Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spring is in the Air

Things have definitely brightened up with the return of the sun and theres a feeling of spring in the air. We had a lovely week in the -teens. Although this still sounds terribly cold, the sun has great strength and the numbers are very deceiving. Two weeks ago we had our

First BBQ of the year on Friday March 25th!

Our sun is rising at 5 am and setting around 8 pm although there is still quite a bit of light in the sky as we have both Civil and Nautical twilight at dusk and dawn. I had to copy and paste this little table I found, just to give an idea at how quickly the 24hour sun creeps up:

Apr. 08, 2011RiseSet
Actual Time5:02 AM ADT8:12 PM ADT
Civil Twilight3:48 AM ADT9:27 PM ADT
Nautical Twilight1:25 AM ADT12:13 AM ADT
Astronomical TwilightSun does not riseSun does not rise
MoonNo Moon RiseNo Moon Set
Length Of Visible Light17h 39m
Length of Day
15h 09m
Tomorrow will be 9m 25s longer.

Occasionally we have "Ice Crystals" as the local weather condition which is essentially frozen fog. Along with this, we sometimes see a Sun Halo. The ice crystals in the air act like prisms to make this halo around the sun. The fog was lifting just as I got the camera out...

I'll be heading out on the land this coming Monday with my students (weather permitting) so will hopefully have some nice photos to blog about then...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Year 3 Well Underway

I'm well into my third teaching year here in Clyde River. Thankfully I am teaching the loveliest class in the entire school (not because I'm biased... really). There is still a great staff who are also my friends and family up here. And, I'm keeping busy working through my Masters in TESL online through the University of Calgary.

The fall was very busy with helping organize a school basketball trip. I actually know nothing about basketball and don't even really like the sport. However, during my first year teaching here these polite high school boys begged me to supervise so they could shoot hoops after school. Then there was this tournament they wanted to attend... Thankfully my best Arctic friend came along from PEI and took over the coaching aspect. I did the paperwork and planned some fundraisers and we managed a weekend tourny in Iqaluit last year and one in Baker Lake this year.

At the moment I am looking forward to our Professional Improvement week (February 21at-25th) which will allow me to visit a school near my home in Nova Scotia. I've minded the darkness and isolation much more this year than in years past. Likely due to the Northern novelty wearing off and my fabulously tolerant boyfriend at home. Really miss my roomie and friend who found one year to be sufficient too.

Our sun disappeared Nov. 19th and briefly reappeared above the horizon Jan. 21st. It's pretty awesome to finally have some daylight! We get some beautiful colours in the sky during our extremely long twilight hours. The sun comes fast and furious between now and April though. In no time, we'll be in the midst of the eerily long daylight hours. Nevertheless, I'm excited to be able to fit in more than one walk per day!

Last weekend we trudged out in a 70 km/hr blizzard for a Sunday meal of caribou with the Newfoundlanders. It was totally worth it!

Today during my lunchtime walk, I attempted to capture the Ice Crystal's that were creating a bit of fog just above ground level.

With the return of the sun, comes the endless hockey games. Kids play into the wee hours of the morning. Sometimes they even wear skates!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's Been a While!

While out on the land with my students we came across a resting dog team.

Myself and my friend just outside of the community during our daily walk.

Me again with one my my students. We climbed up a small cliff while out on the land.

Well, it's obviously been far too long since I've posted on here but I will try to catch you up to speed. I arrived back in the community quite excited to start another year. I received the warmest of welcomes from everyone with handshakes from adults and children singing out
their windows "Welcome home". The year has been slightly challenging but thats a part of why I like teaching here.

Some highlights include: Helping out with getting our boys basketball team to a tournament in Iqaluit. Meeting many other northern teachers at our Baffin wide Professional Improvement week in Iqaluit in February and most recently being involved in a high school exchange trip to Quebec! (I'll have to add more about that...)

My only excuse for lack of blogging is that I started my MEd online in the fall. Most of my spare time (other than extra-curriculars...) is spent trying to keep up with readings and course work for that!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

10th Anniversary

April 1st, Nunavut celebrated its 10th year as its own territory. Clyde River marked the day with a picnic on the (obviously frozen) lake. Some teacher friends: Deborah, Mark and Ren and myself had the pleasure of a borrowed ski-doo & komatik to check out the action.

We were unfortunately late getting away so missed much of it, but had quite an exciting adventure onto the sea ice non the less. It was a little bumpy on the sled but so exhillarating to see civilization disappear as we became enveloped by the beautiful landscape. It was a feeling like no other to be on top of the frozen ocean with nothing but white as far as the eye could see. It's not everyday that you cruise by an icelocked boat on a ski-doo!

Looking out to sea...This crack in the ice combined with our being gunless and potentially on the polar bear's menu caused us to turn around. It's wild to imagine that come summer this morphs back into rolling waves!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life in Clyde

Taking my position here in Clyde was a bit of a snap decision. Thankfully I had some very good luck. I was informed through friends of friends in Nunavut that I was heading to a community with a nice group of Newfoundlanders.

Well, what an understatement! I recieved the warmest of welcomings from these 4 lovely couples who live in a 4 apt complex coined "Signal Hill". They have become like family over the last 8 months and I've just about spent more time in their home than my own. They have put on many tasty meals for myself and fellow co-workers. I quite enjoy the Jig's dinner and Fish and Brewis and of course the local cuisine;narwhal, caribou (cooked and raw), Arctic Hare and Arctic Char. They have been teaching here for years and have been a serious wealth of knowledge for a newbie like myself.

Community members also extended a very warm welcome to this new qallunaat. I was greeted with a warm smile and many hand shakes from people as I walked around my new home. Both children and adults excitedly proclaimed "Welcome to Clyde". I'm happy to say that kindness has not worn off. I'm reminded of that same eager spirit each time I step outside.

My weeks are quite busy preparing for my energetic grade 7's and my weekends are enjoyed havin the craic with the Newfoundlanders. I was also lucky to find a fellow Nova Scotian here in Clyde, Deborah. She has become a very close friend and has also provided me great advice with her teaching and life experience. We share the joys of both cooking and travelling and do a lot of walking together.

Nov 21st our sun disappeared below the horizon and we lived in darkness for 2 months. Each day there was a window of roughly an hour with a dusk/twilight like light in the sky. With the help of a sun lamp and great friends life passed like any other day! My body wanted slightly more sleep than usual but those effects take place during a Nova Scotian winter as well.

We are now heading towards 24 hours of sunlight and do I ever love the super long days!! Spring here is seriously beautiful and the colours in the sky are phenomenal at both sunrise and sunset. The school year is quickly winding down and I'm already looking forward to another one!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


July 2008 I was enjoying a good ol Valley summer in Kentville, N.S. I had just returned from a year in Dublin and was contemplating my next move. Australia, South/Central America, more of Europe... Then the dreaded student loan reality kicked in and I decided to apply for teaching jobs in Northern Canada.

Mid August I heard back from a number of schools and took the first official offer. Thankfully that was this lovely hamlet on Baffin Island called Clyde River. Population roughly 1200 comprising of mainly Inuit families with a few qalunaat (KA-LU-NAA, or people from the south).

I had a little over 2 weeks to prepare for my move above the Arctic Circle. This literally was like planning for a 10 month camping trip. I made many lists and visits to Costco and Wal-Mart. It was both strange and exciting to try to imagine life without cars, shopping centres and highways. Clyde is accessible only by plane or a few days on a Ski-Doo. Oh so different from life among the Irish!

Halifax-Ottawa (overnight)- Iqaluit-Clyde River. I was quite familiar with flitting through airports. However my 8 ginormous suitcases filled with just about any and everything demanded some creativity along the way.