When I moved to Toronto to attend university in 2003, the first time I was really able to step out of my own comfort zone and immerse myself in a new environment, I began to learn many new things. And I found out that most of the things I had previously experienced on a regular basis while living in the north, were considered "once in a lifetime events" or things that may never happen to most people. In fact, most people I met in Toronto had never even considered any of my experiences to be a possibility.
Things like; having to watch out for grizzly bears (literally like a dozen one time) while walking around the neighbourhood on the way home from school, or having to fend off bears by yelling and waving your arms while hiking or canoeing, pulling a frozen icicle from your tongue and having a pack of wolves follow you home in the winter because of the blood trail, being snowed in for several days during a blizzard and having people come and dig you out, singing and whistling to the northern lights and having them surround and shoot down at you (which was very terrifying I have to admit), spending time out fishing on a lake in the summer and not knowing whether it is 2:00am or 2:00pm, catching a 20lb Arctic Char and having groups of children begging you for the guts and fish eyes because they taste like candy, having a special room in your house for canned and dried food that could last 2 years just in case the grocery barge couldn't make it during the only 2-3 week window in the summer that it could dock, hopping on floating ice chunks in the ocean during break-up and laughing when someone falls in, never really having to "meet" anyone because you already know pretty much everyone in town, spending nights partying by bon fires in the bush with all your friends.
The experiences were one thing, and the opportunities were even more impressive. Opportunities like; being able to play competitive sports and travel to national events and tournaments, spending 2 semesters of high school on field trips around the Yukon and BC to learn astronomy, biology, forestry and more first hand rather than through text books, learning how to live off the land as part of the regular elementary school curriculum, filling your freezer with hunted meat and fish, and picking berries and mushrooms in the summer and knowing first hand where all of your food comes from. All of this let alone the scholarships and bursaries offered to students attending university programs in the provinces.
But rather than continuing to outline many examples of this (and believe me I have many more) and you taking my word for it, I have gathered a few news headlines, from here in Whitehorse, that I think will help colour the picture for you. These are headlines from just the past month and a half while we have been up here.
- Eagle cam eagle eat's pet Chihuahua - no link because it was a radio announcement; "Eagles snatching up small dogs is not myth. The Yukon Electrical Company Eagle webcam in Whitehorse was shut down for several days while the three eaglets dined on a Chihuahua brought to the nest by the parent bald eagles"
- Customer swallows human toe in Dawson City
- Wolf chases cyclist on Alaska Highway in Yukon
- Cyclists chased by black bear in Whitehorse
- Mounties hit pause on reality TV production
- Public’s Assistance Sought: New Information Released in Serial Killer Case
Of all the crazy things that Andrew and I can continue to be amused at, it is the differences in the ways we've grown up that keep us surprised by each other. We view the world through very separate lenses and enjoy hearing our stories from our different perspectives.
What are some other crazy news headlines from around the world? We would love to hear 'em!