Monday, 5 September 2016

Away. Together.

So much appears to make so little sense (a fence in the tundra?, "cold" water is heated in the utilidor, so that it doesn't freeze on its above-ground journey to our sinks, showers and toilets; in a city with a housing shortage, the governments of Canada and Nunavut pay what must be tens of thousands of dollars a month to keep apartments empty, allowing professionals, like us, to have a place to live as soon as we land; I've happily, found avocados, mangos, papayas, Guatemalan peas and güisquil/chayote/bum fruit in the grocery stores).

Why a fence in the tundra?
Today, though, these contradictions are not what are on my mind. Today, I'm mostly filled with gratitude to share all of this with Julie.

Hiking with around Geraldine Lake, Iqaluit's water supply.
Julie and I have spent a fair number of years working and living in other cultures and countries. We've done this, almost exclusively, separately. We've waddled along in second, and then third, languages while conversing with campesinos or loosing ourselves in humid capital cities. We've shared meals, and nights, with families on their dirt floors. We've learned how to politely refuse (or not) the delicious looking lettuce or the mug of lukewarm coffee. We've been strangers in homes and workplaces in distant corners of our planet.

This fence protects the city from incoming snow drifts.
We've done this separately, and internationally. Now, we're not in Senegal, India, Guatemala or Peru. We're in our own country, barely a three hour flight north of Ottawa. It is humbling that at times, in Canada, I cannot serve patients in their own language; I use an Inuktitut interpreter. If I begin to feel slightly at ease I'm reminded of how much I'm in someone else's land when clerical staff share and laugh in Inuktitut. Back to school flyers appear in our PO Box, in Inuktitut and English, advertising bologna, apples, Kraft Dinner and white bread. We're in Canada. Yet, such a different slice of this big, gorgeous and often messy country.

And, I didn't come here alone. I'm came with Julie. Her curiosity, gentleness and kindness astound me. I'm thrilled to be sharing all of this with her.

We're a bit dorky, it turns out, wherever we are :)


  1. Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely experience you two are going through up North. I love your Blog!

  2. Your post brought tears to my eyes. What a lovely experience you two are going through up North. I love your Blog!