Hello everyone! I know that most of you are excited to hear about our adventure (I was excited to find out what we were in for!). There is so much to tell already but because it's late I will focus on the time since we've landed in Coral Harbour ( I will go back to tell you all about HOW we got here later - let me tell you you will want to hear these stories...)
Flying over Hudson Bay felt eerie to me. Nothing, nothing and more nothing. Just ice and dark waters. The sunset was spectacular and I wish I could have taken a picture but Isaac was sleeping in my arms and therefore was unable to do so. We were about to land and there I saw it: A tiny lit hamlet named Coral Harbour. What is civilization doing here? (In the middle of dark, cold nowhere!). More importantly, WHAT ARE WE DOING MOVING HERE???!?!?!?! Nervousness, excitement and a sense of "finally we are home" is what I was feeling. From the glowing little circle I followed a lonely and long road to the airport. You see the airport is a 20 minute ride from Coral (the reason has something to do with American soldiers in WWII - I will get my facts straight and let you know...)
We landed at the Coral airport around 3:30pm on Friday, Dec 17th and it was already dark. It felt like it was 7pm or later both because it was dark and because it had been an exhausting 36 hours. Chad (the Corporal) was waiting for us with both RCMP trucks and thank goodness because we needed both of them for all our stuff. Driving in the North is far different than in the South. You see NOBODY wears seatbelts (well now there's me - I simply HAVE to wear it!), not even the RCMP officers, not EVEN Brian!!!!! Those of you who know Brian, have fallen off your chair or your chin has fallen on the computer desk table. Kids travel without car seats and babies are held on our lap. So there we were driving home with Benjamin and Nathan in the back and Isaac on my lap in the front. Yikes. I prayed silently every time we met another vehicle...
Hali, Chad's wife is wonderful. She had cleaned our house as much as she could (picture a house that has had single male RCMP relief members living in it since August... yuck.). Hali had made the boys bed and had set up the crib for Isaac. She had purchased a few groceries, had us over for dinner and sent us home with a freshly baked loaf of raisin bread. Amazing!
I actually felt kinda rested today. This was the most sleep I've had in weeks. It was pitch black outside and I noticed that it was raining! Yes RAINING! It was a skating rink out there. I spent 3.5 winters in Selkirk and it NEVER rained once the snow appeared. This feels like Ottawa or Halifax! Marty, an Inuit man we met said that an elder had said that this has not happened since 1945. He also explained that if it gets really cold in the next couple of days that the caribou will all die since they will not be able to dig for their food since the snow will be frozen...
Today we had daylight from 10:30am to 3:00pm where it was bright outside. That's a lot more than I expected to get up here. It was difficult though to get started this morning.
So today we went to both the Northern Store and the Co-op store. I tried to prepare myself for this but I was still disappointed. The fresh produce is far more limited than I had imagined and we could not find cottage cheese, skim milk or cream. They only have 2 percent milk- I've been drinking skim since I was 5 years old!!!!! The candy section however was spectacular! Every different kind your little heart could desire. The junk food was everywhere. Poor Benjamin and Nathan where in a tizzy "can we have this?" "what about this?" "pleeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaasssssseeeeeee mummy?" The prices were as bad and worse that we had expected. Fozen peas were $8, molasses $10, applesauce cups $7, Kraft singles (16 sl.) $9, milk $15... We will be learning how to place food mail orders very soon.
We met a number of people today. Perry the Coop owner, Johnny, Marty, a few boys... Everybody can tell that we are new. The white skin and driving around in the RCMP truck give it away. So far, the Inuit people are extremely friendly. They are very eager to speak to us. It's very welcoming.
We drove around a little bit to see the town and we saw 2 polar bear skins hanging. Wow. The houses are small and most of them are painted in a bright colour. Most people use a snowmobile (no helmets of course) to get around and I've seen a few quads too.
This afternoon we set up our Christmas tree. Benjamin and Nathan decorated it. When they were done, Benjamin commented "our tree is hideous". Sadly, it does look a little Charlie-Brown-ish. There aren't enough ornaments and the few that we have are all clumped in a few key areas. Not to mention that I couldn't find the lights... So it's a bit bare - oh well. ;o)
I am new at this blog thing but I've taken some pictures with the hopes of sharing them with you.
Signing off for now