“Imagine a trip to the North, ostensibly to see the northern lights… my friends and I envisioned just that. We got all the way to Churchill, Manitoba, and were there for seven days, but the lights did not cooperate! Knowing it is a natural phenomena, we knew this was a chance.
However, the Arctic cultures part of the trip was BEYOND my expectations. We started with learning about the culture and wildlife in Winnipeg, with a visit to the zoo and Manitoba Museum, which are connected to life in Churchill—both human and wild. A great start! Arriving at Churchill, I was amazed (being a desert girl) by the snow and cold, and by learning how people up there just live their lives like, ‘this is their normal.’
My highlights included:
- A beautiful snowshoe trek overlooking Hudson Bay, where the light was doing crazy good things with the snow.
- Talking to locals, finding out that 15 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ‘warm.’
- Curling—okay, I got to modify it some by using the brush to push the stone, but I can now say I have curled.
- Going to the market, seeing how the prices are way up for simple things like a can of peas for two dollars. Toilet paper, also two dollars.
- Totally awesome and knowledgeable and friendly guides. Our leader, Glen, was a bear geek as well as a northern lights geek (I think he was more disappointed than I that the lights didn’t show). Lindsay and Alex in Churchill were great, I asked them many questions about living up North. Murray in Winnipeg, also fun.
The lights were the reason for the trip, the people MADE the trip unforgettable.”
— Jeni O’Callaghan | Northern Lights and Arctic Cultures | 2018
All photos © Jeni O’Callaghan