Daily Journey Updates
Monday, July 30, 2012
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
added: scroll down to see a new video called 'Meet the
down to read today's set of journal entries and photos: travel day from Ottawa
Expedition Update - 5:30 pm EST
New update from Expedition Leader, Geoff Green:
"We made it to Iqaluit! It was a great flight and we have an excited group. We departed warm and sunny skies in Ottawa and arrived to a rainy, windy Iqaluit. But the weather did not dampen our spirits! We headed straight over from the airport to the Nunavut Arctic College Residence to check in to our rooms, which are cozy and comfortable. After that we had a big group introduction and then a demonstration of traditional Inuit Games by Johnny Issaluk. Amazing!
"All the students and staff are getting to know each other
and the good karma is growing! Everyone is now outside for some
icebreaker activities, some fresh air and exercise before dinner. After
dinner we will have an introductory briefing to help prepare for the expedition
ahead! The rain has stopped and the weather is now cloudy and calm. It's great
to be here with this energized group of inspiring students and leaders!! More
photos and journals to come soon!"
Expedition Update - 2:50 pm EST
And they're off! All went well this morning in Ottawa and the expedition team has now arrived in Iqaluit! They will soon be heading over to the Arctic College where they will join the 30 Inuit students who arrived in Iqaluit yesterday. After checking in to the residence, a meet and greet session is scheduled for later this afternoon, followed by our first education briefing.
Please note that the SOI Participant Coordinator Clare Glassco will no longer have regular access to her emails. If you want to reach Students on Ice or you need to communicate with a member of the expedition team (for emergencies only), please contact our head office at the coordinates below.
Toll-free Telephone (Canada and US only): 1-866-336-6423
Direct Telephone: 1-819-827-3300
Check back here regularly for more updates!
Photos from Day 2!
Scobie Pye helps to load supplies at the Carleton Residence in Ottawa.
Keeping track of students as they board the buses to head to the Ottawa airport.
Heading to the airport and we are excited!
Our First Air chartered airplane has a polar bear on the tail.
Boarding the plane.
Pilots prepare for take-off.
Lots of time on the flight to make new friends.
Icebreaker games are played outside in a light drizzle in Iqaluit.
Two students attempt the Inuit Head-pull game.
Watching Johnny teach an Inuit game.
Johnny Issaluk demonstrates the Two Foot High Kick, an Inuit traditional game.
Filming the Inuit games demonstrations.
Student Journals - July 30, 2012
Every journey has its beginnings and today was the beginning of mine. I woke up today with a start, the kind of start where you jump out of bed and smile. This is a rare occurrence for me because I am not a morning person. After shoving the few last minute things into my bag I was set to begin this expedition. I took a train from Toronto to Ottawa with Evalyn Perry, a singer songwriter and actress. Evalyn is coming to research for a project but in most senses we came here for the same reason. We wanted to experience the Arctic firsthand, to be there and to learn everything we can. Evalyn was a great person to sit beside we talked about how we found out about the trip, what we packed and what we wanted to learn about.
About three hours into our scheduled four hour train ride the VIA server broke down. This resulted in the train stopping in the countryside for two hours, both of us slept through the stop.
The scenery from the train was amazing. On both sides stood majestic trees and beautiful wildflowers. Much more enjoyable than watching other cars pass you on the highway.
This was my first train ride and overall it was nice. I’ve always wanted to ride one to see the countryside view and meet some eccentric people who travel by train. I was able to do both.
On the way here the man driving us to the university said if I wanted to, he would quickly show me around Ottawa. I said I would adore that , so when I went back I met one of my temporary roommates Ivalu. Ivalu, Cole (a guy who I met in the lobby) and I went to see the Parliament buildings. We got to take pictures by quickly jumping out of the van and getting back in.
So far all I feel is nervousness and excitement. I know this is the opportunity of a lifetime, so I am prepared to embrace every second of it.
P.S. Love you Mom and Dad!
We flew in from Ottawa to Iqaluit with a private plane - so awesome! It's been a good day, met most of the students, who are participating, but still some we are wating for though. Everybody seems like they've known each other for a long time, except you ask for their names when you start talking to them. The trip is already awesome eventhough it's the first whole day.
We are currently staying in Nunavut Arctic College. We had our first briefing, which was better than expected. And we were outside doing some energizers, which was pretty fun too!
It's been a good day and I am just looking forward to get to the ship (NOT BOAT ;-)) and start the big journey!
In the past 24 hours, I’ve landed in Canada – finally breaching the US borders for the first time. I feel more “international” than ever before. Getting to Ottawa, Canada was a frenzy with late flights and late baggage pickup, but everything worked out with time. Phew. Before I knew it through my long flights, I was at Carleton University with everyone at SOI. And even now, as we all approach Iqaluit, I “feel” as if I am in the Arctic though we are only approaching it. I’m starting to get really excited – a lot of it coming from the people and energy around me! Perhaps, even typing this short piece will become a distant memory. In just an hour or so, we’ll meet up with the rest of the SOI students. And, then, we’ll really start the expedition officially!
Well its really day 2 but I'm writing for day 1. Today we went from Goose Bay to Halifax but got delayed in Halifax for like 2 and half hours but it was fun, then went to Ottawa, met some really nice people and got to our rooms at Carleton University. After that we had a brefing meeting with all the staff on the expedition, getting ideas of what we are going to do for the next 2 weeks. So far it sounds like alot of fun!! (day 2 will maybe done tommorow because we have to do another brefing now)
Hello everyone at home and those of you following the arctic epedition! Every passing day (even though today is only the second in the expedition) proves to be more and more incredible. This morning we woke up at 7:00 am, got dressed, went to breakfast, and then came back to Prescott House at Carelton University to board a bus that then took us to the airport. There we got of the bus and litterally walked right onto the Students on Ice private plane! It even had a polar bear on the tail of the plane.
The plane was by the far the largest I have ever traveled on with 6 seats in each row. I sat with Brandon and Roman, and guess what mom! They had some of your banana bread! As you can assume, the critics were impressed and gave it a thumbs up.
During the flight to Iqaluit, Nunavut, I had almost no idea of what lay ahead for me but being able to observe the city from above was amazing. Flying over Iqaluit looked like if we were flying over a land made out of a hundred Beavertail Beaches ( a beach in Jamestown, Rhode Island) The land was covered in miles and miles of rocky hills, and unlike Beavertail, they were also coverd in moss. From the plane we could also see the ocean off the coast and it was remarkably beautiful. Although the sky was a blanket of fluffy clouds, you could see the bright, pristine waters of the arctic peaking through here and there. The little bit of water I got to see seems so pure and unspoiled. It has become more apparent how incredible it will be to witness it first hand.
Landing in Iqaluit was different than anything I have experienced. There was no town to be seen from anywhere and the airport was an island in a sea of rocky hills. The air was wet and very cold (6 degrees celsius and 46 degrees farenheit for you americans!) but it was far more refreshing then the 80 degrees farenheit temperature that was Ottawa. Although the area where we landed lacked....much of anything, it made up for it with its blanket of purple flowers and colorfully painted houses. From the airport we traveled to the Nunavut College, of which will be our home for the next few days. We have recently gotten settled in our new home and I can not wait to explore the rest of Nunavut! Today has been so eventful I can only imagine what is in store for the rest of the trip.
WAYNE LOVSTROM (STAFF)
The adventure is about to begin. The travel to Iqualiut was painless and we are now in the Arctic Colledge residence where we will be for the next two nights before we board the ship. Seeing the anticipation and excitment on the student's faces is once again energizing me and I look forward to watching the group evolve into the family that I know it will become.
Wayne Lovstrom, Staff
SAMIA MADWAR (STAFF)
Dinner is ready. I can hear some of the chatter two rooms down, where more than 70 students from around the world and staff with expertise ranging from diatoms to marine mammals, from drawing cartoons to leading national aboriginal organizations, from journalism to astronomy, are sitting down to eat.
I can only imagine how rich the conversations are. When we all introduced ourselves this afternoon, I found myself facing future conservation officers, politicians, climate change experts and environmental scientists. Some of the students here are eager to learn Russian from their peers, to spot wildlife and to capture images of the Arctic. Many said they were eager to get to know some of the communities we'll visit in Nunavut and Greenland. But the sentiment most echoed throughout the introduction session and reflected in the icebreaker games we played later was that everyone is eager to get to know one another better. We have a lot to learn not only from the places we visit, but from our travel companions. And I can't wait to begin--starting with a little conversation over dinner.
Where do I begin? I don't even think that I realize where I am yet; all I know is that so far, this is a fantastic trip and it can ONLY get better.
My journey started out in Chicoutimmi, Quebec when I left J'explore a week early to begin this incredible experience. Throughout the plane ride to Ottawa, I could not stop day dreaming about all the phenominal people I would meet and glaciers I would see. Arriving in Ottawa was like Ying and Yang for me; it was overwhelming because I met my family for the first time after a month, yet, it was so relieving to be greeted by the Students On Ice staff upon arrival. After having lunch with my family after a month, I headed straight to Carlton University where I met many students in the lobby who only gave me good vibes!
Dinner was where my mind was blown away. I was sitting at a table with people who have been the the arctic more than 30 times and continuously go back because they just can't get enough! I met researchers, scientists, photographers, student trustees, journalists, and most of all, adventurers! From the very beginning of this trip, everyone had stories to offer and if you know me, you know I love stories! Stories have a way of taking you to a whole new world; by the adjectives the narrator uses, the listener can relate the experience to their life, and gain insight and perspective. Geoff always brings up a story about his previous expeditions in any talk he gives which makes me that much more excited about boarding the ship! One of the very first things Geoff told us at our briefing yesterday was that each and every single one of us on this expedition are now a part of something bigger: the Students On Ice alumni.
This morning, I experienced too many firsts and it couldn't have felt better! We boarded a plane without even going through security... is this legal? It really doesn't have to be because all that matters is that we are all here in Iqualuit and are 100% safe! Today I have met people from USA, India, many Inuits, Francophones, Germans, English (from England), and Russia. Katia is here representing the government of Russia and she taught me the alphabet and many phrases in Russian... coolest thing ever! I have also never worn my winter jacket in July... weird feeling but still awesome.
In addition, a man by the name of "Johnny Awesome" came in today and taught us some Inuit sports/ activities. He demonstrated incredible strength and concentration in his presentation. In fact, I got to be a volunteer for one of his 'arm strength' activities. It's an awesome feeling to experience other cultures from around the world, learn foreign languages, and best of all, to be corrected on the pronunciation of words you learned in school which were wrong all along such as 'Iqaluit' and 'Nunavut.'
To end off this great day, Geoff introduced the group to 'Generation g.' I already knew what this was from when he was a keynote speaker at a conference that YENYR hosted in October but it great to have it reiterated. The 'g' stands for everything good such as green, generous, grateful, and gratitude. I am excited to be a part of this new generation. I am excited for change. Best of all, I am excited for tomorrow.
Clear Skies Below Us
It’s about an hour until we land in Iqaluit, Nunavut. We have just left Ottawa and everyone is ecstatic for what will be, for the most of us, our first glance of Nunavut and northern Canada. This is officially the first day with the Students On Ice family and I have gotten to know majority of the phenomenal staff and students. These new friendships have also sparked two new projects for S.O.I.
The first is the Glacier Sculpture. The Canadian Museum of Nature has asked this year’s S.O.I. Arctic Expedition team to find the perfect glacier, take pictures and videos of all its angles, and it will be recreated to scale at the Museum of Nature in stainless steel.
The second is the first S.O.I. lip-dub. A lip-dub is when a large group of people lip-sync to a song as the cameraperson travels around the building or town – we’ll be doing ours on a ship! Currently, we are still choosing a song but everyone is more than willing to make it happen.
A couple of my personal goals, thus far, are to learn some Russian and Inuktitut from the amazing foreign students. I’ll try displaying what I’ve learnt in my next entry.
In the mean time, my camera is ready to film the momentous landscape of Nunavut. Half an hour until landing.
So this morning I had to get up early, and drive 1hr to Yellowknife to catch a flight to Iqaluit and also we were the last 5 to arrive. Honestly, I am completed terrify maybe because I don't know what to expect or what' s going to happen, or I am on my own with nobody I know? I felt isolated. -_-
But once I got here, they welcomed me with open arms, smiles, and warm hearts . Right away, I was playing games, interacting with people and socializing. but I still felt akward and shy. But I know that I will get use to my surrounding and be myself. It is a very good first day and I enjoyed it. I can't wait until tomorrow.
STEVE SHEPPARD (STAFF)
First of all, I would like to say hello to Isaac, Daniel and Hauna. I would also like to thank MI for this wonderful opportunity to fulfill a trip of a lifetime! I am about to embark on a journey that will take one thing off my 'Bucket List'. For the past 4 days, I have been in Ottawa, Ontario, helping to prepare for the expedition, and to help with chaperoning a few of the youth from the north who were in Ottawa to get passports. Even in these 4 days I have seen what a great organization Students On Ice is, and what an amazing team of people they are to work with. Today is Monday, and we have had a busy day! We woke early this morning to get the students up and ready to meet the charter at the airport. We flew First Air, and we have just arrived in Iqaluit, NU, and have gone through our introductions and an 'Arctic Games' demonstration from Johnny Issaluk. So far, this experience has been amazing... and the most exciting days are ahead of us. We are here in Iqaluit for the next couple days, waiting for our floating home to arrive. The ship is being accompanied by a Coast Guard ice breaker because of the ice that is packed into Frobisher Bay. We are hoping to be able to leave here by Wednesday, and begin our journey north along the east coast of Baffin Island. Looking forward to keeping you all informed of our daily activities!
KARA STONEHOUSE (STAFF)
Artists on ICE too!
What is your world?
A logical stream of facts and relationships through time?
An inter-connected web of humans, ecosystems and cosmic forces in a delicate and powerful balance?
A dream of spirits and humans living out ancient stories?
As the resident 'Artist on Ice', I will be helping the students get to know their inner world of thoughts, beliefs and dreams.
As the students and I experience so much new scenery, information and meet new people and perspectives, we will connect with our inner self to integrate the experience into our pictures and stories of reality.
What insights will come up when we take time to reflect, see deeper and get lost in a drawing, painting or carving? We shall see as the expedition moves on!
I am the only Icelandic on the trip this summer. As far as I know at least… And there are a lot of people to meet yet. This morning, a knock on the door that I did not go and answer woke me up. I automatically knew it was 7 am. A quick change and I was off with my luggage and was released to go eat breakfast!!
I got to watch a professional looking cook make an omelet. That was snazzy. After we left the Prescott University and headed off to the Airport we got to go around the back of Ottawa Airport without any security checks or baggage claims. Geoff said it was the rock star entrance~ I thought he was being sarcastic.
Alana and I sat together in the First Air going to Iqaluit. AGAIN I have a window seat. Pretty sensational view. There are a lot of people with large camera’s and smiling faces. It’s infectious and amazing, and it’s only barely begun.
The plane to Iqaluit just took off. The view is stunning. Rivers and forests at random, unorganized form, but unique and beautiful. Then there was the yummy food J roasted beef with salad, bread, and desert. Right before landing I got to see the landscape stretch closer and closer to me. Just go to Iceland and you’ll see identical landscape near our airports. The rolling hills seemed to go forever…
We get to stay at the university in Iqaluit. After arriving we got great snacks and got to talk to some more people, share our stories. Ice breaker activities dominated our physical activity of the day. It was refreshing and great fun. Then we got Johnny Awson to show off some pretty amazing aboriginal games, based on developing Agility, Strength, and Endurance. Which is what they were required to have to hunt back in the day. Lovely dinner and presentations by the SOI staff, and the mayor of Nunavut. She talked a lot about Iqaluit, the lifestyle here, how tough but amazing it is to live up in such Northern latitudes. Just phenomenal, how different perspective opens your mind. Plus, she’ll be joining our expedition!!
With a finishing touch, Geoff introduced more students and gave us an outline of tomorrow. It sounds very exciting! Every day spent in Nanaimo seems farther away. I feel I have greater freedom here. It’s comforting and relaxing. Just can’t wait for tomorrow.
Its been a pretty good day. We had a really early rise this morning in Ottawa to get a First Air flight jet plane to Iqaluit. It was a very long ride on the plane. I slept for 1 hour and then Mike woke me up and told me it was time to eat. I had chicken, brownie, chocolate candy, hard candy, and a salad. The food wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I'm getting kinda home sick even though I called my mom yesterday. I really miss her. I'm excited to go on the ship and explore, but at the same time I can't wait to get home and see my mom. I'm not used to being this far away from her, and with this many people. I think it's great that I got a chance to do this, but I dont know how I'm going to handle not being able to talk to her. We are spending tonight and tomorrow in Iqaluit. The students and staff are very nice, but there is a lot to take in and very many differences with back home in Corner Brook NL. I would like to thank the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing for giving me this scolarship. I would also like to thank the Dunfield Park Community Center for helping me with everything.
p.s. Mom, Dad and family, I have made it safe here and I'm having a very good time. Love and miss you all very much. Can't wait to get back home with you guys and to share my experience with you all. It's going to be such a good time here and when I get back home!
After a night in Goose Bay, 3 hours in the Halifax airport due to 2 and a half hours' delay and a hot night in Ottawa, we're finally in Iqaluit, Nunavut, where we will be boarding the ship after we spend a few nights here. I'm pretty pumped to be in Nunavut, especially the capital! We've done so much since our trip started - it feels like I've been gone for a week as opposed to only 3 days. Home sickness has already kicked in while in Ottawa, but Iqaluit has the dirt roads, cold weather and face "features" (haha). I'm looking forward to boarding the ship and the activites and scenery ahead. :)
P.S Hey Nan and Pop, I know you'll be checking this a lot. I miss you and love you all very much xoxo
And Dad, I'm okay.. I need more money though.. nahboy. Love you.. can't wait to tell you, Kayla and Craig all about the trip so far!
MEG BECKEL (STAFF)
SOI day one: what an experience already. We landed in Iqualuit and we each shared our name, where we come from and why we came on the trip. We have students from countries all over the world, at least eight languages, scientists, artists, journalists, explorers, and the students who want to discover the arctic and share their experiences with friends, family, their community and the world. The diversity of stories is truly inspiring. I just want to share some short phrases that Ihope will help you understand what we have learned about each other so far. Energy of youth. Buzz of curiousity. Wisdom and experience. Excitement of adventure. Shyness of first time speaking in front of a crowd. Strength, stamina, agility and humour. The gift of sponsorship. Passion for our shared future. Diversity of language. Diversity of background. Diversity of age. A common purpose to learn, share, see, experience, take back and give back.
It's been three days I've been here with Michael Milton, Emaneul Maktar, and me, Tyson Angnetsiak. Ever since we were at the airport at Pond Inlet, NU, we were pumped up (excited) and couldn't think of anything but going to SOI Expedition. We had lots of smiles, we talked a lot about the Expedition. And since we got to the First Air (Plane), we got very excited and had more smiles. We couldn't think of more than anything but going to this trip. In the flight, we had two sick people, and they're from Pond Inlet, people I know. They were fine, but I was laughing a little, and giggle a lot. Passengers weren't right with giggling and stuff. It was two hour flight going to Clyde River, NU. I saw my old basketball friend, Tagurna (Terry) Killiktee. We had a lot of talk, and a lot of giggles. Tagurna (Terry) used his iPod to take a picture of both of us, and wished to take a picture of him with me as well. So, it was about fifteen to twenty minutes we had a rest at Clyde River, NU. It was nothing but windy. Michael Milton's aunt was there, they talked a few minutes. I was looking for Tagurna (Terry), and I found him outside. He took a few more pictures of me and him, again. And, as I was about to leave Clyde River and going to First Air (Plane), me and Tagurna (Terry) give ourselves a little prop, and shake hands and stuff, and I said to myself "Wish to see him, again, soon". And so, we went to the plane and took our seats. There were some few people sick inside the flight again, which brought me a little giggle again, even though its disrespectful, but I had to deal with it. Had to feel sorry for them, but still having a giggle. It was still about two hours flight from Clyde River, NU to Iqaluit, NU. We took a bus up to the Airport, and when we arrived to the airport we saw Eric, from SOI Expedition, and Marina, also from SOI Expedition.