So we loaded our charter out of Quinhagak Friday afternoon. This consisted of a caravan and a 207. The high school kids with their ' seniority' and Jon (bless his heart, since this chaperoning gig was just sprung on him the day before) all had the luxury of piling into the posh caravan while us peons (Jr. high and 'coach') crammed into the 207 and puttered along drafting on their fumes into Bethel. Everyone was nervous and eager on the way in. On the way back, as you can see, there was a different feel in the plane...lol. Obviously they had worked hard.
You know there is really nothing quite like sleeping on a cozy classroom floor to get the lack of sleep pumping. The boys camped out in room B6 at the Bethel Regional Highschool while we girls were assigned B21. The boys were all excited to tell me that they were sharing a room with a boy who was the only boy in his village. "Really?" I exclaimed, "Wow it must be very lonely to be the only boy in his whole village!" "Noooo," they laughed, "He's the only boy from his village on the cross country team!" "Ohhhhh," I responded giggling "Well I like the title: The Only Boy in His Village so that's what I'm going to refer to him as." Francis was a good sport, he let me tease him the rest of our stay.
They all ran around visiting with every kid they could meet from other villages until it was time to call it a night. Lights out were at 10, it was then that we all snuggled into our sleeping bags on the not quite Sealy Posturpedic worthy classroom floors. Ouch, not comfy on my back. I'm afraid I'm getting old.
It's Always Sunny in Bethel
The girls were up early doing their hair, lol you just never know who you might bump into out on the trail;) We regrouped in the lobby, feasting on coco pebbles and fruit loops provided by BHRS then loaded into suburbans and were transported out to the sandpit that Bethelonians like to refer to as their cross country course.... Just to set the stage: the Bethel Meet is like the Everest of cross country races available for us to tackle in our district. These kids, who have trained on flat gravel roads with the exception of our one menial hill and the handful of times we hit the beach for a workout, are sent out on a course stacked with elevations and steeped in foot deep, untra fine, loose sand. It's a track that tests the stamina of even the most seasoned runners and our students persevered! Thankfully we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. The sun shone, no wind, and it was toasty warm. We had runners representing Quinhagak in each age category and they showed how tough they are! One lady even approached me to comment on what determined runners Quinhagak had. So proud of those kiddos! Congratulations Runners on a race well run! This coming Saturday is our Regional Meet in Chevak! Woooooo-Whoooooo can't wait to see how they tear that up:)
Hazelnut Lattes and No Ice in Alaska
It's a treat for myself and has easily become a much anticipated tradition: to buy myself a large hazelnut latte at the coffee shop above Grant Air. I do this each time I check in to board my puddle jumper back to village. I savor every sip during the ride home. So when we landed in Bethel Friday afternoon, I conned Jon (the male chaperone also one of our new teacher's husband) to head over and get us a couple. I didn't have to twist his arm too much. This was a blessing since the poor guy didn't even know until the day before that he had been nominated to be the boys chaperone! Opps, lack of communication on my part. Thanks for jumping in there Jon:) On our way back we stopped in again but it was super warm in Bethel that day and I was craving something cool. After all it is Alaska, so I ordered a smoothie. Fortunately for me but no so much for everyone else I got the last smoothie that day. They ran out of ice. I wonder...is that a first in Alaska???? Our flight back was enjoyable and turned into a bit of a race in and of itself. The 207 containing myself and the jr. high kids was passed up by the caravan full of varsity kids on the homestretch! We could even see the runway! Hey no cutting, man! We still got out of our plane faster. They have to wait longer for the props to quit spinning! he he
Picture Taken by Connie on Alicia's Camera of
Me, Allison, Alicia, Alison, and Jon
And I shall leave you with this:
A comment made by Christopher Lewis regarding his recent vacation spent in our little corner of Western Alaska:)...
"I actually think Quinhagak is better than Hawaii."