Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Baker Lake, Nunavut 2010 - DAY 4

Some of the team started the day with a trek up to see the cemetery just outside of the hamlet.  We had to pass the snow fence to get there.  Now for those of you who have never been north before - this is no ordinary snowfence!   Apparently Baker Lake used to be known for it's snowdrifts in the winter - whole houses would be buried.  So now there is a giant 30 foot tall snowfence to protect the town from the drifts.

The ground up here is all permafrost and rock, so below ground burial is impractical if not impossible.  The wooden caskets are above ground and covered by rocks.  Tombs are marked with crosses and the occasional tombstone, and most are also decorated with flowers and trinkets.   The view from the cemetery is awesome, you can look out over the entire hamlet.
Yesterday was the day of Husky crosses in our clinic, and today was the day of our "less typical" northern dog breeds.  We saw a couple of Maltese dogs - one of who was seen sitting on a motorcycle in town, a Chihuahua, and a super cute Boxer puppy named Harley who took no time at all to win all of our hearts!

Zoe and Harley

Jen, Monica and Cynthia were busy in the vaccine clinic and much appreciated the help of Frances Ross, one of Baker Lake's school teachers, with some of the paperwork.  Frances even brought us all cookies and macaroons baked by her class - very yummy and enjoyed by all! 

At the end of the day we had two dogs spayed, seven dogs neutered, and another 22 pets vaccinated.  Barb had three more great obedience classes.  We were very excited to see a number of pets that were neutered and vaccinated last year back for another vaccine!  It's nice that the people of Baker Lake seem very happy to have us back in their community and grateful for the care of their pets. 

At the end of our work day, a few of us headed up to the airport with Sue to pick up our groceries.  There is a food-mail program that has fresh produce flown in every two weeks, and Sue was making sure we are loaded up and not going hungry.  We haven't mentioned it on here before now, but we are being so spoiled with food!  A number of people in the community started cooking and freezing food for us weeks ago, and we were all thrilled with the options BEFORE the food-mail delivery!  Our only problem will be eating it all before it goes bad.   Ok, not a real concern with 11 hungry ladies working so hard! 

The low part of our day happed shortly after returning to the house.  Because Baker Lake is on rock and permafrost, there are no water pipes coming to the houses.  Each house has it's own water tank and sewage tank, Water gets trucked in, sewage gets trucked out.  We ran out of water.  The timing was especially unfortunate for Cynthia who was in the middle of a shower at the time! 

The high point of our night came at around 2:30am.  We have a few team members who were determined to see the Northern Lights while in Nunavut, and someone had told us 2am was the best time to see them.  So tonight Laura had set her alarm and gotten up to check - at first they were dim, but obviously there so everyone came treking out in their jammies and shoe to check them out.  It was cold, so pretty soon everyone was back inside - except for Laura.  A little while later she was back inside telling everyone they simply had to come back out...  The lights were phenomenal!  It was almost indescribable, but they were blue and green and dancing across the sky!  We stood outside just in awe.  Thanks to Jen who was able to get some great pictures!  You can rest assured that each of us will be getting copies of those pictures.

Northern Lights over our house!  Awesome!
Finally, we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of the cold and back to bed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fence is 18 feet high, not 30.


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