The class this field trip was intended for was an Applied Anthropology class. Because of that, I wanted to express some ideas regarding the role of anthropology in Greenland. After two weeks (okay, three with delays), I saw so much potential for my discipline. While arctic research seems to be dominated by the natural sciences, there is incredible potential for more social scientists.
Alice successfully landed on Scottish soil last night and I on American. I am not quite home yet, but almost. This must be the longest, most complicated return itinerary I've ever had...but its close to being complete!
With blue skies and calm winds, we successfully made it out of Greenland and landed in Reykjavik, Iceland around 8pm local time. I am geographically further, yet mentally (and logistically) closer to home.
I had a chance to sit down with these guys last week. I thought they would bring a young perspective to my 'Meeting the People of Greenland' posts. I've included a short video so you all can meet Mike, Pauia, and Hans-lars as well.
I am not someone who likes last minute changes to the plans. I like to know ahead of time where I need to be and when. International travel often demands I surrender my love of clear, consistent schedules. Above all else, international travel begrudgingly forces me to learn to go with the flow.
A steep trek uphill past a collection of colorful apartment buildings brings you to a small, nondescript red building. Little signage tells you what happens behind the white door that leads you into Kalaallisuuliornermik Ilinniarfik, the only school for traditional sewing in the Inuit world.
While Hans has been working in Greenland for five years, Alice and I are new here. Even more, this is my first time working in any Arctic context. As such, the learning curve is steep. Over the course of two weeks, I have been surrounded by incredible science and research, of which I am only in my infancy of understanding. Between the events of Greenland Science Week and talking to Greenlanders involved in many areas of science history, and culture, I am discovering there is so much to learn.
While in Greenland, we've had the chance to meet a number of Greenlanders working in different jobs. You've already met an artist, but I have more people to introduce to you.
This week, as we juggle other events associated with Greenland Science Week, Alice, Hans, and I have been trying to pull together some sort of summary of last week's work. We are also thinking ahead, armed with new knowledge on culture and community heritage, to dream about what comes next.
Today was a travel day. We packed up in Sisimiut, said goodbye and headed south. It took two flights, with a stop in the town of Kangerlussuaq, but we made it back to Nuuk with a blue sky and smooth winds.
I am an anthropology professor, writer, researcher and global traveler. This fall, I will be recording a research trip to Greenland as a virtual field trip for my students (and anyone else interested). Join us as we travel to the Arctic and learn about life in the far north.