Friday, November 25, 2011

Inuusivut, Our Life

Just when I start to become comfortable, or ignorant in my lifestyle here, forgetting that there is often unease lying below the surface of calm, someone, or a couple people take gun shots just out side our buildings. I figured it out when I tried to leave for work on Wednesday morning and the street I usually take was completely blocked off by RCMP. The following article was posted by CBC news following the events of the morning.

2 men in hospital following Iqaluit shooting

Suspect in stable, but critical condition
CBC News Posted: Nov 23, 2011 7:42 AM
RCMP in Iqaluit block off a city block of the city after reports of gunfire early Wednesday morning.
The RCMP responded to a call about gun shots early in the morning in the 100-block area of the Nunavut capital. RCMP said when officers arrived at the scene, they were confronted by a man who pointed a firearm at them.
Shots were fired and the man fled.
Police said they found the man a short time later near house 238, bleeding from the chest area. The suspect was taken to the Qikiqtani General Hospital where he was treated for injuries. As of this morning, he was in stable but critical condition.
Another man living in the 100-block area of homes in Iqaluit was injured during the incident. He was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries in hospital.
Parts of the downtown area near the Snack restaurant and the Public Health building were cordoned off by police vehicles and tape.
People nearby described hearing multiple gunshots very early Wednesday morning. Iqaluit resident Travis Daley said he was sleeping inside his house when he was abruptly woken around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning.
"I just heard a couple bangs and got up thinking some kids were messing around with the house and I looked outside and I saw an RCMP truck, doors wide open and they just chased a kid down the street."
Daley said he went back to bed and then woke up this morning.
"That's all I know, then they put tape around my house and I woke up this morning in the crime scene,” said Daley.
The RCMP’s policy is to have an outside police or independent agency investigate serious matters that involve RCMP officers.
Det. John Monette of the Ottawa Police Service Major Crime Unit were to arrive in Iqaluit Wednesday to oversee the investigation, and a team from the N.W.T. will handle the investigation, according to Iqaluit RCMP.

This is the photo that CBC published with the article, edited by me
I love Iqaluit, I love it's people, I love it's culture and I love its scenery. I spent all of Wednesday listening to people talk at work about the incidents of the morning. I had a good chance to converse with my friend Mai who works with me at Tim's. She's lived here all her life and as we talked, we recounted the events of the last year or so, the murders, the suicides and the rest of the life shattering goings-on. Regardless of how much I adore this land, I spent that day, as I have many times before, stuck with my thoughts. My mind filled with questions about faith, about love, about respect and about the blatant disregard for the value of life. A disregard which we have seen too often lately. Every time one person makes the choice to take or harm their own life, or the life of another, they are impacting an entire City. They are putting ache in the hearts of those who are touched directly and indirectly by their actions. In Iqaluit, or any small community, that ache is felt by every individual. I wish, daily, that the people around me would find faith in their hearts and hold onto it for dear life.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

Bibbity bobbity boo.... Cinderella had mice to help her with the dirty work and a fairy God mother to dress, and transport her to the Ball.

Today, while we dipped donuts, Katie and I talked about how quickly the time has gone by since I booked a ticket for my mom to visit me in the North. I remembered thinking that the count down was very close to the 130 day countdown I had going while I waited for my vacation to arrive last June. There is little over a month left until Christmas, which mom will be here for. We came to the realization that there have been about a hundred days that slipped through the cracks without us noticing.

I don't do countdowns anymore, the anticipation hurts my brain. Days fly by because we keep busy with work. We tried to think of the fun things we had done over the last hundred days. The list we came up with was short. Poker night, girls night, Halloween party, thanksgiving dinner, one movie and one Friday night gathering. That's six nights out in a hundred days, I don't like that ratio. I'm young and single and have the entire world in front of me. Although I came here with a job, I came for the adventure, the travel and the excitement of a world other than my own. I often feel as though I'm a slave to a job that wont take me anywhere soon. It bothers me immensely but as long as I want to stay in Iqaluit, I need to have short term solutions. The best one I have is to try and get out more often.

One of Iqaluit's biggest events every year is the First Air Ball. Last year I watched everyone in awe as they headed for the ball dawning gowns and tuxedos. This year my good friend Nick asked me to accompany him. One problem... I left all of my stilettos, dresses and jewellery packed away down South.

I had my dad send me a gown as soon as possible. When you live in Nunavut however, as soon as possible, is never soon enough.

Que the fairy God mother I've been waiting for. The ball is on Saturday and I have three weekdays left to hope and pray that my gown arrives. I cannot for the life of me find the earrings I want to wear, my shoes don't feel right and if Canada Post lets me down this time... well, I don't know what I'll do.

These are the joys of living so far from the convenience of shopping malls. I never, ever, imagined missing them.

Crossing my fingers for a fitting pair of glass slippers, a pumpkin turned coach and a lady with wings to conjure me up a gown that is currently lost in transit.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Welcome Winds

Its nearly quarter to four in the afternoon and the sun is on its way down in Iqaluit. I will never get over the way it excites me to see the sun disappear earlier and earlier as the winter falls upon us. As the weather and the habits of the sun change, everyone around us gets sick and we all fall into an exhaustion that has to be fought, yet still, every day and every season brings with it the excitement of change.

Today was the first day this fall that I truly felt the arctic winter had made its return. You can tell, because the wind feels like tiny blades running over your skin. It bites and lashes until your cheeks become numb. The temperature with windchill today is negative twenty four.

I'm sitting on my big blue couch, looking out my living room window, over the tops of my cats heads. I have been watching the moon float higher in the sky. I like to go for walks when the moon and sun are out together, its a time of day here that holds its own kind of peace.

With the snow falling more often now, the Bay, and the mountains beyond it continue to stun me with their beauty. The water hasn't frozen yet, other than in the rivers and around the shore. Every time I see a frozen pool of water I can feel the thrill of it in my stomach. The frozen Bay means the arrival of snow sports.

My friends Robert, Katie, Shawn and I are planning an overnight skidoo adventure between Iqaluit and Kimmirut, there are emergency cabins along the way and we have plenty of time to prepare for the trip. We wont go until April, when the spring arrives and takes with it the most bitter temperatures of winter.

For me, with the same routine and the same stressful job, day in and day out, this excursion is something huge for me to look forward to. I try to find something, always, to be excited about and help me to stay sane.

My friend Sherri just took this picture of the sun on it's way down. Sometimes all it takes is a sunset to remind me of why I stay in Iqaluit.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Playing Dress Up

My second Halloween in Iqaluit was incredible. This spooky holiday may just be one of my favorites. It's the perfect excuse to dress up like something I could never get away with on an ordinary day. It's also a really creepy way to discover the strange things, like fangs, that turn people on. I'm laughing out loud thinking about the winks and come-on's I've received in the last few days. I secretly (or not so secretly anymore) fantasize about being madly in love with Edward Cullen. Inspired, I went out to party this year as a vampire. Contacts, fangs, a less than appropriate outfit and some fake blood turned me into a member of the undead club.

 My bakers left Katie and I for almost a month, while they vacationed and partied. They returned just in time for Halloween weekend. Katie and I took the weekend off. I actually had three days off in a row and with them I relaxed, partied and nursed myself back to health.

 Epic... I don't like to use the word unless it is perfectly suitable to the situation. Let me just say, the party we threw on Saturday night was absolutely epic. We got the gang together, some of whom brought along a few new faces to our party scene. We drank, we laughed and we used the night to unwind.

 It felt so good to get out of work mode and enjoy my friends again. I'm already getting excited for the next holiday to come around. Partly because I love throwing dinner parties but also because I can't wait to put up my tree and decor. My number one reason for the excitement however, is the arrival of my mom.

To end the Halloween holiday, I worked the closing shift at Tim's and took a quick break to accompany the babies of building 197 trick-or-treating for the first time. (The babes weren't fooled at all by my disguise)

 Proud mommas, Katie and Edith had awe in their eyes as they watched their little trick-or-treater's dressed up and ready to go. I was camera happy and documented the whole trip, to all three doors.

 Little Elmo (Dryden) and our little fairy princess, Shemekia, looked slightly lost but immensely adorable as they stumbled around in costume.

 The babies were satisfied with a cheesy each, which I can appreciate. The temperatures on Halloween in Iqaluit are far from the temperatures I remember down South. I recall a few years where we went out without coats or sweaters. In Iqaluit, the cold temperatures killed my camera after a few minutes outside. I was lucky to catch these memories and to see these beautiful babies all costumed up.

Here's to the most fantastic Halloween season and those dimples on Elmo.

With Love from Iqaluit