After Kluane, the next stop on our journey northwards was Inuvik, and in particular the Aurora Research Institute, where there were many boxes waiting for us – all the equipment that had arrived from Edinburgh earlier. We have been in Inuvik for several days now and the piles of boxes have grown and grown – drones and drone parts, research equipment and food and gear for 2 months on Qikiqtaruk Herschel Island! We may or may not have bought all the wraps in Inuvik, and the local stocks of Ziploc bags have taken a serious hit.
We lucked out on being in Inuvik when there was an airshow on – the flying was really impressive and the event had a lovely community feeling to it. With music and beautiful figures up in the air, everyone was smiling and taking it all in. The final act felt special – it was a father and son duo who demonstrated impressive skills and one could tell they are having fun up in the air. I certainly have no aircraft piloting career in front of me (even normal planes make me dizzy!), but I was inspired to see people doing what they love, regardless of what the “thing” is.
Our departure to Qikiqtaruk got delayed as the island and water around it are still icy, which gave us extra time to learn more about life in Inuvik. We read the local newspaper, and were particularly entertained by the “Whatsit” quiz. I sent in my guess for this week’s game (a violin?), and I might win an unknown prize! Though on seconds thoughts I wish I had put down a fiddle, not a violin.
We also went to the Inuvik Visitors Centre and then the AEETCT – the Arctic Energy and Emerging Technologies Conference and Tradeshow! We enjoyed talking with the different trades representatives and learning more about industry, environment & their interplay in an Arctic context. Will felt particularly well-welcomed – the staff was indeed very friendly. Andy’s highlight of the tradeshow was chatting with the North West Territories government scientists – knowledge-exchange in action!
I continued my tradition of visiting a garden everywhere I go around the world – in Kluane the garden was of course the common garden, and here in Inuvik, I went to the lovely community garden greenhouse. It felt like a home many miles away from my home and garden – we even order some of our seeds from the same company. I am always intrigued to see what brings people together in different places around the world – growing food is a common theme! Gardening, be it in the common garden or in a fruit and veg garden has brought joy to many of us on Team Shrub!
Aside from seeing how gardening contributes to building communities, it’s been wonderful to see how science and research can achieve that as well – during our time preparing and packing at the Aurora Research Institute, we have met people from all sorts of disciplines – it’s inspiring to know that though we may come from different places and our fields might diverge, we do come together in what we most love doing – unraveling exciting aspects of the world around us!