Tuesday, October 27, 2009

No News is Good News, Mostly

So here I have been quiet on the blog for too long again. Sometimes it can be hard to find the time and ambition to get around to putting a post on here. The next thing you know a few weeks trickled through our fingers and I've been riding around in more airplanes. Generally speaking though, the better life is, the less frequently I find myself blogging. (Better to be living than talking about living, wouldn't you say?)

Kwigillingok is but a memory and life goes on. It was an interesting departure there back on the 16th. The plane showed up about 1/2 hour earlier than what would seem possible. Consider that it is about a 1 hour flight. Now consider that I called the airline to check on the flight, and they said they would send the plane right away. I set out in search of a man with a 4 wheeler and trailer who could help me with all the gear, and found him. The next thing you know, somebody finds us and says my plane will be here in 7 minutes. Better early than hours late. I had to high speed gimp around loading and moving all the heavy stuff, but got it done and airborne.

You heard me right, gimp around. Let's have that bad news now, shall we?

My knees are going bad on me. I played ball with some students one night and the next day my knee was stiff, sore, swollen, and noisy in motion. I went to the doctor and after a checking over, they gave me some motrin and some steroids. The 'roids seemed to help for a few days, cutting down on the inflamation and what not. We shall see how things progress. I probably only had 5 or 6 seasons left in the NBA anyways, before I would have had to go play in Europe.

As long as we're taking a quick ride in the waambulance I'll give you my other piece of bad news. I may have wrecked my computer in what will forever be known as the 2009 Kwig Tea Debacle.

So, my body is getting old and I'm no good at liquids, basically is the gist of it. But I've got lots of good news to offset it.


I had a great week in Bethel. I got to see some football on the TV. I was a judge for LKSD's junior high speech competition, which was tons of fun. I had a good productive week in town, made some good professional in-roads, and feel pleased with the way things went. Aside from that little computer thing of course.

I had some wonderful friends come and visit this past weekend. We went to a really neat fundraiser called Just Desserts, where nothing but dessert was served, and enjoyed the musical and dancing variety show that went along with it. We have some really talented people in and around Bethel. Add to that fun, even more fun gatherings, fellowship with friends new and old, and, well...I guess what I'm blathering about is that it was a great weekend that ended way too soon for me.

Monday I flew to where I am now: Kasigluk-Akula. Kasigluk is a village aquatically divided into two parts, each with their own school. I am teaching at Akula, home of the Tundra Foxes. The other side, Akiuk, will be pretty hard to get to until there is enough ice, unless the bit that there is melts away for a little while.

So far it seems fine here. It is early, but my morning classes went well.

Oh, and yesterday before leaving Bethel I bought this:

So, bring on the winter. Life is good.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Martha Stewart Was Here

More on that title in a bit.

The week has been somewhat long and decent overall. I mean, it is long, and there isn't much opportunity for leisure or fun activities. We didn't make it out bird hunting last weekend afterall. There was a conflict of obligations for the people, and Sundays are out. Hunting is illegal on Sundays here. But I do have really nice students, and that makes work not seem so worky sometimes. One more week down, one more to go here, and then it's onward and forward.

I just got back in from my walk to Store. Despite high winds it was a nice little stroll. Last post I mentioned how I get to craving salad and the like when in villages. The other thing I really crave is eggs. So when I found a cooler full of eggs at Store you could have knocked me over with a dried salmon. Eggs over hard, fried hard for Sunday breakfast in the bush tomorrow. Or maybe huevos rancheros. We'll see.

I'm making good on the photos I said I'd post. Do you care about the photos? Here are a few I snapped here in Kwigillingok over the past few days. Nothing too special but I kind of liked them, so why not make them viewable to people all over the universe I figured.

Teacher housing is what's at the end of the rainbow. It depends on perspective though. A few weeks ago I saw a rainbow circle from up in the plane. It's been a rainbowy fall.

The arctic pipe heads off into the sunset.

The game goes on as kids play basketball past dark.

Now for the Martha Stewart thing. When I'm traveling I try to not rely too much on canned foods, but it's pretty unavoidable. Ya know how soup cans love to put recipes on the side of themselves, giving you new innovative ways to use their contents. Usually it's a passable sacrifice on something you could make better yourself, but good to keep in mind for when you're in a pinch. Well I noticed one this week that is just absolutely brilliant. This recipe is for the Ultimate Roast Beef Sandwich, and it appears on the side of a can of some kind of meat/gravy/potato/carrot product made by a company whose name rhymes with minty door. The recipe has an ingredients list and a step by step process, of how to open up the can and spoon this crap onto a hotdog bun. It comes with a finished photo so you know what it looks like. Somebody better call Arby's and tell them to watch out.
Next week, Oscar Mayer's recipe for the ultimate stew. Ahh, who can wait that long. What you do is, you throw two hotdogs in a bowl with two biscuits and eat it with a fork.

Bon Apetit.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

How About a Nice Hot Cup of Kwigillingok?


First off, sorry for the delayed post. It's been over a month, I know. Life has been busy, and there have been a couple of technical issues on top of it. If you've checked in you may have noticed some unintelligible notice saying this blog has been flagged for some type of objectionable content, waa waa. The first time I thought maybe Blogger had discovered that fish video I posted from Copper Center. Alas, it's just a problem with the site itself. In any case I couldn't log in until one of my computer geek friends taught me about another secret entrance. And then I had to remember to use it...

The other issue is that I don't have internet at the NEW PLACE IN BETHEL. That's right. We moved into a new place, one big enough for the three of us. The mark I leave there is: a stack of rubbermaid bins in a closet, a red truck out front which moves around for the week I am in town, and...I don't know I guess that's probably it. But still it feels like a home when I'm there.

I returned from Goodnews on the 18th of September with a bittersweet taste in my mouth. It was nice to be back and see my friends again. At the same time, I was missing the people, the river, the coast and the mountains out in GNU. Hopefully I will make it back sometime in the not too distant future. In retrospect though it was probably good to give my arm a break from reeling in all those salmon. I was beginning to consider switching my reel to a lefty just to even out the burden.

In Bethel I had quite a busy week at work topped with an inservice on Saturday. I consumed many fresh salads and vegetables I had been craving when away in the village. After 3 or 4 weeks in the bush, few things are as mouthwatering a thought as a spinach salad. It's true.

This past Monday I flew through the fog and mist and landed in the village of Kwigillingok (KWK), Kwig for short. Home of the Eagles, by the way. Actual pronunciation is more like gwee-hee-yeeng-hawk. But that's not really right either. I'm told that in Yup'ik it means "place with no rivers." One of my community member students in Drivers Ed is going to tell me the story behind the name sometime, as she noticed the look on my face when she told me the meaning. (right now I can see the river out the window, and there is a barge in it being unloaded with a crane, so the look on my face was one of puzzlement I'm sure)

Things here are going fine. I work an odd schedule. The students are pretty nice. The little kids all know me, and for some reason they often would ask me for pepsi which I couldn't figure out until just yesterday. My coffee cup has a pepsi logo on it, so naturally I would therefore have pepsi in my backpack. That is the rationale of a first grader... Myself and a couple of my welding students are planning on going bird hunting this evening.

Other than that, it's been rainy, autumn has come, the tundra is browning, we've had some frosts, the bugs are dead, the Brewers are 78-82 with two to go. Send in the clowns.

I'll try to pull out my camera and push some buttons before the next post.

Enjoy Monday Night Football this week. It should be memorable.