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...
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
All the amenities...
If there's anything you need in Cape Dorset, you can always look up the number in the extensive phone page (no kidding, there is one page of numbers for the entire Hamlet).
There`s no denying that this is an amazing place, but let`s face it, there are some limitations...
If you want to stay in shape and you find it hard to run in minus double digit weather or when it's so dry and cold, you can always work out at the "gym". Some teachers have managed to put together a few machines in the attic of the school. Sure, the air is stuffy and the view is less than inspiring, but they work fine. It reminds me a little bit of some of the places they've managed to put excercise equipment on the navy ships... I guess it pays to make use of whatever space you can find!
Speaking of maximizing space, there are some really ingenious concepts... In our classroom there is a "fridge/freezer" mounted in the window. Essentially it is an un-insulated container that is on the outside of the building with a door to get into it from the inside.
When we bring our lunches in the morning we put them in this little cupboard and they stay cold (or frozen even!) until lunch. I guess it works pretty well as long as the Polar bears don't think it's "bait"!
As far as activities and amenities go, there aren't really any extensive shopping options (read- "none"). But the carvers occasionally turn into door-to-door salesmen. This guy (his name is Johnny Papigatuk) sells incredible dancing bears that balance on one foot (any of about three or four ways). David and Frances have bought a bunch of sculptures from him and they are amazing. He came by tonight with one and I managed to get a picture of it.
It is a little strange to feel so incredibly isolated and at the same time be surrounded by such welcoming people. I went to sewing again tonight with Lisa and there were fourteen or fifteen women crammed into a fairly small room. I really felt like I belonged there... I knew most of them by name and we had a great time talking.
On the way there and on the way back I got a half a dozen hugs from kids that were out playing or sledding.
I figure they're all set in Cape Dorset. A great community, lots of ingenious ideas... all they need now is a travelling harpist.
(this is taking "have harps, will travel" to a whole new level!)