I have been back in Whale Cove for a little over a month now and can now say that I am settled back in. I apologize for neglecting my blog since returning. When I arrived back the school was short 4 staff members due to a shortage of houses in the community. So the beginning of the school year was a stressful time! The staff worked together and all the kids were able to start school on the original start date, but we were all exhausted at the end of week one.
Housing is well known issue in the north. The smaller communities suffer the most because they are low on the priority list. The school had 4 new hires this year. Three were put into the hotel after week one and were then moved into a three bedroom house. Our fourth hire is currently living in a 3 bedroom house with 14 people and is eagerly waiting for a new unit to open up.
Two of our graduates applied and were accepted to Arctic College this fall; however, they were unable to attend due to a shortage of houses in Iqaluit and Rankin. Our students are pushed to pursue post secondary education only to be let down and forced to look for work in their small community where work is hard to come by.
Unfortunately these stories about the lack of housing in northern communities are not rare.
On a lighter note – Whale Cove is gorgeous in the fall. I have been able to get out on the land quite a bit and I recently have seen my first few caribou! Beautiful creatures; although, not the smartest. I was able to get pretty close to the tuk tu (caribou in Inuktitut) to snap a picture and they didn’t seem the care.