Freezing rain on a dismal November morning. Ken takes to the streets on his teles. A rather anticlimactic video, but it allows you to admire our neighborhood.
After two and half months in Aghanistan, I'm back in Nuuk and enjoying the simple pleasures of being here. Brewing my own coffee in the morning... baking a fresh batch of blueberry muffins... doing yoga with a view of the ocean instead of the inside of a container wall... all of these are things I now relish with renewed appreciation. The best part of being back, of course, is Ken; but I knew that would be great. The small things--the incredible quality of Danish toilet paper, the saltiness of the bacon, the total lack of gunfire at night--are what keep on surprising me.
The weather in Nuuk is already cold and snowy, and it's been nice to cuddle back up into sweaters, down coats, scarves, and toques. But before I go on about Greenland, I want to post a few pictures of my travels in and out of Kabul. During my time in Afghanistan I had the chance to travel to Bamyan, an ancient Buddhist center in the central highlands of the country, and also Mazar-i-Sharif, a northern town in Balkh Province. Due to security incidents that restricted my travel, I wasn't able to visit all the places I had hoped to, so I plan to return to Afghanistan for two short trips before and after Christmas to complete my project.
I didn't take many pictures, but hopefully these give you a taste of the country.
Next up, some pictures of a near-wintry Nuuk. Yesterday I noticed with near hysterical excitement that the barnevogns around town are now outfitted in serious sub zero parkas-- these babies are getting ready to hunker down for the winter! I will be watching them weather the storm every step (or outdoor nap, as it were) of the way.
As I type, a blowing mix of snow/rain is beating at the window and the wind is gusting around 30 miles per hour. A good day to hole up inside and enjoy our recently-arrived shipment, which includes a large stash of Kraft macaroni and cheese, my piano, and more movies and books than one could ever need.
With Anna away I've been staying busy with field work in Kobbefjord, but I did manage a day hike to the top of Sermitsiaq yesterday. Sermitsiaq is the iconic peak (also its own island) near Nuuk with a craggy 1200 meter summit visible from most places in town. It's also the name of the local newspaper, and many other community themed events. We had superb weather, especially considering Nuuk was shrouded in fog most of the day. Here are some photos from the hike:
Nuuk definitely has its share of gloomy weather... and I say this after being here for two weeks of spring, revered as the best season in Greenland. Still, even on the greyest of days, you can find out-of-this-world blue ice to appreciate, or a splash of bright orange lichen, if you wander down toward the shore. It's not much for excitement, but it is beautiful, and I'll take what I can get.
Today was no exception to the rule of depressing weather the gods seem to have imposed on Nuuk-- heavy grey skies with sporadic bouts of snow/icy rain, maybe a few degrees above freezing. After attempting to go to a yoga class (yes--there is yoga here!) and being denied entrance for being 30 seconds late (really), I walked down toward the hospital and spotted an iceberg that quickly became the object of my affection.
Wondering how icebergs can be so blue? This guy certainly seems to have it figured out. I'll stick with the fact that here, they mostly come from chunks of calved glacier ice, which is often blue due to various principles you probably learned about in high school physics. If you need a more exhaustive scientific explanation, follow the link.
More pics below, taken with an iPhone 4 giving its very best effort!