Sunday, April 13, 2014

Manaaqing, NYO and the Countdown.

Last week we finished up state testing, the community had a "fiddle, we hosted the district meet for high school NYO, had a school-wide cultural day, went ice fishing, it snowed some more, and now it's all melting. I don't feel like writing much, but here are some pictures from the last 2 weeks! 

This is the band that came for the "Fiddle", they were quite good and they got the crowd up and dancing. 

We learned a cool new dance, called the broom dance. Those of you who are coming to our wedding will soon learn how that works! 

We took a hike up to the airstrip last week, and got to see how much everything has melted! 

Everything looks pretty brown right now, but I think it'll be green soon! 

Wildlife is starting to come back out now that it's warming up. Here is a bald eagle, visiting the dump. 

The mud line on the right hand side is where the river is during the summer, which is about 15 feet higher than it is right now. 

On our hike this week we went around the bluff, and then started climbing up the bank to see if we could find a trail to the airstrip. 

It's a beautiful view, but was pretty sketchy because the hillside was all ice, and it was VERY steep. 

The snow got deeper and deeper... 

and soon we were crawling on our bellies. 

The snow was up to my waist here, so it was impossible for me to walk. I resorted to Army crawling instead. 

When we got back from our hike at 9:00 pm the sun was still shining down the road to town. 

The sunrises have been beautiful every morning. 

For my birthday I made myself cupcakes... 

And Max sang to me, and then helped me eat them all :) 

We hosted an NYO meet. This is the AK high kick, and the winner kicked 104". They have to kick the ball, and then land on the foot that they kicked with. 
 On the day of the meet the school had a cultural day, to get the kids out of the building. Students were allowed to take the day off if they were going upriver fishing with their families, but most of my kids didn't have rides up river, so we decided to just take a class field trip to go ice fishing (manaaqing, in Yup'ik) so that everyone who wanted to, could go. About 7 of my students, plus 4 from 3rd grade, 2 6th graders, and a 7th grader joined us. We walked up river to a fish camp called Gainey, where someone had already made a few holes in the ice. We opened them back up with an ice pick, and eventually more adults, teachers, and families joined us. 

Stella's husband Ron brought out some stragglers and an ice pick. 

Max made us a few Manaaqing sticks, since not all the students had their own. 

Taking an Eskimo nap. 

These kids have no problem laying around on the ice all day... Definitely adapted to their environment! 

You have to keep moving the pole up and down, and the line freezes as you do this.

We remained hopeful, but no one caught anything, the kids started causing trouble, so we walked back to town after about 3 hours of fishing. 

On the way back, we found a couple moose heads, and Max tried to do some moose dentistry, without much luck. The teeth were definitely frozen into place. 

We are pretending it's spring for now. 

When the sun is out and the snow is too, it is SO bright out. I made spy goggles so I could see where I was going. 
We get a full regular week this week, without interruptions which will be nice. We have 34 days left in the bush, and while it is in the 30's here, we know that today in Florence it was 75 degrees. That's a bit hard to deal with, but we'll be back soon! We're starting to pack boxes, and plan what we're bringing on our trip home. I've applied for jobs in the Bend area, and Max is getting registered for summer classes at OSU already. I've been wedding planning on the weekends, although it's hard to get much together without being anywhere near home. We can't wait to be back, but we need to stay present here for the next month so that we can continue to enjoy this experience. Plus, time flies when you're having fun, so if we keep enjoying ourselves while we're here, we'll be home even sooner!

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