First things first, I lost my camera. I know where it is...it's just not at a location I'm usually at and I need to get on my bike and go over there and get it. To say I misplaced it or left it at a friend's house is not dramatic enough. I want to make my blog readers feel sympathy for me and my "lost" camera. Anyway, there is going to be a huge lack of photos on this post. I'm working on a really cool video that I'm hoping to post soon....ohhhh...just you wait and see!
Anyway, there has been lots of traveling to villages happening for this little lady. I took a few days off due to a cold. I then got antsy to get traveling and went down to the beautiful village of Quinhagak where my cold promptly came rushing back and lasted well into the next week. I don't think it was Quinhagak's fault...I probably should have taken more time off before I traveled. Sleeping on a school floor doesn't always promote the best health.
I had a pretty great weekend after traveling to Quinhagak. I did a day trip to Nightmute and worked with some really rad teachers there. Some of the Yup'ik teachers in Nightmute are really working to interview and collect oral histories from the elders in the village. They are also doing many other projects with technology in their classes and are eager learners. Even though it's a long flight I was happy to go down there just for a few hours to work with the Yup'ik teachers. I also saw my first snowfall in Nightmute while I was there. Then it turned to rain. While I was in Nightmute I really started to not feel well. My good friend Jimmie Tulik stayed with me until the airline called and said that plane was landing in a few minutes. I got my 4 wheeler ride to the airport and was heading home in no time.
I was scheduled to go down to Oscarville last Wednesday and decided to go by boat. This fall has been really weird and although it's mid October it's still super warm up here...upper 40s or low 50s. I convinced one of the guys from the technology department to ride down with me and we had a fantastic ride down river. Although the temps have been warm the hours of darkness have been creeping up on us. I went for a run this evening and had my headlamp on the entire time. It's funny how in the darkness things look so different and sometimes even scary. I usually run along the river bank and take a back road up to the main highway. However, this evening as I was running I started to turn right to head down my normal route and in the dark it looked so much scarier. I started to imagine scary people lurking in the bushes and all that and turned around and went the other way. In all honesty though, I really think I was smart to not go down the dark pathway. There are some shady characters in Bethel and when intoxicated they aren't afraid to let you know how they feel. It's also odd how much I've gotten used to such people. The other day I was biking home from the store in broad daylight and as I was walking out of the store I was saying hello to everyone and smiling at them as they walked past. One man was approaching me as he headed into the store and I could tell even from a distance he was intoxicated. Every few steps he would erupt in giggles, he'd take a few more steps and then giggle again. As I passed him I said hello. He took a few more steps and as I walked away I heard him say "F- YOU!". Now, the smart thing for me to do would have been to keep walking but perhaps it was all my years of teaching, perhaps I felt a bit miffed that I was nice to him and he wasn't nice back, whatever caused me to do so, I turned around and yelled back, "That wasn't very nice AT ALL! You don't have to be mean!" then got on my purple bike and rode away. Super tough, huh?
I'm in Kongiganak right now and was asked by Chris, the Site Administrator in Oscarville if I would be willing to stay an extra night and chaperone the kids. There is an NYO tournament happening here this weekend and I just super giddy waiting for it to start. There is tremendous engery in the school right now and everyone is super pumped for the other schools to arrive. It's only a matter of time! I've asked Christina to send an extra camera so I can take pictures.