Nepugilnguq unuk, agleghnalghii unuk,
agleghnalghii taghnughhaq nepugilnguq,
That makes as much sense to you all as Matt’s post made to me. 😀 Can you figure out what it is?
Is about how I feel right now. I’ve been traveling a fair bit lately, and I’m exhausted. The conference I am at right now in Shaktoolik was really eye-opening. It was about English Language Immersion and how to help English Language Learners become successful in school, giving us employable classroom strategies to aid in student success.
The real highlight, though, was in the cultural workshops we attended today. Native Eskimos talked about the rich cultural history in the BSSD and the impact education has had upon their culture. More than anything, these Professionals gave me back a bit of what I’ve been losing: Hope. Hope for my students, and for their futures. And an affirmation of why I am here: to help these students head in a direction that moves them forward. The one thing these Native professionals all had in common that struck me: their belief that they cannot go back. As much as they love their time-honored culture, as much of it they would like to preserve (and are preserving), they all recognize that they cannot go back to a hunting/gathering subsistence lifestyle; they MUST move forward. They must carve out their own place, a new role in a familiar land, among familiar faces, while retaining a heritage that is partially forgotten. An incredible and daunting task to be sure. And an incredibly daunting task for all teachers here who are trying to help them move forward.
And… I tried several native foods tonight at the wedding celebration here: some caribou, eskimo icecream, pickled mungtuk, salmonberry/rhubarb soup. I think that is all I tried. Enough strange things went into my stomach tonight. We’ll see how my stomach processes all that. 🙂
I need a hat. Not only do I need one, here’s the shocker:
I WILL WEAR ONE!
That’s where you all come in. If I am to wear a hat, it needs to be a fun hat. A funky hat. And a warm one. The wind here is strong. And I’ve found, for the first time in my life, a newfound appreciation for hats. So, send me the funnest, funkiest, warmest hat you can find…
And I will actually wear it…
Yesterday, just outside my home, I had the pleasure of viewing a whale cresting up out of the ocean. Just amazing. I did not have my camera with me, or even think about getting it, so no pics of it, unfortunately. But it was a pretty incredible sight.
I woke up to the sound of the ocean pounding on the shore. This morning is bright and sunny, without the fog that has obscured the view and the sun for the last week. The day is gorgeous, with enough wind to keep it cool. It’s 54° right now and absolutely beautiful. Can it stay like this all year?
This post is pretty much worthless without pictures, but the camera is at home. You can try: http://akweathercams.faa.gov/ and click on my island, then Savoonga.
We arrived in Savoonga on Sunday. After a rather questionable flight (it was extremely foggy in SVA) and the other airline had cancelled their flight to SVA, our airline decided to fly us out. That was an adventure. We descended from the fog, completely blind, to finally see that we were flying about 25 feet above the sea. We flew low for about a mile before landing on the runway, with a very short stop. So we unpacked our stuff, got our boxes, and settled in for the next day. We are pretty well unpacked, which is good since we are expecting all those tubs of food and other items (emptied the suitcases to accommodate more important things like cheese).
Tuesday, I flew out of SVA to UNK. Again, it was foggy. The flight was a charter and made a couple of passes before it landed. The amazing thing was that it was perfectly clear at Gambell, the other town on the island. We crested the bluff, and the fog was gone and there was Gambell. Incredible.
Anyway, it’s dinner time.
Is what we’ve spent the last 16 hours on. And with a much lighter purse, I ended up with this:
10 of those green totes and 3 of those flattened boxes contain my non-perishible provisions for the next few months. I’m good at packing – the totes (boxes) can weigh no more than 70 lbs. My heaviest one: 69lbs, 12oz! Good thing I ate one of those Nutrigrain bars. 😉 My daddy would be proud of those packing skills!