Thursday, September 08, 2011

Baker Lake, Nunavut - Day 5 & 6

Day 5 - One thing we all learned pretty quickly up here is that "Baker Lake-time" isn't really the same as time would be at home.  Schedules are just a suggestion.  That being said - if you ever come up here and Sue invites you on a 30 minute walk, be prepared!!  We started this morning off with a truck ride to the end of town for our hike.. and we came back 3 hours later.  It was an awesome hike across the tundra, and no matter what you may hear, we did very little dilly-dattling, it was long!  We did make time to pick and eat some artic blueberries, and perhaps whined just a little about wet feet, but we had a great time and got some fabulous pictures.  Kristie did her best to chase down an Arctic Hare, but he just didn't seem to want to cooperate. 
What started out as a slow day end up being great!  Since we were slow in surgery, we decided that today would be the day to start our door-to-door vaccine service.  Angela and Renee walked around town knocking on people's doors with great success.. only one person said no to having their dog vaccinated!   We ended up spaying two dogs with 40 more being vaccinated and dewormed!  We saw two cats today, both for vaccines and deworming.  The surgery team also saw an injured puppy who needed some TLC and to have his wounds cleaned.
The hamlet of Baker Lake doesn't have any underground water or sewage systems, the water is trucked in and the sewage is pumped out.  Each  house has holding tanks. We have been doing our best to conserve water, and have done a great job so far - in fact our water tank is still more than half full!  However, if your sewage tank gets full, the water also stops.  In what has become a CAAT team tradition, today we ran out of water.  Poor Angela - she was so excited about her hot shower... got all ready and turned on the tap.. and nothing.  But Sue is on the case - we should have water soon!  Nine women, one house, no water... what could go wrong? 

Day 6 - Still no water, but that's ok... we still have a functioning bathroom in the wildlife office where our surgery is set up!  Oh wait.. no we don't.  We've lost the water there too!  Ahhhh!!  Maybe now would be a good time to thank Rob from the wildlife office for all of his help with our trip..  We love you Rob!  :)   Sorry about the bathroom!
You know what would make this day better?  Rain and 70-80kph winds... oh yeah!  It is chilly is Baker Lake today.  Everyone kept telling us that you just don't see big rainstorms in Baker Lake.. only a few times a year.  Well, we must have brought the thunder and lighting with us or something.  Unfortunately, the weather did a pretty good job of keeping people away from the clinic today.  We saw a few brave souls, 13 dogs in total for vaccines and deworming, one dog spay and two dog neuters.
Sue was giving Mike a ride home with his dog Katie who had just been spayed, when they stopped the truck Katie jumped out and ran.  She went out onto the tundra and wouldn't let them near her, she ended up in a lake for over an hour.  Once they finally got ahold of her, Sue drove them back to the house where we are all staying. Poor Katie was freezing cold.  We warmed her with towels, warm blankets and a hair dryer.  Her brother, Nanook, watched on from beside his dad looking very concerned.  It didn't take long to get her temperature up to normal and have her perk up.  Katie, Nanook and Mike their owner ended up staying with us for dinner (in case you're interested, the green beans and french fries got spat out by the dogs every time!) before getting dropped off at home again.
Hey look at that, a perfect seguay for talking about dinner!  Tonight was Bernadette from the powercorp with her Greek appetizers and kabobs (and wine!) to start; followed by Corrie with her traditional caribou stew and rice, and fried caribou.  Everything was so good!!  Carley, the vegetarian in our group, even enjoyed the caribou.. meat hunted from the land up here is just different then farmed meat. None of us are at risk of going hungry on this trip!  And what would be the perfect end to that dinner?  Homemade peanutbutter cookies warm from the oven.. yum.  Thanks Kristie! 
The weather cleared enough for the northern lights to peek through a bit - not as bright as they can be, but still great to see.

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