Wow, what an incredible week this has been! This has been my first time to the North as I begin to scope out questions for my soon to begin PhD with the IHACC team. As I reflect on the past week and begin to identify the highlights of my time in Nunatsiavut I am struck by the number of first time experiences. This week marks the first time I have been to the Canadian Atlantic Coast and also this far North.
It is the first time that I flew on a twin otter plane. What an experience that was! Moreover, we flew the “milk run” into Rigolet, meaning that we touched down in most of the Northern communities of Nunatsiavut. What a beautiful view! From there I got off the plane and onto a Skidoo for the first time. This week was also the first time I tried some exciting traditional Inuit foods! I tried char jerky and then I was lucky enough to try fish head stew and eat the eyes! They were both delicious. I was incredibly lucky to partake in my first boil-up, out on the land near Rigolet. The boil-up consisted of a campfire and snacks like hot dogs and marshmallows, and a wonderful afternoon of storytelling in good tradition.
Beyond all of those first time experiences though, what really shaped my time here in Nunatisavut was the people that I met for the first time and that I have begun to build long-term relationships with already. This trip was a perfect chance for me to meet the amazing people of Rigolet because the existing research team had organized an open house for results sharing, a community soup supper and activities in the school. The community is full of welcoming and friendly people who I already look forward to visiting with again soon!