I spent the first weekend of the year at school, tuning the drums, photocopying handouts, and arranging my classroom. There is a designated student table near the window where my students can place their binders & notebooks, and find pencils, pens, scissors, rulers, erasers, scissors, and glue. The challenge this year will be keeping the binders properly stacked.
|August 18, 2015.|
Late August happens to be narwhal hunting season. Several of my students had to excuse themselves from class to go hunting with their relatives and/or elders. (Whenever someone says they're "going boating" in the north, it usually means they're out hunting wildlife). Pods of narwhals were spotted in Arctic Bay & Victor Bay. Several were successfully caught by locals but many others escaped. A pod was pointed out to me by a fellow teacher from a school window. They were swimming away from the shoreline except we couldn't see their long tusks. Narwhal tusks can sell for quite a hefty price in the north. The price doubles down south and then skyrockets when it's a double tusked narwhal.
Several teachers got together on the evening of August 22 to celebrate the birthday of one of our coworkers. The gathering was also a good way to make the two newly arrived teachers feel welcome among the staff. Inuujaq School hired two teachers from the south: John for Grades 7 & 8, and Jean-Francois for high school math, science, and physical education. We also invited one of the local nurses who prepared the birthday cakes. She did an amazing job. We had all brought snack food to the party but it was the cakes that "stole the show". Greg, the Grade 6 teacher/birthday man was truly honoured by the amount of effort and support put into the party.
|Roland attaches the propane tank.|
The tables were set with beverages, plastic cutlery & plates, beverages, and condiments. Roland fired up the barbecue and covered the grill with hot dogs, steaks, pork chops, and potatoes wrapped in tinfoil. Just looking at all the meat being cooked at once made our mouths water. The small stove top attachment was used to cook a pot of vegetables. When the food was ready, we all grabbed plastic plates and helped ourselves. The food was delicious.
|Co-op staff set up their barbecue.|
We stayed for a little while before packing up and heading home. I took some pictures and spoke to several people before taking a seat inside Roland's truck. We stopped along the Road to Nanisivik to check out the berry picking areas. The blueberries that grow in the north are quite small and the plant they're attached to do not grow very tall. You have to be careful where you step or you'll crush the berries you're trying to pick. I took several pictures of the road, landscape, and distant cliffs while Roland, Lena, & their children looked for berries on the side of a hill. Paulette & Kaitlynd also took some pictures and looked for berries. We didn't stay too long because there weren't that many berries in the area.
To Be Continued . . .