an amateur attempt at the blog phenomenon and a way to give people an idea of life in whitehorse, yukon, sarah and jole style...

Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Yes, you heard me correctly, I have Yukonitis. What the heck is that, you might ask? Well....

It all started back in Vancouver during Christmas vacation. I had a sore throat and generally felt under the weather. We arrived back in Whitehorse and a week later I had a bad headcold. It eventually went to my chest and I experienced discomfort breathing and a lot of yummy surprises in my mouth when I coughed. Many people were scaring me, making me think I had pneumonia or something worse. Apparently, colds can turn to pneumonia very quickly up here.

It took me 3 days to see a doctor...the health system is pathetic up here, as I learned from the earlier Scarlet Fever experience. I am relieved to learn that I do not have pneumonia. However, I do have a bad case of Yukonitis. This is the condition that new Yukoners, or Cheechakos like Joel and I, experience when they are suffering from their first winter cold. Apparently our bodies take a while to adjust to the differing climate here and this can cause discomfort in our lungs when we have bad colds. Is there a cure you may wonder? Thank goodness, all I have to do is buy a humidifier and rest up. Or, move back to Vancouver and worship the rain.
I think I'll stick it out.

Other than this mild case of Yukonitis, I'm doing very well. The days are growing noticeably longer; it's light when we are driving home around 5pm. The mornings, however, are still very dark and this is taking a toll on people, combined with the cold spells we had recently. I, on the other hand, am as chipper as ever. Teaching and tutoring are keeping me busy and I 've come to the realization that I don't like working full-time... I know, poor baby! I haven't had my head cut off by any students and I haven't harmed any myself. I keep getting called back by the schools so I have to say that my teaching career is booming!

School life sure is different up here....
Just before the first recess, I am lucky to witness the sunrise.
Before the students are allowed to go out and play, all the sliding runs are checked and repaired and the the runs that are open are announced each day. I look out the window during a lesson and see a class on cross-country skiis learning how to kick and glide on the groomed soccer field.
A student suffered minor frostbite on his leg from walking from the school to the bus stop.
I have to end class early to allow time for the little ones to get all dressed up to go out. By the time they are bundled up like "Randy" from "A Christmas Story", the bells rings to return to class.
They have a whole week of Career and Personal Planning on safety in the dark. Why? It's dark to and from school for a little part of winter.
Students cross their fingers for a "Red Day"; it is an indoor recess if the temperature is -25 celcius or colder. However, at some schools, they are allowed outside for 15 minutes at lunch recess if the temperature is from -25 to -35 celcius. School is not cancelled, even when it is -47 celcius. And, to think, we used to have indoor recess for a little rain!
Two of my grade 1 students came in from recess learning a valuable lesson. They had done the unthinkable.....yes, you're right, they stuck their tongues to a fence pole and spent the rest of the day with bloody, kleenex-wrapped tongues hanging out of their mouth with tears and drool running down their faces. When asked if anyone told them to do it, they said no and shed many tears.

The past couple of months have been a real learning experience for me in terms of a true winter lifestyle. I am enjoying it immensely and I am looking forward to Rendezvous. Yukonitis won't stand in my way of celebrating our territorial holiday!

Hope you are all well....stay tuned for new pictures on our photo website. Sarah

PS- If you think Joel's beard is good, you should see my legs....I think I'm winning!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

I have no doubt that your legs are giving Joel's beard some heavy competition!

Talk to you soon. Love A.

1:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah...sorry to hear about your Yukonitis...and I'm glad to hear you are as chipper as ever (not that I've ever seen you chipper though).

Oh...about those legs...eewwwwww.


9:07 PM

Blogger Neller said...

Wow - cheap shots from your siblings Sarah!

I have no doubt that you are experiencing some climate adaptation. Sounds perfectly legitimate to me. Every time I go to Vancouver I come home sick. So I suspect it goes both ways. I was sick for 4 months when I moved to Ottawa. The valley traps all the crap in the air and the humidity killed me fo the first year.

Glad to hear that you are taking it in stride. Good for you.

Also, yes, working full time anywhere does suck. If only we could all be come socialites like Paris Hilton, we'd be happy and have our own reality shows too. But I guess then everyone would hate us - then again, who cares if we are rich and they aren't

Take care kids,

5:36 AM


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