Day one at Ground Zero

My group (Which was composed of people that I honestly wouldn't have chosen to hang out with. Seriously. It was like the bad stereotypes of the province were crammed in one room. Most of the men were Roy Dupuis age-Just not as good looking as him.) landed in Puvirnituq ahead of schedule. We had a clear day and that made all the difference.

See, we had to fly to Salluit (That is the Northernmost community in Nunavik territory. It is literally Land's End) and then touch down on the West coast, the Hudson's Bay. I kept referring to the double-rainbow video to my fellow passengers, because that was how I felt when we reached Salluit. It really hit me then that I was literally at the roof of the world. That after that stretch of land, it would be the North Pole.

And the Fjords and the colour of the water just made it all even better. I was stunned by the pure green of the water. I swear you can see right down to the bottom. Even on the plane! I also saw, when I was taking pictures what looked like a braid pattern on the water. There were white shapes underneath and it was just wicked. I filed it away for reference and we kept on flying.

I asked if I could sit up in the cockpit with the pilots when we reached my community (We passed by two: Akulivik and Inujivik. Both have populations in the hundreds and are small and at the edge of the world and most southerners would just be like "WUT?" when they would see it. Honest.) and they were all like "You go girl" although I was told to not film stuff and then put it on Youtube. I am sure someone has done it, so not surprised I got a warning.

I nearly lost it when we rose up into the sky. It was rocks and blue-green water below us. The older pilot kept staring at me as he told me little tidbits of information and pointed out that it was a gorgeous clear day as well as the Hudson Strait and where the Bay itself begins. (I recommend taking a look at an Atlas...NOW)

Remember I said that anything is possible in the North? The pilot asked me if I had been in the North, if I had flown Air Inuit and I was like yeah, back in the day, kind of thing. He then told me he remembered me from those times before! He told me he knew I looked familiar to him and me giving him the info cinched it for him. So yeah, that was my "No way. Really?" moment with the pilot. It's not a common thing and for him to have remembered me has made me realize I can't really ever blend in anywhere.

So we landed in Puvirnituq after than. The flight wasn't that long and I honestly felt cheated landing in 30 degree weather. I am living in the Arctic Circle and I get heat? What is this? I was like ergh! So we met the principal and vice principal and got taken to our places. I lucked out. Got a duplex rather than a small flat in a Quad!

Why this is good is because I have my water tank all to myself! More water for me! See, since there's permafrost here, we have tanks for the water and sewage. We get them filled (water) and emptied (sewage) on a regular basis. But living alone in a house, I get the stuff all to myself. Heh. Brilliant! And I don't have to live with the old group! Sweeet!

It's the North. We have to get excited about stuff like that.

The town I am in has a population of 1,627. It was on a sign on the way into town.This place is basically fiercely independent and functions as the capital for the Hudson Bay region. It's on a shoreline and it's long. I am also totally in love with the fact that I can go and sit and stare at the bay and it's a perfect, perfect stretch of water as far as the eye can see.

I was introduced to an elder and I told him I saw the braid pattern and white bodies below the water. He told me that it was A) Good luck, since it's a big pod of belugas and B) making him hungry. I am stoked for the whaling to begin. This is the time that the hunters go out and get Belugas and butcher them on the beach. They will give everyone a taste, so I really want to get a bit of it to taste it! It's exciting!

The rest of the day was spent talking to my principal, driving around, getting my boxes and drinking Pepsi. Which costs about 2$ a can. Shipping costs are high here. I saw an ipod shuffle 2G for double the price. Batteries are crazy expensive, like 18$ a pack of four. We only get the boat coming in once or twice a year and that will end soon for this year.

I was also greeted and welcomed by quite a few people in the community. It made me go..."Whoah...really?"

The last thing I will put (because I am cross-eyed from exhaustion at the moment) is that I will also be participating in the Nunavik Hockey Youth Program as a Liaison with the school and the program! Just bloody brill! I will expand on that later. And yes, there will be fjord pics...but not the kinds that parrots yearn for.



  1. I'm loving this blog Helen.
    So good to hear what you're up to.
    Sounds like it's going to be an amazing experience. Is the contract for a year?

  2. Sounds amazing, but I have to go look up Roy Dupuis, because I have no idea...


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