Thursday, November 29, 2007

Will I never...

Last Friday, the Newfies had arranged to play Christmas Carols (and Maritime music) at the local restaurant (Bla Bla). During the performance Gean commented that he had to hurry home soon because he had a heart in the oven... "It was from a mighty large chicken"... So I thought nothing of it, its common to hear nonsensical banter. So they finished and we returned to Gean's. And there was in fact a fine smell coming from the over, but it wasn't chicken. The smell was like that of a roast. He promptly turned down the oven and removed a roasting pan. He lifted the top, and I needed to have a seat. It was a heart, and I asked what it was from... a caribou. The round of dark crimson meat was the size of a deflated football. Gean then told the crowd that he had stuffed it will turkey stuffing, so he hoped that it tasted okay. I could not bring myself to try even a sliver, and had to take myself to the smoking room just to get distance between myself and the heart.

The temperatures are dropping fast, its -26 today with the wind-chill, and you can feel it. The cold if different though, its light and dry which in some way makes it more bearable. But I've heard that it’s more dangerous. You don't feel the cold the same way and are more likely to under dress. A few of the Newfies got frostbite last year in only a few minutes while they were shoveling while wearing only thin gloves.

Christmas is right a round the corner =)

Thursday, November 22, 2007


When I agreed to come to this remote section of the world I knew that I would have to adjust to the culture of the Naskapi people. Lately these adaptations have included my desensitization to red snow. The caribou have arrived, and it is custom to go hunting in skidoo and throw your catch into a large sleigh that you drag behind. Of course these sleds develop holes and create smears of red bloody snow. But these quickly disappear as they are eaten local packs of dogs (no word of a lie, packs of dogs).

But little did I expect that I would also have to become accustomed to the ways of the Newfie. The Newfies make up the majority of teachers in the school, and so they have become natural allies. In fact, it has become custom to meet on Fridays for a few beverages and live East coast music (guitar and accordion). This brings me to last Friday, when I arrived at 7:00, the boisterous Newfies were already three sheets to the wind, and one of the youngens had a little to much to fast. I quickly suggested that we get him some food. Agreeing with my diagnosis, the host sprang to work frying up what smelled like dark meet chicken. And so I sat and talked with the inebriated fellow, when the plate of food was sat before him.

Smelling delicious, I took a gander at the plate to see what looked like oval meatballs in gravy on a slice of home made bread. My gut wrenched when one of the pieces rolled from atop the pile towards me and I noticed a ventricle. Closing my eyes, I quickly asked the Chief what he had prepared. His response was "Chicken Hearts!", and I broke into uncontrollable hysterics of laughter as I leapt to my feet and turned my back to the plate.

I sat, claming my laughter and apologizing to the unphased crowd. The thought then stuck me, if I can bring myself to eat Caribou... why not? Before loosing my cool I asked "Can I try one?". Offering me a place, I had to reaffirm the ONE! But it was too late, the laughter and anxiousness had returned. I sat curled in a chair, and finally went for it. I popped the small, warm piece of meat into my mouth. It was firm and slightly fibrous. I concentrated on two things, chewing and not gagging. And it was down. It tasted like chicken, but the idea was haunting. Still, writing about it nearly a week later has caused my to loose my appetite.

But it is strange how new experiences are all around us. The most recent is the insane obsession to cut my hair. It has been 9 weeks since my last haircut, and each day drives me a little closer to madness as the ends curl and shift independently. There had been a plan for a group of us to have our hair trimmed last week, but the
woman was a no show. Tomorrow brings yet another opportunity, that if unsuccessful, will drive me to the brink and cause me to take drastic action. The local store does not sell trimmers, so I fear that I will be forced to take scissors to my own head-- ever cautious of my inherited big ears.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Arrggg... Why me...

Hello everyone,

I know that it has been a long time, and I assure you that there is a reason. In the third week of October there was a major storm which blew the antennia that controlled the internet away (like it went missing in the snow). Anyway, the guy that controlled the thing found the antennia and put it back on the roof in the hope that all would be fixed… but it wasen’t. He then went on a trip to Sept-Iles (I guess as a vacation for having put the antennia back up), and was informed that the net was still not working. So he came back this week to find out that it is a problem with the server (I think that’s what I heard). Anyway, he isn’t sure if he can fix it, and the buisness doen’t do well, so I don’t think he is motivated enough to fix it.

The luck thing (if you could say it), is that the net was a pay as you go system, and I needed to buy more hours before this started. But there are talks that he may be reimbursing some of the money (which means he has given up…).

Unfortunitly, the only working connections are here at the school and they are super strick on usage (15 minutes each day plus lunch). I have wanted to update the blog on the snow, Halloween and my recent snowmobile trip, but have been unable to. I’m looking of a solution to my problem, but so far the best is to buy a 300$ satillite and pay 50$ a month… not something that I want to do if I only stay a year… That reminds me to mention that the place is growing on me. Now that the snow is falling, and I can’t see the garbage everywhere, the place looks nicer. The kids are a little better now that the really bad ones are kicked out, and some have been sent to jail or juvie.

So, I figure that either the internet is fixed by Friday, or I start using a lunch hour a week to updat those that care… Fingers crossed that I can do this from home,