Today we visited a Apappilattoq, an Inuit settlement nestled at the base of a soaring mountain fjord.
Our first glimpse into the lives of the people in Apappilattoq was in the Church, listening to a choir of ten voices, singing acapella, in Greenlandic. Here are the gentle words delivered by a slightly older man before their last song.
"We wish for peace in our world and hope you do too. You will recognize the song, although we sing it differently. We sing this song slowly, because this song comes from our hearts."
There were no dry eyes, as we listened and felt the hope of beautiful voices, in a land far, far away, singing Amazing Grace.
We wandered through the village of red, blue, yellow and green homes, the church, school, small grocer and a children's playpark. The playpark came with a mountain, water AND iceberg view.
Accompanied by a young interpreter from a nearby village, we had extended time speaking with Timu. He explained the economy of the village is supported mainly by fishing and that fishing and hunting support the food security of the village. Everyone in the village shares the food. Hunting is strictly controlled, and four polar bear in a year may be hunted. Nothing is wasted, and as well as providing food, polar bear hides have many uses within their homes.
There are six students at school, and as the children grow older, they continue their education away from the village in a larger community.
The afternoon continued when locals of all ages, ship guests and Quark Expeditions crew donned red and blue jerseys. Apappilattoq residents and fellow travellers were treated to a rousing soccer match, played with enthusiasm and sportsmanship. Officially the Reds won, although I believe everyone that played and witnessed the game won. Everyone was smiling!
We were invited to the school and community center to chat with the locals, sample baking, as well as an opportunity to purchase traditional crafts, and to attend a concert.
What fabulous fun we had! The concert was Apappilattoq's local rock band, with a drummer, keyboard player, bass guitar, and two additional guitar players. The locals and visitors rocked, swayed arm-in-arm, clapped, and like every great rock concert the audience showed appreciation using cell phone flashlights.
The music was great!
Our hearts were full, as we said goodbye and thanked the gracious hosts of Apappilattoq. This was not a contrived display of people - it was a sincere welcome to be part of a community for a short time.
Greenland is the planets least densely populated country and the world’s largest island. It’s not likely that you bump into a Greenlander, so to meet the soft spoken, peaceful people that live from the sea and land, in this tucked-away village, deep in a fjord of south Greenland, I hold a place of honor and privilege in my heart.
Yours in Travel
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