Friday, February 11, 2011

Spirit Week

~Our Quinhagak School Cheer (you should really hear us live in the Jim-gym)

It has been a week of Sea Hawk Spirit up here! We have our annual Boys Basketball Tournament this weekend. Students and teachers of all ages have been steeped in preparation by partaking in Hat Day, Qaspuk Day, Blue Clothes Day, Sweats Day and Black/Gold School Colors Day! My personal favorite? 'Sweats Day'! Who can seriously resist rolling out of bed in the morning and trotting off to work in your favorite pair of cozy sweatpants??? This is Karen and I sporting our matching Qaspuks complete with the school mascot embroidered on the front pocket that Anya made for us.

As I type games are being played in the gym. The whole staff jumps into action volunteering for all kinds of duties: set up, break down, scoreboard, contribution of food for the coach's lounge, shuttle service from the school to the airstrip and back, working door collecting money (my job;) and general supervision. Some of our stellar students in Mrs. B's class assisted with crowd control by making and posting helpful signs to remind everyone about the rules:) (See the pics, look closely you'll giggle) The school is transformed into a hotel as the teams are assigned a classroom to call home for their stay in Quinhagak. It's a time for families and friends from different villages to reunite! Everybody around the Kuskokwim Delta knows everybody else but you don't always get to see each other for the lack of accessibility. Enter school sports tournaments! They are like a big party and such fun to be part of:) Our Seahawk boys play tonight at 7:30! Come on out and cheer if you are in village:)

UAF We've had some new friendly faces around the school this week. Through a grant the The University of Alaska in Fairbanks gives future teachers in the education program the opportunity to spend one week in Bush Alaska at a village school shadowing, participating and even jumping in to teach a few lessons.
What an incredible experience for these up and coming teachers and what a great way to broaden some horizons to get more excellent new teachers into our rural Alaskan communities! We've been fortunate in Quinhagak to have 3 such future teachers with us since last Monday! The kids (and teachers) have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them and seeing their faces popping in our classrooms. What a blessing they have been! They have saved the day several times when we needed another body to keep things moving smoothly, being more than willing and capable to step right into the teacher role! Quyana Ashleigh, Kelly and Nick! You all are going to be stellar teachers. I hope some of you decide to join us out here in the 'real Alaska';) Aside: they shared with us that other future teachers placed in different villages said to them "No fair you get to go to the Hallelujah Village!" What beautiful thing to be known for:)

I guess winter
decided to stick around a bit longer too. Our springlike temps took a nose dive 60 degrees two days ago. This morning's numbers were "take away 18". Return the typical tundra February. Tell tale signs: two sets of frozen pipes in teacher housing. And the kids are playing in more than out, "Can we visit?" They have been good company over the last few days as you can tell. And yep, that's my Tak in the pics. Those puppies just keep on growing! They are hilarious when they're out running around the house. They pull my rugs all over the place. Trying to corral them is like herding cats. It amazes me to think that some day they will be part of a sleek uniformed dog team working together to pull a sled across the frozen tundra doing what they were made for! Right now they seem to be made for peeing on the floor, crawling under the beds and licking our faces:) "Eewww," Tyrone proclaimed pulling Tak away from his face and setting him on the ground, "He smells like spu-gudy!"
"Spu-gudy? What's spu-gudy?" I wondered out loud what Yupik word that might be, never having heard anything like it. "You know, like what we eat.." he stated as if I was from the moon " Spu-gudy."
"Spa-ghe-tti," Wasaa jumped in with the well enunciated translation, "He's saying Spa-ghe-tti."
"Oh," I laughed picking up Tak to verify, "Hum, Tyrone you might be right. His puppy breath does kind of smell like spu-gudy."

Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing.
The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the
Spirit and life.
John 6:63

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