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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Long Overdue Post

The picture I stole from Sam....they were awesome last night...
Well I have been back in Noorvik for about 2 months now. It has been great. The majority of the time, however, has been rainy. Much more rain than the average for this time of year. The river flooded quite a bit (not like the spring during break-up, but still high). People have said it has made for bad fishing this year. The school year has been going well. We have 4 new teachers here this year with us and we all sync well and are having a wonderful time (in general). We had two extra teachers here for a few weeks from Kivalina. The village was without water for a few weeks so the district sent the teachers of Kivalina to other villages to work until the water was back working. I believe the JUST started school last week. Such is life in the Bush.

Lately, the northern lights have been spectacular and I have been enjoying walking around and watching them. Last night was the first time I have seen any other color than green. It was only red, but still it was awesome. I just wish I had a camera to take pictures of them....therefore I am "stealing" them from a friend.

My classes are going well. I am getting more and more used to this 6 separate subject thing. My last class is Outdoor P.E. I love it. I have the 7th graders and I co-teach it with our CTE teacher, John Dennis. We can take them outside to just play games, or use the GPS' and set up an orienteering course. Once the snow falls, we plan on taking them out cross country skiing/snow shoeing. When it is too horrible outside, we will take them into the shop or over to Angie's class (she's the Inupiaq teacher). We will hopefully enlist some locals and go down and check net under the ice or set up snares, build snow caves, etc... Last Thursday, John and I split the class to set up two "geocaching" courses that we will trade and have the other half try and find everything we hid. While out, my group came upon a spruce hen. Leonard tried to throw rocks at it to kill it, but he kept just missing it.

I bought a gun and brought it up, but I have only had a chance to sight it in, not hunt. Not having a boat hinders the hunting until it freezes and snows. Thankfully others have shared with me and I have caribou and moose meat to use. Last year I had only seen cows and calves, but this year I saw my first bull moose and it was just huge! I had to do a double take when I saw it. I was on my way out to the airport with Paul to pick up the truck and on our way back, it had started swimming across the river. Sadly I didn't have my camera on me at all. Oh well...

Barge heading up river

Rummy enjoying the view off the cliff there...Looking NW...He has taken it upon himself to go down this cliff into the muddy mess below

He stopped fetching things in the rive in the beginning of September...too cold for him.

7th Graders

I have adopted 2 ferrets...this one and an albino one

This hawk (goshawk, maybe?) was seen in town and showed no fear of aggression, but no fear and that worried many adults, but the kids found it was finally killed

The Youth Leaders of Noorvik

Paul (facing us) and John Dennis (left) are skinning a Caribou that one of the Elders gave the teachers

Eloise (Paul's daughter) and Donny (a student) playing with Rummy

Julie's house (John Friend) in Anchorage. We stopped here on our way to lunch in Anchorage during our mental health vacation. It is a quaint house.

The spruce hen we saw on our course set up walk.

Darren and Nikki's dog, Coco

Jenna (left) and Heidi (right)  posing by the ferrets that are hiding in the cage behind paper

Ice Flows on the river....needs to freeze!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lighting Up...

Well after a month or two...or more...of very little sun light, the sun is now up around 8:30 am and down around 9:00 pm...and that is only getting longer and longer. I believe we are gaining 7 mins of day light every day now. Energy is picking up, but this light means that the students' sleep schedules are getting worse...or will be. We have two weeks before state testing. After that, there is a "freedom" of sorts due to the pressure of the looming test being eased up...until next year at in-service where we hear how bad of teachers we all are.

We had spring break Thursday and Friday and I was able to get out and do some riding and snow shoeing. On my way back from one ride, I was rounding the bend in the river and almost hit a moose that got scared out of its hiding spot...Scary and awesome all in one. I have seen quite a few fox every time I go out and moose. Too far away to get a good shot with my camera in regards to the I just try to chase them down on my machine...the simple things in life. The Northern Lights have been AMAZING lately...if you're up at 2 a.m. But just about every night I can see them...It is something unparalleled back home. Nothing much else is new. Just trying to figure out what I am going to need next year and what I am going to take home this summer. I am even more antsy to get home with all the nice weather back in Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is not helping my concentration at all....

Looking back towards the right of the mountain out there...

Trail Marker going to Ruth's Camp

The cow and her calf that are roaming around the village

That mountain from the picture above, Hathom Peak

Hathom Peak, not zoomed in

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nothing Much New...

Things have been quiet around here lately...This weekend will change all of that. We have N.E.I.T (Noorvik Elder's Invitational Tournament). I think there are about 9 teams (boys and girls) here. Lots of kids and lots of people machining in to watch. Speaking of machines, two Saturdays ago I few to Kotz to pick up my machine. I had to leave it there when I got back from break to do it being too cold to ride. I got in around 5 and it wouldn't start. We took off the battery, warmed it up, put a hair dryer under the hood and let it sit for a good while. She finally started. My plan was to follow Ruth's son, Quinn, back to their homestead (~20 mi) from Kotz on Saturday night, then follow Ruth and her dog team back to Noorvik....and that is the way it happened. It was fun spending the night out at Ruth's camp. It was "rustic" out there and reminded me quite a bit like being back in Africa...except much much colder. Not that this is important, but the water we drank was out of the river behind their house and it is probably the best water I have ever drank next to the water at my grandparent's cabin...Following her back was fun, to say the least, but long. We left around 1:00 p.m. and got in around 6:30 p.m. If I knew the way it would probably have been 1 1/2- 2 hours...but following a dog team that only goes 10-15 takes a bit. Even though it was long, I still enjoyed it. I was able to see moose many times along the way, rabbits all around, and the scenery was great.

Donated Caribou for the tournament this weekend

Ruth's Homestead

My Rig

Her Dog Lot...notice the creepy eye-shine from their houses...

More Dogs...

Lowel on the School's Piece O' Sh...Bravo...

My Rig and such