Thursday, 9 June 2011

Fort Smith

Having spent two nights at our new home-for-now in Yellowknife, we were on the road again.  This time, Maw-full had learned that she had the opportunity to spend five days with two midwives who have a unique and exemplary practice in Fort Smith, NWT.  Fort Smith is a town of about 2500 people.  It sits very close to the border with Alberta in the South Slave River area of NWT.  There, and in only six years since regulation, these two midwives have gone from offering their services for free to women who were interested, and practicing outside of the law, to doing almost 100% of the maternity care in Fort Smith, in a hospital, fully integrated in the health care system.  It was a great opportunity to look at a model of practice that is very different from the one in Ontario.  Luckily, the rest of the Awefull family were game for another 10 hour drive...

There we were put up in student family housing for the local college, and found ourselves surrounded by the students and their kids (most of whom were gearing up to leave for the summer).  Lawful quickly met some friends and - more importantly - borrowed a scooter and could occupy herself for hours outdoors without much supervision.

During the day while Maw-full was at the clinic the rest of the Awefull clan occupied themselves exploring Fort Smith...

...the Bookstore:
North of 60 Books
 ...the local architecture:

 ...the public art:
...the Slave River:
Lawful Spying the 'Rapids of the Drowned'
  ...the swimming hole:
...and so on. We walked each day through the school yard to the centre of town, picked up our groceries for the day at Kaeser's, perhaps grabbed a mandarin orange-apple slushy and a coffee from the flower store, and sat out on the front lawn of the book store or the library before heading back to our Fort Smith home-for-now to read and play and nap and prepare dinner for Maw-full's return home.

We all had the chance to share a lovely meal of Buffalo Stew and salad with Gisela, one of the town's midwives, and her partner, John, in their beautiful log home (where, incidentally, Lawfull sat in a three hundred year old carved wooden chair!!).

Maw-full and Gisela
After a week we hit the road again headed back to Yellowknife, first stopping off at the line of stuffed toys lined up like a strange audience along the side of the highway.

...but that's another post.

So, add to our tally 1557.2 km travelled and $135.01 in gas.

Next up: Waffle and Felafel turn One on the Road!!