Nunavut Newbie v.2.0: Iqaluit Newbie

A journal that will hopefully help out anyone who is thinking about moving to Nunavut or anywhere in Northern Canada.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


We're here! It's time for the rest of the story. Sorry it's long!

Monday night: We ended up selling our 4 patio chairs, 4 dining room chairs, a couch, a loveseat, and a bookshelf all for $50 plus free assisted-delivery to the neighbours across the street in a desperate attempt to get rid of said furniture.

Once we finished hauling the stuff over, we went and met Jeff's parents at their motel. We had our last ever meal in Ontario: McDonalds. It was amazing. We barely slept on the two very flat pillows we left for ourselves. I used pants to prop my head up.

Tuesday morning @ 5am: We got up, packed the rest, took a deep breath and left for the airport. We met Jeff's parents at the airport. We checked all of our baggage. We had nine things (10 including Leah): 4 giant plastic containers, 4 suitcases, and 1 small plastic container. The Air Canada personnel that dealt with us was very nice and she made me feel a lot less stressed out. She put a "Priority" tag on Leah's carrier and took her away. Also, ALL but one of our plastic containers and one suitcase went above Air Canada's maximum weight of 70lbs. Everything fell between 71-76lbs but the woman wrote "70lbs" on all of them. We were very lucky that they all the weight they were, otherwise we would have had to throw things out.

8:30am: The plane to Toronto was very tiny (it held 18 passengers) and the flight was very short. In total, there was probably no more than 20 minutes in the air. It turned out to be the estimated 45 minutes with all the taxing around. I was elated to be flying. It was so fun! Jeff was nervous and clammy in the tiny plane but I wish we could have taken that little thing the whole way. It hit me how high we were when I looked down at a golf course and thought it was a mini putt course. I realized my error when I saw a pool and a car.

9:20am: We walked across the new Terminal 1 in Toronto. It was packed and there was hardly anywhere to sit. The plane to Winnipeg was much larger. During the landing, I went pretty much deaf and my ears and jaw were in agony. I remained half-deaf for the whole time in Winnipeg which was annoying. I would have enjoyed myself much more had I been able to hear.

12:20pm: While standing at the baggage claim section in Winnipeg, scared about my newfound deafness and even more scared about Leah, I thought I heard (which you can imagine was hard 1. being at an airport 2. standing at the baggage claim for a busy flight and 3. half-deaf) meowing. I turned around and Leah (in her cage) was just sitting on the floor near a door to go behind the baggage section. I grabbed her and rejoiced that she made it. She wasn't too happy at first but she calmed down.

12:30pm-3pm: We kept Leah with us for almost the whole time. We let her out on her leash which she and surrounding children enjoyed. We checked her in at 3pm and I was so scared I'd never see her again. We stood behind someone with 2 cute dogs.

4:00pm: Waiting for the flight, the lady with the cute dogs came and sat down in our section. We've even seen her walking her dogs around town. We thought it was a weird coincidence. We scoped out the others flying to Rankin Inlet. The flight turned out to be headed to Yellowknife and Edmonton after it landed in Rankin Inlet.

4:40-6:30pm: The flight to Rankin was good. We got a tasty dinner and free newspapers. It was unfortunately cloudy but we did manage to see quite a bit of northern Manitoba. My ears felt great on the flight but went bad again after landing.

6:40pm: We met a coworker of Jeff's at the airport. I eagerly watched the airport personnel unload the plane because I hadn't seen them board Leah. I remembered the Gone North bloggers writing that their dogs had been boarded last and taken off first. Indeed two small cages were taken off the plane however neither were Leah. The worker went back and no more animals were taken off. As you can imagine, I was very scared that she didn't make it. My heart pounded as I watched the workers unload non-animals. Eventually she did make it (at the very end!) and I calmed down but that moment definitely tops one of the scariest moments of my life. I was a bit embarrassed to be so close to tears in the middle of the airport.

Until 8:30pm-ish: Jeff's co-worker had a pickup truck and we were able to get everything on the back and bring it into our apartment. He helped us out which was great. He drove us around the town, pointing out the important parts. Jeff and I sat in his truck, wide-eyed at our new home. My favourite thing here so far (besides the amazing scenery) is Pizza Hut, haha! The busiest place in town (the Northern store) is right across the street. There's a Pizza Hut and a KFC in it! The post office and a bank are also across the street.

The apartment: We live in a 3-storey walk-up style apartment on the third floor. I found out from the girl at the post office that our building is called "the new Ilagiiktut" (eela-gee-tu) or simply, "the new Ila." We live in apartment 816, though there are only 20 apartments. It's furnished of course with mid-90s style furniture and coincidentally, the same cupboards as we had in London. We have lots of room to move around which is great. It's much bigger than what we had in London. If you've been in our old apartment, you'll remember how cramped it was.

We unpacked some things and went out for walk. We had to wear winter jackets and I wore a toque to keep my ears warm. It was very weird wearing a toque on August 1st but pretty amusing at the same time. It's about 17 degrees Celsius today which feels absolutely marvellous after southern Ontario's 35 degree heatwave. I don't miss the heat one bit yet.

An employee of the company that manages this apartment came over today at 1:30 to assess any damages. They are fixing everything that's wrong with it (not much). This place is very clean and in very nice shape. It's a big change from a circa 1920s apartment that we just came from that needed renovation badly. The temperature in here is very comfortable. It was kind of cold when the girl came over and she remarked that it was hot in here. I laughed at the weirdness of that. She gave us a spare key which doesn't actually work.

Anyway, I'll close with our new address and some photos!
[deleted for privacy]

The post office worker said regular lettermail can take 1-2 weeks though it's not always guaranteed and XpressPost is within 7 business days.

Now for some photos!

The view from our living room window. The red building is the Arctic College and/or its residence. There is a giant rock hill too which people are always walking over.

The lobster. Those in the know will laugh.

The kitchen and dining area. Very spacious (at least compared to London).

The living room.

The cat has no idea where she is but she likes it here. She seems happier than she did in London.

The bed. Mmm...sleep.

The bathroom. We have a fan!!! Amazing.

"Feed me, woman!"

Another view of the livingroom / dining area. It's less messy now.

View from the window. That is looking north west, so it's toward the mainland.

I've never seen so many ATVs in my life.

The sun is very bright today as there aren't many clouds. The sun rise/set on the right side of this blog is accurate. It gets dark just after 10.

After lying down for a bit, my ear has unblocked. What a relief.

(posted by Jaime)

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