OK, girls, ready to dance ?

Published on 06.04.2009 - Baffin Babes

The three girls are having the time of their lives over there on Baffin Island. The fourth member of the group, who is champing at the bit in Longyearbyen, has still not yet joined her companions.

Stage one is finally almost complete now for the 3 Baffin Babes. In their most recent update, dated Sunday 5th April, they reported that they only had another day or two before reaching Clyde River. Clyde River is a tiny hamlet, one of thirty or so dotted across the Nunavut landscape. In the 1960s, the Canadian authorities wanted to provide permanent settlements for the Inuit people, who had previously led a nomadic life, moving about from encampment to encampment. Which is how these isolated communities in the Arctic came into being... In the local language Clyde River is called Kangiqtugaapik, which means 'a beautiful little bay'. The little town is home to barely 800 people, 95% of whom are Inuit and 60% are under the age of 25.

Before arriving at Clyde River, the three ladies were in fine form. One day last week, one of the girls told the story of how all three of them were out on a small promontory close to their tent, dancing like crazy and shaking their butts (their own words) to 'Hips don't Lie' by Shakira and Jean Wyclef. On another evening, they explained more about their reaction to meeting the bear hunters. Because obviously their first encounter with an Austrian who was spending his holidays killing polar bears clearly riveted the attention of people visiting the website. Ours too! "In reality," writes Baffin Babe nº 4, who stayed in Longyearbyen, "Canada is the only one of the 5 countries that have polar bears on their territory to allow the regulated hunting of these animals. We of course find this type of policy very strange and distressing, because we know that these creatures are endangered and that the progressive melting of the ice, which is becoming more alarming with each passing year, is taking away the bears' natural habitat, which is really drastic for them. We also feel it is particularly bizarre that these individuals would want this type of hunting trophy in their homes. But there's nothing we can do about it...."

Two days later, after meeting a passing Inuit who showed them two dead polar bears on his sledge, Kristin wrote that she sees it as a country that has traditions that are different from her own and that any hunter deserves her respect...

Very soon, at the beginning of the week, the four girls should be reunited in Clyde River. They are all very happy that they still have another 50 days of skiing and wonderful adventures ahead of them.

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