A visit to an Inuit family at Greenland

Rodebay is only about an hour’s ride by boat from Ilulissat, Greenland. It is a settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality, in western Greenland and has only 29 inhabitants in 2020.

We had a lunch with Bertheline, a gracious lady at 77 years old, at her home in Rodebay, She is an Inuit and her family has been staying in Greenland for many generations. The Greenlandic Inuit are descendants of Thule migrations from Canada by 1100 AD. Inuits are used to be called Eskimos but today this term is considered as derogatory

This Settlement was set up in the 18th century by Dutch Whalers. Today, remnants of this history still lives on. She was living alone in this village of 29 residents. There is no fresh water supply on this island and residents depend on icebergs and snow for drinking water.

The main economic activity here is fishing. There was a population decline after the fish processing plant of Royal Greenland was closed in 2000. It dwindled from a peak of 70 residents to 29 now. Her home is a simple two storey house with two bedrooms on the first floor, the kitchen, living and dining on the ground floor. This Settlement is very pretty with quaint houses, a post office, hotel, and meat processing place for whales.The view is truly awesome.

There used to be a cafe but unfortunately, the owner died in a boat accident and the place has been abandoned.

The quaint houses at Rodebay
There was very little vegetation on Rodebay. Most of the overburden could have been eroded by wind and snow.
There are only 29 people living at Rodebay
The houses were brightly coloured.
Lunch was a simple cod fish with potatoes cooked in the native style. The fish was very fresh. Note that that jug of water was perhaps 5-600 years old and was free of the modern day pollutants.
A simple living room decorated with her crochet works on display.
The dining area has a small display cabinet like many western homes
A view from the window with an iceberg in view
A view from the window
Her prized possession, photos of her children in crochet frames
Bertheline and her children. Her children have since moved to bigger towns in Greenland in search of a brighter future.
Her only connection to the outside world is a 2G Nokia phone.
Bertheline, an Inuit who has called Rodebay home.
She looked pretty good at 77 years old.
Emilie dressed in traditional Inuit costume lives here in Rodebay
Rodebay is rather rocky. Most of the overburden could have been eroded by the wind and melting snow. The sun hovers around the horizon in summer.

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