Sunday, February 20, 2011

My big day out on the land

What a day. It started off a bit chaotic because when I showed up in the morning the fella who had said he was selling me one, the one I was going to use today, had sold it to someone else. I had not given him cash yet as it was not done. Grrrrr, I was pissed!!! All this work and prep to put this trip together, getting excited and having to get up early on a Sunday morning all for nothing. Well, I was having none of it (teehehee). I drove down the street and stopped at a house that had numerous snowmobiles and Qamaitiqs. There were two older people warming up a snowmobile. I stopped in, introduced myself, told them my story and who I was taking out hunting and asked if they would rent me one. The best part was the man, who spoke little English. When he heard that I was going hunting, started hooking a well used Qamatiq up to my machine before we had even talked money. I think he would have just lent it to me had I asked. What a nice guy, I was so impressed and surprised. Most people, myself included, tend to be quite protective of their possessions. But here was someone giving something of value to a total stranger. Wow, I think there may be a lesson in here for me. Once I got loaded up, I went back to Gabriell's (my friend whom I went out with today, also my mechanic) place and off we went. He was quite surprise to see I had solved the problem in under 5 minutes, as he did not know anyone he was willing to ask to borrow one from. It worked out really well. Anyhow...

Off we went. What an amazing day: 150 kms, numerous ocean/river/stream crossing, "mountain" passes and so many amazing veiws. Sadly, no Caribou but we did have a great day. I had a mild breakdown when one of the steel runners under the ski broke and peeled back. I was very glad I have a toolkit from which I was able to fix things with (thanks Mom!). We stopped into an Inuit camp in which people still have cabins that get used frequently in summer. Gabriel's family has one which was a nice place to stop off for an americano (I love good coffee) and lunch. We noticed a couple of snowmobiles across the bay heading to check on their nets which are deployed in a nearby lake. We decided to go a check it out, which turned into a really neat experience. For those of you who might not know, I love fishing. When we got to the lake, there were two groups checking nets. The first we visited were both women who had it down to a fine art. It was pretty neat to see the whole process. I helped remove fish from the nets and re-deploy the nets. After the work was done, she gave us a good sized Arctic Char. I was quite honored by the gesture but gave it to Gabriel for his family. We then headed over to the other group who was just finishing up. After chatting for a bit, we were offered fish again. This time we got one each, and mine was quite a good sized one. I knew Lily would love it for dinner. Then we headed for home. Sadly, the Qamatic was very old and rotted. The front had already been "repaired" at some point, but did not hold. Right near town as I was slowly working my way around the boulders of frozen ice as we got onto the sea, I was stopped dead fast. The front of the Qamatic ski had dug in after the tip broke off. I was feeling very bad, but realized I had done nothing wrong to cause the damage. This is why I hate borrowing things and always end up buying/making my own. Anyhow, I was very worried about what the owner was going to say, but I explained what had happened, gave a bit more cash to cover the repairs and he was very understanding. Again, what a great guy. So our day ended well. No major breakdowns or injuries and so much tasty fish for dinner we invited a friend to share. Other than being exhausted and having very sore eyes (no goggles as they froze and I could not see well enought to hunt), it was a great day.

It was really great to see so many Inuit values that we (teachers) teach the kids, put into action today. I am sure they happen in town, but I don't often see them the way I did today. I saw generosity, trust, friendship, and a true appreciation for the land and it's resources. Getting away from town and the politics that go along with it was very re-invigorating for me. I am wiped out, but feel very recharged.

All of the photo's from today were taken on Margot's Itouch. What a handy camera, not the best quality pictures, but the battery actually last all day!

PS: I apologize for any errors, grammatical or otherwise in this entry. It's late, I'm tired and can barely see the screen anymore.

Have a good night!






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