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The Children! – Jaimee Gillis

November 21, 2017

This is my favourite photo of the entire trip. I absolutely love the girls’ smiles, the pups, and the sealskin stretchers in the background.

This photo was taken the day that Ana and I stopped on the way home from the Chinook clinic in the Old Hall to help name the pups. The two on the right are Marshall and Chase; the one on the bottom left is Floof.

One of my favourite parts of our downtime in Igloolik was getting to spend it with the local children. They had just gotten out for summer vacation; and, with 24-hour sunlight and warming temperatures, it wasn’t uncommon to see kids playing outside at all hours of the night. At first the lack of bedtime seemed so odd, but after a few days – and after experiencing the unpredictable weather so common to a northern summer – I realized that in the North it is essential to make the most out of every sunny warm day – and night!

Hanging out with these youngsters was a wonderful reminder of some things many of us miss during our veterinary school experience: playing, laughing, and spending quality time friends. We had so much fun trying to learn basic phrases in Inuktitut from the kids when they stopped by to visit us at the clinic.

Another highlight was the opportunity educate the kids in the community about what we were doing and why. I was even able to show several of them a dog neuter surgery. The reactions were great! We had everything from disgust to absolute wonder and amazement!

Hopefully we even inspired some future veterinarians!

Jaimee Gillis, AVC 2018, traveled to Igloolik in 2017 as one of the student participants on the Chinook Project. As part of the experience, the students craft various pieces of reflective writing.

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