|Arctic poppies, Ilulissat|
I’m writing from the little red cabin next to the Upernavik Museum on Baffin Bay. It’s Day 2 for me here in Greenland. It took four full travel days to make the journey via Europe, and the time was addled by late flights and missed departures. (Aargh!!!)
I’m so very relieved to have made it – and my single duffel bag too!! Everything still feels a bit surreal and exhaustion is probably heightening my sense of disconnection and mild confusion. It’s a lot to take in at once. The population of Upernavik is largely Inuit, and I am painfully, obviously foreign- the only Anglo on the plane in fact.
I have so many questions!!
What I know so far: the sun never sets, there isn’t much ice left in the bay these days, there are lots of sled dogs here, and the sea air is sharp, pungent and (refreshingly) moist. I have 35 days here, alone.
I’ve managed to learn two rudimentary phrases in Greenlandic: Ayunngi, which is similar to “how are you?”… and Qujanaq which means thank you.
So far, I’ve only taken photos and done some video recording in Ilulissat on the way to Upernavik, where I had a long layover. Here is a bit that I filmed near the icefjord, which also happens to be a World Heritage Site. It’s truly stunning.
|Iceberg in Ilulissat... Incredible!!!|
Already I can hear the rattling din of my own inner monologue. Produce something worthwhile here, the incessant expectation that I carry with me everywhere. Make sure you do something that matters. And what if I can’t, what if I don’t?
This, even though my world is now pared down to the utmost simplicity. Upernavik is a quiet place, far removed from … just about everything. I have no phone and internet use is limited to times when the museum is open, which is irregular and random as far as I can tell. And then I am charged for it. It’s expensive.
Today I’m composing offline, looking out at the cold ocean, which is literally only a stone’s throw from the rocky shore. An iceberg sits there, biding its time, waiting to join with the sea. I feel as if I’m waiting for something too - perhaps just someone to talk to. Communication.
|Edge of the glacier from the plane between Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat|
|More icebergs in Ilulissat|
|Helicopter landing at Ilulissat airport|
|Dwarf Fireweed at Kangerlussuaq, a former Cold War Era, US military base where I spent the night last Friday.|
|Airport benches upholstered in sealskin, Ilulissat|