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.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Useless Update #2

It looks like a few of us are experiencing lulls in our northern writing.
Even though I feel busy lately, I've been wanting to blog. I guess just not a lot has been happening with us lately.

The only things that have happened to us lately aren't really northern-related and all revolve around material goods:
-We now are awaiting the shipment of 2 orders. Come on, books and CDs!
-I went on an online shopping spree at and now have $200+ worth of clothes coming, woo hoo.
-I have to get my mp3 player exchanged.

Before we moved I bought the very nice video/photo, 30G mp3 player seen here. Let me start out by saying that I bought it in June and I had been saving for it since March or so. I was like that kid out of A Christmas Story wanting that Red Ryder BB Gun. Many hours had been devoted to reading reviews for it all over the 'net. The day I finally bought the player was kind of humourous because obstacles kept getting in my way of the mp3 player. I was very excited when one morning after a payday, I finally had enough money. I quickly got ready and hopped on the next bus to Future Shop. I had planned to play around with the demo just to make sure I wanted it. When I arrived, someone else was on the demo, chatting it up with a sales associate about buying it. I noticed there was one left under the glass so I was edgy. The guy continued playing on the demo for 10 painstaking minutes before leaving. I had exhausted my ability to fake-browse within the first 30 seconds of walking in the store so the second he walked away, I walked up, and immediately said, "I want that!" pointing to the last one left. I walked out of Future Shop five minutes later and $500 poorer. On the way home, in true London style, we were stopped by a train for another painstaking 10 minutes. I almost ran the rest of the way when I finally got off the bus.

So now you have an idea of how much I loved that mp3 player. I don't have kids nor do I plan on ever having them, so I let myself get a little attached to meaningless things. But right this very minute, my poor broken mp3 baby player is sitting in a heavily padded box in an airport somewhere, awaiting to be sent to Sarnia, then exchanged for a new one at Future Shop, then sent back to Creative while a hopefully less-defective one gets sent to me.

People get attached to their first car but all I had was that mp3 player.

In other, less pathetic news, my Management Communications class is going well. As it's only 2 weeks long, a lot of information is jammed packed into my brain each day. Although I like this business writing stuff, I miss the Northern Issues class. It was a lot of fun and very interesting. Not to mention there was no work at all!

It looks like I will be starting Brownies next week. I hope that I haven't taken on too much for myself. School, Brownies, and Guides could turn into a lot of work very easily.

Although it is much warmer here than it is in other parts of Nunavut, I've been wearing my parka since about the beginning of the month. I tend to get too warm in it but today we walked to the Northern and I wore my old/southern winter jacket. I was freezing cold and the walk is barely 100 metres. I had to go back out again to get sour cream so I wore my parka and I noticed how big the difference is. In the parka you can't even tell how cold it is out. I feel like I'm in a bubble of warmth.

Okay, that's about as much as I can muster up for now!

(posted by Jaime)

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Monday, October 23, 2006

New Course Day

In case anyone is interested, I started a new class today called Management Communications. It's great because I get my second textbook so far. My tuition is ridiculously cheap and it included books. I am lucky to have ended up at the ideal college for me: cheap, close to home (a whopping 100 metres!), small, and personal. Although I was looking forward to attending Fanshawe College in London, I am much more happy in such a tiny college. My program now has about 8 people in it. I was thinking today and I realized our campus has only 3 classrooms plus a "lecture hall" (a small room) and a computer lab. There is literally no possibility of getting lost, which is something that always worried me about southern lame as that is!

I am looking forward to the rest of this class because I think communicating is something I do well.

Our instructor for this course is also a newbie to Rankin, although she just arrived and is only staying for the duration of the course (about 2 weeks). She's from Ontario, too. It was nice to talk about Ontario for a little while today. She told me that she's going through a bit of culture shock, which I think is interesting. I think Jeff and I researched the crap out of Nunavut before we came, so overall we weren't shocked. Admittedly, the only shock to my system was the home-cooked meals. Jeff and I ate out every single day during the month of July and probably most of May and June, too. By the time we moved here, we were so used to giant portion sizes that I was constantly hungry. Now I'm just the opposite; I hardly ever eat anymore!

One thing I've been thinking about lately is care packages. Jeff's mom sends up some packages sometimes and a few other people have told us they're going to send us one. Of course, they all want to know what we want. I find it pretty hard to come up with something on the spot like that, but the more I think about it, the less I really miss or want. Maybe I'll feel differently when we go to Ontario next year on vacation, but right now the only thing from Ontario that I would really like is a Homestyle Chicken Fillet Combo from Wendy's. That's about it. Heh, I should add the fact that you shouldn't let my newfound indifference towards retail therapy stop you from sending us free stuff. ;)

So I beg of you fellow Nunavummiut/Nunavikkians (please for the love of all that is holy, somebody correct me) ...what would you want in a care package?

A Wendy's Homestyle Chicken Fillet, Jaime's only real request.

(posted by Jaime)

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Sunday, October 22, 2006


Well, it's official. We're not the only Rankin bloggers anymore!

Check out Rankin Adventures, another lovely perspective on Rankin.

In other news, this weekend has gone by fast. I spent most of yesterday either at, or preparing for the flea market. The college's student council had a table and we sold quite a bit of stuff. I was surprised at how busy it got right after the flea market opened. There was a giant hoard of people all rushing around, trying to find good deals. It made me realize how many people there are here whom I've never seen before.

Hmm, well...not much else is new with us. We just came back from going out for lunch. I've noticed that I've become much less picky about food. Especially food that we didn't have to prepare, heh. Anything that uses dishes that I don't have to clean is yummy by me!

Jeff and I have decided that we don't like this dishes business. We made a deal that we would alternate who washes dishes but the deal isn't good for me since I'm much lazier than Jeff. Instead of doing dishes everyday like we agreed, we end up doing them once or twice a week because I leave them and they end up piling up. Right now I have almost our entire collection of plates, bowls, cups, and pots to clean (I did all of our cutlery last night before giving up). Jeff likes to prove to me that he's the smarter of us because he never lets the dishes pile up. That's okay, though. Because next time we're in the south, I'm buying a counter-top dishwasher...on his credit card. ;)

(posted by Jaime)


Friday, October 20, 2006

Life is Still Good

Well, I've had a good day so far.

This morning I had my test in Northern/Aboriginal/Native/Inuit Issues (heh, it never really had an official name). After lunch I came back to class and found out I got 100% on my math exam (the class I took before this one) and 93% overall. I'm very pleased with that! When my instructor showed me my exam mark, my immediate reaction was, "No! You must have marked it wrong! No way!"

For this afternoon, a bunch of country food was brought in and we had a little party. I'm supposed to be getting a photo of the spread we ate so I can post it here. I tried almost all of the food. There was mostly char prepared different ways so I tried all of that, plus some caribou meat too. I never got around to getting some muktuk which I'm a bit sad about. I wanted my vitamin C for the day. I can still taste the char in my mouth...mmm. People were warning me that my stomach was probably going to feel weird later today but so far so good.

We also played a few games and listened to a few people talk. It was a good afternoon. Although it's been a long two weeks, I'm a bit sad it's over. Apparently come February we'll be taking an Inuit (or Aboriginal?) History class which I am definitely looking forward to. It'll be a nice change from all the business stuff we'll have taken up to that point. Next week I start Management Communications...I wonder what it'll be like.

Tomorrow I'll be helping with a flea market. Our student council got a table so I have to find some stuff tonight we can sell. I wonder how much money I can fetch for Jeff? Heh heh...just kidding.

(posted by Jaime)


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Life is Good

Well I guess I should make an update about all the great things that are going on with me (and Jeff!) lately.

1. I won $500 in a Skype contest about why and how I use Skype. It was the grand prize and there were 10 people who won. The $500 is a gift certificate for which is an eBay site that sells only movies, music, and video games. I haven't ever bought anything from there but I don't think there is bidding. I think it's just a place to buy cheap stuff...and cheap is it ever. We're probably just going to buy a bunch of movies for the long winter ahead. I don't need any video games and as far as music goes, the only thing I have in mind is 1 or 2 Simon & Garfunkel CDs. I already own everything I like but I forgot my parents' Simon & Garfunkel CD in Ontario.
Anyone who's ever checked out will know that $500 goes a long way! We will be able to buy a ton of movies. I'm excited! The only annoying part of this is that I have to fax them a release form and it has to be notarized. There's only one notary here and I've got my appointment made with her for tomorrow.

2. We got a ton of mail today. There was something for me and I couldn't figure out what it could be until I got home. I ripped it open to find a credit card with my name on it. I freaked out in joy. I've already spent $80. I love my credit card. It's a student one so it has this cheesy college scene on it that makes me laugh when I look at it. This is my first credit card, by the way. I've been trying for a year to get a credit card so you can imagine how happy I was.

3. Our boots arrived! I love my suede ones. They're just casual boots, they're not temperature rated. I went to the Northern in them and they're very comfortable. I can't feel the rocks on the ground in them. My main pairs of shoes are so thin on the bottom that if I walk anywhere in them, my feet hurt so much because of the rocks. I walked around the apartment in my Sorel ones (rated to -74C) and they are very heavy. I expected that, though.

4. Our ski goggles (argh, so hard not to type "google") arrived too! Today was a big day. The goggles are pretty cool. I have no idea when we will ever wear them but they're good to have.

Jeff is gone to Coral Harbour tonight so I have been on the computer all night. I don't know where the time has gone, honestly.

My northern issues class is almost over. It's been good so far.

Well, that's about it for me. Other than that, things have been pretty normal.

When I was getting my parcels from the post office, the lady who works in there knew my name but I've never introduced myself. As I walked home, I thought, "You know you're living in the right place if the people at the post office know your name and you've never told them it." Either she reads this blog or she pays good attention to our mail. :) Either way, I'm happy.

My very last point is that today in class we watched a video about the events in Iqaluit leading up to April 1st, 1999 (the creation of Nunavut). I was watching it the whole time thinking, "Wow, Iqaluit is HUGE!"

(posted by Jaime)

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Truth and Random Canines

Well everybody, it's time we told you all the truth:

We didn't really move to Nunavut. We moved to Saudi Arabia. The proof is in this photo of our weather monitor, seen here showing you the temperatures -- in Celsius -- of the weather inside and outside:

Okay okay, so we didn't really move to Saudi Arabia, but maybe our weather monitor wants to. Maybe it was daydreaming at this moment, wondering what the heck it got itself into when it let itself get purchased by us back in London. Honestly, I have no idea why it thought it was so freaking hot. The sun does shine on it and make a difference sometimes, but never anything like this, and not anymore now that the weather has cooled down.

Admittedly, I get a huge kick out of this. So many jokes can be made from this weather monitor reading (the "max" means these temperatures are the hottest temperatures the monitor has ever recorded; it happened a week or two ago). The best is perhaps, "Hell really HAS frozen over!" Maybe a better photo would have been me holding the monitor while outside in my parka amongst the snow.

On a completely unrelated note...does anybody know what the heck this thing is that Jeff found lingering around the oil tanks?

Is it a dog or something else?

On one last, unrelated note: the Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition, Bill Graham may be in to talk to our class tomorrow (and if not him, his assistant or something). He's in Rankin right this very moment. I'm looking forward to it; I've never seen or met anyone remotely important in our government before. An MPP used to live across the street from me in Ontario and that's about as personal with our government as I've ever gotten.

Our cookie selling was cancelled tonight, too. I guess I'll have to wait for another night to get winter-dressed-up for real. Ah well, maybe my boots will be here by the time it's rescheduled. I wasn't looking forward to the -5C + snow wearing only sneakers.

(posted by Jaime)

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Good morning, Rankin!

This morning we were greeted with the first snow fall of the fall. It's currently -8C with a windchill of about -15 or -20.

I snapped some shots of the snow for all to see.

A view of the land. That white dot at the upper right corner is the moon.

A view of my lovely school, at which I just started a new class; Native Issues, which is more like Inuit Issues. It's taught by the former president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Jose Kusugak. Really the most appropriate person to be teaching such a class! I'm looking forward to learning new things about Inuit history and culture. The class is about half-English, half-Inuktitut so it's kind of hard for me to understand and pay attention because he'll start out talking in one language and end in another. So far I've been able to just assume certain things he's saying and he will translate a little bit, but it's still hard. The class is Monday to Friday 9-12 and again from 1-4 so it's going to be a big exercise of my attention span, haha.

Later today I'll be dressing for the cold for real, no fun walks to try out the parkas. We're going to be selling Girl Guide cookies (the yummy mint ones). Today is the coldest (and snowiest) day so far that we've had to endure here so tonight should be interesting. I think I should rig up some hoses or something in my parka so I can have a constant stream of hot chocolate to sip tonight. That'd be luxury!

(posted by Jaime)

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


We got our mittens today! My friend took me to the house of a lady who makes fur mittens. She also acted as my translator which was nice of her. I have great friends here!

My mittens are made of moose skin and Jeff's are beaver fur. We've been wearing them today and they're quite warm inside the house. I can't wait to try them out when it gets cold.

My friend, her husband, and I went out for a drive again today which was awesome as always. Today was probably the last time I'll see the land snow-free until next spring.

I also bought an Arctic College zip-up fleece sweater. It's really nice but it's a bit big. Our school is selling some nice sweaters and vests...anyone want anything? send the money, I'll send the NAC goods!

We also ordered some ski goggles and boots yesterday. These are what Jeff ordered, and I ordered these and these (in black) as a secondary, fall/spring pair.

Here are photos...enjoy.

The mittens!

Me trying to rile Leah up with Jeff's mitten.

Me in my new sweater. the best school ever.

(posted by Jaime)

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