Monday, July 16, 2007

DAY THREE, Wednesday, July 11, 2007

After breakfast, the team walked to the Hamlet office in town where we met in the council chambers with Mayor Paul Quassa and the Senior Administrative Officer Brian Fleming. It was very interesting to learn more of the history of Igloolik as well as about the “Inuit dog”. Igloolik has been instrumental in preserving this very unique breed, and are very similar looking to malamutes and huskies. The Mayor also told us the story about the recent search and rescue of an 81 year old “Elder” named Inuke from Igloolik, who went out hunting towards Baffin Island and didn’t return. A large search and rescue operation was launched by the government and was eventually called off. The community insisted that they keep looking and the gentleman was finally found after being missing for about one month.
After the meeting we were taken to the building we would be holding our clinic in. Today, the Mayor went on local radio and announced to the hamlet our arrival and that we would be coming door to door today to ask if they wanted us to deworm and vaccinate their dogs.

Before coming to Igloolik we were told that there was a distemper outbreak in Nunavut and many dogs had died. We came with enough vaccine to give the dogs in Igloolik their Distemper/Parvo vaccine (including a booster) as well as a Rabies vaccine. We were given a map of the location of every home in the hamlet, divided ourselves into five teams, and spread out to go door to door to vaccinate as many dogs as we could. The people seemed very welcoming and grateful for what we were doing. Many dog sled team owners have mentioned to us already that they definitely would like their dogs vaccinated and dewormed. Many children followed us around and wanted their photos taken.
Donna spent some time filming three teenage boys playing on the ice floes by the shore. They would run and jump from floe to floe. One boy in shorts slipped and fell off the side of an ice floe, and the other two ran over to him and pulled him to safety. He jumped up and down for several minutes trying to warm up and thaw out his bare legs. It was quite amusing to watch.
After a full day we returned to Barb’s and had another wonderful dinner around the bonfire. There was a storm on the horizon and rumbles of thunder could be heard off in the distance. The locals mentioned that they hadn’t heard thunder since 1986, being a very rare occurrence here. The storm fortunately passed us by.

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