Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 223

Well it’s about time I sit down and scrounge up the awesome of the past two weeks.

1. Awesome was a fantastic sushi dinner party with lots of friends at my house last night, as well as dinner with friends Thursday night, and last Saturday night, as well as a brunch potluck with friends two weekends ago. I think I’ve eaten more meals with friends these past few weeks than I have alone.

2. Awesome was a Friday evening of board games and tonnes of laughs with friends.

3. Awesome was an afternoon of berry picking out on the land with all of the elementary students on Friday afternoon. With the sun shining for the first time in forever, it was the perfect way to top off a busy week of school, meetings and training.

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4. Awesome was the opportunity to attend an extremely informative two-day training session about the effect of trauma on the brain, and the need for compassionate schooling. The training really put a lot of things into perspective and, done well, I can see the implementation of a compassionate approach to education being quite effective.

5. Awesome was, after months of anticipation, receiving my beautiful pair of custom-made seal skin kamik, sewn by Annie Kauki from Tasiujaq. Nakurmiimarialuk! 


6. Awesome was a girl’s night – complete with delicious food, nail polish.

7. Awesome was celebrating my 3-year quitting smoking anniversary (on September 20th)!

8. Awesome was a night out on the town with friends last Friday evening.


Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 222

1. Awesome was coming together with the community for a 5 k run to raise awareness of diabetes. Beginning at Kuujjuaq’s Northern Store, and led by one of KRPF’s officers, myself and a number of participants ran the pre-marked route around the village. Despite the wind and the fact that it was the first time I’d run since early August, it felt amazing to run again.

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Me, after running 5k, at the “finish line” with some colleagues 🙂

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Jaanimmark School teachers and some of their family.

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Some of the participants after the run. 

2. Awesome was ending one of the more exhausting weeks of teaching, training and staff meetings not only with an absolutely enjoyable day in the classroom, but also with a delicious 3-course meal (cream of squash soup, arctic char with rice and roasted vegetables, and chocolate mousse) and a glass of red wine with friends. This was followed by a pleasantly interesting night of watching movies with another friend.

3. Awesome was an evening drive to the end of the Road to Nowhere, followed by 2 hours reclined in the front seat of my car at the marina, watching the northern lights, admiring the stars, and chatting with a friend.

4. Awesome was a fantastic brunch this morning with friends.

5. Awesome is the fact that, after 2 weeks of being closed (and, thus, being forced to work out at home), the Kuujjuaq Forum and its fitness centre has now re-opened.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 221

Saturday’s berry picking and muskox sighting adventure left me wanting more. So, on Sunday morning, I gathered some friends, and together we drove up the Road to Nowhere (a road which, turning left after the dump, takes you all along the bay past scattered cabins and long stretches of barren tundra to a point which, maybe 20 kilometres north, just stops).

1. Awesome was another morning of berry picking, which yielded another 3 to 4 cups of fresh arctic blueberries.

While some of my friends ventured off onto the tundra with the hopes of seeing some furry tundra beasts, I spotted some movement on a nearby hill, between the trees. With the zoom of my digital camera, I confirmed that it was muskoxen. Curious, we made our way, in a giant half-circle, toward them in a way that kind of closed in on them (though not enough to make them feel threatened) so that they were less likely to wander away.

2. Awesome was getting within maybe 25 metres from 4 of the beautiful creatures. I watched them, and photographed them for quite awhile.

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3. Awesome was an incredible amount of help and support when I needed it. Nakurmiik.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 220

My doses of awesome are not so daily anymore. I’ve considered making them weekly. But eventually, I’ll be forced to spend my dark, cold winter mornings sitting in front of my SAD lamp, and I figure I’ll be thankful for a little something fun to pass the time. For the time being, my doses will be sporadic.

1. Awesome was a little afternoon hike last Monday (which I had off from work because it was a holiday). My friend and I drove to the same place I’d camped last Saturday night. I parked the car and we hiked out past where I’d set up my tent. There was a trail there. It only went a few kilometres past where I’d camped, so we hiked up the little mountain overlooking the lake, ate lunch, and then had fun bush-wacking our way to the top of various hills.

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2. Awesome was dinner with friends afterward.

3. Awesome was a morning of berry picking, despite rain showers. In about an hour, I picked maybe 3 cups of blueberries. I plan on going back tomorrow 🙂

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4. Awesome was a little hike out onto the land to see some muskoxen (ummimak).

After berry picking, my friends and I wanted to go to some shops in town, but had a bit of time to kill before anything opened. We decided to go for a little drive. Along the way, one of my friends spotted some dark, moving figures atop a rock in the distance. Without binoculars, but using my camera’s zoom, we discovered that it was a herd of muskoxen. We decided to park the car and hike out to get a closer look.

As we approached, we got an awesome view of them. Then they started moving away, off of the rocks (along which we were hiking) and down onto the tundra. At one point, we stood their just looking, and wondering where they’d gone. We couldn’t see them, but could hear them grunting so loudly and intensely. It sounded like they were right beside us. They were on the other side of the rock.

After a few moments, they came into view again, and we watched as they grazed away.

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Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 219

It’s the first of September. Yesterday marked three weeks since I’d arrived in Kuujjuaq. You know how it goes – I feel like I just got here, yet I feel like I’ve been here forever. I feel like I belong here.

It’s also the long weekend. Most teachers and students across Canada start work only on Tuesday. Me – I’ve been working already for two weeks. For most, tomorrow is the day before starting work, and while I’m sure some are excited about starting the new school year, I’m also sure many are dreading the end of summer vacation. For me, that extra day of weekend is just that – it’s a treat and a bit of a break.

1. Awesome are long weekends, and the timing of this one.

2. Awesome was a night out with friends at the lounge on Friday night.

3. Wonderfully awesome was a bit of a camping adventure just a few kilometres out of town, complete with delicious vegetables and pork skewers cooked over the fire, handfuls of blueberries to be picked, an intense game of Crazy Eights (which I won), and a massive and calm lake. Tomorrow, I plan to go back there for a hike.

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My car, in the wild. I parked it on the edge of an ATV trail, just off the main road. Then we hiked the short hike to our camping spot. 

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One bundled up happy camper. 

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My tent near the lake.

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Sunset 🙂