Dose of Awesome # 277

The community of Kuujjuaq came together yesterday to welcome the competitors in this year’s Ivakkak dogsled race at the finish line. The race began in Quaqtaq, and went through Kangirsuk, Aupaluk, Tasiujaq, before finishing here.

1. Awesome was an early school closure that allowed everybody to head to Stewart Lake to welcome the Ivakkak teams. Team 10 was the first to arrive in Kuujjuaq, but team 7 won the race.

Waiting for the first team to arrive.

Team 10, from Puvirnituq.

2. Awesome was a mid-week afternoon of snowshoeing, thanks to the early school closure. Since I’d gone in early to get some work done in my classroom before school began, I decided to take advantage of some amazing weather and get a few more hours of snowshoeing in. I went for a beautiful 3 hour loop through Nuuvuk Bay and by the marina. What I love about that loop is that every time, it can be so different, as the land is so vast.

Snow drifts and tree shadows inspired me.

3. Awesome was progress made with a challenging student – thanks to an awesome and dedicated team of people and their support. Sometimes things take time, and sometimes lots of it, but this, I hope, goes to show that if you don’t give up, great things can happen.

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Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 161

1. Awesome was sharing a lovely meal with all of my colleagues to conclude yesterday’s ped day, as well as another school year. Nakurmiimaarialuk to all of you for all of your team work, hard work and support throughout the school year. I wish everyone a fantastic summer vacation!

2. Awesome was receiving this thoughtful little thank you gift – beaded kamik earrings made by Lucina Cain.

Earrings

3. Awesome was making a new friend – another connection in Kuujjuaq!

4. Awesome was chatting with, and watching as a bunch of Inuit ladies sewed tents at the culture centre yesterday evening. Also awesome was witnessing real, unstaged throat singing (anytime I’d heard throat singing before, it was part of a concert or a cultural show. This time, it was out of the blue and for the fun of it, which made it all the more authentic and cool).

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 149

1. Awesome was a long hike on the land yesterday, and choosing a hiking route that took me right along the caribou migration path. Even more awesome was the fact that I stopped to eat my lunch just as a few caribou happened to be migrating! Also awesome was a new wildlife sighting – an arctic hare.

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2. Awesome was an afternoon making suvalik with friends (for those who are new to my blog, suvalik is an Inuit fruit salad made with berries and cut up fruit, suvaq (fish eggs) and oil (traditionally misirak – aged seal fat). To make suvalik, you first smush up the suvaq  with your hands until they are all separated. Then you add the oil or misirak a bit at a time, mixing it rapidly with your hands. As you mix, the suvaq grow and the mixture becomes light and fluffy. When you are finished, you add the berries and fruit and mix it all together. Partially frozen fruit is best.

It’s by far not the healthiest thing I’ve eaten, but it’s fun to make, a good way to bring people together, and an interesting culinary experience from time-to-time.

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3. Awesome was learning that a surprise had reached its destination, and had served its purpose well.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 145

1. Awesome was another relaxing evening of sewing – this time in the comfort of my own home with calm, acoustic coffeeshop music playing on Songza and the delicious aroma of caribou stew wafting from my slow cooker. I also had a cup of arpiqutik tea, but I was so absorbed in my sewing that I forgot to drink it.

2. Awesomely surprising was a gift of caribou meat from a colleague – a big sign of appreciation that is greatly appreciated!

3. Awesome was getting to the Co Op just as they were unpacking the produce cargo. After a week of eating frozen blueberries and apples with my breakfast and for my snacks, I now have oranges, bananas and cantaloupe to switch things up.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 144

1. Awesome was an evening of sewing with the ladies. Stage 1 of my alirtiq is complete and stage 2 has begun, and I’m quite pleased with how they are turning out.

2. Awesome was taking out some frustration and grumpiness through an intense kickboxing workout.

3. Awesome was receiving this beautiful creation in the mail:

Headband
A seal skin flower headband, made by Victoria Kuktinniq from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 135

1. Awesome was a relaxing morning of drinking coffee, listening to music and writing letters to friends.

2. Awesome was a fun afternoon making suvalik with my friend Mary. Suvalik is an Inuit dessert made of berries and/or various fruit, suvaq (fish eggs) and misirak (aged seal fat). Nowadays, though, some people use oil instead of misirak.

Suvalik
3. Awesome was an evening reminiscing, speculating and just having a good laugh with a good friend.

Daily Dose of Awesome – Day 125

1. Awesome was an interesting cultural experience.

Yesterday after school, my friend took me to the community freezer, where we found a bunch of freshly killed ptarmigans available for taking. She offered me some, which I gladly accepted (I love trying new food), and we made plans to meet later in the evening to go out on the land so she could teach me how to pluck and clean them.

The weather turned out too windy and cold to comfortably clean them on the land, so we went to her house instead. We spent the evening plucking and cleaning our ptarmigans (her, literally 3 times faster than I) and sharing many a good laugh over my comical qallunaat squeamishness.

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2. Awesome was finding a great big dark chocolate bar in my mailbox yesterday evening. It’s my favourite, but impossible to get in Tasiujaq. Nakurmiik Mom!

3. Awesome was a hilarious chat with a friend. It was one of those conversations where someone makes a joke, and everything that’s said afterward snowballs in hilarity – intentional or not. I was literally laughing out loud.