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The official website of ISAMR (International Student-Led Arctic Monitoring and Research).

Summer Arctic Trip 2016

August 2nd

Park ISAMR

Today has been a fun, yet exhausting day. I arrived at the airport at 5:00am and met up with the rest of the group. After Jasmin arrived, we got in line to be checked by security. Everybody except for Max and Mark got TSA Pre so we breezed through the security line. When my carry on backpack was going through the x-ray machine, the man who was looking through all the bags said, "Wow, that's a lot of Old Bay." In my defense I had five tins of Old Bay in my bag to give to the host families as a thank you present. As the x-ray guy was commenting on my choice in seasoning, Jasmin was getting the shampoo and conditioner taken out of her bag. It turns out that she forgot that there was the 3.4oz liquid restriction so she brought her shampoo and conditioner. After Jasmin said her final goodbye to her hair products, we walked to the terminal. We had twenty minutes before our plane started boarding passengers so, I went to get breakfast along with Leah, Max, Jasmin, and Madison. After we got our food we spent what little time we had left enjoying our breakfast.

The plane ride itself was pretty fine, I slept through most of it and what little turbulence we had wasn't enough to wake me up. Once we arrived in Chicago, everybody who didn't get breakfast before our first flight got food. The second plane that we took was so small that our carry on bags weren't stowed in overhead bins, instead we left our bags at the door and collected them at the end of our flight. When I stepped on the plane, I immediately noticed that something was off. The ceiling was quite low in fact, my head was almost touching the ceiling. The isle of the plane was also off center. On the left side of the plane there were two seats and on the right side of the plane there was only one seat in the row which was a bit odd. This flight was also pretty uneventful but then again, I did sleep through most of it.

I was feeling energized when I stepped off the plane because we were going through customs. This might sound a little weird but I was really excited to go through customs. When I went through customs everything went fine and I really felt like the trip had begun.

After I left customs, I saw a familiar face outside of the doors that allowed me to officially enter Canada. One of my friend Melissa, who went on the October trip with me came to the airport to say hi. I was so excited to see her because it had been months. She came with her mother to help drop us off at Donna's house, which is where we would meet up with the kids from Kelvin High School and one Junior Canadian Ranger for dinner. Once we were settled into Donna's living room, I caught up with Melissa and introduced her to the Americans, and I met Jordan, Donna's daughter who is coming with us to Churchill. We were all relaxing for a while and eating lunch together which was really nice. After lunch I said goodbye to Melissa and we got ready to go grocery shopping.

Grocery shopping was interesting to say the least. We were shopping for 30 people for two weeks worth of food. Jordan and I were tasked with getting all the dairy products. This was fairly easy except that Ceci forgot when she was making the list that we would be in Canada so all of the food products were measured in grams. Jordan and I found the conversion and used that to get all the cheese we needed. Our second obstacle was getting eggs. We needed 17 dozen eggs and we only had two small carts to hold the eggs. We somehow managed to find 14 dozen of the cheapest eggs in the store but at that point, we had put all of the eggs in our basket. Since the other eggs were significantly more expensive, we added two cartons of 18 eggs to the basket. Once we found all the eggs, we were done shopping for dairy products so we helped Ceci get grain products. After we got all of the groceries we had four carts full of food. Webs helped us rearrange the food into boxes for the train, boxes for Nestor One, and boxes that need to be refrigerated. Before we checked out the groceries we placed bets on how much the groceries would cost. Webs guessed $750 while others guessed $2,100. Originally I guessed $2,000 but as we were nearing the end of the groceries, I changed my guess to $1,175. It turns out that we spent $1061.80  so Luke guess that the food would cost $1,000 was closest to accurate.

Once we got back to Donna's house the students from Winnipeg were there. I saw Leah and Marissa who I met on the October trip and a few new faces. Once all the food that needed to be refrigerated or frozen was put away, and Scott the Junior Ranger arrived, everybody sat down and did introductions. After introductions we ate a delicious meal that Donna made and I started to get to know the Canadians better. After dinner and dessert, we listened to Webs's presentation on ISAMR. After the presentation and questions, we were split up into groups and asked to answer the question "who are you" in either a poem or an interpretive dance. After we presented our dances and poems we went home with our host families.

I'm really excited to see the tundra in all its glory and get to know everybody. I think all the time in the vans and on the train will great for team bonding.

Bunmi Osias, Park School 2017