Monday, July 17, 2006

Aappilattoq, Greenland III

Sitting under another twilight sky, trying to warm my fingers and toes, after another long, chilling open boat ride. I eat another suspect meal of dehydrated something or other. I try to think of superlatives to describe the day.

Mostly though, I think I ate too much salami.

Thick morning fog saves me from getting up in time for the 4:00 a.m. daybreak. I roll out of my bag around eight, go through the morning rituals of coffee and oatmeal, then decide to go take some pictures of the village. It's only a short walk over the rounded granite headwall from my camp. Aagpilagtoq is only just coming to life. The only thing moving is an industrial front end loader,, slowing stopping in front of each house. I think it's garbage, but there's an unsettling liquid motion to it. Then I remember, no indoor plumbing.

The loader is already perilously overloaded when it passes me, and with each bump a poorly tied bag oozes a noxious brown fluid. I'm trying to photograph wildflowers and the mist clearing above surrounding towering peaks, but the smell is gagging. If ever I think my job sucks, I will always remember the man with the thick rubber gloves.

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