Friday, August 28, 2009

Pangnirtung, Nunavut

I can't believe that I've been here almost a month and haven't published anything. I supposed I'm overwhelmed by the newness of each day, and having to be so focused on trying to keep my head on straight that by the end of the day, I haven't the energy to do anything. I have been keeping a personal journal though and every time I write in it I'm proud and glad I'm doing it.
Where do I begin??

I think the magnitude of this move is, after almost a month, starting to set in. It's been a whirlwind. There has been challenges with flights (HR canceled my flight 5pm the day before I was leaving because they didn't have my nursing registration. After I explained we had just spent 3 hours driving to Ottawa, booking a hotel room, and 2 days of final preparations, they said they'd still bring me but they weren't happy), moving (my luggage being searched and 'repacked' by the moving company, even though it had taken me a month to organize each box according to the regulations posted on their website...the boxes that I had to now lift had cans of juice mixed with nursing books, my fragiles with pots and pans, underwear with brownies and one box in Cape Dorset), with my no-nonsense Nurse-In-Charge (refusing to make eye contact with me or saying hello on my first day) to not getting paid, to running out of water, to having each dish break to.... Finally now after a month, I've settled into my place, my housemate has moved in, my first pay cheque is in my bank account, my in-class orientation over, and I start my job on Monday. I suppose these things are expected when moving, especially one this big.

The people have been fantastic. I was really blessed by having a great first roommate, and nurse that I bonded with right away. Karen and Merle are two of the most loving people I have ever known. A fantastic welcoming party. It really could have been a disaster and it was them that made the first 2 wks managable. My educator, Mary Bender, has also been extremely supportive. My first day of orientation, still smiling but finding myself retreating, she brought me to the art centre and took care of the start-up internet fees ($300). By noon, I was surfing. I almost started crying when I logged on and saw familiarity (remembering at the time, no water, no dishes, no phone, no money...on Baffin Island).

It really is the little things.

Orientation was great. The nurses (5 of us) all new Indeterminants with the Federal Government. Two nurses are job-sharing one NIC position in Grise Fiord. What a fantastic opportunity. I told them when I get a little experience under by belt, I'm coming to give relief :) The 2 other nurses are going to Pond Inlet, one of them in the position I originally applied for. In retrospect, I think it was a great decision to come to Pangnirtung. It's a little less money, but a hub of activity physically, geographically, and politically.

I've attached some photos of the scenery, but really could take pictures daily. Both Grise Fiord and Pond Inlet have mountains, but I'm not sure how they compare to Auquittuq Park or to the Cumberland Sound. I've heard, although beautiful, it's challenging to hike the mountains in Pond. Here I hike everyday and have already climbed Mt. Duval and Pang. :)

OMgosh I could write more...

I'll leave on this final note tonight though. This trip has been a process of learning and unlearning. Habits, patterns, and defense mechanisms that have been normalized, unrecognizable in daily living, suddenly have become accentuated. I embarked on this adventure seeking change, and have kept Sensei Platt's wisdom (discipline is remembering your original intention) as a mantra. It has been an opportunity to compare how I see myself to what others see. A chance for reflection, restoration and reinvention. I had specific intentions when I made my decision and everyday I remind myself to stay focused and seek truth along that path.

So far it feels like the decision to come has been a truely positive one.

Love, light, and laughter,