Sunday, February 14, 2010

"Who's Apolo Ohno?"

"I think my favorite sport in the Olympics is the one in which you make your way through the snow, you stop, you shoot a gun, and then you continue on. In most of the world, it is known as the biathlon, except in New York City (or Quinhagak, Alaska), where it is known as winter."
~Michael Ventre, L.A. Daily News

I trust that everyone had a lovely Valentine's Weekend. I did! Bethel was full of all kinds of hustle and bustle. Friday I worked away at the District Office with Joel, my mentor special education teacher. Friday night we (Anya and I, she always welcomes me into her home when I get the rare opportunity to come to the thriving metropolis), connected up with Steph and a group of teachers who were all in Bethel with her for a training. We took over the back room at V.I.P. Restaurant had some pretty good sushi (yes we have sushi in Bethel, Alaska). I have to announce that Steph tried her first sushi and didn't even totally not like it. I bet she'll even try it again! From there the whole crew headed to the cultural center where we enjoyed the play "You're Perfect, I Love You, Now Change". Hilarious, put on by the Bethel Actors Guild. It was a great comedy, laughed out loud many times. Saturday morning was for sleeping in, then a brisk walk to the Saturday Market. Saturday Market happens once a month in Bethel. People from all different villages come in and sell the native crafts they have been making. It is an absolute MUST SHOP if you are ever fortunate enough to make it up this way. Well, I don't often get the opportunity to shop, let alone shop for the beautiful native Alaskan crafts so I sorta splurged and well... ya like my new atkuk, (ah-t-gook) in Yu'pik (thank you to Deanna) parka? This beautiful parka was hand crafted by Elena Charles of Bethel, Alaska and took her 5 years to complete. Stunning, eh? I thought so, you might say it was love at first site. So it was my Happy Valentine's Day gift to myself, to my children and to my children's children etc...:) Later Anya and I rearranged and cleaned her apartment while watching the Olympics. So inspired was I by the athletes, that I conned Dirk (aside: Dirk teaches middle school in the neighboring village of Eek and was in town for the training as well, he's also the spelling bee coach and is taking one of his students to Anchorage next week for the championships, impressive, eh?) and his dog Katja into going for an 8 mile run across the tundra, might even have talked him into doing the Tour of Anchorage in a couple weeks. Okay, he didn't need any talking into as far as the Tour, he likes skiing. He tried to say he wasn't going to keep up on the run, ha, I couldn't breath as we rounded the homestretch toward the District Office and he was just talking away. It was a nice workout on a beautiful day with good company. So later Saturday night we all got together at Anya's. She cooked up a delicious homemade ham and scalloped potatoes dinner (reminds me of Gramma Skime's cooking and that's a HUGE COMPLIMENT) topped off with chocolate cake. We watched more 2010 Winter OLYMPICS in the incredible Vancouver, British Colombia. Dirk and Paul were all chatty about Apolo Ohno and my question was...(see the title). The room got quiet, everyone turned,"What? You don't know, Dancing With The Stars!!! Hello, 'Apolo Ohno', Hollywood-ized Speed Skater turned know????"
"Nope", I confessed my ignorance, "No clue, never heard of him. Didn't have TV until September of this year and all I watch is House." But I have now been enlightened on Apolo and might even be a bit of a fan, mostly because he wears a bandanna and I think it looks hot .
I wanted to go to the fiddle dance but I couldn't rally the troops to make the trek over to the school where it was being held to boogie down. I even tried the whole "Apolo Ohno would go." I got a smirk from Paul, Dirk mumbled something about being sore from the run and Anya just laughed at me as usual. O-well.

This morning we were up and walked to the Lions Club for the Valentine's Day breakfast of: pancakes, eggs, and sausage. From there we went to the Bethel Covenant Church. It was great service just what I needed, God is so smart like that. And now we're back at Anya's, I'm watching more Olympics, she's sewing me a motorcycle qaspak (cause I love motorcycling). I'm scheduled to hop a plane back to Quinhagak this afternoon. It has been a rejuvenating weekend in Bethel. Quyana Anya, Joel, Jim for watching Ani and everybody. Have a GRRRRRREAT week ya'll.

Oh yeah, here are some shots of the flight into Bethel on Thursday evening and back to Quinhagak tonight. Enjoy the flight;)

"You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me! I'm staying alert and in top condition. I'm not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. "
1 Corinthians 9:25-27


  1. OH MY GOODNESS! your parka is BEAUTIFUL!! i'm jealous... i want one :P

  2. Gwen, I know isn't it! You can totally wear it when you come home;) Plan on catching up at some point in Anchorage when we are there! Have a fun week! Rach

  3. It's great to know you're doing well. Alaska looks like a paradise.


  4. YOU don't know who Apolo Ohno IS??? He's only the most finest person in the Olympics(World)..

  5. Oh that last comment was from Me ~Marylou~ lol

  6. I AGREE, your atkuk (ah-t-gook) is gorgeous!! LOL, the weekend I'm in Quinhagak, you're in Bethel.


  7. Marylou! I know I know and I agree totally but I just didn't know until now. lol, miss you. Did I tell you that my friend Tracey up here totally reminds of you! Okay have a good day in Hayward.

    Deanna, we were probably on planes passing in the sky. lol, thank you for the correct pronunciation with the word:) Hope you had a great weekend. I know your Mom must have been happy. Rach