Monday, 23 September 2013

Our New House

This is our new house. We are about 8-10 minutes from the school. In the other house we were 5 minutes from the school. The comment the local people make is, 'you live way out there?'.

This is the back of the house. As you can see from pictures it looks like we live on the second level and actually , we do. The house is built above the ground, you could actually crawl under it. Beneath our floor is a crawl space that is completely insulated. The water tank (which is filled as needed) and the sewage tank (which is emptied 3 times a week) is housed in this space.

This is the kitchen and on the coach is the chief cook and bottle washer. David has been baking bread and muffins regularly.

From the kitchen end this is our living/dining room.

We have three bedrooms which is more space than we need but we have turned one room into a work room and one into an exercise area. Our bed was not made when I took these pictures so I didn't take a picture of our room.

This is another picture taken from the kitchen. The window looks onto a bay of Great Slave Lake.

Here is a sunset from the deck. There are lots of beautiful sunsets here.

Here is a sunrise from the back deck.

And that, folks, is our new place! We like it a lot.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Cultural Day

Today was a PD Cultural Day for the staff. All schools in the NWT have two of these days each year. Cultural events are to be planned for the staff by the principal and the Aboriginal teachers in each school. So today we headed off to a lake to pick cranberries and to cook fish with some of the elders from the community. Here are some photos of our day.

This is the crew. Front: (lft-rt) Mary Rose (elder), Emily (elder), Loretta (gr456), Jenny (gr23) (sister to Loretta),Christine (visiting elder), Sheila (principal)
Back: Elizabeth (grk12) Vanessa (m&r), James (aboriginal culture&PE) and me.

These are the cranberries. People are wild about berry picking around here.

Relaxing by the fire.

James cooked the fish.

And James served it on a bed of spruce boughs.

The lake trout was cooked with the skin on and then the skin was lifted off after it was cooked. It was delicious!

Here is Sheila and the elders chowing down on the fish, potato salad and bannock.

This lake was surrounded by a sandy beach and a few camps.

We saw moose and caribou antlers.

The Dene can build their camps anywhere if they are treaty Indian (they call themselves that).

Most of the camps have a tipi beside them for smoking fish and meat. These camps are used all year round.

Here is a partially built camp.

It was a beautiful place to spend the day.
David and I picked about 2 quarts of cranberries. We'll freeze them for muffins and desserts.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Honestly, these are pelicans. They are called American White Pelicans and this time of year they come to the Slave River.

We could stand right on the rocks next to them and they didn't mind. We even saw one pelican catch a fish.

These are three of the other Literacy Coaches. They were all born in Nova Scotia!

We have a new house, which is fabulous. This little guy and many of his friends join us every morning and eat the Kibbles and Bits that David feeds them. David's goal is to have them eat out of his hand.

More about our new house soon!


Sunday, 8 September 2013

The First Week of School

We just finished the first week of school here in LK. It was an interesting week and I am glad to have my first week completed. Here is the school:

As you can see it is made of logs. There are six classrooms. The playground looks out of the lake.

This is my Literary Room. It was a classroom but is now just used to store the literary resources. The resources here are amazing. Any resource you can think of is stored in that room.

I teach English Language Arts to the grade 8-10 class. There are 16 students on my list. Ten showed up the first day, eleven the next, twelve the next and only eight were there on Friday. I knew that attendance was an issue but I was surprised that it would be the first week.

On Friday we had a Smoke Ceremony to begin the year. The tall guy in the picture spoke and said a prayer. He and some of the boys drummed through the ceremony.

Everyone was given some tobacco to place in the fire.

Then we went around the circle and placed the tobacco in the fire.

Food was also placed as an offering in the fire by an Elder and one of the students.

When that was all done we all ate. David helped the cook empty the nets of fish the day before. I'm not sure if you can see in the picture but the chunks of fish were huge and they were cooked with the skin on and some of the heads were even cooked. You'll also notice some hotdogs in the background.

I have included this picture for my friend, Jane. She is not a fan of fish. The fish was good but I do like mine seasoned and served with white wine! Good luck with that in LK!