Already one week of this next stop is over and done with. Today I sit in the village of Toksook Bay (OOK if by air), in Nelson Island School, home of the Islanders. I give it a big "so far, so good."
The students are pretty motivated, interested, bright, friendly and fun. I have 5 groups, and time flies by with each class. So far my main worry is whether or not I can cover all of the content that I would like to. It's going to be tough.
This place has the most topography and beauty of any of the villages I have seen thus far. There is a range of very large hills (volcanoes) and of course the ocean is very close by. The school itself has an interesting layout, and some traditional crafts and artwork displayed inside, which gives it some character.
There are actually living quarters at this school, put here for itinerant teachers such as myself. But, they are in the midst of a few projects here involving generators, plumbing and electrical systems which means they have several workers from out-of-town here in the village. Interestingly enough, I got to talking with one of the workers here, and it turns out he's from Wascott, WI of all places. I drove right past his house many times on the way to one of my favorite fishing holes when I was living in Gordon. The Improbability Generator says it's a small world afterall.
So, the living spaces here in the school are all occupied. I was offered my choice of classrooms to sleep in at night, which is every bit as appealing as it sounds. Fortunately, I met a fellow here named Dirk Martin, who is a good friend of my good friend Erin. Dirk very graciously offered to have me over to crash in his living room, which beats the heck out of sleeping in a classroom any way you look at it. I'm having a good time staying with somebody of a similar age group and agreeable mindset. Thursday night we feasted on halibut, which I think I could happily eat every day if I had to.
Yesterday I was supposed to fly in to Bethel for inservice. "Weather permitting" is something that I guess you are required to say at the end of discussing travel plans. It's like saying "Amen" after a prayer. Or "suck" after "the new york yankees." The point being, I didn't get in to Bethel due to fog. I participated in our inservice via a polycom thing, which we use for distance delivery of classes from Bethel to villages. Basically, I sat in the school with a TV connected via internet with a little camera on me, and tried to approximate the experience of an inservice. Halfway through, the internet connection was lost. By the time it came back on, I had no frame of reference for what was going on. I could have buzzed in and asked what they were doing. But when you tune back into an activity and find that everybody is cutting out little pictures of women in dresses, sometimes it's best to not ask.
Tonight hopefully Dirk and I are going to get up on the hills, and I'll hopefully get some photos of the natural beauty here to share with you all. Weather permitting. I'm going to get out of the school now and enjoy the rest of the day. Moreso than one of the workers, who is yelling and cussing up a blue streak in here. Do you think it's the one from Douglas County, WI?
Another Contract, Another Year!
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