Sunday, February 20, 2011

island living. valentine's day. oogruk!

Well, I wasn't able to go to Brevig Mission. Weather wasn't good on Friday, so the flight was canceled. Adrienne was supposed to return to the island yesterday with eight students, but we had bad weather again. And it doesn't look so good today either. Something I am learning about traveling in Alaska: don't plan on traveling unless you are in the plane and up in the air.

Mail is so slow even though we have plane service now. I am still waiting on stuff to arrive that I ordered a month ago. Speaking of plane service, we've had some strong south winds which have pushed the northern ice even farther north. I wonder if our ice runway will last long, if we keep getting these south winds. Apparently, a few years ago the ice runway floated away. And how appropriate -- I read this verse this morning: "Around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns" (Ecclesiastes 1:6).

This semester is going to fly by. February is already almost over, and I can't believe it! During March, I will be going to Nome as a middle-school chaperone for a week at NACTEC. We will also have a visiting teacher come give lessons in geography and art to the students. And if the sun shines, the school will go crabbing one Saturday, which I am really excited about. In April we will have state testing and then our big student trip to Anchorage and Fairbanks. Once we come back from the student trip, we'll only have 5 weeks until the end of the semester. Of course, on all of these activities, there is a big fat label that says "weather permitting" stamped on them.

 In January our school had its annual Island Living celebration.
 Writing a story.
 The students were able to make their own monster pillows, which they had a lot of fun doing.

 Dance contest!

We also had a few races and competitions.

 You can see the road that leads out to the ice runway.

 Polar bear meat! Yum.
 Going to school early one morning.
 At religious education class, we made Valentine's Day cards.

 Speak from the heart.

Roses are red. Violets are blue. U are sweet like hard candy.

One of the teenagers caught an oogruk -- bearded seal.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

i'll be glad

I am behind on updates. There are a lot of things I haven't told you about. I will make it my goal to get caught up, but today I am leaving for Brevig Mission, weather permitting. There are going to be some Little Dribbler (elementary basketball) games, and I'm chaperoning for the trip. We should return on Saturday evening, weather permitting (as always).

Until then... You can watch this video of my drive to Seward back in December. So beautiful!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Я знаю что такое любовь.

It's hard to believe that two years ago today I was in Kazan, Russia. I explored Russian Orthodox churches, visited the Qolşärif mosque, bought a kilo of dried apricots at an open market, took pictures of metro art, and visited Tolstoy's alma mater.

February 14th, 2009, is one of my favorite memories. Several university students were celebrating St. Valentine's Day with balloons and candy, while encouraging passersby to sign their names to this poster in the square.

"Я знаю что такое любовь. да? нет?"
I know what love is. Yes? No?

да. Yes.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins." - 1 John 4:10

"Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Saturday, February 5, 2011

polar bears, snowmachining, quinoa

 Finally! A polar bear. He was beautiful, and he was exploring the village garbage dump. Not quite as picturesque as a polar bear nuzzling cubs or standing on hind legs, but still amazing nonetheless.

We think this is the trash bag from the school kitchen. Leftover salmon. The bear's got good taste.

I watched him at a safe distance, as you can tell.

 Two of our lovely eighth-graders.

 Icicles on our house.
 This is the snow drift next to our house.
 Snowmachining on the strait!!! Heck Yeahhh!!!!

A couple of the students snowmachining. I love watching the dogs chase snowmachines. I want a dog so badly!

Roommate & I, right before snowmachining. I kind of felt like Randy from A Christmas Story. It was "I can't move my arms now!" kind of weather. Never was I more glad to have my polar bear and beaver fur ruff. Keeps my head nice & toasty.

Adrienne and I are attempting to do the Eastern Orthodox fast for this semester, which means we are Vegan and oil-less on Wednesdays and Fridays and then for the months of March and April. It's going to be hard, especially in Alaska. On Wednesday we had quinoa (keen-wah) for dinner, and it was yummy. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snowmachining on the Bering Strait

After school yesterday the Diomede School staff and a few students went snowmachining and cross-country skiing on the Bering Strait. Some of the men in the village have been working hard to smooth down our ice runway. It won't be long before planes will be landing.

Did you see any tauntauns in my video? My sister is convinced that she saw one.
If you don't know what a tauntaun is, shame on you.