Sunday, September 8, 2013

... Moose Blood on my Green Wool Socks

Let me start by telling you about yesterday, which was the best day ever, and then I'll get around to filling ya'll in on everything else... 

'twas a beautiful day in Pilot Station

Yesterday at about 11:00 our friends and fellow teachers, the Ponces, came to our door and said that they had some moose to cut up, and they wanted our help. We showed up at their house a bit later, excited but not knowing what to expect... after all, how could one simply expect to see the 2 front legs of a moose just sitting on the dining room table? Well, that's what we saw. Talk about awesome, and talk about glad-I'm-no-longer-a-vegetarian.

We were welcomed into their house, handed a knife, and told to go ahead and start cutting... Boy am I lucky I was raised watching my dad cut up multiple animals every year. They were impressed that I knew exactly what I was doing. (Thanks dad!) We got the legs skinned, and the proceeded to feel around and cut out some steaks. I was impressed by how much meat came off the front legs of what was apparently a relatively small moose. I was also impressed by the size of his cloven hooves. After we got off all the steaks, we got about another 5 pounds of meat off and ground it up for burgers, and at the end of the day we walked home with about 6 ziplock bags for us, and 6 for our neighbors Sara and Anthony who also joined us in the moose butchering, as well as enough meat for the Ponce family.

(Sorry, I don't have pictures of that yet, I was too excited to remember to bring a camera of any sort...)

Where did these legs come from you ask? It is traditional that the first kill someone makes is entirely gifted to members of the community, especially elders. The boy that killed this moose is one of about 6 boys in his family, so if they were to all kill a moose this season, one might say that's enough moose to feed a village. And it is, so that's how the Ponce's got the legs. The boy had gifted it to them (by showing up at their house with a moose leg over his shoulder, and handing his prize to them, and then coming back with the other leg a bit later).

Once we finished divying up the meat, we all sat around and talked for a while, and then our Principal walks into the house and yells "Hey Mac, wanna go fishin'?!" ... So Max and I run over to his side of the duplex, and Basil is there, saying that we're leaving to go fishing on the Andreafski river near Saint Marys in 20 minutes. We ran up to the house, got ready, ran down to the river, and then waited for Basil and Don to show up (for about 20 more minutes).

Looking down river, from the shore in Pilot

It was amazing out, we didn't end up catching anything, but we stayed out fishing until around 9:30. We saw 2 golden eagles, a bald eagle, and about 10 rainbows (and some rain).

Pilot, a fishing pole, and a shotgun barrel. Typical. 

"The Hairy Man" -a mythical creature
similar to Sasquatch in these parts... 

Pilot, from the Yukon at about 9:00 at night. 

When we got home we had moose steaks and potatoes for dinner, and it was delicious. It tastes very similar to elk...

That's all the excitement from yesterday, but over the last week there have been exciting times as well. On Tuesday my mentor stayed with us, and cooked us fresh pizza and we talked about good music, books, and the Oregon Country Fair. It was nice to spend some time with someone who has very similar taste in many things, and he also helped me out a lot in my classroom. He'll be back every month for the rest of the school year, so it's nice that we got along with the guy.

All week I continued to teach with no voice. The kids were pretty good, and seemed to feel pretty bad about me not being able to talk. No one got punched this week, we only had a few incidences that put me on edge, and I'm starting to get used to the way things are around here. On Friday I needed to do some testing with all of my students, and since I don't have an aide, I got Max to sub for me for the day while I pulled kids to do reading assessments. It was awesome to not have to talk much, and it was also really fun to watch Max try to teach my class. He now understands what I go through everyday. However, he had one huge success which everyone is blown away by: He got a student who hasn't written his name on a single paper for about 2 years, to not only write his name on every paper that was handed out that day, but also to attempt to do 2 whole assignments. I was very impressed.

Anyway, here we are at the school, and it's already Sunday. It's the first week when I'll actually have to teach on a Monday, so I have one less day to plan, and one more day to plan for... With that being said, I should probably get started.

We're having a great time, most days.

Oh, and the title to this blog post? Moose Blood on my Green Wool Socks? It's still there. I really do have moose blood on my socks. It'll be there until I get around to doing laundry.

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