Monday, January 8, 2007

Arrival in Iqaluit

Travel is always tiring, but the most tiring kind of travel is the kind that occurs with Air Canada. I will refrain from ranting about the details of Air Canada's poor customer service, late flights, and mishandling of baggage. Anyone who has flown with Air Canada will recognize this as a recurrent story. A flight with Air Canada is always an exercise in frustration.
So the Vancouver to Ottawa leg of the journey (with Air Canada) was quite tiring. Once into Ottawa I checked into a hotel called Southway Inn. It was very nice, and had a very comfortable bed which was the main feature I was after. The next morning I went back to the Ottawa Airport for the next leg of the trip from Ottawa to Iqaluit. This flight was booked with a company called First Air.
First Air is an airline that knows how to treat it's customers! First of all the First Air staff was very friendly, and there is leg room on their planes. On the plane they served a very nice breakfast of scrambelled eggs and a crepe (CREPES on a PLANE!! GENIUS). After the meal they brought around heated facecloths, which was an excellent touch. As if that wasn't enough, near the end of the flight they brought around hot cookies for everyone! If I wasn't already totally jaded about Air Canada I am now. First Air has them beaten by miles.
The flight into Iqaluit was very cool. We flew over some sea ice that was quite broken up with fracture lines, and got a good view of the rocky landscape of Baffin Island. This is far above the tree line so rock is the dominant landscape feature. The hospital sent a nice fellow named Keith to meet me at the airport and he gave me a tour around the city before bringing me to the hotel. I was actually quite suprised how many stores and businesses there are in this city. In the past I spent some time in Moose Factory in northern Ontario, and based on that experience I was expecting basically a northern store and not much else, but it looks like they have much more variety here!
Today is my first day in the hospital, I have a clinic this afternoon which should be interesting. Next week I am flying into a different community on Baffin Island, called Pangnirtung to do some clinics. It will be very cool to go and see this community that I would never otherwise get a chance to see.
So far it's been an interesting experience, and I am looking forward to what's to come!


Dr. H. said...

I can vouch for the horrific customer service by Air Canada.

Warm cookies...mmmmm.

Glad you are there safe! Can't wait to hear more about Iqaluit.

Thain said...

Hi Aaron it's great that you have this blog. Since I can't hear on the phone I will be able to know a little about what you'r doing.I'm sure that your experiences in the north are going to be amazing.Does nunavut have it's own ministry of health or is it still a federal responsibility? At this time of the year it must be dark almost 24 hours a day. Duncan and I read a book on Nunavut and it seems to be a very interesting place. I wonder if you will have time to check out all the birds and wildlife up there.I would also like to know about the dogs up there. do the people still use them in any type of working capacity? anyway be safe ,have fun. All my love from Dad.