Saturday, November 19, 2016


    In my last post I got to Ft Smith NWT which is less than halfway to where I was going.

    But first I have to go back to where I started to set up the next step.

     As you could see from my last post I did not really have any solid goals and not a realistic view of what I was getting myself into. I'm  a born optimist so thought that everything would work out.

     I had been teaching in a 12 teacher school for three years. The kids were had workers and well behaved . The parents were very supportive. It was a very comfortable situation. However, things were just going to continue and after three years it was boring. There was a problem. there were no girls! High school girls were off limits. Half the girls left when they finished high school and half were already connect to a local guy.

    In those days young men "boarded" In other words you stayed in a house where the landlady did everything: cook ,clean, wash your clothes. The landlady I had the last two years was a sweety. She spoiled me rotten. She had arthritis so it was difficult for her to get around. She would phone her grocery order to the store and I would pick it up. I had her post box key and got her mail everyday. I took her check to the town office to pay her taxes. It was a very comfortable arrangement.

    However, in practical terms I was not ready to look after myself. I couldn't cook. I couldn't wash clothes. I had no idea of keeping a place clean.

    So there I was with a great new job and an apartment to live in. The apartment was completely furnished with dishes bedding and linen. I was set up with everything but didn't know what to do with it. However, later they told me they were short of apartments but that I would be given a room in the student hostel. Well this would be super. I'd get meals and laundry again.

   Okay, The purpose of stopping at Ft. Smith for a week was for orientation. About 30 new teachers were oriented to teaching in Canada's north. At the end of the week teachers were flown to their  communities.

    Well you know what's coming next. There wasn't room for me on the airplane! They would fly me in the next day. Now by this time I was okay with delays. Girls , couples and families needed to get to Inuvik before I did.

   Well, the next evening there was a ride for me. It was on a freight aircraft. The airplane was loaded with freight and there were 4 canvas seats. Cruising speed was a little over 200 mph. There were four passengers. One of the passengers was a woman who had been in Inuvik for two years. She answered questions and gave me tips on how to live. She was helpful. Most of it went over my head but it cut down some of the stress for me.

    Off we went for the four hour flight in the lumbering beast. For most of the flight I got to be in the cockpit. We left about 8:00 PM on Aug. 30 and flew northwest. Days were still quite long in August. What I looked at for the four hour flight was a constant twilight. It's a sight that I would love to see over and over again.

    We touched down in Inuvik about midnight and as soon as you were on the ground it was dark.

   The learning curve was steep for the previous ten days.

   What could happen next?

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