Jennifer Wyatt is a professional musician who, after (and during!) a wonderful career as a singer/songwriter Celtic harp player, and after raising two lovely daughters (Rachael and Rhiannon) with her husband Sean, decided to go back to school and get her education degree from Mount Saint Vincent University. She was fortunate enough to do one month of her practicum in Nunavut and this is her story...
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Everything you need to do just takes a little bit more time and a little bit more planning in Cape Dorset. It's not that there's much you can't get here, it's just that you have to plan ahead.
You don't want to wait until the last minute to go grocery shopping, and you definitely don't want to save it up and do it all at once unless you happen to have a skidoo!
The two stores in town are about a ten minute walk from Frances and David's house, so after school yesterday, Frances and I went grocery shopping. It was gorgeous out and the thermometer was reading only -8, so everyone was out enjoying the sunshine.
It is such a wonderful community here that you can't get far without someone calling out "Hi Jennifer!" or sometimes "Hi Emma!" (since we have the same silly hat!). The kids were all out sledding and playing, so I got lots of hugs hello. There were lots of women out with their "Amouti"s, which is the traditional Inuit coat that has a spot in the back for a baby. They seem to carry children in these right up until almost two years old- and it looks like a really comfy ride for them!
Once you get in the store, it's clear that you need to plan ahead and be flexible about what you want to cook! There is fresh fruit and vegetables, but sometimes not the ones you had in mind. You kind of have to go with what you find. And at these prices, it doesn't pay to buy something unless you have a definite plan for it- it would be terrible to have it go to waste!
Frances came prepared with a backpack and a grocery bag to carry things home in, but most folks brought their skidoos. I saw as many as five people all piled onto one skidoo!
On our way home we ran into a couple of young carvers who were selling Inuksuiks they had just carved. They were lovely, but I had already said that if I wanted to buy a carving, I thought I would like to have a polar bear, so Frances said, "Thank you, they are very nice, but she is looking for a polar bear". The two carvers then said that there was another carver who was working on a polar bear just around the corner, so we went to see. He had roughed out the shape and was working on smoothing it out. I wish I had gotten his name! I said that I might be interested in buying it when he was finished, and France told him where we lived, but he likely sold it to someone else. I'm sure I'll get another chance at some point.
As we made our way home, we saw lots of children playing and had to stop and say hi, patting dogs and meeting new puppies. All in all the grocery trip took well over an hour and a half, but when there aren't tons of things to do, I can't think of a pleasanter way to spend an afternoon.