Thursday, September 07, 2006

NWT--Days 7 & 8

DAY SEVEN: September 3, 2006

Today was our rest and relaxation day. After breakfast, we drove to a First Nations village, Dettah, just east (I think) of Yellowknife. Doug gave us a tour, including the cemetery and showed us where the ice road is in the winter, on the lake. Fascinating cultures in the communities we have lived in, worked in, and visited over the past week.

We then continued on to Cameron Falls, where we hiked over very rocky terrain for about thirty minutes to see the magnificent waterfall. We stopped and spoke with a couple visiting from Brampton, Ontario. They have come a long way also.
At 3:00 pm the four remaining team members flew in to Yellowknife from Lutsel K’e, and our reunited team spent the rest of the day and evening sharing stories and experiences. The Lutsel K’e team – Ken, Steve, Corinne and Jennifer - had been fishing over the last couple of days and brought back several large trout they had caught. Doug and Candy barbequed the fish for our dinner tonight and were able to put some away in their freezer for another time also. A prominent native artist also lives in Lutsel K’e, so that team was able to purchase some of his artwork. Ken brought back a four foot high rack of caribou antlers he had “found” in the community. It will be fun getting that back to Vancouver Island tomorrow.

Jennifer has been keeping a daily journal of her team’s time in Lutsel K’e and has graciously offered to do a write up of their week working and living in that community. We will post it to the blog ASAP.

Our flight leaves for home tomorrow morning at 7 am. It is now close to midnight and we all need to be up and leaving for the airport by 6 am. It will be a short sleep.

We have been able to see the Northern Lights several evenings this week – very impressive to say the least.

DAY EIGHT: September 4, 2006

Our day began at 4:45 am with the smell of fresh coffee brewing and the sound of Doug moving about in the kitchen. The sunrise was gorgeous as we drove to the airport. We had no trouble checking in all of our luggage and medical supplies at the First Air ticket counter. Several of our team were searched at security though and even had “Chapstick” confiscated.

The flight from Yellowknife to Edmonton was smooth and uneventful. Jennifer asked the flight attendant if she could speak on the microphone. She gave First Air a huge thank you for the donation of flights to our team and making it possible for the eleven of us to do the work we did in the North. The entire team clapped and cheered at the end. Upon arrival at the Edmonton airport we had a team photo taken in front of First Air’s sign.

Liz, Jennifer and Donna settled into the comfy leather chairs in the departure area to guard everyone’s luggage as the rest of the team took the shuttle to West Edmonton Mall. We had a seven hour layover in Edmonton. We read, did crossword puzzles, Soduku puzzles, played cards, ate, talked and slept. The rest of the team returned to the airport by 2:30 at which time we checked in at the Westjet counter, boarded our plane for home and flew out of Edmonton at 5:00 pm, arriving in Vancouver at 5:05pm. Five minute flight. One hour time difference.

Goodbyes were exchanged in Vancouver, with all team members expressing their thankfulness and appreciation for the wonderful experience and adventure in the Canadian north. It has been a very rewarding and wonderful week. We are confident that what we accomplished in the Northwest Territories will make a noticeable difference in the communities in which we worked. We are confident the dog-bite incidence will decrease, as well as the numbers of stray dogs and owned dogs will be decreased. The health of the community will also be improved as there will be a decrease in the transference of parasites and possibly rabies from the dogs to the humans. We are very grateful for the opportunity to assist our country in whatever way we can, and are very proud of the great work we accomplished in the Northwest Territories. We have been invited to return next year to work in other communities in the north.

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