Random Winter Things

We’ve been settling in quite comfortably. Pat is very happily working at NuSchool, (www.nuschool.ca) a design agency in Iqaluit, and I myself am making good progress with my work at the hospital. I am getting to know people a little better, and starting to feel more and more at home :)

Here are a few fun images ;)

Remember Ruby? Our favourite neighbour?

YUM! Caribou leg!!!


Local Craft’s Fair

Playing games :) People like to play games here, and I LIKE these kinds of games!!

Something that we want to get into, is skiing! The number of times Pat or I have gone skiing could probably be counted on one hand, therefore it is needless to say that we do not have equipment…but we are hopeful to find someone here with skis for sale or order some boots and skis online that will fit the first time! …I’ll let you know if it works out!

That’s it for now! Unfortunately I don’t have any recent pictures of anything…it has been too cold the entire month of January and February. Now that the days feel so long (6:30AM to 5:20PM, doesn’t seem long to you, but that much daylight for me is just a wonderfully happy thing!) and the temperature getting a bit warmer, it has been easier to be outside. I will keep my eyes open for some fun pictures in the near future :)




Merry Christmas and happy new year!

The holidays are already over! Although my happy wishes to everyone comes a little late, but they are no less sincere!

Things here in Iqaluit are going very well. Christmas was spent with some new friends and their children. We had a lovely traditional turkey meal with all the trimmings and tasty desserts!! Pat and I made a yule log, but rolled it like a stump instead of the classic log! it was very unique and pretty tasty too!

I was in the Iqaluit Christmas Parade!! I “marched” with other colleagues of mine dressed up as presents! We were the “Gifts of Qikiqtani General Hospital”!! As the parade started we took our spot, but then the car in front of us took off super fast! There was no way for us to keep up…although we tried!!! I bunch of boxes running down the main road, trying to pitch candy canes (except our boxes made it impossible to touch our fingers together). We looked ridiculous! This whole fiasco did not last long at all…a pick up truck came to the rescue and loaded all the boxes (us) into the back and we raced to re-join the parade. That was when I understood…we were the ONLY walkers in the parade!


New Year’s Eve was a beautiful occasion as well! We were invited to our friend’s party. The table was full of awesome ordeuvres, and our first moments of 2012 were spent watching fireworks in the neighbour’s backyard. They were really impressive!!! They reminded me of the ones we used to watch over the Chateauguay river as a child. Really big, amazing fire works, with pauses between each one. :)

The month of January was cold but the days are getting longer and longer, which seems to make everything a little easier to handle! The month flew by, just as was the case for all of you I am sure!

As of now, I am in fact in Ottawa for a paediatric training in Nutrition Management. This makes me SO VERY HAPPY! I had a chance last weekend to visit my family and do some shopping in Montreal, but the time was extremely brief, so if you’re reading this and I didn’t see you over the weekend, know that it isn’t because I don’t love you! I DO love you! I just only had time to see family and run errands.

Happy February People!

It’s here!

And so it begins…WINTER has begun!

My old definition of winter was when the snow would start falling and the weather go below zero. That definition doesn’t adapt well to North of 60! The snow started falling here in September and the temperature has been below zero ever since! My new definition of winter is, “when it is cold enough for icicles to form around the edges of my eyelashes”. It isn’t quite as easy to identify as “when the snow falls”, however when it happens, you know it’s here!

Winter IS finally here! It has been at least three days in a row in which my eyelashes froze together at the edges of my eyes and my buggers inside my nose would harden and feel tight inside my nose!

Today the weatherman announced -38 with the windchill…Brrrr! But believe me or not (I would not be likely to believe me either in your shoes), it wasn’t really that cold! Ok….besides the icicles at the edges of my eyes and the crunchy snot…I didn’t feel that awful cold that goes through your coat and into your bones! I did dress for the occasion, my glorious morning walk to work…long johns, jeans and gortex wind breaker, winter coat, hat, hood, thin gloves and big mitts over them (my hands get easily cold). Regardless, the sun shone brightly today (Sunset at 2:15pm) which gave a beautiful light into my office and put a nice warm smile on my face :)

The one real bonus to the “dark” season, and with winter’s arrival, are the Northern Lights :) They were spectacular this afternoon on my walk home! The photos below were taken around 4:45pm. In the Eastern Arctic, the Northern Lights are mostly greenish, and not multicoloured like in the Western Arctic (or so they say…). I managed to take a few photos of them…the pictures are limited but are exciting to look at nonetheless! Soon…when Patrick arrives with his awesome camera, we’ll be able to show much more impressive photos!!

 The photo below is taken right in my backyard! I was playing with Ruby (neighbour’s dog) underneath this dancing light.

My new look…

Well…that’s it for today! I wrote this post last night but I am only finishing it this morning. I just checked the weather…-38 again today! (-27 without the wind chill factor)

Have a great day everyone!

Country Food

What do you think of when you hear the words, “Country Food”?

Do you think of mashed potatoes? Hot turkey sandwiches? Fresh vegetables from the garden? Hmmm…sounds good. Well, if you had any image of a hot meal you’re definitely not from here! In Nunavut, Country Food refers to their traditional way of eating. So, what kind of food is traditional Inuit food?

I do not have all the Inuktitut terms down quite yet…but overall it consists of Seal, Caribou, Fish (Char being the most common), Goose, Walrus and Whale. They eat all parts of the animal, prepared (or not) in various ways: frozen, dried, fresh (raw), boiled, cooked (like in a stew), and fermented.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go to an Elder’s home for one of my projects at work. We are working on revamping the patient menu at the hospital, and we wanted to test some “Southern” recipes on the Elders to see if they liked them. The Elders’ feedback is especially important to us because they are the ones with the longest hospital stays.

We went over in the afternoon, and we were lucky to show up on a day where they were being served some Country food…and so it gave me an opportunity to see what the food looks like and how they eat it too.

On their menu for the day was frozen fish and seal meat. There was also some Muktuk (whale blubber). They are using a knife called an Ulu to cut it.

It is strange to me, that in such a cold place, they find comfort in eating cold food. This is something I cannot relate to, but I do find it intriguing!

The “Southern” foods we had them try were : Shepard’s Pie (winner), Salmon Pot Pie (winner), Cabbage Rolls (winner), and Spaghetti sauce (lose! It was too much of a “powerful” taste. They like to TASTE the ingredients, without too many spices)

Overall, it was a great afternoon. The ladies at the Elder’s home shared lots of information about how we could improve the menu at the hospital, and it was invaluable information for me (and my dietary liaison partner)! We had a great time, and I left wishing I could speak more Inuktitut.

…I also left wishing that I could go visit my Great Aunt at her residence. Value your time with your old-people people! They are awesome. :)

Rechauffement climatique

Pour ceux qui ne croit toujours pas au rechauffement climatique, je vous encourage de visiter le Nunavut! Ici, les effets sont remarquables! Historiquement, La baie Frobisher (à Iqaluit) est gelée à ce temps-ci de l’année, mais ceci n’est pas le cas cette année, et non plus pour les dernières trois années!

À tout les matins je me reveil avec l’aurore. Bientôt, il va falloir que je me reveil dans la noirceur! Ce matin le soleil s’est pointé à l’horizon seulement à 7 h 59 et nous a souhaité adieu à 14 h 38. Les jours se racourssissent tellement rapidement, et cela commence à me m’affecter, car j’ai l’impression de travailler tard la nuit! Les journées les plus courtes seront vers la fin de décembre avec seulement 4.33 heures entre le levé et le couché du soleil. God help me.

(Pour toute mes ami(e)s Diététistes, oui, je prends des suppléments de vitamine D :) )



The plants here are so resistant. They have to be…they live in a very unforgiving climate!








They came to install the satellite internet on the day of the blizzard. There is a phrase that people use often here that seems fitting for this type of situation, “Only in Iqaluit”.

The process took 6 hours…not for the satellite to go up, but from the time the technicians showed up to the time I could surf the web, 6 hours went by. All the while…snowy blizzard outdoors with winds up to 100km/h. I find it a bit ironic that they make you wait two months to hook you up, and then choose a day there’s a blizzard to do it!! By the time I had internet, I was exhausted and wanted nothing to do with the computer! It was a classic scenario around here…the technicians had to go back to their office because a piece wasn’t working. When they came back, they found that the piece they picked up didn’t work either! So they had to go to the store, to pick up a new piece…then I had to go to the store to pick up a wireless router since the information the guys at the store told me was wrong : the modem is not wireless, etc, etc… I don’t really need to go through all the details, because it was pretty much back and forth all night…

All to say, I am glad to now have INTERNET!

L’appartement commence à prendre forme, et je m’habitue à ma nouvelle routine. Patrick et les chats vont arriver bientôt…et j’ai vraiment hâte de les avoir tous avec moi dans notre nouvelle belle maison :)

Je suis allée à un magasin “designer” en fin de semaine et je me suis payé la traite!!! Les mitaines en peau de foque!!! WOW!!! :D Et j’en ai acheté une paire à Patrick aussi pour sa fête!

My artic-proof mittens:


Patrick’s manly mittens:

Une amie et moi avons prit une petite promenade à Apex, la seule autre “place” à visiter. La marche est superbe! La toundra des deux bords, la neige, le beaux temps! C’est magnifique! Je marche tellement ce temps si (je n’ai pas le choix…ma belle voiture est toujours à Montréal)…quelqu’un veut me prendre sur leur équipe de défi-santé cette année?? Je vous garantie, on gagne!

Here are a few nice pictures of my walk to Apex, the “suburb” where the design store is.

Alors c’est tout pour ce soir! Bonne nuit!



October 25th

I am doing fine.

Sorry for my long absence. I’ve been without internet for a while, and find it difficult to get access. I found a coffee shop that has wireless internet, but it “stolen” internet, because the WIFI is for guests only and I just happened to get the password. It has sort of “tainted” the desire to go there to surf online, FB, etc. Thus, I am writing this post in advance, and if it ever makes it online, it’s because I “borrowed” a connection from our friendly neighbourhood hotel to upload it!

Quite a few things have happened since my departure from the hotel. It has been several weeks already! I have received all of my furniture and boxes, and have set up 3/4 of the apartment. For now, the office room is a pile of boxes filled with stuff that needs to a) go to the office or b) belongs to either the cats or Patrick. Needless to say, it’s stuffed in there and the door stays shut! If I ever feel like tackling it, I will, but quite honestly I wish to wait for Patrick’s arrival to fix up the last little bit.

i’ve been reading more than I have since the months that I lived in Costa Rica. I barely recognize myself because I practically live only for my books! I used to proclaim nothing but displeasure for reading, but now, all I want to do once work is done is hurry home, and, throughout supper I look forward only to the chance to sit and re-enter the world of whichever novel I have. In fact…probably the only reason i am typing this blog post right now is due to the fact that I finished my book last night, and now I have no more to read. : ( So, if any of you have a good book that you wouldn’t mind parting with, I would LOVE to have it!! haha. Also, if you have any recommendations, please do respond to this post and recommend them!

I had intended on going to the library today, and the museum…but I find that I am utterly lazy over the weekends, and don’t wish to walk all the way to the library. I am sure that one of these weeks, my boredom will outweigh my laziness and take me outside.

On that note, I haven’t really done a lot of exploring. I do what I have to do, in order to get settled, and I am busy learning the tricks of the trade for getting a hold on good food! There is a decent variety here in the stores, but everything is at a price! The meat is the most expensive, and therefore I tend to favour vegetarian meals…for now at least. Soon, when the whether stays cold enough (for now it is still fluctuating between + and – zero) I will make a giant order of meat that will last us the winter. I have an unheated porch, and I intend to use this room as an extra freezer for the winter months! There is a decent variety of fresh vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, potatoes, celery, carrots, sweet peas, green beans, lettuce and cabbage, and if you are willing to pay, you can have it all! I pay for it, a girl’s gotta eat!

I took out my old keyboard. It’s been years since I’ve placed my fingers on it. I’ve set it up in the living room right up against this one piece of wall that seemed very bear. It looks like it belongs there. I started practicing a bit today, to warm up my fingers and get them used to moving about. I wish to learn more. I’ll have to get some music sheets of songs that I already know so that I can re-train myself to read the music.

Anyway guys. The internet connection is pretty slow and so no time for uploading pictures! Sorry!!! Next time!

Ba-bye hotel!

Mes boîtes sont arrivées!!

J’ai déménagé la semaine passé mais j’ai reçu seulement 48 de mes 68 articles! Alors…j’ai mon lit, mais pas de couvertures! C’est pas si pire par contre…le chauffage fonctionne bien et j’ai trouvé une boîte avec un manteau et un chandail en laine à Patrick et je m’en serts pour me couvrir la nuit. :)

Je n’ai pas d’internet chez nous encore…alors c’est possible que j’écris moins souvent durant les prochaines semaines. Je suis très occupée à laver et à arranger mes choses chez nous et cela aide à passer le temps. En fait, j’apprécie cette période de déconnection totale (ni d’internet, ni de téléphone)! Je prends cette opportunité pour reconnecter avec moi même! 

Les photos suivront, je promets! À +

Gorgeous day!

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day! It was snowing yesterday but then today it was so sunny and beautiful that I could walk around with my coat open! All the snow around town has melted, and the only signs of winter live up in the high mountains on the other side of the bay.

The sky is the most magnificent thing here…SO vast! I wish my camera could show you what it really looks like up here!

(This was on my way home from the hospital)

I walked around after work and watched some kids playing basketball in a small court behind what looks like maybe an elementary school. Then I ran into a few young girls playing with caps (making them snap with rocks) by a playground.



I walked by a house where an old Inuit couple were feeding their dog. I was too shy to take pictures…but I regret not doing so. The dog was a gorgeous silver colour with a big curly tail up onto his back. He had a big cage outside (attached to the house) and a little dog house for shelter. It looked as though perhaps the house was for breeding…I hoped that maybe there would be little pups in there, but…no such luck! The woman was in the cage, cleaning up and feeding the dog. It was nice to see this old man and woman take care of their dog…in the end there was nothing out of the ordinary going on…but that didn’t bother me, because I took great pleasure this particular ordinary moment.

I went to find out about internet in Iqaluit. People told me that it was upstairs in “Ventures”. Well, “Ventures” is really called Arctic Ventures, and it’s a grocery store. This store is known for its selection of Indian curry sauces and specialty goods. The shelves seemed rather barren today, and the selection of fresh produce wasn’t all very fresh anymore. I went up the stairs to the electronics store, “The Source”, but instead came face to face with a sign that read’ “Video Shack” (there you go Pat! I found it!). To my left, there was another entrance into what looked like the little girl’s clothing section of Zellers…”ummm, this can’t be it.” A nice woman overheard me and helped me out. She told me that “The Source” was across the grocery store, and up the stairs on the other side! “oh….how….logical!” That’s when I noticed that the 2nd story didn’t actually connect! There are actually two sets of stairs that lead up to 2 separate 2nd floors…Anyway, I made it to “The Source” and the guy there gently broke the news to me that the best download speed I could get was 2Mbps, and the fastest upload in Iqaluit was 500kbps, and this….all for the moderate cost of 172$ per month. I was speechless.


Je suis arrivée!

Mon voyage s’est bien passé lundi…pas trop long, juste un petit quatre heures incluant l’arrêt à Kujjuaq (dans le Nord du QUébec). Le directeur de l’hôpital est venu me chercher à l’aéroport, et il m’a fait une petite visite guidée de la ville (très rapide) et ensuite m’a déposé à l’hôpital.
J’ai un BEAU bureau…une ancienne chambre pour patients sur un étage hors d’usage (à cause qu’ils n’ont pas assez d’employés). Alors mon bureau est très spacieux, avec une salle de bain privée!!! J’ai une vue merveilleuse sur la ville et la baie. On voit même les petites montagnes de l’autre côté de la baie. :)
Pour l’instant, je suis dans une suite à l’hotel en attendant mes meubles et mes boîtes. Dès que mes choses arrivent, je peux déménager dans notre nouvel appartement! J’ai assez hâte!! C’est tellement beau! C’est plutôt un style de condo, ou bien mini-maison…avec un accès qui donne directement à l’extérieur (en avant et en arrière!) Nous aurons deux chambres fermées, 1 salle de bain de bonne grandeur, et une grande cuisine et salon à aire ouverte. La cuisine a suffisamment d’espace de comptoir, et le salon est parfait pour les meubles que nous avons amener!
J’aime bien mon nouveau travail. C’est un grand défi pour moi, car je n’ai jamais travaillé en pédiatrie…et c’est toute une autre paire de manches sur le plan nutritionnel! Alors…j’ai beaucoup de devoirs à faire! Ils me donne aussi la gestion du contrat des services alimentaires…bring it!
Alors, de mon côté, tout va bien. Mais bon…je m’ennuie énormément de Patrick et les chats, mais j’essaie de ne pas trop y penser. Il fait qu’une semaine que je suis à Iqaluit, et déjà j’ai plusieurs plans et d’idées de projets pour m’occuper! Comme, par exemple, je veux apprendre à faire des mitaines en peau de foque pour garder mes mains au chaud pendant tout l’hiver! De plus, j’ai rencontré une Madame aujourd’hui qui fait du traineau à chien. Elle a ses propres chiens, et elle m’a dit qu’elle pourrait montrer à Patrick et moi comment diriger les chiens, les entraîner et comment faire du skijoring…!!! So, stay tuned for more exciting news from Iqaluit! :)
Voici deux autres photos….je ne peux pas mettre d’autre photos pour l’instant car l’internet est limité à l’hôtel. :( Mais ne désespérer pas…je vais en mettre d’autres dans les prochains jours!!!