It's halfway through the school year, taking a moment to evaluate how and where things are going. Amazing how much ground is covered in such a seemingly short time. Kids who couldn't read are and kids who were are reading even more. Starting to notice how much taller they are all getting. Time marches on.
Was in Bethel (The Heartbeat of the Alaskan Tundra) so I heard it called the other day, for a special education training on Monday. Very interesting and so great to get together with teachers from other villages that we don't get to see very often. Ends up kind of being like a class reunion. People tend to gravitate to other teachers who started in the 'same class' or year as them.
Meanwhile it had been super cold here. Evidently several people attempted to brave the bitter winds on snow go. They are now running around school with frostbitten faces to varying degrees. Then strangely last night the weather changed and sharply warmed. This morning at the coffee pot Karen said," Maybe the weather was searching for someone." She gathered from my puzzled look I needed more explanation. "It's part of our culture here. We believe when the weather suddenly gets warm that it is searching for someone who is going to pass away." Sadly, a friend of hers in another village did in fact pass away unexpectedly.
Meet Qimugta - Means 'dog' in Yu'pik, is pronounced (kay-muk-tah) and is officially his name.
We will call him 'Tak' pronounced (tuk) for short:)
Here he is, my little boy puppy. He has already doubled in size! He took his first steps before his sisters two days ago, is bigger than both of his sisters and growls. He is strong even though he has no teeth yet. Sherry says he is going to be a great ski joring dog. His eyes and ears are still closed but should be opening sometime this week. I'm in love. But seriously, how could you not be??? Just look at these snugly, fuzzy bundles of joy!
Parent Teacher Conferences
And here in Quin we like to spice things up a bit, you know, present a learning opportunity or two. Not just your run of the mill Parent Teacher Conferences. So Principal Eric hosted a Ski Waxing Clinic, setting up shop directly in front of the main entrance in an attempt to draw in spectators. His first eager volunteer??? None other than your friend and mine.... Mr. Randall! I have to admit the kid was a natural. I'm happy to report every set of our cross country gear got a hot ironed fancy face lift. They are freshly waxed up and ready for snow.
Wassillie Bavilla Memorial Feast at the School
A dear, loved one from the village and an amazing pioneer for helping spearhead the creation of the Coastal Villages Region Fund
along with many other wonderful gifts he facilitated for the people of this community and for Native Alaskans, passed away a year ago today. So in Yu'pik tradition his family held a Memorial Feast in his honor. Representatives, friends, and family as far away as Anchorage and beyond arrived today to offer their support and respect. The only location in village large enough to contain everyone was of course the school, so this afternoon and well into the evening, the parking lot filled up with snow gos, four wheels, and cars while the gym filled up with kids and adults alike laughing, talking and remembering their incredible friend, Wassillie Bavilla.
No Pain No Gain
The Coastal Villages Region Fund brought with them enough fresh crab legs for everyone at the feast to get their fill. Quyana.
Right: Chuck demonstrates cracking open a crab leg...Ouch!
So That's About All For Now:)
Tak is the big boy on the right!
Shout Out To: Martha Bavilla, Jessica Alexie and Family! I didn't know him personally but the beautiful stories I've heard from so many only confirm that his kind selfless spirit lives on in each of you. What a blessing to celebrate with you. And to the Beckerman's who are welcoming Little Annabelle Marie born yesterday into their beautiful family! Congratulations:)