January 1st is the beginning of the polar bear hunting-season.
January 2nd Ingkasi left to hunt polar bears and to shoot seals at the ice edge together with some of the other hunters. I had a hard time seeing him drive away with his dogs, not being able to join him. But I had jobs to do in town.
It wasnt´t just me who was left behind. My lead-dog, a bitch called ”Min Veninde”, has a puppy, just a few weeks old. On january 2nd ”Min Veninde” forgot all about her little pup. What she really wanted was to be on the first hunting trip of the year. So she followed Ingkasis sledge and left her puppy behind.
“Min Veninde” was away for 6 days. At first I still hoped she would return. Then I bought a bottle, normally used for babies, and began to feed the puppy with ordinary milk. He had been born and brought up outdoors so far, although it was quite cold in december. But now, with his mother gone, I brought him inside the house.
He was named ”Bamse” by Mia, who came to visit and enjoyed to feed him and care for him.
Days went by.
January 6th is the last holiday of Christmas time, and also ”the sports day of the year” in Greenland, where the best sportsmen and sportswomen in every town get diplomas and prizes. That was taking place at the sports hall, with some members of the choir singing a few songs as well.
Finally Ingkasi and ”Min Veninde” returned. They brought with them no polar bear, but 2 seals. After a night at the kitchen floor those were ready to be slaughtered the next day, and the fresh and tasty meat was shared with family, friends and dogs.
This was a whole new experience for ”Bamse”. He was fascinated by the smell of fresh seal meat and blubber – as if he already knew it might become his favourite food when his mothers milk no longer is enough …
The next day, Ingkasi went of hunting again. Right now, he is staying at the cabin at Kap Brewster, hunting seals and looking for polar bears. This time, I made sure ”Min Veninde” wasn´t able to follow him…
Kap Brewster is a fascinating place – this picture of the cabins (just one of them is still in use) was taken on one of our trips in 2010 …
It reminds me of the good news that we´ll see the sun again later this week!
Left behind once more, I have started to train some of my dogs (and myself) on short rides close to Ittoqqortoormiit.
Happy New Year!