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During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
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Reports

Thursday, 3 April 2003
Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada (day 2)

“What are you going to do today?” I asked Adamee this morning. “Still bumming around”, I said in reference of yesterday talks. “No, I am tired of bumming around today. I will go work,” Adamee said.
However I slept in very good today. It was actually very necessary, because of losing two-hours through time-zone jumps and falling asleep on the couch yesterday evening, made me unable to fall asleep the rest of the night. I had a hard night and was finally gone around 4.30am, when the sun started to rise already.

After a breakfast sandwich at their home, Adamee took me along to his office in town. He connected me to their high speed network and while I prepared for my writings, he would join me and tell me about Nunanet.

In the 1980’s Adamee started working for Bell Canada, a big communication company. With the knowledge of the job, he and some friends decided to start their own Inuit-owned ISP company in Iqaluit. “We are the ones that have been the most stable, since the dot-com bubble burst a few years ago. Others had to raise their fares or cut budgets by removing the help desks. Nunanet helps people to get online and then to keep them online in the future that comes.”

But Adamee is also a board member of First Air, the airline I flew to Kugluktuk with last week. Now how did you end up with First Air then?

“I have always had a fascination for planes. And with a job with Bell Canada I had to fly around the remote communities a lot. If you combine a passion for flying and communication…”

But then suddenly he would tell me that he started as a janitor at First Air, doing cleaning and maintenance. And from there he worked himself up, becoming an advisor to the director of the company.

Figuring out the entire plot, I had to mix the stories together and then understood that Adamee worked at the airport at a young age already, then also enrolled in Bell Canada, kept all contacts and now he runs an ISP and is a board member of First Air. But it took a while to catch that story.

And it was NOT First Air who sponsored me the flights to Kugluktuk and back to Yellowknife. The marketing department was apparently very much asleep and Adamee took care of the rest for me: he had simply given me some his board member tickets. “It was a good test to see how First Air is working at the moment. And it is just unwise to ignore a sponsor request which Jeff Philipp did, to help you out. That’s not how you run a company! And believe me, I will tell them all about that blunder!

I ended up working pretty late at his office and around dinner time, Eva took me along back to the house, where I was surprised to see even more visitors. There were family members and friends staying over tonight too. This was a full house. And they were all talking Inuktitut to each other, while watching “Abba: The Movie” on television.

When I heard something in English, I knew it was related to me. “You ain’t hungry?” an unknown lady shrieked at me. “Get some TV-dinner, it’s on the stove!” And I got this plastic plate with microwave heated food and joined them with the movie.

When I was just finished, Adamee came back from his carving shack. He saw all the people in the living room, talked a lot in Inuktitut and meanwhile I would just continue to watch the TV as that was the only thing I could understand (well, actually I will never understand much of the success of Abba anyway).

It ended up that everybody had concluded in a vigorous-sounding discussion that I would sleep at another place. “You are staying at the bed and breakfast of my neighbour Eric,” Adamee told me next. “Tonight you will have a real bed,” he joked.

So I got my stuff together and Adamee loaded up my stuff in his truck. Down the road and along the sea we ended up at this luxury bed and breakfast house called Accommodations by the Sea, where I met up with Eric who showed me around. “I won’t be here to make you breakfast tomorrow, but you can help yourself with anything in the cabinets and the fridge should be full.” I was very much delighted.

“I am paying for this,” Adamee told me. “But give the man a link on your website, he will like that. You know, I like to help people out this way.”

And then he continued talking about how big companies don’t help small companies anymore, about never biting the hand that feeds you, about his family and about the one-hundred variations the Inuit have for the word ‘snow’. Huh? However I followed the story, I found it hard to figure out where he was going.

I was left alone at the B&B and made myself very comfortable with coffee and orange fudge. In my bed room I had my laptop on my lap and tried to puzzle today’s pieces together. Outside the ice was making cracking sounds. Spring break is coming up!

Good night Iqaluit!

Ramon.