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.

Saturday, December 30, 2006


It's BINGO night in Rankin Inlet. Hah, we're about to take part in our first BINGO "party," which sounds really, really unusual, as neither of us have grey hair or false teeth. We're going to our neighbours' (down the hall) to play BINGO in a collective manner with a group of people. The radio station calls out the numbers, and if you have BINGO, you call in. I'm a little confused, but we've been promised that there will be people at the BINGO party to explain it to us. I have this strange sense that I'm going to be tonight's $20,000 jackpot winner.

Well, Jeff's out of ideas for writing so Jaime's taking over.

Anyway, Christmas was nice and quiet here. We ended up having two turkey dinners and were stuffed by the end of the night.

Santa was good to both of us. Santa got Jeff "Law & Order" season 1, a Tragically Hip CD, and the DVD of "The Constant Gardener." Santa got me some arctic-centric documentaries and a nice backpack from MEC. I was in dire need of a backpack as I was lugging around thick binders and other materials half-way across town twice a week (for Brownies and Guides). I'm excited to try it more backaches and various awkward totes falling off my shoulders.

Tomorrow night we're attending another party which should be fun. Last New Year's Eve, if you had told us we'd be spending the next December 31st at a house party in Nunavut, we would have laughed ourselves silly at such an unlikely prediction. But here we are and it's strangely amusing.

(posted by Jeff and Jaime collectively)

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Saturday, December 23, 2006

Alone in Nunavut

Well it looks like Clare and us newbies are the only ones left in Nunavut this holiday (oops, forgot Northern Sights are still in Nunavik). Actually, I should correct myself. I just noticed a new blog, M&M Cape Dorset Newbies who just arrived here, so I don't think they are flying back after 8 or 9 days in the north.

We are in the midst of blizzard #2 right now. Good thing we didn't want to fly home because we wouldn't have been able to in this weather.

Jeff and I took a walk in the blizzard last night. We jumped in a snowbank and fought the wind and it was pretty fun. Everything was snow-encrusted by the time we came back. My new aviator hat does not work very well which is too bad.

Today's big plans are to go to Ivalu gift store. Jeff's never been to it because it's only open from 10-5 M-F but it's open today for the Christmas rush. We'll also hopefully be having some people over later.

On Christmas, we are going to a friend of mine's for lunch, and a co-worker of Jeff's for dinner. It's going to be nice to just let people feed us all day. I am looking forward to it.

Well, we probably won't have anything to say for the next little bit, so happy holidays everyone!

(posted by Jaime)

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Friday, December 15, 2006

Whale Cove

I made my first trip to Whale Cove on Tuesday. Despite my return flight being held back a day by poor weather*, it was a tremendously pleasant town to visit.

It's intimidating travelling into a community for the first time... numerous bad thoughts flip through your head like walking 20km from the airport to your hotel if your ride doesn't show (almost happened to me in Coral Harbour due to miscommunication), but Whale Cove was very friendly. Having only 300 people in town, everyone knows everyone else, and goes out of their way to welcome strangers.

Chatting with an old friend tonight on the 'net made me realize how difficult it is to describe living here in Nunavut. Where do you start when someone asks, "so tell me, what is it like there?" It's not like living on Mars, but it isn't quite Southwestern Ontario, either. There is so many similarities and so many differences. I was totally stumped, and still, after some thought, cannot explain how it feels to live here day-to-day. To summarize

Things I like:

No traffic, minimal driving.
No shopping, few stores.
We're five minutes from nowhere.
I get to travel around and see neat places at work.
Our apartment is quiet.
The people: much friendlier than in Ontario.
The cat seems to like it here. I swear she just smiled.
Minus 50 is nifty.

Things I don't like so much:

The cable goes out occasionally, but we're too cheap to get satellite.
I (we) spend too much time playing on the computer and watching TV.
There aren't (as m)any good restaurants to eat at. No jalapeno soup or jambalaya - anywhere!!!
I don't feel as productive at work as I did working in 'the South.'
I don't get to see my family.

Things I'd really like right now, but can't have:

A 26 oz. medium-rare striploin steak from The Keg, complete with garlic mashed potatoes and three pounds of butter.
A spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's.
A pint of Kilkenny's. Or 30.
A visit with my family.
A top-speed run in my old Toyota Camry.

*I say 'by poor weather,' but I have a suspicion that it was due to the fact that I was the only person leaving town that day: the weather the day of my departure was substantially worse.

(posted by Jeff)

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Thursday, December 07, 2006


Sorry for the lack of updates lately. Not much is really new and I'd hate to write boring, off-topic entries just for the sake of writing.

About a week ago I bought some sealskin mittens for my dad. Both Jeff and I really liked them, we almost wanted to keep them for ourselves, haha.

We have been slowly buying more winter gear. This balaclava arrived yesterday for Jeff. I ordered the same one but my size is on back-order. I probably won't get it until the middle of January, which is okay by me.

I also have this hat coming for me. I wish it had real fur on it, but it was cheap. My current toque has held up quite well so I don't think I need anything too massive to stay warm.

Most exciting of all, these pants (2 pairs) arrived today for Jeff and me. I have to go pick them up myself because Jeff is going to Coral Harbour today. It's unusually warm out right now (-17ish) so it shouldn't be too bad of a walk all the way over to the cargo building. I went to school today to drop off some homework and I couldn't believe how warm -17C felt. It's been below -30C lately so -17C feels warm in comparison. It makes me wonder how much I'm going to sweat when we visit Ontario in May.

Jeff and I made the decision a long time ago to stay here for Christmas. I'm looking forward to spending Christmas day doing something different than all of my previous 19 years.

On that note, I really need to order some Christmas presents for Jeff. I'm afraid some things won't make it here for Christmas and that's my fault. I'm not used to this online shopping thing yet.

Check out the new "important link": Stupid Keywords. I am collecting all the weird and laughable things people Google to find their way here.

(posted by Jaime)

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