Escape Further North - A Self Fulfilling Prophecy

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
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Trip End Feb 16, 2012


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Flag of Canada  , Nunavut,
Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My husband and I have been talking about the far north since the first day we met! Finally, we have set our feet on Nunavut land - snow covered, and coloured by a pink and twighlight blue sky!  A travel dream come true for us!
Our plane touched down in Cambridge Bay first around 1300h.  We waited in the little airport looking at the giant stuffed muskox, maps on the walls, and other travellers while the plane fuelled and unloaded cargo. We didn't know if we'd be making it to our final desination of Gjoa Haven because we got 'green stickered" at the airport in Yellowknife due to freezing fog - a result of record breaking warmth.  So much anticipation, so much waiting.  However, by 1430h, we were fortunate enough to be deplaning in Gjoa Haven.  It was black as night and a pleasant -9 degrees Celsius when we met my mother-in-law (Treva), and we stood outside talking in the snowy darkness waiting for the luggage 'truck' to come around with our gear.  The parking lot was mostly snowmobiles and quads, which I thought was funny to see.
The darkness was very strange and played tricks on me all day. At 3pm it was pitch black outside and I felt like eating supper and going straight to bed! Instead we drove around the Hamlet, getting our bearings of the small but spread out community of about 1100 people.  We went to both of the two stores to look at the selection and be amazed by the high prices (see pictures). 
Treva was hostessing a dinner in honour of our arrival so we set to unpacking and preparing to meet her colleagues in health care.  We all seemed to fall into friendship immediatly, bound by the isolation and uniqueness of being in the same remote community at the same time.  Despite it feeling like 4 am (the travel and darkness sending up into some kind of time warp), it was still early when dinner was over so we went to the local Communitee Hall for a dance and to watch the Best-Dressed Contest. 
We are here for our Christmas holiday and will stay until afer New Year's.  As much as possible I would like to take in the Inuit culture, try the food, experience a dog sled ride, and go for a 'moon walk'.  It will be a challenge because not everyone speaks English and I don't know any Inuktituit, also I know our cultures are very different and I want to show respect to the natives of this area.  We're off to a good start though, already in my short time here, I have seen countless smiles and shaken the hands of many people who said to us "Welcome to Gjoa Haven".      
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