Hey readers, as you probably know by now, I have been teaching on Hudson Bay in the Eeyou Itschee community of Whapmagoostui since late October. Some of you have been asking about my living space and how the teaching is going and I’d like to answer these questions before I leave in two weeks!
A look at my living space
I have have been extremely fortunate to have been allotted a house for my accommodations for the past 5 weeks. The house is outfitted with comfy couches and a kitchen full of all the cooking essentials. As you can see, I’ve also added a Christmas tree because it is December 3rd after all! Under the Christmas tree are some unwrapped gifts that I will put into a gift basket for the students I’m tutoring.
Pictured below is the living room area where I’ve started building a puzzle. Although it wasn’t my idea to start this “game”, I am bound to finish it! Another math tutor was staying in the same house for a few days and she found a puzzle box and decided to start this puzzle. To her benefit, she did give me a good head-start so to put it all back in the box at this point seems cruel!
There are also a couple photos of the night I cooked some Arctic Char, a local fish that tastes like a milder Salmon. It was super tasty and I enjoyed eating it but I didn’t expect the frying pan to smell like fish for the next week! Bleh!
There’s also a photo of me in front of my computer learning French with the classic Rosetta Stone program. I’ve made it to stage 2, unit 3 and am slowly making my way through the unit “Friends and Social Life”. As if I’m going to need that 😉
Tacos and Tutoring
Working alongside staff at the Badabin Eeyou School, I have been providing one-on-one teaching support to secondary students in Math and Science. Very soon, these students will be writing an exam which will award them their secondary school diploma.
The students have been making good progress and are set to write their exams this Thursday! I am praying that they perform well and their hard work pays off. Even though exams can be stressful, it is important that they persevere and try their best.
One of the previous Saturday afternoons my students and I prepared a taco lunch with all the toppings. It was absolutely delicious and probably added to the overall learning experience! Other days we have made pizza and nachos for snacks. Brain food!
Almost every night is cloudy but there are a few instances where the sky opens up for the night. I have a few photos from the nights I took my camera out. Sometimes the clouds never fully cleared and I had to make do anyways! The northern lights are always hiding behind a cloud covered sky but I have been able to capture a bit of the Aurora Borealis on one or two nights where the stars were visible.
Derelict Cars and Equipment
There are a few areas around the community where I have found some derelict cars and equipment. Some cars have been in an accident, and some of the equipment may just be too old to service. Regardless, they serve as interesting subjects to photograph. One of the areas where they store these metal artifacts has been nicknamed “Canadian Tire”, possibly because there are a lot of tires and car materials or because there’s a little bit of everything!
The Fossil Fuel Problem
It is easy to forget how much fuel we use on a daily basis, but in communities like these, most houses rely on fossil fuels to warm their houses and fuel their cars. Plus, there are no hybrid or electric cars here! Although I do believe Hydro Quebec does have a generating station in this region, I’m not sure if electricity is produced entirely without fossil fuels.
Pictured below, you can see a fuel truck making his way into the community from the fueling station. There are several tanks which store this fuel over the entire year. The fuel is delivered by ship during the months where the Hudson Bay is not frozen (July-September) and used throughout the rest of the year. This dependency may constrains the communities ability to grow and certainly is not an environmentally friendly option.
Next Couple Weeks
These next two weeks are my final days on Hudson Bay before I head back for Christmas. I arrive home sometime late on Sunday the 15th of December. I’m hoping to see my family again, even though I will be missing lots of family at our Christmas event on the 15th. Anyways, watch out for my next post in the next few weeks because I’ll probably be back home by then!