Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Frozen North

This is a picture of the walk home from school tonight... yes- it's that cold. There was a 54 degree difference between the temperature here today and the temperature back home (Halifax was reporting +14 and Cape Dorset was at -40 with the wind chill). Now I know this may be hard to believe, but I really do still think it is very beautiful. As I walked back from the school my eyelids froze together and the wind took my breath away, but I just had to take a picture of the sunset. Not to mention the fact that this was taken at nine thirty at night... the days are getting longer!

Tonight we missed sewing because there was a penny sale at the school to raise money for a member of the community who is trying to get home from Pangnirtung for a funeral on Saturday. The whole community was out and hopefully they raised enough- The cost of travelling anywhere is astronomical when you live in the North. Once again, I was reminded that the isolation up here could be really hard to take.
It was awesome to see so many people out supporting the cause. I guess I thought the cold would keep everyone home, but I keep forgetting that they're much more used to it than I am. There were tons of kids and babies... Etugaluk brought her granddaughter in her amauti and I got a picture of Mary's granddaughter trying to win a cake in the cakewalk. With all the kids running around and neighbours visiting it seemed like the place to be on such a cold and windy night. And it was a great ending to a bit of a rough day...
I don't know why, but today was an interesting day at school. For some reason everybody was wired for sound and we had a hard time getting the kids to settle in and work on anything. I am reminded on a regular basis of the cultural gap that exists here... I'll start to tell a story in class and realize that I have to explain everything! These kids have a very different background from mine and when I told them a story about a raccoon trying to get into the attic of my house, I had to spend the first five minutes explaining what a raccoon is. Fair enough- I need to have lots of stuff about the snow and ice explained to me!

We worked for a little while at the end of the day on "A Promise is a Promise", but I am expecting an awful lot from them to make the leap to presenting a play in front of an audience. I am incredibly proud of the props we have made and the work the class has done already on this theme. I'd like for them to get a chance to show off what they've done to the rest of the school, but they are very shy about presenting and I really don't want to force the issue- they have already learned so much about imaginative play and interpreting texts visually. Emma and I talked about it and we think it would be better to videotape it. Emma may show it to the class and get them to work on it some more after I leave if they really want to do it for a live audience. As it is now it would be a very quiet play!

I only have two more teaching days before I head home. I think my professors would be proud because I'm probably going to be "reflecting" on this experience for the rest of my career.

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