If I thought the Winnipeg airport was small, the few airports after that were even smaller. The Baker Lake airport was a counter and a couple seats...and that was pretty much it. You get on/off the plane outside and have to walk into the airport from the runway.
When we landed, I was anxious to see what Baker Lake was like, but also to meet my new boss and co-worker, who were coming to pick us up. I shouldn't have worried though, because we got into the airport and I was greeted with the warmest hug from them and I immediately started to relax. We didn't have to wait for any luggage, so we got into the truck (the extremely high truck that Jeff had to push me up into) and drove the few minutes into town.
I admit it all went by so fast that I didn't really get a good look at everything. I did note that although it was after 8pm it was still bright and sunny out - and was told that this was about as dark as it got these days because of the 24 hour light during the spring/summer. Well, I'll be darned!
We were dropped off at the hotel we were staying in and given time to rest before our very busy day the next day. Although I was physically tired, it was hard to adjust because of the sunshine and the adrenaline. We both fell into a restless sleep eventually even though it was after midnight by the time I lay down and it was still bright out.
The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel and met the kitchen manager there, and Jeff being the social guy he is, made an instant friend. We were treated to an over-abundance of delicious food that gave us energy for the day. My morning started off with going for a tour of my new office/meeting the people there and then sitting with my new boss to go over the job and any questions I had. It was an intense morning! Jeff spent the day with my new co-worker and got a tour of the hamlet and a visit to the Co-Op and Northern (the only two stores in town).
After our respective mornings apart, we met up together and had a department lunch with everyone at another hotel's restaurant - it seems that the only actual restaurants in town are the ones in the 2 hotels, so they were packed at lunch. It also seemed that the entire hamlet took lunch between 12 and 1 because the office parking lot was completely empty and everyone was out and about - kind of neat!
When we were finished lunch, we got to see the house we would be staying at if I took the position, and Jeff and I were collectively shocked/in awe of how beautiful it is. It's a brand new, fully furnished beauty - I was blown away. Blown. Away. House tour out of the way, I got to go into the Northern to see some of the prices of the food to get an idea of what we'd be facing. We were told that the hamlet subsidizes the healthy options (milk, bread, fruits, veggies, etc.) and the processed food is the more expensive food. $50 for a case of pop - yes, I'd say that is expensive. $8 for a gallon of milk is still double what we'd pay in the GTA, but seemed much more reasonable!
The evening was spent at my new boss's home (oh my, we thought our house was nice - hers looks like it's out of an interior design magazine) and chatted over wine and cheese. Mmm, wine...always the way to bring people together! After much interesting conversation and a fun evening, we headed back to our hotel and got ready to head back to Ontario in the morning.
Even though we only spent about 24 hours or so in Baker Lake, I felt it was the push we needed to come to terms with our decision. We went in with no expectations or pre-conceived notions of how it would be, and it really wasn't that much different than small-town Ontario. Once you're in the town, it's a small community but everything you need is there - and anything you don't have there, you can shop for online and have sent in. So no, it's not always convenient because there's no mall to drive to, or nowhere to get a manicure (gasp!), but the people were so nice, our house is somewhere we can make into a home, and the essentials are all within a few minutes of our house.
What more could you want?