Thursday, January 27, 2011

Learning a language

It's never easy to learn a new language.

I love languages, but as I mentioned before, Inuktitut is so very different from any other language I've learned. According to everything I've read, the Inuit languages are related to eachother throughout the circumpolar region, but they don't resemble any other language groups- They seem to have developed independantly. The grammar is quite unique in my experience, and there are a lot of unfamiliar sounds to try and produce.

Obviously, I'm not going to be able to learn nearly enough before I leave, since I am up to my ears in a wonderful practicum here too, but I have found a great website where you can listen to the Inuktitut language and learn some of the grammar...

I'm hoping to spend at least a little time on this website before I go.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

What to wear continued...

So I'm all set for the cold, but I started realizing that my harp, is not.

I realized that I was going to need a really good case if I want her (she has a name; "Gwenivere" and a personality too!) to survive the three day journey.

Yes, you heard me right; It will take me three days to get to Cape Dorset. I fly to Ottawa, then I stay overnight because the flights to Iqualuit don't match up. The same thing happens the next day when I fly to Iqualuit- I'll be staying overnight in order to get my final flight to Cape Dorest on the third day. I'm not complaining, I am really excited to be able to see my sister in Ottawa and spend an evening in Iqualuit before arriving, but it will be a long voyage!

Ah, but I digress. I started this post because I wanted to show how incredibly supportive Sean (my husband) has been.

Almost as soon as he knew that I was applying for this opportunity, he began constructing a new case for my harp so that she could come too.

This is hardly an easy task. A few years ago, when I had to travel to the West coast with Gwenivere, I made a bulky, but acceptable styrofoam mold of her, put it in a cardboard box, and it served as a passable flight case. Shortly after that, when we had the chance to showcase at the East Coast Music Awards in Saint Johns, Newfoundland, I got a more "official" wooden road case made by a company called "Ocean Cases". Although this case worked quite well, it is still very bulky. After my friend Dave Carroll's experiences with airlines and musical instruments (check out "United Breaks Guitars" on youtube if you don't know who I mean), Sean decided I needed something stronger.

First he took the old styrofoam mold I had made and whittled it down until it was shaped more closely to the dimensions of my harp. Then he put several layers of fibreglass over the form, took the orginal foam out and hey presto! he had a basic shape for a case. He then proceeded to paint it with a rust coat paint and drill holes to attach the hardware (hinge, clasps, handles etc.).

Finally he painted the whole thing gloss white, and cut high density foam for the inside into a perfect shape for Gwenivere.

I got some imitation crushed velvet fabric (on sale cheap!) and he cut it to fit perfectly. Then he made a pocket on the inside for my tuner, microphone etc. and now I have this amazing, high tech, indestructible case for Gwenivere...

She'll be warmer than I will be!

I have been trying to figure out the airline regulations on oversized or overweight baggage. It's not huge, but I think it's definitely heavier than 50lbs, so that will be the next problem to tackle...

But that'll be a story for another blog.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words...

About five and a half minutes and well worth the time. This video was uploaded to youtube by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada and gives a little insight into the community of Cape Dorset. I hope to be able to visit some of these art studios while I am there...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

What to wear?

Here it is in all its glory.. the survival suit!

It's pretty bulky, but it's supposed to be really warm. I looked online and the average temperatures in Cape Dorset last year during March and April hovered around -5 to -25, but there is also the wind chill factor to consider...

My only trouble is deciding how to pack this- right now it's looking like I can either take my clothes for the month or this outfit.

But it's such an attractive look...

In all seriousness, I need to be warm, so I'm going to try and pack this. I'll definitely take the gloves and the boots, they are really practical- they both have removable inner linings that can be separated and kept inside so they'll be warm. The snowsuit is meant to be able to protect me for at least three minutes even if I fall into the water.

Hm. and they won't lose me in the snow.