Monday, December 13, 2010

Blizzards and a snowboard

Below are photo's of:

1-5. snowboarding and snowmobiling
6. Lily trying on Margot's snow pants and boots
7. Lisa posing with the fur she and Margot bought for their parkas. Margot's is on the left and is blue fox. It will be enough for three parkas.
8. Lily playing with her helmet.
9-14. Various shots of my tour of the Cape Dorset Artists Co-op.
15. Kala pretending to be a sheep after spending a few minutes outside in a blizzard.
16. Birthday Party!
17. Lily tending her garden
18. Pizza!



















This is a bit of a hodgepodge of written work that I put together into one post. It has been a bit of a challenge it seems for me to get much time or energy to post this last bit. Anyhow, here is how our life has looked lately from my perspective. -Richard

December 5, 2010:

It was quite a week for me at work. Our school has been closed to students all week thanks to our heating system. It has been consistently over 30 degrees Celsius in most of the classrooms and hallways. My class peaked at 43 degrees. Yowch! The DEA (District Educational Authority) has decided that our school is not a suitable place for students. So I spent the week getting the music/drama room cleaned and sorted along with other school beautification jobs. But we had the most staff meetings ever, one lasted all day. It was brutal! I did manage to arrange a tour of the Co-op’s Lithograph and carving studio, which was great. We saw numerous examples of locally produced drawings and prints. The manager was very helpful and took heaps of time giving me and three other teachers a tour. We talked about how to bring the school and the studio closer together which I hope will turn out to be productive. The whole experience was very inspiring.

This week we had students but school was canceled one morning, one afternoon and an entire day due to blizzards. The wind was gusting at over 90 km hr. The entire house was shaking; it was pretty wild and a bit unsettling. In the midst of that, we realized that the heat upstairs doesn’t work. A worker was sent out to fix it but he was unable to. Luckily we brought along a small oil filled heater that keeps Lily’s room nice and warm. The blizzard left a snowdrift beside the building that was at least 5 feet tall.

Christmas is fast approaching and most of the staff from down south are keen to be heading home but are very concerned about the possible weather delays associated with all the blizzards we have been getting. Sadly, we are not going home to see our families but are keen on seeing what Cape Dorset is going to be like at Christmas. I have heard there are all sorts of community activities and often they have a large feast which futures a wide variety of country food.

Speaking of Christmas, we got our tree up and all our lights and such set up. It is very festive here and Lily is enjoying it. We have a small-motorized Santa that moves and sings “jingle bell rock” that we have had forever. Lily is really enjoying playing with him and having impromptu dance parties. Good times!

It is starting to look the way I thought the Arctic was going to look like up here. Last week Lisa and I went out snowmobiling and headed into the back-country. But first I went snowboarding behind Nipple Mountain. Not the best riding ever, but I still got in about 10 or so runs. It was nice to get some turns in. It will be nice when we get more snow then we can access more shuttle runs with the snowmobiles. I have snowshoes, but it’s a lot more fun to get a ride to the top. Also, when we have more snow and ice, I can use my snowkite to pull me on my board and that should be a good time. After snowboarding, we wound our way up and over a couple of mountains and found a super fun bowl to play in. I taught her different snowmobile techniques like how to side hill and get the high mark on the mountain. It was going great until the key for my machine fell out while we were driving. Luckily I was able to get the machine working and back to town. It was so much fun, I love snowmobiling.

Saturday was one of the nicer looking days I have seen up her yet with lots of fresh snow, sunshine and little wind. The sun was up by 10 am so Lily and I, along with a few kids from next door, headed out to go sledding. Very picturesque with the sun hitting the mountains on Baffin Island and the harbour starting to freeze up. I realized how much I miss the sun though. Quite a contrast to when we lived in Calgary, with it’s 200 sunny days a year. I do love cold, clear and sunny winter days.

Lily received a small starter garden that will grow sunflowers recently and is loving it. We take it out everyday and she talks about her garden and how well it is doing. It has five good sprouts on it, which is nice as I was concerned that nothing might grow.

Take care everyone and I hope your Christmas plans are coming along. Drop us a line, we love to hear from people!

December 13, 2010 update:

There are snowmobiles out on the ice today. I thought they were ice fishing but it turns out they are hunting seals. Oh, and last night was an iconic Canadian moment for me. After dinner we took the dogs out for a play in front of our place and it was wicked cold (-28 C). We were all playing in the snow when my neighbor came out with his son to play a bit of street hockey. Meanwhile, the northern lights were blazing across the sky and in the distance I heard snowmobiles zooming around. It was a very cool moment.

Overall, life is good up here. Lily is loving school, Margot and I are doing well with our classes and in our schools and our house is quite comfortable. We hope your lives are wonderful also! We are sure missing our families and friends though!


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