Thursday, April 14, 2011

"We will miss you..."

It is with mixed feelings that I begin to write my last post from Cape Dorset. Tomorrow morning I am scheduled to get on a plane and fly to Iqaluit. On one hand I am more than ready to go back- it has been amazing and incredible but also exhausting and hard.

On the other hand I am really going to miss a lot about this strange and wonderful place.

Today was an unbelievable roller coaster ride with classes in the morning, a presentation of our play, a great farewell party, a visit to the printmaking shop (finally!), a lovely supper with some good friends and one last snowmobile ride up over the mountain.

The day began just like any other day at Sam Pudlat, with breakfast.

The kids made toast and mixed up frozen juice, poured themselves cereal and sat around eating and talking. A lot of the talk centred around the fact that I was leaving, but we mostly kept to our routines. After cleaning up and brushing our teeth (complete with Raffi's song of course) we had our weekly spelling test, and then headed over the the elder's room to videotape our play.

I was amazed at how well the kids presented this wonderful script. They really seemed to enjoy it and understood that it was a way of interpreting the meaning of a text and presenting it in a different way. I only wish we could work on it for longer.

After the play we had a few short lessons and then the kids had a party to say goodbye. I had made them gingerbread cookies since we have been reading books based on the Gingerbread Boy story and they had a great time decorating them. Once again I was blown away by their ability to share and work as a team. We only had room for four kids to work at a time and everyone was really good about taking turns and sharing the icing and sprinkles (what's a cookie without a sprinkle?)

The kids and the staff had prepared a wonderful farewell package and card. I won't deny that my eyes were a little misty... This is an incredible team  and I will really miss them all.

After school, Frances and I headed down to the art cooperative to see how they make the famous prints. It is labour instensive, to say the least.

It was incredibly interesting to see the process in action.

After the print shop visit, Frances and I headed to the store to get a few things for tonight. She had invited Cecil and Betty over and we wrere going to celebrate finally getting rid of me (yay!).

We had a lovely supper and a great visit, then someone mentioned the fact that I hadn't gotten my snowmobile ride in yet. I had already packed up my survival suit, as I mentioned in my post from last night, but I'll tell you, it was well worth unpacking everything just to get one last chance to ride on a snowmobile up over the mountain and around by the ocean. I'd love to say that I learned how to drive a snowmobile while I was here, but this is a posed picture. David and Frances' friend, Cecil drove it. He let me take the classic tourist shot of me pretending to drive it, though (thanks, Cecil!).
In this case the photos were not worth even close to a thousand words, since it was starting to get dark and there wasn't enough light to take any good ones, and even if there had been enough light, the pictures just couldn't do it justice. My head is full of the gorgeous scenery still. We headed up over the mountain and around by the sea. I hadn't seen the open ocean yet and it is impressive to say the least. The ice flow edge extends out quite far and Cecil says the ice there is around three or four feet thick. I've seen the skidoos heading out dragging their boats across the ice to go walrus fishing, but now I finally got to see where they would launch them from.

I think I packed as much into the last day as was humanly possible and now I'm exhausted.

On our way back from the print making shop and the store, the weather kicked it up a notch and we saw the plane that was due in circle a few times and then give up and head back to Iqaluit. No one flew in or out of Cape Dorset today- the winds and the blowing snow were too much (Yet I was able to go for an amazing snowmobile ride after supper with clear skies).

This is a strange and beautiful place. I will try and write a litlle bit more tomorrow from Iqaluit, but I'm not sure I'll be able to do this experience justice, even if i write about it for the next twenty years!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this experience. It has been a blessing to follow your journey.

  2. Thanks Jennifer - I really wanted to go but couldn't. Maybe later...

    I really enjoyed reading your entries - they are full of so much fact, emotion, and love. What an experience!

    See you soon!