|Sachs Harbour from the hill|
Meant to update the blog on the weekend but you know how it is….the less you have to do the less you get accomplished. My boss left for vacation and the replacement nurse (who incidentally share my not very common first name - what are the odds in such a small place?) is staying in one of the other apartments over the health centre. Either I'm becoming more of a hermit or she's an overactive social butterfly….well maybe a little from column A and a little from column B. She invited me over for supper on Friday and we watched some of her series of DVDs called Pie in the Sky which is a British detective / chef yarn - the main character is most certainly built like the former not the latter. It was entertaining as those Brits can be at times.
|Library aka storage room|
|Storage for Cooking with Cops|
|Small classroom |
We dropped over to the school on Friday (as seen above and here) to explore the two classes - small which is grades K-5 (except there aren't any grade 4 or 5 students this yr) and large which is grades 6-9 and a total of 15 students with two teachers. They are officially in class until May 15th but as the principal stated "functionally school is finished by Easter". Families will soon be heading out on the land to their cabins and camping to fish, collect eggs, hunt ducks, geese, muskox, seals and caribou. Apparently the ravens have returned to Sachs Harbour which is a sign of spring as this far north even the ravens go south for the winter. Folks watch the weather and it's been warm in Jean Marie River and the ice is starting to breakup so summer is heading this way.
|Sachs Harbour cemetery|
Saturday was my day off and so I hiked up the hill to the cemetery to overlook the community and stopped at the COOP on my way back to read the community bulletin board. As you can see by the sign on the left, this is a real high crime area. ha! That evening found us both at sewing class which is going to be the last until August - a combo of funding lapse and 'out on the land exodus' so lack of participants. I managed to get two needles full of wax thread to connect about 1/3 of the top of one slipper to the sole - this is gonna take a while. At least the teenager who sews a pair of mittens in an evening wasn't there to make me feel bad about myself this week. We were discussing various plane crashes - the sewing instructor (two years my junior) remembered one here when she was 10 years old and had gone up on her bike to see the plane land "not many safety rules then like now" she said. I reassured her that as kids we'd picked blueberries along the train tracks after they sprayed with pesticide and when the train whooshed by. She pointed to the photo of the local man killed in that crash and said his son had been in a coma for 28 days but made a full recovery. The talk turned to various northern aviation disasters across the north which is a topic best discussed mid rotation I've found. Oddly enough when I checked online that evening the first news of the 'hard landing' of an Air Canada Airbus in Halifax was being broadcast. I think when you've clipped power lines and landed without the nose, front wheels, one engine and passengers emergency exit down the chutes it should get a higher rating than a hard landing. Lots of walking wounded and so the emergency rooms ramped up for their disaster plan. As one colleague said "at least the ER would be cleared out and those whiners with colds in the waiting room would be sent packing, the drunks with the police would be sent pronto to the drunk tank and the only ones remaining would be the granny drops who have been abandoned" Sad but true nurse logic. Apparently only one person still in hospital the next afternoon - angels on their shoulders. But enough grim talk.
Last week saw us receive a visit from the social worker who travels over from Uluhuktuk (Holman Island) every few months as he has two clients here. He is a small dark wiry man from Ghana via Toronto who could win the 'young Sammy Davis Jr look alike contest'. Very nice fellow who clearly was searching for work. He stayed at the local (only) B&B for the two nights and disclosed that GNWT had paid $250/night for his accommodations. I asked if the breakfast was good and he said "no breakfast for that price" so I said "not B&B just B" and he chuckled and said "likely more than my per diem so I brought food". The per diem is about $140/day for the three meals so….Amazingly enough the replacement RCMP member is also Ghanian, also via Toronto and they had met in Ulu (the slang version of the above mentioned community name) so before the social worker arrived we'd already been informed that he owned a large chicken farm for fresh eggs in Ghana which he did confirm when questioned that there were 250,000 hens providing eggs in a company managed by his sister in Africa as he lived in the arctic. The RCMP of Ghanian origin had actually served in Bridgetown NS about 15 years ago so knew my province well. He now does relief postings in the north and likely is up there with the chicken farmer/social worker for personal wealth. The folks you meet north of 60 are entertaining. And speaking of chickens….how would you pronounce this name…..Tsiigehthic - yes that's correct Sick a Chick. Made me think of the Cape Breton classic take out the Lick a Chick.
|Tiktalik Health Centre|
And while on the subject of animals I must share a situation of today. I asked the phone "Tiktalik Health Centre" and a male voice with a local accent said "ah I'm wondering if you could have a look at my dog" so I stalled with "um, I'm not sure if we do that" but he assured me that this was usual practice if he "brought the dog to the front door the nurse comes out" so I said "I'll have to ask the other nurse" and put the call on hold. My co-worker gamely took the call and had an interesting discussion which began with "well dogs aren't my specialty" and continued on to "he bit you? if the dog is not nice I don't think I can" to the final answer to her query of the dog's appetite and activity levels "what you can't catch him? oh I think he's doing much better" and she concluded with "who is good with dogs in the community? you should go and find them to help" and he suggested his uncle who had a dog sled team would likely know what to do so happily signed off. I was a puddle of silent giggles in the chair behind her (which I fully admit was not nice as she had kindly taken the call) but as I gasped "your triage skills for dogs are admirable" and she smugly said "I'd give him a 5" which for those in my audience who do not understand the CTAS scale means 'there's not much wrong with you and you can wait up to 24 hrs without being seen' for example a rash. Well, that was it - I was NO good for about ten minutes of hysterical laughter. She further elaborated that she used the same approach to kids who tore apart the office after being brought in 'really sick'. Many endorphins were released in the telling of this story.
The physician booked to come to our community for clinic this week arrived in Inuvik yesterday and returned our call today as we offered to feed him if he'd do some shopping for us - he volunteered fresh fruits and veggies as his contribution. He quickly denied any allergies and agreed to pick up blend when I suggested cream lobsters for supper. My coworker offered spaghetti and cheesecake for dessert and tentatively asked if he enjoyed a sip of wine would he pick some up for us. He quickly stated he'd brought a case of nice Spanish wine up with him. After she hung up I said "he must only have one pair of jeans with him if he's brought that much wine" and she said "I think we're all going to get along fine" and we both nodded. So I spent the morning getting the paperwork ready for the clinic as the clerk just returns from a week away tomorrow.
I have been working on some crochet projects dishcloths, tea cozy, coasters, boot cuffs and now I've started an afghan. Watched Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil last night which was a great revisit of Savannah and am almost finished the Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama ebook. Nice retreat this is. Now I really must get myself off to bed but since I am a known nite owl I am leaving you with this link to an article defending myself and my clan:
Another good list: