Some Inuit say "Hi" the way we do in Montreal, but most say something that sounds more like "Ai." This morning, my new friends here at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik were teachingme how to say "Ai" correctly. Apparently, I am not very good at it!
So I arrived here yesterday with Thomas Kneubuhler, a Swiss born photographer now based in Montreal. We are in the town of Akulivik to work with Quinn Carter's Secondary III, IV and V class on Quebec Roots, an educational program sponsored by the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation. Quinn's class will be contributing a chapter to the 2010 edition of Quebec Roots: The Place Where I Live.
This morning, I talked to Quinn's students about writing and Thomas discussed his work as a photographer. I took a lot of notes during Thomas's talk. He told the students a line I really loved: "Dig where you stand." (Thomas credited a Swiss historian for telling him this.) In other words, we want the students to do a little digging in Akulivik -- we want them to find stories in and around their school and to capture these stories in words and photographs.
I helped the students create a group poem. Since many students I have met in Nunavik seem to complain that school is boring, we decided to call the poem, "I'm So Bored." A student named Annie came up with the powerful opening line: "I'm so bored I could die right now." We added observations, such as how Annie was spearing her eraser with her pencil.
This afternoon, Thomas and I are going to do some exploring in Akulivik. I will practise saying "Ai" and also "Atsunai" (which is Inuktitut for good-bye). So Atsunai for now. Enjoy your afternoon wherever you are!
This is the Secondary 3,4,5 students at Tukisiniarvik School in Akulivik. Why did you put out picture on your website? You should have asked us first! But it's okay, because it's a nice photo.
Atsunai for now!
- Annie, Mary, Calai, Simon, and Yolande
Ai Annie, Mary, Calai, Simon and Yolande!
Fun to get your comment. Thank goodness you like that photo! Where are Taalia and Jason this morning? Not sleeping in, I hope. Guess what? My daughter came home a little early from New York. So I have someone here to cuddle with!
Are you guys going to do some WRITING today?
Sending you a big hug from Montreal -- and me!