Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Home. Iqaluit, NU

We’re happy here.

It was more than we expected and better than we imagined. Everyone’s a critic and we got a lot of very mixed reviews but, all the negative ones were wrong. It may take a certain kind of person to live up here; we get that, and it may not be for everyone but, it’s definitely for us. Definitely.

With our first breathe of northern air, the feeling came over us that we had made the right decision. The shoreline and water beside the plane as we first set foot felt like someone was welcoming us home. By the time we checked in to the Navigator Inn (Iqaluit’s Premiere Hotel!), the weight of a thousand second guesses and a tonne of doubt had disappeared. This felt like home.

With every turn came a charming surprise. As our tour-guide and driver Keith (a native of these parts for 38 years) showed us his favourite parts as well as spots we were curious about, Steph and I kept looking at each other with increasingly growing smiles. Can you imagine the worry you have relocating to a place you’d never even seen before? But that’s what made it all the better for us. We doubled down . . . we bet against the odds . . .and we won.

The great things we had read since the early parts of June were exactly how these great Northern Bloggers describe them as. Their joy is genuine as it is intriguing. If you want a vacation, go to Hawaii . . . if you want an Adventure, get up here. It’s a different way of life and for the most part, in the best of ways. If you grew up in a relatively small town, you probably miss the days where strangers smiled and said hello, or the person next to you in a grocery aisle commented on the stock and you were able to chuckle. Most of all . . . do you remember the day where people WAVED BACK? Not only after an initial wave but, when you let someone through, by, or go ahead. This IS A COMMUNITY. It’s not like it is in Milton (where I’m from) where peoples schedules matter more than their manners and the sense of community has slowly died over the last decade. This is an inspiring place. I’ll make the prediction right now that we are here at least a year, if not more.

The Water’s Edge.
I walked in to meet my bosses for the first time and I was gob-smacked at how stunning my place of work was. Gorgeous. It felt like I had been going there already for years and I had only been there for seconds. My Managers were warm and welcoming and felt like really great people to work with. I feel even more excited to be working there come Thursday. Funny enough, we were so taken by the Waters Edge that we decided to eat lunch there this afternoon. Just when you thought a place couldn’t be any better . . . the food arrived. Steph ordered the Arctic Char & Chips . . . I attempted the Musk-Ox Burger. Both: AMAZING. Great price . . .great portions . . . great meals. Steph has warned me that she might be my most loyal regular there just for the food. I’ll have to re-read my employee policy on that one!


The Town.
Bigger than Steph thought, smaller than I imagined. It’s small enough that you can walk anywhere in under 30 minutes. The roads have recently been paved and the air is crisp and fall-like. We’ve visited all our spots of curiosity and yes, we did a little price matching at the North Mart for all our friends back home. We took an uphill stroll last night out for dinner and enjoyed the freshness of the air and the blinding yet beautiful sunset. It’s a simpler way of life up here but, it’s a nicer one. I don’t hear the 401 ringing in my ears, instead I hear children laughing and the sound of water sometimes. I’m not breathing in smog, I’m now breathing in crisp, clean, and fresh northern air. You can call it a Tundra, but you’d be better off calling it a northern oasis.
Every single person we’ve met is kind, considerate, and nice. The locals offer carvings and other forms of northern art to buy and while I walked Steph to work up the hill today, every person I passed by took the time to say “Hello”. You get a sense of real community here and although to some people back in Ontario will question my choice of words here . . . we find this place warming.

Surprises.

- We can’t believe how many people have cars. This is coming from two 401 junkies but, even at rush hour, the “4 Corners” is jammed.
- “Polarman” . . . he is somewhat legendary in these parts. We haven’t had the “pleasure” of meeting him yet but, it seems that everywhere we go, we just miss him!
- Sorry to stress this again but . . . THE AIR. It’s so clean.
- Nachos. $17.95 without meat. Steph will never recover from the shock!
- How easy it was to get our apartment, phone, electricity, and P.O. Box set up
- How Nice our apartment is . . . brand new paint, hardwood floor, and furniture
- The amount of pay-phones that are still around here. This is a surprise since they were dropping off the face of Ontario in the recent months.
- The Prime Minister is in town . . . but it seems his office has had a hard time spelling IQALUIT. Google it.
- Musk-Ox . . . my new favourite meat.
- How much we LOVE it here!

Don’t blink . . . every time we get a moment, we’re updating! Great Videos to come too . . .

7 comments:

Sarah Elizabeth ..... said...

I am so glad that your enjoying it up there. I look forward to your email and more blogs about things up there.
Sarah

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you guys are living the northern dream! I am glad you guys are enjoying your new home. $18 for nachos??? I'm already thinking about coming to visit you grenke, so be ready for me, and make sure my musk-ox burger will be ready. I will be sure to check up on your blog quite often, even though I don't really like blogs. Miss you guys!
Mark

l_royle said...

Hello Fambly...both human and furry...hope all is well up in the truly Great White North. You were lucky to leave when you did...Milton was yet another place that was effected by tornadoes....a small one touch down in the Zellers mall area, Childs Drive, Pine Street.....anyhow, other than that juicy bit, nothing new to report. We have made the blog one of our Faves so that we can keep in touch. Play safe out there among the English....Love, Hugs & no bed bugs!! (too cold for them so I am told!!)

Love Aunty Lesley & The Furry Ones in Hillsburgh XXXXX00000

Jordan~Stephanie said...

Thanks everyone .....we haven't set up Internet yet but we will be soon ..... Until then

bsappel said...

Hello, I am so glad I found your blog... I am also an RN, have been working for 9 years... We are considering Nunavut, we have family in Iqaluit, and are looking to live a simpler lifestyle with our young family. How do you find the working environment for Nurses? My big concern is housing... perhaps you could provide more information regarding the housing situation.
Thanks again, and I look forward to following the blog.

Jordan~Stephanie said...

We're getting our internet set up really soon. Steph is probably the one to talk to about the Nursing environment. We promise that as soon as we get our own connection and set up shop . . .we'll answer everyone that we can!

As far as I know . . Steph really likes it. Feel free to send us a personal e-mail in regards to what you read on the blog.

jordangrenke@gmail.com

We'll get back to you ASAP!

Sarah . . . we will write back eventually! We Promise!

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