in the middle of the Great Lakes basin, being close to water isn’t exactly new to me, but the novelty lies in seeing the water from my home.
There is one thing I’ve been dying to tell everyone about since Wednesday. While sitting at my desk at work on Wednesday morning, my manager came out from his office, visibly antsy. He had received word that his snowmobile – which had been at the repair shop – was ready to be picked up. It was also an incredibly beautiful sunny day. On top of that, I had only been to Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park once since my arrival, and it’s important that I understand the lands that I’ll be mapping. So he decided that over the lunch hour, we would head over to pick up his snowmobile and then head out to the park so he could show me some of the more pertinent locations where we were attempting to obtain land ownership in order to fully protect the park boundaries. Since Ian had never been to the park, we decided to pick him up as well, which would require the use of his other snowmobile as well.
I have never been more frightened in my life…or more exhilarated! What a feeling it is to be on a snowmobile in Nunavut when the wind is blowing microscopic particles of snow across your face and frostbite is starting to set in. It was cold that day. And the wind added to that. Ian and I were bundled up on one skidoo, following my manager on the other. I’ve never ridden a snowmobile before, let alone driven one. After a quick lesson, I quickly began to feel comfortable behind the
wheel handlebars of the machine. We had a few close calls – getting stuck on a massive patch of ice…reversing from the ice to then find ourselves embedded in a deep drift of snow…feeling precariously close to flipping the skidoo on some slight slopes – but we made it through okay. After dropping off Ian, I followed my manager back to his house to drop off the second machine – up a huge set of fairly steep hills. When you’re a beginner at snowmobiling, these are not the types of land features you want to encounter. Especially when the slope you’re on leads to a relatively large rocky cliff over which your snowmobile and you could fall. Did I mention it was exhilarating? Snowmobile is currently winning in the potential transportation poll where my options also include ATV or shipping my car to the north.
It’s been an exciting week that contrasted with the winding down that was happening as we made our way to Christmas. Ian and I wish all of you a merry one. Be safe and enjoy your holidays!