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Montgolfiere Weekly

An exploration of culture in its many forms

Summer up north

By Patricia Lightfoot

A series of tweets recently by an Iqaluit councillor about the pleasures of visiting the community of Pangnirtung, which is about an hour’s flight north of the territorial capital, followed by one expressing concern about getting his flight home made me think of a visit there that I made this summer.

The community of a little under 2000 inhabitants is located in the shadow of Mount Duval on a fiord that leads from Cumberland Sound to the Akshayuk Pass in Auyuittuq National Park. The setting is remarkably beautiful and prone to fog, so flights are regularly cancelled. Continue reading “Summer up north”

Waiting for the north wind

By Patricia Lightfoot

Every year in July through September, goods ranging from cars and trucks to construction materials are delivered to Nunavut communities by the sealift, that is, on massive ships. The reason for this is that none of the communities is connected by road, whether to another community or to the south.

This year, only a few items were unloaded before Iqaluit’s Koojesse inlet started to fill up with sea ice that had blown south, from Greenland according to some locals. Continue reading “Waiting for the north wind”

Impressions of Iqaluit

By Patricia Lightfoot

I thought about the Jerry Cans’ song “Northern Lights,” as I flew into Iqaluit in March, and the line “Don’t you never ever forget the ones who live there,” when “travelling among the Northern Lights.” I did not see the Northern Lights, even when locked out of the place where I was staying at 11:30 pm after “steak night” at the Legion, Continue reading “Impressions of Iqaluit”

Welcome to Montgolfiere Weekly!

This blog exists because I wanted to do a different kind of writing from the writing I do in my day job, and I even managed to persuade some of my friends to contribute their thoughts on culture in its many forms, from the visual arts, letters and music to human health, habits and customs, with occasional references to hot air ballooning. There is a whole world out there, and this is a small way of exploring it. Continue reading “Welcome”

Managing visitors and protecting rock art heritage: A sad story from Los Haitises, Dominican Republic

By Julie Harris

In his manual Managing Tourism at World Heritage Sites, Arthur Pedersen advises that “Directing governments, site managers and visitors towards sustainable tourism practices is the only way to ensure the safekeeping of our world’s natural and cultural heritage.” A visit in recent years to Los Haitises National Park in the Dominican Republic demonstrated how difficult it can be to develop, encourage and enforce sustainable tourism practices in many countries, especially when tourists just don’t care. Continue reading “Managing visitors and protecting rock art heritage: A sad story from Los Haitises, Dominican Republic”

Julie Harris

Historian, heritage consultant and heritage/architecture critic with a deep interest in the intersection between historic places and nature in Canada’s north.

Observing chimp behaviour in Gombe

By Michelle Munro

What to do with a weekend between Kigoma and Dar es Salaam?  I could join the other “week in the field” development hacks, take the Friday flight to Dar and enjoy vibrant markets, the Indian Ocean, a pedicure, and a hotel with a pool, gym, decent internet, consistent showers and exotic breakfast choices like real coffee, whole-wheat bread and yogurt. Or I could stay in Kigoma, capital of the region with the same name in western Tanzania, almost as far as you can get from Dar but only 2 hours from Gombe National Park, which, like Kigoma town, borders Lake Tanganyika. Continue reading “Observing chimp behaviour in Gombe”

Michelle Munro

World explorer for fun and for work, reader, cyclist, writer, but most often of reports and evaluations, still nursing when I can for the love of it.

The accidental development tourist

By Mark Fryars

OK, so you know what and where SNNPR is, right? No? Oh! Well, in short, it is a region in Ethiopia, a few hours’ drive south of the capital, Addis Ababa. It’s home to some 45 ethnic groups, and its 15 million people speak 12 different languages. Half the population are Protestants, one in five are Orthodox Christian and the remainder are Muslim, Catholic or other religions. So, pretty diverse.  Continue reading “The accidental development tourist”

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