Today is Day 15 of the March Slice of Life – the daily writing challenge hosted at Two Writing Teachers.
N is for NWT (North West Territories)
Growing up, the North West Territories was just a place on a map – mysterious and other worldly. I had no dream or desire to ever travel there.
Yet, when it came time to apply for teaching jobs while at teachers’ college, I applied to the NWT and had an interview. I had an ESL certificate and I was intrigued by what they offered.
I never heard for months and I had graduated and was on holiday in Cayman Island, where my brother lived, when I was offered a position. I accepted as I knew I only had to stay one year, so why not?
Flying into Yellowknife and Inuvik was an experience. The landscape was so different from what I’d seen in the south – vast stretches of empty landscape and numerous waterways.
I had to stay overnight in Inuvik and I remember looking out from the hotel room after midnight and it was still quite light out. Land of the Midnight sun indeed.
I ended up staying and teaching three years. I got to visit Inuvik, Tuktoyuktuk, the DEW line, Yellowknife and Whitehorse in the Yukon. I met many people and got to know many of the local people.
I was in the minority up north – maybe 30 or 40 white people to 800 native people. It was quite a different feeling and one that we all should experience at least once in our lives.
The other teachers became my family and I relied on them. We spent a lot of time together – to this day I still miss that closeness. The experiences I had in the north forever marked me, forever changed me.