Friday, November 18, 2011


October flew by!  We experienced some awesome events this month. 
Our pumpkin on November 18th.  As you can see we have had some snow!

Have I mentioned that the people here are a little crazy about basketball.  This is probably due to the extreme cold and the fact that you can play it inside.  My first graders even have game.  I would say that the majority of them can shoot a free throw.  I think this is pretty impressive.  In the middle of October our school hosted a basketball tournament for the community.  We actually had people fly in from other villages to play.  You can say it was kinda a big deal.  It lasted for three days and pretty much the whole village attended.  We were impressed with the good sportsmanship.  Our jobs during the tourney were admitting spectators and selling concessions. 

Our school sells concessions to the community every other Friday evening.  We have a cold side that sells chips, drinks, candy and slushies.  The hot side sells pizza, pretzels, and nachos.  In a village with no restaurants, you can imagine how popular Friday concessions are to everyone.  We like participating because we get to meet new people and it brings the village together.  Our girls are in love with the slushies!!

We just celebrated our first Alaskan Halloween.  It was much different from the Halloweens in Georgia.  For one it was cold and there was snow on the ground.  Our school held a costume parade.  Every child received a dollar who participated.  25 bucks was rewarded to the best costumes in each grade level.  Our family just finished reading Alice in Wonderland so we all dressed as characters from the novel.  I was the Queen of Hearts, John was the Mad Hatter, Cate was the White Rabbit and Claire was Alice.  We left school at 4 pm, thinking that we would have time to eat dinner before trick or treating.  Little did we know that trick or treating starts early in Brevig Mission.  Some of Claire's friends came and got her, and daddy took baby girl.  It was neat to see homemade popcorn balls in the girls pumpkins.

My class
Junior High Zombies!! Pretty Scary aren't they??

Who knew that Alaska had a Scarlet O'hara?  Claire with her friend 'little' Leah.

The Storm of the Century!!
On November, 8 we were predicted to have one of the worst storms in Bering Sea history.  The storm was bad, but not of epic proportions.  We experienced 90 mph winds.  The winds blew the snow around and created white out.  We normally can see the school from our living room window.  All we could see was white!  The next morning the wind died down, but the waves from the sea were fairly rough.  We were lucky that no houses were flooded.  We had school the next day, however, I had only one student make it. In honor of the storm  I, John, and our neighbor Jennifer, watched Stephen King's Storm of the Century.
Mocha was very concerned about the storm.  This is her sleeping during the 90 mile winds that were rocking our trailer to kingdom come.
Inupiaq Words
quyanna  thank you
anaq  go poop
amuk  carrying your baby on your back
mukluk boots
There are more, but these are the ones I hear the most.  My students like to say "how come" when they have a question.  They also say" I never" meaning they did not do something.  My students also call me teacher.  In the lower 48 this might be considered disrespectful, but here it is an honor.  I have so many drawings from my students hanging behind my desk that say teacher I love you or even Misty I love you.  I feel really appreciated.
Cate amuking her baby doll.

Eskimo Food
We have an aide at our school named Darla who has been super about letting us try Eskimo food.  So far we have had muktuk, which is whale blubber, walrus, moose and muskox...oh and dried fish.  I was surprised that these foods are actually pretty good.  I really liked the walrus!  We have seal and stink flipper on our list to try next.

Native Arts
This month we purchased a spotted seal and beaver hat for John.  My aide, the awesome, Pauline made it by hand!  It is the warmest hat you could possibly wear.  I also bought an Eskimo doll.  It too is all hand made from seal, beaver, and rabbit fur with a carved ivory face.  We have met some talented artist in this community.


  1. I love your updates! What an amazing adventure your family is having! I'm curious which tribe(s) are native to your village? Anslie has Tlingit-Haida ancestry. When she's older we hope to take a trip to Alaska. Maybe you can give us travel tips!

  2. Shari, our village and most of western Alaska are inupiaq eskimos. Alaska is a beautiful state. If you just go to Anchorage you have not seen the real Alaska.