Monday, July 29, 2013

With Love From Kugluktuk

After spending the remainder of my first year with Brody enjoying our family and friends in Ontario, we have landed in our new home, Kugluktuk Nunavut.

Playing at a park near the house
As you may have noticed, my laptop has been out of commission and it turns out that iPad's aren't the greatest blogging tools. But I'm back and with enough down time to sit down and share our stories.

This journey started with a stomach full of butterflies. Earlier in the year I was in talks with The Northwest company about coming back to work after my leave with Brody. They wanted me back in Iqaluit but I wanted to a) spend a full year with my baby and b) be in the same community as my best buddy Katie and her family. Being away from my family with a baby is hard, it makes me miss the ones I love doubly and makes me realize how much support I need to feel comfortable. There is very limited child care available in Iqaluit and in following Katie, I have both support and child care built in as Katie's hubby is home with their daughter and loves Brody like his own. So, together we came to the conclusion that the best place for us for the time being is Kugluktuk, formerly known as Coppermine. We are going to settle in and stay a while. We aren't sure how long Katie will be here as the company could find a community that needs her at any time. We are getting used to living as nomads, with this lifestyle we have to go with the flow, where ever the wind takes us. It can be frustrating, but we are happy and this way we are forced out of my comfort zone and get to experience beautiful community after beautiful community.

We left Oakville on Wednesday, flying from Toronto to Edmonton. My first time in Alberta. (And Brody's) This was my first taste of flying with a one year old! Holy smokes. I could feel the annoyance in the air. Lucky for us, we weren't the only baby toting family on the plane.

We had to overnight in Edmonton, but we didn't see much. The time change meant that Brody was ready for bed by the time we were settled in at the hotel. Stephen and I took Mekia for a walk, it seemed to be that our hotel was in the heart of a business hot spot because we didn't see anything other than their strange stop lights and some dirt and buildings. I'm sure we will make a point to see more of Alberta soon enough.

We got up at 4:30 the next morning to head to the airport and catch our flight to Yellowknife. (Our first time in the North West Territories) I would have cried if I had to endure another day where all of us were separated on the flight, luckily, on both flights right to our destination, we all sat in neighboring rows. I would love to spend more time in Yellowknife. The first thing I thought of was the few episodes of 'Arctic Air' I've watched on Netflix. The show makes the town seem so much smaller and more remote. I thought it would feel like a homey small town like the ones that we are accustomed to now. It's big, and it looks beautiful. I hope that on our next trip through we can arrange to spend a couple of nights and enjoy the City.

We couldn't land in Kugluktuk due to heavy fog. So the announcement came telling us that we would fly 50 minutes further to Uluhoktok (Holman) and then 50 minutes back and attempt to land again. I dreaded the extra two hours with kiddies who had long been done with flying for the day. I dreaded even more what would happen if the 'attempt' to land failed and we had to fly all the way back to Yellowknife.

During our brief layover in Uluhoktok - back to chilly weather

When we landed in Kugluktuk I was shocked by the greenery. After having spent some time looking around at the view from the airport in Uluhoktok, I was expecting Kugluktuk to look similar, covered in sand and dirt, very little color.

To the contrary, Kugluktuk is gorgeous, rather flat, quite different from our Mountain surroundings in Qikiqtarjuaq. I am amazed by Nunavut and its variety of scenery.

This is the beginning of our Kugluktuk chapter. Our first glimpse of life in the Western Arctic.

Keep following us to find out more about this beautiful town and the people and things we find here.

With love from Kugluktuk.