Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sidewalks, traffic lights, more than two stores, restaurants, ordering from a menu, a haircut!, vanilla lattes, Pizza Hut, mmmm Inuvik. :)

The weather's been a bit cool and cloudy, but that did not deter me from enjoying my new HAIRCUT!!! Hooray! Thank you Stephanie from 'Northern Hilites' salon!! :)

The famous Igloo Church

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fort Good Hope, from the River
Yesterday I went on a four hour boat ride to Norman Wells with Angus!! It was very long, but so very beautiful to travel down the Mackenzie on such a clear, sunny day. And speaking of sun, I remembered to put sunscreen on my face, except for my forehead! LOL! I'm so glad I have bangs, cuz my forehead got sooo burned, it looks ridiculous.
Here's couple shots from the journey:
 The Ramparts, near Good Hope
At the dump in Norman Wells...do you see him??

There he is!!
Our Captain...Angus!!
And speaking of Angus...a couple posts ago I mentioned that he was in Winnipeg last week for a Residential Schools Convention, and that he met my parents!!! Well here's a photo from their meeting. Yay!! With them are Charlie and Laura, two other Good Hopers who were in Winnipeg for the convention.
Angus, Bonnie (Mom), Pat (Dad), Charlie & Laura
Sooo awesome to connect Good Hope with Winnipeg! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bon Voyage Anouk!

Wow! How can a friendship form so fast and a couple months fly so quickly?? Anouk, who I've mentioned in some previous blog posts, is the other recreation assistant that I've been working with up here. As her term was from Sept/09 to today! June 23/10, this morning she began her long journey back to Belgium, her home country.

Throughout these past couple months, Anouk became so much more than merely my co-worker. She was the person who met me at the airport when I arrived in Good Hope, and she guided me through the first weeks of this crazy journey. For that I will forever be in her debt. She was my roommate, and was often at the receiving end of some venting when I needed a sounding board. She helped me learn how to do a job that had no job description and how to be confident in a place where one is an obvious outsider! Not only did she teach me a lot about composting and cooking, but she taught me so much about how to be a friend. Aside from a best friend in grade 6, I never really formed close friendships over the years. There are a variety of reasons for this - I move around a lot, I tend to lean on the introverted side, I don't trust people very easily - but it is something that I've often wanted to try and change. I still have a long way to go, but hanging around people like Anouk (and other "Herd" members - Arthur, Ida and Angie) I'm slowly learning what good, solid friendships look like.
Anouk doesn't like pictures of herself posted on the Internet. So, sadly, you don't get to see what she looks like here...but just picture a beautiful 19 year old Belgian with shoulder-length brown hair, non-stop energy, sparkling eyes, and a sunny smile. I'll miss you Anouk!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What perfect weather for a cookout and some fun in the town field for National Aboriginal Day! Here are some beautiful Fort Good Hope faces enjoying the holiday...
(that's the Chief on the right)
Yours truly with my buddy Antoine
That famous Aboriginal past time, passed down through the generations, taught to the young and cherished by the entire community...balloon and egg racing. lol.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Angus, who I've mentioned in a few previous blog posts, has truly been one of the most friendly and welcoming people I've met in Fort Good Hope! He is constantly phoning Anouk and myself to see how we're doing. He's always suggesting get togethers or little trips. He took me on my first skidoo ride, he took me and Anouk on a boat ride to Fossil Lake the other day. He is someone I'll always remember fondly from my time here. Anyway, this week he is Winnipeg for a special convention planned and put on by the "Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada" - an organization created for survivors of Canada's Residential Schools. Being up in the North, pretty much everyone I meet over a certain age is a survivor. The whole history and implications of Residential Schools is too much to get into in this simple blog post. Yet, the thing I am excited about is...before Angus left Fort Good Hope for the convention, I gave him my parents phone number so, if he had time, he could contact them when he was in Winnipeg. Well, he did!! And he and my parents are getting together for dinner tomorrow night!! I just think it's so awesome that my friend from up here is actually gonna meet my family down south.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CBQE On the Air

On the Air Sunday afternoon, Live Jam session

One thing I realized I haven't posted about yet is the Fort Good Hope radio station! It's just a one room operation and it only broadcasts to the community, but it's one of those quirky things that, before I came here, I pictured as kind of a Northern cliche...well, it's a Northern cliche that's completely true! And I've even been on the air promoting some community events. :) CBQE all the way!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fossil Lake

I find it so ironic that up here in the high North of Canada the weather is hotter, sunnier and all around better than down south in Winnipeg and Edmonton. It has been hot, hot, HOT here. +25 in the shade and climbing!
Last night I got to experience my first NWT boat ride. Angus (our lovely Fort Good Hope friend and unofficial ambassador) took myself, Anouk, Ida and Gretal (Ida's dog) on an awesome boat ride from the Mackenzie River, down Fossil Creek to Fossil Lake. We hiked up to a waterfall near Fossil Lake, and then tried our hand at some fishing. It was such a fun time, complete with eagle, beaver and muskrat sightings! The only down side was the mosquitoes. All the stories are true, they are getting torturous, and will probably soon make any outdoor activity less than enjoyable...even with bug spray! We were undeterred though. :) Here's some pics of the trip. Oh, and this is what "night time" looks like now in Fort Good Hope. The sun sets about 2am!

Headin' out on the Mackenzie
Parked at Fossil Lake

Headin' back down Fossil Creek

Fossil Creek
Having another Northen adventure! (my hair is getting so long and out of control!!! lol)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School's Out!

It's exam week at Chief T'Selehye School and it's my last day of tutoring. I had such an awesome time helping out these young guys. I'm actually gonna miss 'em.
Here's 14 year old Mackenzie, a guy who'd much rather be out hunting or quading than in school! lol. 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

!Grad 2010!

Up here I am constantly struck by how much I have taken for granted in my life. Yesterday was Grade 12 graduation day in Fort Good Hope. What an exciting time for the whole town! 9 students graduated which was the biggest graduating class from the school to date.
In the community and family I grew up in, it was just assumed that my sister and I would go to school until grade 12 and then graduate and move onto to bigger and better things - university, career, etc. If you dropped out of school or didn't make it to grade 12 grad you were the exception. Here, for many different reasons, it is the opposite. It is the exception to graduate, and families don't naturally assume that their young people will pass all the way through to grade 12. And if they do, it is a VERY big deal.
Many in the town came out for the ceremony and feast. The school gym was decorated in a beautiful Hollywood theme. And the graduates all looked so wonderful! Even though I haven't been here that long and I don't know the grads that well, I was so proud to be a part of such a big milestone in their lives. Congrats to the grads of '10!!!
Some of the grads and their friends. :)
During the ceremony - the opening prayer.
Cara, the valedictorian! She is such a sweetie and gave such a great speech!!
Decorations!! And Congratulations!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Big, Big, BIG News

There is now a second store open in town!!
The Northern Store burned down in December, and yesterday it re-opened. Hooray!...Competition for the Co-op!