After spending an entire day working from Jungle Jim’s in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Nic, Jason, Frazer, and I awoke way too early this morning to make our way to the airport to catch the flight that would deliver us to Rigolet. This would be my first time back to the community since August of 2018. Too long, if you ask me.
Although I was extremely tired, I was also rather excited to find myself inside the twin-engine waiting to make my way up the coast of Labrador. The interior of the plane wasn’t much warmer than the crisp -25 Celsius air outside, so I did my best to shake off the morning chill by blowing warm air into my hands. We shared our flight with a wall of supplies that took up the front half of the plane and divided the cockpit from us and the two other passengers on board.
We took off just as the sun was beginning to rise above the horizon. The sky was mostly clear, which meant that I was privileged to a rather spectacular view of the Labradorian winter that blanketed the ground below. Several times I scraped away the ice crystals that had formed on my window in an attempt to improve my view and to snap some photos. Mostly, I found myself mesmerized by the beauty of the land that we were flying over. It looked cold and still and entirely peaceful. Deep surface grooves and wear, the result of countless years of weather and ice against the rocks of Nunatsiavut, were proudly accented by packed and drifting snow. There was something entirely serene and comforting about the scene.
Soon enough we were dipping down into Rigolet. We flew over Northern Lights Academy where we’ll spend some time during our trip talking with students about STEM and computer science. Regardless of the vantage point, every time I see the school I wonder what it must be like to be taught in a place where just out the window one might see a minke whale.
As we landed, I began to review the list of things that we need to accomplish while we are here; meetings, training, running several open houses to engage the community and make sure we are on track, testing the mesh network, reviewing various prototypes, and so on. In the moment it felt like an overwhelming monolithic beast, and despite the fact that we are incredibly excited to get to work, I couldn’t help but feel slightly anxious.
The cold immediately filled the plane the minute the door was opened and with it a sense that none of my worries mattered. I was in Rigolet. The air was cold and fresh and it woke me from my fortunately short-lived spiral. I inhaled deeply as I stepped out of the plane, and smiled. It felt so good to be back.