“Flexibility is key” is turning out to be the motto of this expedition! Due to low cloud cover in Iqaluit, the original flights scheduled for early this morning were delayed. However, with some quick thinking and the extraordinary last minute support of partners and friends, the expedition team enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport and an afternoon of fun activities at the Canadian Museum of Nature where the team continued to get to know each other.
Students and staff handled the change of plans and uncertainty of departure beautifully, with smiles on their faces and turned what could have been a challenging situation into a wonderful day of new friendships and excitement for the journey ahead.
Here is a fun video of the day’s activities prior to departure.
As the afternoon unfolded we received some good news that the cloud cover would lift in time for an evening arrival so off the team went to the Ottawa airport and we are happy to report that both planes arrived safely in Iqaluit! The students, though tired and weary from a very long day, were in great spirits as they boarded Zodiacs to their new home and #FloatingClassroom for the next 7 days, Adventure Canada’s MS Ocean Endeavour!
See below for a fun stream of six-word posts from several of the students. This was one of the activities students engaged in during the day to highlight their thoughts, reflections and excitement for the journey ahead and is a fun read!
More updates, blogs, photos and videos to come! Updates are also posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so be sure to follow us daily!
Jennifer Aarhus – Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Hi everyone back home in Winnipeg!! I’m safe and happy! I am so honored to be here on this incredible learning and engagement opportunity. I want to thank The Winnipeg Foundation and Community Foundations of Canada. I am truly thankful for being chosen to be a partipant on this trip of a lifetime. Everything has been incredible so far. I’ve been in Ottawa for 2.5 days and time has flown by.
I have been involved in so many firsts. This is my first time in Ottawa. I tried zip lining for the first time. I attended a tour of the parliament building and grounds. I have made so many new friends and am so pumped to spend 2 weeks with everyone here. We are just waiting to get on the plane to start the journey North. We all know that flexibility is key.
Six Word Blogs
Cannot wait to see the polar bears, seals and whales, oh my!
“I can’t wait to build an ROV”
“I believe in our incredible power.”
“I’m so excited to find whales.”
“I wanna slide down an iceburg.”
“Very interesting both good and bad.”
– Malcolm Ford
“Flexibility is key. So is breakfast.”
“I’ve been having a good time.”
“This expedition has been beautifully amazing.”
– Abhayjeet Singh Sachal
“Aluu tamassi! Tamaani ajulaanngilanga, nuanneqaaq immersortinnarlunilu. (Hello everyone! I’m doing fine here, it’s so much fun and you gain so much experience)”
– Linda Kristiansen
“Excited beyond anything I’ve ever been.”
– Vicky Xu
“So ready to play in ice!”
– Elise Pullar
“Fun, Incredible, Inspiring, warm, new friends”
– Jen Aarhus
“Excited to see narwhales and icebergs!”
– Meera Chopra
“I’m excited to leave Ottawa and finally being in a place where I could feel the cold breeze.”
“I am having so much fun.”
“I am having a great time”
“I’m having fun and I’m excited to go Greenland.”
– Marina Nuqingaq
“I am very excited for it to begin”
“Three amazing days full of surprise.”
– Madelaine Toupin
“Ottawa – miinninni avannarmiut ataatsimoornitsinni kalaallit “inooriaasiannut: paasisaqarluarpunga” (I found out a lot about the way Greenlandic people live on the pre-program in Ottawa.)
– Pilunnguaq Karlsen
“What a group of inspirational Students on Ice”
– Whitney Lackenbauer
“An amazing adventure enriched by everyone’s enthusiasm”
“It was cool seeing the Hell’s Angels”
“Watching David from Nunavut connect with Blake from Newfoundland over the shared love of accordion”
“SOI wins gymnastics gold for flexibility”
– Michael Powell
“Tellement de jeunesse allumnee etengagee”
“C’est trop bien”
“J’ai rencontré de francophones qui se moquent de mon français”
“J’aime pouvoir apprendre le francais à ceux que je rencontre, surtout Abhay!”
“Life enriched by sharing and connecting”
“New friendships blooming in Ottawa’s heat”
“Amazing adventure and haven’t even left my own city yet”
“I love everyone. They’re all the best.”
– Maria H
“Are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet”
“Overjoyed to reunite with old friends and excited to meet new ones”
“So far it’s already a life-changing experience for the people and stories I’ve been introduced to. There’s been a lot of delays and seated waits. But I’m sure it will all be worth it by the end. I like how you guys take care of nearly every little issues we think of between what to wear and what to pack and where to go. Always having an idea for everything no matter the situation! I just wish we got enough sleep. We are all very drained!”
“Enjoying the moments and Justin Trudeau.”
“J’ai adoré recontrer plusieurs personnes intéressantes, don’t notre premier ministre!”
“So many inspiring people everywhere!”
– Nora B
“Phenomenal journey so far and the real journey hasn’t even started!”
“Jeudi= Trudeau, Vendredi= Acrobranche, Samdi= Attente”
“Met amazing people and when ziplining!”
“I am having lots of fun.”
“I thought Canada was really cold…”
“Making new connects and laughing lots.”
“I’m having an awesome time here.”
“Relaxing Saturday with new friends!”
“So Conor, now I have used to send a text phoning is easier.”
“The SOI expedition has been extremely interesting so far I’m enjoying it.
– Rachelle M
“I love everyone! They are fabulous!”
“I hate Iqaluit fog.”
“It’s the journey, they say.”
“SOI is so so so welcoming.
“I luv Justin Trudeau.”
“Amazing, funny, and hot (soon to be cold).”
“I’m really loving the trip so far.”
“Only the greatest expedition, good karma.”
“We’re still not in the Arctic?”
-Rackley, Colton, Denise and Brielle
“Letting go, to let others in.”
“I have never felt more present.”
“A great time meeting new people.”
– Angela Z
“Met Justin Trudeau, it was great.”
– Matt F
“Have met many interesting people already.”
“Many welcoming, wonderful people at SOI!”
“It has been pretty great so far.”
“Unlike anything else I’ve ever done.”
“Students On Ice so far is a trip of a lifetime!”
– Alassua Hanson
“On another level Arctic expedition.”
“I’m looking forward to the Arctic!”
“Flexibility is key!”
“I love it, even though our flight got delayed!”
“I’m always incredibly happy and laughing.”
– Rosalina N
“Cannot wait to see icebergs!”
“I love all the intelligent people I’m meeting.”
“Sharing, connecting, flexibility, friendship, energy, hot!!”
“7am morning with no coffee. But still happy.”
“The food here is da bomb.”
“Full of fun and flexibility.”
“An incredibile adventure in Canada’s capital!”
“Unpredicatable, looking forward to the ship.”
“Lots of energy and excitement!”
Abhayjeet Sachal – Surrey, BC, Canada
We waited for hours, but it only felt like minutes for me. Our flight to Iqualuit had been delayed due to foggy weather. After waking up bright and early in the morning, all students and staff just sat in the lobby waiting. However, the wait was quite enjoyable for me, and the hours flew by. We played many games and I talked to students from all around the world. After breakfast at a hotel, we went back to the Nature Museum. There, I was inspired by Diplomat Miguel Rodrigues and Mayor Jamie Snook, who had us discussing issues in all our communities.
I had always thought of the expedition as a chance to learn more about climate change, but never did I think I could learn about the social issue of Inuit youth committing suicide. Luckily, I have met so many individuals on this expedition who are working to solve these issues. The workshop with Miguel and Jamie really exposed me to these problems and what we can do.
After a bus ride to the airport and an airplane ride where I couldn’t fall asleep, we finally arrived in Iqualuit, Nunavut, and I was shocked by the cold, wet breeze in my face. The rain reminded me of Vancouver! We went on a zodiac, a small boat, to our ship, the M/V Ocean Endeavour, and it exceeded my expectations in every single way. The friendly staff and my amazing room were just the beginning. I walked into the lounge, and I was just drawn to the grand piano. I hadn’t played for weeks and just began playing as many songs as I could. Suddenly, I noticed a small crowd of people around the piano and they clapped at the end of my next song. I really think I can connect to some of the issues that I learn about on this expedition through music. There was a final briefing of the day, and I believe everyone felt blessed to be in such an amazing place. I certainly did.