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1 travelers at this place

  • Day9

    Flexibility is the only ability.

    September 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    That's right. I'm not in Igloolik right now. That's because last Friday I got a call from someone I did not yet know wondering if I was headed down to help with the field crew. Ummm, nope. I kinda knew that wasn't the end of it and sure enough, yesterday, on Monday, I got the call to come to Iqaluit and be prepared to go anywhere for anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks. The person watching Dubby said as he dropped me off at the airport, "See you in 45 days." And, I think that sums it up.
    I arrived here and man, oh man, did this town of about 8000-9000 seem HUGE! Bustling. Busy. Whoa! So many stores. There is even a chiropractic store. I'm staying in a B&B for goodness sakes (albeit, a B&B where you make your own breakfast and I'm pretty sure I'm sharing the same bathroom as the people that live there...). There are multiple RESTAURANTS and PAVED roads. I'm tellin ya, this place is big time.
    I arrived and got some lunch and then went about to try and find the department I'd been directed to. Mind you, I did not get an address and could not find an address online. I just figured if I asked around, eventually I could find it. When I actually arrived, at HQ, actually, they thought I was a bit crazy to just have wandered around until I found it. But, oddly enough, they all knew me (well, the front desk didn't--they thought I was crazy), but the HR and travel staff did. Pretty funny. I wasn't able to tell them anything about what I needed or what my plans were because I actually do not know. Literally just told to get down here and go to HR. Hilarious. The HR manager drives me over to where I'm actually supposed to be and there is a couple people in there that exclaim when I am escorted in, "Oh Jasmine! We've been looking for you! We went down to your B&B and you weren't there!" Lol. That's because I was wandering around Iqaluit trying to figure out where I was supposed to be.
    Tomorrow I get an orientation AND maybe even a tour. Then, off to get kitted out for the field. No idea folks. No idea.

    Lesson: flexibility is the only ability...especially in my current situation.
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  • Day11

    Supply and demand: a case in cat pee

    September 21, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    The Arctic is tough. Tough to build on with the permafrost. Tough to get equipment and resources. Tough to work within the weather constraints. But, what remains the same is a little scenario called "supply and demand". It turns out that when things are in very low supply but there is a big demand, weird things happen. I know, I know, shocking to all. The story I'd like to share today begins with an itinerary that got bumped up a day for two travelers. Two travelers that were racing against impending bad weather that had the potential to trap them in a place they didn't want to be trapped in for many days. So, they raced to Iqaluit and figured they'd sort the accommodations when they arrived----or the folks helping arrange their travel would have it sorted. Unfortunately for them, Iqaluit recently lost on of its big hotels to renovations into residences and this week has the annual trade show in town. There was not a hotel room, b&b, airbnb, or anything to be found. These guys ended up bunking in a private house, one on an air mattress and the other on a couch. The best part is that during the night, the resident male cat visited the person on the air mattress and delivered a special treat of cat piss on the mattress while he was on it (though, as I understand it, it was on the corner of the mattress and so only 'marginally' affected the person's personal sleeping bag and bedroll). The other person, sleeping on the couch, felt certain that the couch was the regular site of the cat's 'special deliveries' based on the overwhelming aroma of kitty-specific smell. I lied, the best part was that these accommodations cost them......$400. So, the next time you feel like complaining about your Super8 or Holiday Inn's scratchy linens at $159 per night....just remember about supply and demand. (For me, I would like to retract my statements about my b&b---it was AWESOME--not one cat peed on me, not once).

    Tonight, I have made it to the big leagues and am in the main, serious hotel. When I walked in my room, there was satellite classical music playing on the flat screen and chocolates awaiting me on the bed! That's right...and the rate for this? A quite reasonable $210/night. I'm so excited to go eat in the hotel restaurant tonight!! They even serve alcohol!! Iqauit is the only city that serves booze in public places such as a restaurant. This week they opened their first beer and wine store. It grossed 10% of its yearly predicted revenue in 4 days. I think it's going to do well---though, you can only buy a 12pack and 2 bottles of wine per day.

    For those wanting a bit more history, Iqaluit (formerly known as Frobisher Bay) was apparently the very first European settlement (excluding Vikings) in North America---sometime around mid-1500's....but I'd like someone to fact check that for me. The bay is very beautiful with interesting rocks and sunsets. Additionally, this area boasts the 2nd highest tide in Canada (Bay of Fundy has the highest). There you go--fun facts for the day. :)
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  • Day12

    You're the cabin defense for polar bears

    September 22, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    Things I never thought I'd hear in my life...."You'll be kept back with the other person and you two will have to protect the cabin and yourselves from polar bears." I'm not sure what exclusions are in my life insurance policy but surely they haven't thought of that one!

    The weather is looking good for tomorrow which means I will be heading out to an island with a cabin, and apparently, lots of bears. Not to worry, I don't think anyone has ever died there. They did however, start keeping two people at the cabin after a lone person got chased to the roof by a bear and had no one to help him until the crew returned, or so the story goes. So now, two stay. See, safety first!

    I got all sorts of fun goodies thanks to my generous employer. The Arctic ain't nothing if it isn't sexy. Shoo-wee...some really hot items here. Rain jacket parkas and winter ice boots. Insulated rubber does not come hotter than that folks. High heels and stilettos...pssshh....institution green, thick rubber boots that enlarge your feet by 4 sizes is where it's at! It's like a push up bra for your automatically get 'enhanced' multiple sizes!

    I'm off to enjoy my last night of civilization! This cabin they tell me of is supposedly just big enough for 2 bunk beds (so 4 people with beds) and a very small kitchen--something like 12x12ft altogether. I was told to prepare for anywhere from 4 days to unknown. Sure, that's easy enough. How much fun will this be? Me and three of my new best friends enjoying the 12ftx12ft cabin (hope no one has gas). What a way to meet your boss, huh?!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Iqaluit, إيكالويت, Горад Ікалуіт, Икалуит, Ικαλούιτ, Ikaluito, ایکالویت, איקאלואיט, YFB, ᐃᖃᓗᐃᑦ, イカルイト, იკალუიტი, 이칼루이트, Ikaluitas, Ikaluita, इक्वाल्युईत, இக்காலுயிட், Ікалуїт, اکالوئٹ, 伊魁特

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