Saturday, April 19, 2014

Back in Fort Albany, Ontario again. This time for the funeral of an old friend who was also the mother of my partner's son in law.
Fort Albany is a small community on James Bay in Northeastern Ontario; about 90 miles north of Moosonee.
Getting here is a short plane ride; less than half an hour. The cost is $540 return per person. It sounds reasonable to me but is probably outrageous to people who are used to traveling long distances for that kind of fare. We came on a small plane where one side was taken up by mail and cargo; the other by passengers.
I first came to Fort Albany more than three decades ago. In those days we flew on much slower flying DC-3s most of the time. A lot of things have changed; a lot of things have stayed the same.
One big difference today is that there is a functioning water distribution system. Often, you can drink water right out of the tap. To me that seems amazing. Unfortunately right now the water is a bit murky.
There are a lot of new buildings here. A lot of old ones are gone, for example the old residential school which lingered on as a day school, police station and band office for years after it was closed down. There is a good picture of St. Anne's, unfortunately mislabeled as Fort Albany Regional Hospital.
On my first morning here I went for a walk. Beautiful day for it; the ground and snow still mostly frozen but warm enough that I could have gotten away with wearing a medium weight jacket. After about an hour and a half I realized I was in danger of getting a very bad sunburn.
I posted a few shots from my walk.
One thing that is amazing is the availability of internet here. Naturally the place I am staying (Loone's Lodge) has it but everywhere I went people are online, tablets and laptops running. Cell phones don't work here; maybe some day.