“What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

- Crowfoot

Thursday, December 22, 2011

We have lift off!

Last week I called the hospital to talk with an employee to arrange housing. The person that I was talking with said that she had left for Christmas holidays and wouldn't be back until the end of January! Needless to say, I was panicked. "You mean I am going to voluntarily spend 3 days getting to a fly in community in the midst of a housing emergency in the middle of winter without a guarantee of having anywhere to live?"

Pictures of me arriving at the hospital, suitcases in tow and sleeping on a bench in the ward (a la Tom Hanks in The Terminal) flashed through my mind.

Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, stranded traveler, in 'The Terminal.'
After a week trying, today I finally got in touch with another member of staff (who I feared may be holiday as well). After directing me to the gentleman who was managing the housing portfolio while Employee #1 is on holiday. He said that as a matter of fact she is only off until the end of December, not January (relief!) and to just email her to let her know when I am expected to arrive and either she or him will meet me at the airport. Thank goodness!

So now I am free to book my tickets, etc. Tomorrow I am heading into Union Station (in Toronto) to buy my train tickets, which are conveniently unavailable for purchase online, and will book my flight.

The journey will be three legs over three days, as follows:

Train #1 departs in the morning from Toronto and arrives in Cochrane in the evening.
Train #2 departs the next morning from Cochrane and arrives in Moosonee at night.
After staying overnight in Moosonee, I then fly in the morning to Ft. Albany.

The plan is to leave on January 3rd for two reasons, (a) because I have to be there for Monday the 9th and the trains don't run on the weekend and (b) to allow a little leeway in case of inclement weather.

A couple of interesting stories:

First, the train that I will be taking from Cochrane to Moosonee is called.... *drum roll please*

The Polar Bear Express.

This is actually a 'flag down' train.

One of my professors actually worked in Moose Factory (near Moosonee) 'a thousand years ago' and took this same train up. She told me the story of her journey up. There was a terrible snow storm that forced the hunters out of the bush and to the tracks where they flagged down the train, threw their catches in the cargo areas and climbed aboard. The journey took hours longer than it should have. As this train only goes through once a day, the train had to keep reversing and accelerating through the snow build ups. When she got there, she was completely overwhelmed but felt better when even the elders in the community said that they had never seen a snow storm as bad!

So, the wheels are starting to slowly roll, though I feel that the pace will speed to blinding very, very soon. Until next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment