Sometimes, a blogger needs to keep a world atlas nearby. In December 2012 my blog had its first visits from the countries of Greenland and the British Virgin Islands. January brought visitors from the Aland Islands (an autonomous and demilitarized region of Finland that is a Swedish-speaking set of nearly three-hundred islands), Papua New Guinea (the island of New Guinea, north of Australia) and the Central African nation of Burkina Faso.
Every state and territory of the USA has sent readers this way. As of January 30, 2013 all provinces and territories of Canada had also visited, with one exception—Nunavut (more on that later in this post).
Have you ever looked at the flag chart in my right-hand sidebar? If you use a blog reading service, you are missing it. More than just a pretty thing, it is a link to info about all countries in the world. Every day it logs unique visitors—which really means a reader from a new IP address has connected to view a post. I know that those ‘unique visitor’ numbers may be exaggerated, for instance if people read pages on their computer and their phone, or at work and at home. Or if you travel a lot with your laptop! If you come back for another visit from the same IP address, you are not counted again.But the thought that over 75,000 people in the United States have dropped by at least one time, is pretty humbling. And seeing visitors pop in from China, Turkey, Chile, Azerbaijan, Tanzania, or any other country always makes me wonder about their lives, how they use fabrics, if they quilt, and what lovely things they create.
Indeed, when I started blogging I watched my stats regularly, and with amazement. It took a mere three months to have visitors from all 50 stated in the US, from most parts of the UK, Australia, and eight European countries. Shortly after that I started to see India, parts of SE Asia, and Central America. When the first hits came in from Iraq and Afghanistan, I suspected they came from military people stationed there, but I might be wrong.Some places make sense. The first views from The Netherlands came fast, but then I have family there. The fact that now 663 unique visitors from there have found my blog is a huge surprise however. As to how the 750+ Brazilians, or 200 viewers from South Korea, came to find my Mug Rug Tutorials and other musings, well, I marvel at that. Now the incredibly rugged and seemingly remote country of Greenland has sent a visitor my way, and I welcome them. Contrast that with The British Virgin Islands, where another reader came from in the same week. Glad to have you drop by! If you read my blog, apparently you share interests with people from many other parts of the world. The only continent that has not had a reader drop yet by is Antarctica, which is hardly a surprise. Not that they couldn’t use warm, cozy quilts there. Back to Nunavut. I am fond of the place, although I have never been there. Living in Minnesota, Hudson Bay and the Arctic Circle are fairly close, as the crow flies. It is over 1,200 miles from my home to the Atlantic Ocean, but a mere 870 miles to Hudson Bay’s southern shore in Ontario. Freeways however, are not an option for getting there like they are to the East Coast. Hudson Bay is bordered by four Canadian Provinces or Territories (Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and Nunavut—two of those also share borders with Minnesota). When I was a kid in school Nunavut did not have its own identity yet, being part of the Northwest Territories.
For years I have longed to visit the islands and waterways of the region, preferably in summer. I avidly watch every Nature and Nova show that visits there. I drool over National Geographic shots. I am fascinated by the traditions of the Inuit. Polar bears are one of the wonders of the world in my mind, but so are the birds and other creatures who live in the beautiful but cold area. I have seen the fjords of Norway, the canals of Holland, and the beaches of Mexico. Is it so odd to also want to see the land and water of the arctic?
When I was doing some research on the trading of fabric and fur in the early Colonial days, I stumbled upon the Nunavut Arctic College website. I read many pages that included historic tales of Inuit canoe and igloo building, as well as stories of English missionaries who stayed and raised families. There I found links to hunting and fishing histories of the area, and was mesmerized by the Inuit Culture Classes that they offer. From language, lifestyle, and food, to art, music, and story-telling, this college is working to preserve the treasures of the Inuit past. The program includes classes on ecology and archaeology, but I was stunned to see over a dozen classes on traditional Inuit sewing arts. These included sewing with hides and decorative quilling (not quilting) and embroidery—vital sewing skills for living outdoors in the Arctic, now taught in a modern college setting. They also offer a program in designing and producing modern fur clothing, and another in goldsmithing and making jewelry.
Surprisingly, as I was thinking about sharing this little world tour with all of you, someone from Nunavut visited my blog. On January 31st, a visitor from the last Canadian territory holding out stopped by to say a silent hello and be counted!
Now I am wondering what the IP address is for the International Space Station. I don’t suppose it has a flag of its own to show on the chart, but a blogger can dream . . .
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