Sunday, July 13, 2008
POND INLET, BAFFIN ISLAND, NUNAVUT
DAY ONE - July 9, 2008
Our first day of the Pond Inlet project started at 7 am when the team met in the Ottawa airport. It was very easy to spot the team thanks to the blue CAAT shirts. Once the introductions were made with the five members, Our Veterinarian Dr. Ashley Boultbee, Veterinary Technicians Allison McLean (Team Leader) and Kris Burns, and Assistants Kim Painter and Stephanie Cruise were ready and very excited to be on their way to Pond Inlet. After transfering supplies to different suitcases we were ready to check-in our very heavy bags at the First Air ticket booth and go through security. We are so thankful to First Air for once again, this year, discounting our tickets to Nunavut by 75% of the regular rates, thus making this project possible.
Before long we were on the first of three flights to our final destination. Luckily we were able to sit together on the flight. In one row there were Kim and Kris and just in front of them were the rest of the team, Stephanie, Ashley and Allison. The first flight gave us some time to get to know each other and Allison was able to explain some of the procedures and protocols followed on CAAT trips. It was not long after we took off that the the flight attendants came around with breakfast, which for airline food was very good. Next there were warm chocolate chip cookies that were handed out and they were so good that we each had a couple.
Upon landing in Iqaluit there was a short layover before our flight to Clyde River on Baffin Island. The team was able to look around the gift shop and the art gallery that is across the street from the airport. Allison also showed the other team members where the Igloolik CAAT team from last year slept in the airport. In the airport there was a local artist that was selling a canvas painting and Kim bought one, the first of hopefully many artwork that we will be buying. We all boarded our next flight, which was a smaller prop engine flight and we were on our way to Clyde River. Once again the flight attendant served us lunch; the First Air people really like to feed us. The view from the plane was aweome, we were able to see beautiful cliffs and rivers. We were told that the view from Clyde River to Pond lnlet was even more spectacular. Once we landed in Clyde River for a very short refueling, we realized that we might want our hats and gloves, since it was alot colder than Ottawa. The pilot took a group picture in front of our airplane, this will be one of many team pictures. We still cannot believe that we are in Nunavut. The last flight was the most exciting for many reasons. We wanted to get to Pond Inlet and the view was breath taking.
Upon landing in Pond Inlet we were met in the airport by Debbie, Aisley and Matt, who were some of the people that were organizing our project. They took us and our luggage to Andrew's house which was called 'The Team House' and started the final preparations for a wonderful supper. The Team look a short walk to the edge of town, where we had a jaw dropping view of water and mountains. It really looks like we are in a postcard! After supper there was a Team meeting to plan our first day and we were all off to bed, which was weird because the sun was still up. It will take some time to get used to 24 hour daylight.
DAY TWO - July 10
On our first day of work, Debbie and Aisley gave us a quick tour around town. It started at the arena which is where our 'clinic' is going to be. From there we went to the Hamlet office to meet Colin the acting SAO (Senior Administrative Officer) in town. We also had a tour of the Health Center, where we met Flo who is the head nurse. Thanks to Flo we were able to get a sharps container and some gauze squares (we realized at our meeting the night before we did not have enough). The visitor center and library were awesome and we are all hoping to go back there and possibly buy some books.
Aisley and Matt wanted two of their dogs to be spayed so we decided to make them our first patients. 'Nuna' was the first spay and once the surgery started it was determined that she was pregnant. Kris scrubbed into surgery with Ashley to help her out and the surgery was done without any complications. Their second dog 'Aklaq' was next and thankfully she was not pregnant. Throughout the day many locals were stopping by our clinic to see what we were doing. Everyone in Pond Inlet are so friendly. The team was able to vaccinate several dogs and by the end of our first day we neutered one dog and spayed two more. We were all happy with the turn out for our first day. After another great supper we had a meeting with Debbie and Aisley to go over our first day. Everyone was tired from our first day and I think a little easier to fall asleep with the sun up. We now just have to get used to sleeping with the noise of children playing outside.
Posted by Donna Lasser, Team Leader Kirsten at 8:02 p.m.