Friday, May 18, 2012

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May's closure

April and May have gone by so fast.  We are rapidly approaching Friday, our last day of school.  We'll have the last bits of clean-up, maybe a little movie during school and then the potluck at noon with awards and some presentations by the students.

The following are some pictures taken this month, sorry, there is so much packing to do, cleaning to accomplish and the odds and ends to tie up that I really don't have the time to be too wordy right now.

For PE, the kids really didn't want to play, they wanted to go for a walk.  Well, they are still kids and ended up playing anyhow, that guard rail turned into a balance beam!

A village resident overheard me talking about wishing I had gotten the opportunity to head out to South Spit and find some of the glass floats that people have tubs of around here.  Later that evening, he showed up at my door with 6 of them.  I taught myself how to tie around one of them, this is the result, one continuous string, hanger included.  I took it to him later as a thank you, I'll be coming home with the other 5, knowing how to tie this version of the net and looking forward to hitting up a craft store for some materials and maybe beads!

Fly in, fly out....well, we get barges too.  I sure hope that's how this got here.  I rode in the back of this while helping a resident earlier this month.  Let's hope it's the only time I ever have to ride in one!  Oh, we have a water truck too!

For the past week, I've made pancakes every morning for any student who wants them in the morning.  I've had lots of takers and made a very large dent in the pancake mix.  This was a special request, choc. chip pancakes.  I've gotten very good at pancake making now, though, not so great at eating them.

Oh, we had chicks hatch at the school!  They were so cute, I had never been able to experience it before.  I have to say, the little golden ones hold a special place because I remember seeing them at Wilco when I was younger, however, the little black and grey one below is my favorite!  He had so much personality and was the only one like that.  I think it was because he looked like a Siberian Husky with that mask around his eyes!

Mt. Pulik was beautiful when I went on a little campfire with two wonderful people and Hikup, their energetic dog.  (one of the puppies I helped out earlier in the year)  A rare chance to get a great picture and the ability to see the mountains in the area.

That will have to be it for now, maybe a post tomorrow night during the school sleepover, my last night here in Alaska.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Go out like a lion?

I thought it was come in like a lion, go out like a lamb?  Not come in like a lion, go out like a lion.

It didn't really matter though.  We enjoyed it when we were able to get out in it!  There was a good lot of snow dumped on us in very short order.  It doesn't stop school here, they still come, we still have class and it's still fun to watch it come down all day.  It's just hard to image it like this all the time.  But, here I am, living with the snow, all the time!

This storm was particularly fun because of the wind that would rustle up the snow that had fallen and create some pretty monster drifts.  It would blow the falling snow onto my front porch/stairway and it even made it a bit hard to open the door because it was so deep at one point.  You can see in the picture that I had not made it outside yet.  I have this nice big window in my kitchen that looks right down the stairway.  The snow was piling up on the handrail, stuck to the side of the windbreak and this was taken BEFORE it started sticking to the door.  At this point there was about 5 inches on the landing before I went out and cleared it off.
Now, when you get this much snow, and then it packs down as it clears, there is a bit more ice around to sled on.  The kids love this and we took one afternoon to go and play after school.  You see that races down the hill by Icicle Foods are a popular sport.  What you don't see is that the races don't always end with everyone making it down the hill.  Some slide off to one side and into a bank, some fall off a sled while the others continue down towards the bottom.  We all have fun and it breaks the cycle of school and home.

My good friend Debbie and I went out for a little walk across the lake one day while the snow was still around.  While walking across the lake, we ran into some wolf tracks.  I thought they were pretty cool.  A little scary they were right in town but we knew they had been in town already.  I was happy to get some pictures of the prints.  We started up the hill after walking across the lake and found ourselves "post-holing" and decided to head back down the hill.  I figured instead of doing that on the way back down, I was just going to roll instead.  What you'll see here is me at the bottom, my roll marks in the snow.....encouraging Debbie to do the same.  I giggled, then she giggled and rolled part of the way down.  I'm sure she'll not forget that any time soon!

 This was also the time where I got to go and pick up a piece of my art that I will be bringing home with me, a locally carved mask from whale vertebra.  This is NOT my mask, but another one carved by the same artist.  I just thought this was too cute not to photograph and I know that a friend of mine will like to see it!

Friday, May 11, 2012

What's the worst..

thing that could happen?

We all deal with difficult things in our lives.  We all deal with difficult times.  This year has already been rough and I'm sure you've seen that if you've followed along.  By now you've seen that I've caught up through the middle of March...yes, I'm a bit behind....and that's ok.  I didn't want to let these next two things out of the bag so early on.  Purposeful slacking?

There's not a job for me here next year.  That's right, my time in Alaska is rapidly coming to a close.  I've known it for awhile and many of you that know me a little more personally might already know that as well.  My experience here is rapidly coming to a close.  I knew this already at the end of Fur Rondy.  Ok, I deal with that.  You mean I "have" to go home for the summer like I was already planning to do to be with my family.  The thing is, now I have to go to the job fair to search for a new job.

Plans change.  In the blink of an eye.

March 15th.  No amount of technology can cross the distance from Egegik, AK to Home like you need it to.  I don't care what kind of degree Western Oregon has given me, how much I've learned on my own, how big a smart board can make someone's body via Skype, it doesn't matter.  You can't hug a screen when your Mom gets on the screen and you INSTANTLY know something is wrong.   She was JUST HERE.  What could have possibly have gone so wrong in one week?

Cancer.  Again.

WHAT?!  That gut wrenching feeling, knowing you can't do a thing about it, knowing you can't hug her, knowing that you can't hear what the doctors say, knowing you will not get to hug her for for 3 more months and knowing that it's not the little Stage II this time, it's the terrible IV that you didn't want to hear the doctors say ever.  What is it about being cancer free for 5.5 years?  I thought she was in the clear?  She hasn't done anything to deserve having to go through this again.  Anger, rage and confusion all directed towards the doctors for not doing their job.  There should be a test, full scan done before they take someone off their drugs at the end to "double check".  The intense rage will get you nothing though besides some high blood pressure and a gut ache.

All I can do is sit here and be supportive.  Comfort, console, check in, and try to deal with it in my own way.  Right now, that's through writing.  Supportive through port placements, chemo treatments, hearing about what's going to be done next, and supportive through another round of hair loss.  (and some pretty informative texts)  By the way, she's starting to respond to her chemo treatment and the doctors have said they are happy with her progress.  That's a positive sign.

So until I leave on May 18th, you'll see posts about experiencing my last few months of Egegik and we'll see how the job search goes.  I'd love to find my "forever school".  I'd also love to hear from some of the readers of this blog if they'd love to see it continue through updates when I think about Egegik or hear from the students.   OR  Would you like to follow me to a new blog when it's time?  Please comment below.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Spring Break pt. 5: Rondy

Once we got into Anchorage, found our hotel and got settled into our "deluxe" accommodations, we were ready to hit the town.  Right outside our hotel was a Rondy shuttle stop which is marked by the metal Fur Rondy signs you see Mom standing next to here.  It was definitely  nice to have that ability to just hop on a shuttle and get around that route if we wanted.
One of our first tasks was getting to the stores and getting the shopping done and out of the way with.  My friend Matt from work had a rental car and so willingly picked us up and took us around.  It was nice because I had never driven in Anchorage, only ridden when I first got here in August.  That was quite the ride then.  We were all over the place!  Now, I knew that I might need to pay a little more attention as Mom and I had talked about renting a car for the rest of our time.  Anyhow, we hit the stores and Mom learned about Bush Orders and how you just leave your stuff there for them to ship to you at Wal-Mart.  It's wonderful.  I brought a cooler and got the cold stuff from Costco.  Don't tell the hotel, but it sat on their roof outside our window the whole time we were there!  How convenient, Automatic fridge!  Once we were done with the shopping, we decided to hit up Red Robin for some dinner.  Big mistake!  Entire dinner comped...that beautiful dessert you see is the only thing we paid for.

We partook in a lot of the Rondy activities that were available.  You'll see we hit the Charlotte Jensen Native Arts Market where you can get so many different types of Native Art.  When I saw the title of it, connections were made between the Jensen Arctic Museum at Western Oregon University and this.  Same family?  I'm guessing I might be right.  We also hit up the snow sculptures which weren't in top form as they had been snowed on.  Pictures there were a little rough because there was a grey sky instead of a blue one to take pictures, but I'm sure you'll see the forms.   I was impressed by some of the fur products available.  I had seen a wolf hat on a man at the resort and found this one in a shop and they let me try it on.  A bit forward for me, but it was good for a picture.  Mom, however, found the more "risqué" area of the shop.

We enjoyed sites and sounds of downtown Anchorage, some late at night while searching (unsuccessfully) for geocaches.  Our hotel view was of the carnival and we were just far enough away that we didn't hear it.  The Ulu Factory was just over the road.  We thought it would be fun to go and see.  HA, tourist trap.  Good thing we don't fall for those things and good thing it was free!  The Alaskan Experience Theater was somewhat informational.  Some updating is needed for sure and we were robbed because the hydraulics that simulate the Great Alaskan Earthquake didn't work.  We did have fun, I enjoyed every minute with Mom and I know that even though we didn't see the Northern Lights, we still got to experience some of Alaska together.

Horse and Buggy Ride to Orso's

Explaining the Blanket Toss to us.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spring Break Pt. 4: Onto Anchorage!

The ski resort was great but it's time to head into Anchorage for Fur Rondy.  We get to drive out of the skiing world and the fresh snow, along the sound and all the beautiful sights and into the city to see the sights, do some shopping, and enjoy some of the "touristy" attractions.

Below, you'll see a little photo journey of our trip into town.
Leaving the resort.

Low clouds blocking some of the view of the majestic mountains all around us.

State Troopers, always on the job!  I have to say, this picture was taken from a moving vehicle at 60 MPH!

I just loved how the snow stuck to every nook and cranny of those rocks.

It's a Race!

The Sound looking back towards the resort.

Our Limo Van from one drop off site to the hotel.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Break Pt. 3: Beautiful Alyeska

Beautiful Alyeska and their crazy skiers!

So I know it's been a long time coming, but here we got with the rest of the posts.  

Mom took the gondolas up to the top of the mountain with another teacher friend of mine.  They are used by riders who just want to hit the restaurant up at the top and the skiers and snowboarders who are crazy enough to ride their way down from the top of the mountain as well.  It was pretty cold as you can tell by the massive icicles hanging from the snow still on top of the building at the top.  The wind is pretty intense up there too.  That third picture shows how the wind shapes the icicles at quite the angle!
I'm not sure that Mom was so convinced about the sun deck at the top, I'm sure it's great in the summer time though. The rest of the pictures are from the top of the mountain and the general areas of restaurant/lodge at the top of the mountain.  That last picture is a beauty as the clouds began to dissipate and a clear shot of the surrounding mountains came into view.

While she was up on her ride, I was busy learning how to downhill ski.  I took some private lessons, advanced very quickly and was very happy that I had gone 1:1 with an instructor rather than with a group.  He was a very nice man and was pleased at how fast I progressed through the lessons.   Being a bit of an adrenaline junkie and competitive person, I know that only boosted my desire to continue to learn as well.  Honestly, I can't imagine a better place to learn how to ski!  I might have spoiled myself though.  I'm not sure the Oregon powder will be quite as nice.  I will give it a try though!

You can't even see where the chair lift goes because the clouds are still there....ride the gondola, then take the chair up further!   These guys are NUTS!

Sun Deck?