Other Correspondence

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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Polar Bears

Pretty cute little guy eh? I just heard from a friend that polar bears are one of the only animals in the world that will actively hunt human beings. What does this look like? Well some accounts include so called 'stalking' where a polar bear and her cubs will actually wait outside the dwelling of a family or person until he or she exits... You can guess what happens from there. So the predation of polar bears is what has spurred this post.

Polar bear mothers typically give to twin cubs. At birth, the little fellas are completely dependant on their mother for warmth and food and weigh as little as a pound. But their minuscule size quickly dissipates after birth... With sufficient food polar bears can grow up 1200 lbs in size and be over 9 feet tall when standing. The largest recorded size of a polar is 2209 lbs! Talk about big. Their favourite meal is ringed seal, but have also been known to hunt foxes, ravens and younger bears (yeaup, that makes them cannibals!) in extreme food shortages. According to Wikipedia, when polar bears do attack humans they are much less likely to leave the victim alive (like brown bears) and are almost always fatal. I guess that bodes nicely for the attackee.

In a recent email from my contact in Arviat, I asked what the terrain was like for running in the summer. She said that by mid summer most snow and mud is dried, but that I "should be careful of bears (seriously)." Hmmmmmmm. Not quite as friendly as the pictures alludes.


Saturday, 28 May 2011

Summer Program!

        Last year QPID Projects sent members to three different communities in Nunavut; Repulse Bay, Baker Lake and Arviat. This year however, Steph and I are the only project members travelling within Canada and we will be returning to Arviat. Last year, the camp that was run in Arviat was entitled "Books, Fun and Sun." The program focused on developing literacy skills and building on curriculum from the school year. By hiring local community members to help run the camp, this program has been able to work in both English and Inuktitut.   
        This year, Steph and I will be running a very similar program, reaching out to children and youths aged 6 to 16. One major difference that we are looking forward to welcoming is the new partnership we have established with Hamlet of Arviat (HoA). In previous years, HoA has provided additional opportunities for kids in the area to enjoy traditional Inuit activities and experience trips out onto the tundra. Traditionally, HoA has drawn a larger group of kids to their daily activities than QPID. However, this year kids will be encouraged to attend HoA activities in the morning and then attend the program that Steph and I will be running (Books, Fun and Sun) in the afternoon. Ideally, this partnership will allow kids to enjoy both fun games outdoors and indoors.
        I am very excited about this partnership as I will be able to participate in HoA activities in the morning and then help Steph with the literacy portion of our camp in the afternoon. With so many opportunities to engage with the community, this summer should be a great chance to experience a new culture and learn from the people of Arviat! The countdown continues... 22 days til departure!  

later homies

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Departure Delayed!

As of last night (Tuesday), Stephanie and I found out that we will NOT be leaving for Arviat on June 1st. There has been some miscommunication in flight bookings and arrival times, and our portion of the camp will not be starting until June 26th. As per, it will not be necessary for us to leave so early, and our flights are in the process of being rebooked for June 18th or 19th. To all those of you who we were going to miss so dearly, we're around for another three weeks! So hooray! We are however, disappointed that our stay in Arviat will be cut short as we are still planning on returning at the same time (August 26th). We will just have to make even more of our time in the Great North. Until then, packing and preparations for leaving will continue! Watch for our next post giving a detailed outline of what exactly we are going to be doing in Arviat!  later homies...