Northern Exposure, 1990
CAMA-I (Ja-my) It is a warm greeting that you would use when you haven't seen some one in a very long time, something like the Yup'ik version of "Hello! How the heck are ya? It's been a while, eh?!" And so it is after this greeting that the annual dance festival in Bethel is named. Dancers come from all over Alaska, even the world, to participate. Bethel Regional High School turns into the main stage for 3 whole days of drumming, fan dancing fun. People also come from everywhere to buy and sell their native crafts: ulu knives, kuspeqs, seal skin mittens, hats and parkas, ivory, mastodon and baleen whale jewelry. Deciding not to miss an opportunity to meander the taxi infested streets of Bethel, I hopped a plane Friday night and joined in on the bustling weekend. Columbo was persuaded that he also should see for himself what all the fuss was about so he stopped by from Anchorage too.
Snow go Trail Truckers
Bobshua drove the school suburban on the snow go trail all the way to Bethel so it could get fixed. The alternative would be to wait until spring break up and send it (very expensively) by barge. So the economical adventure was decided upon. Bobshua reported that the trip there was 8 hours of crawling along the 70 miles with a good shovel and 4 wheel drive. A few short weeks later after the repairs were made at the local Bethel autobody shop they drove the return trip. Thankfully while the trail was still frozen. And now we have a suburban again. Quyana Bob and Joshua.
Earrings and barrettes
Purchased this beautiful ivory hair barrette from Paul Beebe one of our village elders here in Quinhagak who hand carved the whole thing! All of it, from the seal and the piece it sits on to the wooden stick and the fish fixed to the end. I love it. Then while perusing the many goods at Cama-i, we found a gorgeous pair of bone earrings. It was shopping therapy village style.
Boxing up the Groceries
Of course I took advantage of the AC in Bethel and did some grocery shopping, picking up odds and ends for other teachers left behind. I had to smile as I visited with all kinds of people I've met over the last two years. You run into everyone at the AC it's like a reunion every time you walk in! Then you pay way too much money for only a couple items, grab a box from the pile and pack up your expensive goods so they will be air worthy. I'm gonna miss that...boxing up my groceries in Bethel to merrily fly the home to Quin. It's like Christmas.
Come on ring those bells
At Alison's advice I have tied a bell to the door knob of my house in hopes of training Tak to ring it when he has to go potty. He has rung it twice. I won't tell you the ratio of accidents to successful potty calls. Pray for us, we are both on a large learning curve.
Sunshine on my pillow at 10pm makes me not tired. That's right it is still light out at 10:00 pm here in Quinhagak. We are all awake and running around at hours when we should be cuddled up in our beds. We say things like..."Wow! How can it be that late already?" and "It doesn't seem that late." and "It's WHAT time???" Then every morning we drag our underslept bodies into school, stumble around the coffee pot and compare bedtimes. We do get lots of extra walks to beach again. And as you can see, the kids are taking good advantage of the light and 'open water' on 'Lake Quinhagak' just between the NVK building and newer housing.
1st graders celebrated completing their 120th lesson in language by skiing a couple weeks ago. What a hoot!
- To submit (oneself) passively; accept as inevitable.
- To give up (a position, for example), especially by formal notification.
- To relinquish (a privilege, right, or claim).