Posted by: M.J. Bolstad | July 19, 2012

Treaty Partying It Up: The Lutselk’e Edition

Oh, I’ve been meaning to get to this awhile, but procrastination and avoidance have been my friends.  But I’m heading off on another trip shortly (seriously – my dad is driving me to the airport in about two hours), and I also wanted to write about my Canada Day trip to my BFF’s family’s cabin at some point, so I figured I should get one, at least out of the way.

The community is quite beautiful, though there isn’t much for a short-term visitor to do.

Lutselk’e was … different, to say the least.  I didn’t bring my computer, so this is what I wrote by hand:

I’m really having a heard time figuring out what to write about Lutselk’e, because it honestly isnt’ all that interesting, as far as places to travel.  On the one hand, it means it isn’t spectacularly bad, but on the other hand, as a visitor who doesn’t have a lot on hand, finding anything to occupy oneself is a bit of a stretch.

The Treaty Payment part and the SCIS application stuff was pretty much standard. The people seem nice enough, and perhaps better organized (or just fewer people showed up at a time) because we didn’t really bottleneck. It was fairly neat to see the community go a little ways out in celebration, as they held a cookout for everyone.  Of course, working, I missed out on getting a hamburger, but I did have my first hot dog of the season, and think those who made it out before me got some fresh fish. I hear the fish is great here, so I’m sorry I missed out.

The little pace we ended up staying.

After work, we went to find our B&B.  It’s just half a block from the community centre, so we walked.  The person who owns it lives near by and some of us were meant to sleep in the house while others slept in a rustic place out back, since there were enough beds in the place on our own (with two sharing a room) we all stayed in the same place.  Dinner was home cooked, since there is no restaurant in town.  My colleagues bought spaghetti and garlic pizza, and I bought lettuce and some balsamic vinegar, so we whipped up what we could. No meat in the spaghetti, but still very good.  

After dinner, we watched TV on a set that isn’t connected to cable or satellite or anything. Jeopardy came through on the antenna complete with snow and flickering from black and white to colour.  After Jeopardy, we took a walk, but there’s not much to explore: no trails like Deline, and the ice is off the lake so no fun candling. The community kids seem to ride around on ATVs, racing about.  I can’t think that they have much else to do.  One of my colleagues is staying with friends, and she gets to go baoting. We were all quite jealous.  We ha to stay here.  Thankfully, someone bought a pack of cards.  We played crib without a board, scoring in the back of my journal.  Then we played black jack.  We couldn’t remember any other games’ rules, so that was pretty much it. 

Here’s where I drew water for my “bath” in the morning!

The whole set up is much like Fort Good hope, in that it is rather rustic.  I’m sleeping on a small bed with a sleeping bag for cover, although at least this window has a screen.  All in all, it isn’t terrible.  It just isn’t super word-worthy.  I did wish it had board games like a cabin often does.  Scattergories would have rocked.

That was how I ended before going to bed – but it got kind of yucky from there.  The sewage hadn’t been pumped out at the house, so by morning, the place smelled vaguely of gas. Worse, no one had told the delivery person that someone was staying at the little place, so we had no water.  None of us could shower.  I ended up getting water from the lake in my pyjamas and boiling it on the stove so I could at least have a sponge bath.  By the time we managed to get the B&B owner, it was too late for any of us to shower in his home, and the coffee machine was broken.  Incidentally, my mom has stayed in Lutselk’e before, at the same B&B owner’s, but she actually stays in the house (which we skipped to stay together), and she says it is lovely. So don’t let my experience totally colour yours.  But if you have a big party, the Co-op has a place to stay that I understand is much, much nicer.  Or stay in the house. Trust me. Would I go back to Lutselk’e?  Yes.  But I’m packing a bigger bag with more to do, and I’m never, ever staying in that little place out back again if I can help it.

Until the next entry!


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