It’s been a while since I have had a chance to update the blog… but here we are and boy how things can change quickly up in the Arctic North of Canada.
Everyone has continued to settle to our new life here in Aklavik. The kids are enjoying school and have made some great new friends. We hardly see them after school now, especially no the weather has improved, and they are out and about the entire time.
This community always has something on the go for it’s residents. Recently was “Kiddies Carnival” week. A week of activities and events for the kids to participate in. These includes all sorts of games, Talent Show, and a big Cookout picnic to finish it off. They also crown the Prince & Princess for the Carnival. Most of the prizes are cash prizes for the events. By the end of the week our two kids would have walked away with about $80 between them. They won a few event, and Devyn won the talent show for her age group. The import thing was the kids just had a blast, and had something to do. This is key when living in a remote community, and the people of Aklavik recognize this and do a great job at keep the community active and involved.
Last weekend was Mothers Day, and there were a number of different things happening for the mothers here, On Sunday night they hosted a big feast for all the Mothers. A great opportunity to women to relax and have some fun without the kids or us men hanging around to bother them.
The biggest change we have been experiencing here is the weather. Its almost like mother nature forgets about spring up here and just boots it right into summer. 3 weeks ago we would have had a good 2-4 feet of snow all over the place. The Ice road was open and traffic was flowing across it. In a shot span of time we have lost 95% of the snow, the ice road was closed to vehicles and there was just mud everywhere. Another week passes and the mud has turned to dust and last night e saw the ice breaking up and flowing down the river. Another week or so and we should be free of ice and the river will flow once again. This change in weather brings a bunch of new complexities to Arctic living. Firstly, the dust. Its impossible to stay on top of the amount of dust and dirt coming into the home and also the store. It’s a full time just trying to stay on top of it all, and add a 7-year-old boy into the mix and we are doing laundry every 5 minutes.
The other issue is the isolation. Before this we always had the ice road available to drive to Inuvik if we felt the need to get out of town. Now the only way out is a flight to Inuvik or once the river opens up a boat. It’s not a big deal for us, but it’s always in the back of your mind.
Then there is sun sets, Or at this time of year the lack of them. This has been the biggest thing I think I’ve had to get used to being here. As I write this the sun isn’t setting until around 2am and it’s up again around 5am. It won’t be long now before we have about 3 months of sun. I can sleep just fine with the sun up, but it’s looking out the window as I’m heading to bed at 11pm and the sun is still shinning brightly in the sky. And then waking up at 5:30am with the sun shinning in the window thinking that I’ve over slept. It will take some time to get use to but I am sure I will. It won’t be long after this before we will be plunged into 24hour darkness.
I learnt this week that Aklavik is introducing a 9pm curfew for the kids this summer. I am told this is something they use to do a while ago and have decided to try it again. At 9pm each night a siren will sound across the Hamlet and that will be the notice for the kids to head home for the day. For us folks from the South, this seems like a weird idea, but when you think back to being a child playing in the summer, we were often told to come home when the street lights come on. Well those lights wont be coming on up here during the summer, so this is really the best way to let the kids know it’s time.
So that was a jumble of things that have been happening here of late. It’s never dull up here and there is always something happening somewhere.
We are really looking forward to the summer months here and seeing what adventures it will bring us as a family.