Life Skills Class

malaya.jpgPatches arrived yesterday from two more sponsors. We knew that without help we wouldn’t have time to sew the new patches onto all our coats, jackets, and one-piece suits. Luckily we found Malaya, a Life Skills teacher at Iqaluit’s Inuksuk High School.

She let us join her class for one day to recruit help from the students. In between working on their own projects (leather mitts and felted wool slippers), they helped us sew on our patches. We had fun talking and sewing with them.

Malaya told us that she learned to sew when she was in school. As a young girl she did not, however, learn how to sew with caribou and seal skins. Malaya told us that sewing clothing and footwear (kamiqs) from skins takes a specialized set of skills and many years to master.

Inuusiq, one of the students, told us about how she and her family learned to kite-ski while in Iglulik last year. In April her family is going to ski for 13 days to reach Kimmirut, the next village to the south. There they will teach other community members how to kite-ski. Inuusiq told us she would like to go on a big expedition some day, perhaps to the North Pole.

The students told us about a strong storm that hit Iqaluit last week. Winds of over 80 mph (135 km/h) ripped the roof off the school and damaged several other buildings. Their school, when it was built in the 1970’s, was said to be indestructible. The students told us that, although winter storms are common, the one last week was unusually severe.

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