In my other life, I’m also an outpost nurse. I guess it’s not really “other” as I have been blending health and photography through various projects for years. I work in remote Indigenous communities in an advanced practice position providing primary, public health, and emergency care. I feel extremely fortunate to have explored all over BC and in Nunavut through this work.
For nearly six years, Lach Klan (also known as Kitkatla, home to the Gitxaała Nation) has been a second home for me. It is the kindest, most generous and welcoming community I have ever worked in. I get homesick for the land and ocean that surrounds this beautiful and wild island between Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert. It feels like coming home to family every time I return.
A few months ago, after my regular five-week rotation, I drove from Prince Rupert to Terrace to attend an ACLS/PALS/BLS course. For the non-health care folks in the group, that is Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Basic Life Support – courses we have to recertify regularly to stay current and manage emergencies competently.
The drive along Highway 16 from Prince Rupert to Terrace is stunning. It’s 145 km of road tracing the banks of the Skeena River and sneaking through mountain valleys. I was in Terrace for only three days and each one was a 10-hour learning session except for one afternoon I wanted to take advantage of. I only know a handful of people in Terrace, most who were unavailable. So, after unsuccessfully trying to recruit someone from the table next to me at dinner (only because she had to work the following evening), I posted a model call on the local community Facebook page.
That is how I met Kendra.
I naturally gravitate towards strong and assertive women and was impressed at how fast Kendra responded to me and what a great communicator she was. We quickly established a wardrobe and set a plan to meet in the hotel lobby the following afternoon.
We drove to a few locations I had scouted years ago and got to know a bit about one another during the ride. Turns out she was also in healthcare, so we had lots to talk about – it also helped that Kendra was a natural model. Her 7-year-old daughter was right by my side taking photos and asking for pointers which I loved! In the end, it was a spontaneously fantastic afternoon that added a bit of beauty to the world.