I'm not sure if I'll write a post every time that I go out on assignment, but with this being my first one I figured I would. I'll keep this post short and let the pics speak for themselves.
This trip could really be summed up as a whole lotta "firsts".
- First time working in a nursing station.
- First time living with a First Nations community.
- First time traveling alone.
- First time in B.C.
The moment my plane had lift-off from Winnipeg I knew I was going to have to face all of this head on.
Okay, so getting here was an adventure in and of itself. After a delayed flight from Winnipeg derailed my perfectly planned out travel itinerary I ended up....
- flying: Winnipeg --> Vancouver and then Vancouver --> Terrace
- driving: Terrace --> Prince Rupert
- ferrying: Prince Rupert --> Kitkatla.
I signed up for adventure, right? ;)
Anyways, Kitkatla is a small village on Dolphin Island (also known has Lax Klan). Some interesting tidbits of info for you:
- Gitkxaala means : git- (people of) and ksxaala (open sea) or Git lax m'oon: "the people of the saltwater"
- Kitkatla has been inhabited for 10,000 years
- Gitxaala nation speaks Sm'algyax. I only heard it spoken a couple of times between older men. I'm not sure how many in Kitkatla are fluent.
I was working in the Gitxaala Treatment Clinic. This is a two nurse run clinic, which has a physician and/or a nurse practitioner a handful of days per month. The clinic is open during the day and both nurses alternate being 'on call' for emergencies during the evening and night.
The community is friendly and welcoming. I never went anywhere without being greeted by smiles and waves. They're very used to nurses coming and going. It is unbelievably quiet at all times of the day.
I found a link with more professionally taken pictures of Kitkatla and its people (click here). Just don't show my husband the picture of the plane...he'll never let me go back.
COME ON! How beautiful is this??
I spent my time at either the clinic or my house (plus a couple of hikes). I had to keep the VHF (walkie talkie) on me at all times as this is how the majority of the community communicates either between themselves or with the nurses. Some of the ladies thought that it was funny that I was terrified to talk into the VHF (you mean EVERYONE is listening to me talk??)
Also, side note, who knew puzzles were so much fun? I'll remember this for my next assignment!
Below is the only picture that I could get to show you what Kitkatla looks like from afar. This was taken while leaving on ferry. This gives you an idea as to how small the community is.
I took this last picture while sitting in an airport shuttle. I was waiting for a bus that would take me to the Prince Rupert airport (which is on another island, go figure). Anyways, solo travel was a new experience for me and this trip showed me what all the fuss is about. It was peaceful to have only myself to spend time with and rely on.
This was an awesome experience and I can't wait to do it again.
Thanks for reading!