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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Yukon Wind Surfing

A good friend of mine recently had a brilliant idea to attach a tarp to a stick tied to a toboggan. The top of the tarp could then be handled in large wind gusts to form a sail. The result is wind surfing on the frozen Yukon River.

Hoping to copy the idea, another friend and I attached a smaller tarp to a flimsy sled and we all met up on the river Monday afternoon. It turns out the fastest participants were those under 100 pounds, but the  strong winds were plenty plenty strong enough to get us up to almost 15 mph!

Here is a quick video of the fun:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Assirtuq, Quyana!

I am a positive person. I haven't always been, but I decided some years ago to just be happy. It really is a choice. Life is exciting and unexpected. It's a journey, even adventure at times. So often I forget to be happy and then I remind myself I am warm, well fed (even chubby), and able to follow my dreams. I love my life and cherish the small things on this day.
I am so thankful for water, which I have had for a solid three weeks! I am so blessed with great friends. We share meals, stories, and laughter daily. I give freely and accept their love and prayer wholeheartedly. They don't know it, but I get the better end of the deal...

I live in a magical paradise of wilderness beauty with flora and fauna unlike anywhere else on the planet.  The community of Mountain Village is generally welcoming, the church is spirit filled, and the Yup'ik cultural activities are truly special. Here is a taste of the weekend's gatherings:

Starting on Friday night, there were visitors from Chevak, Mountain, Alakanuk, and Scammon Bay. 

I left around 1:30 am, but I understand it went on until close to 3 am.  

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bush Life

I love the classic Jeff Foxworthy and I think it's time for a comeback. Whoever this next comedian is, I think they should do a "You might be Alaskan if..." or maybe "You might be from the Bush if..." 

Yesterday I realized that I left Marshall School in a four by four truck, hopped on a Cessna 207 airplane, landed in St. Mary's, drove a snow mobile to Mountain Village, then took my ATV to the office to finish out the day. "You might be from the Bush if... You ride a truck, plane, snogo, and four-wheeler on your way to the office."

I love the Bush, I genuinely do. My water has been on for a week or so now, which is phenomenal. I am blessed with a great job and work with amazing educators. I have a warm home and have wealth beyond measure in my friends and family. I thank God every day for my health and for meeting my every need. I love that the world I live in is beautiful, serene, and so vast it scares me. 

Most people in big cities sit in an hour of traffic a day, at least. You could be in deadly accident at any time. I fly in Bush planes, ride ATVs, and cruise the frozen Yukon at 80 mph. I like my commute... 

"You might be from the Bush if..." 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

No Rest for the Weary

These last two weeks have been a wild ride, to say the least... 

Beginning with a full schedule of traveling at sites, I rushed back to Mountain to clean up, wash clothes, and catch a plane to St. Mary's. Heading in to Anchorage, my colleague and I grabbed a rental and hit the nearest sushi spot. In Anchorage for the Alaska Society for Education conference, I had the pleasure of working with the finest educators in Alaska to solve problems and discuss the future of education in Alaska. Learning together I built friendships and networked with individuals that will assist me in my professional growth for many years to come. 

Heading back to the village with 21 days of water in my house since December 14th, I was anxious to find out if I would get a shower once I arrived. Thrilled beyond reason, I found my home in Mountain Village warm and with water! Life is good. 

Never a dull moment, I rolled right in from the airport and went straight to the office. Getting ready for the Site Tech Inservice Friday night through Sunday night there were errands to run, plans to be made, and agendas to be written.  Once everyone arrived there were laughs and stories shared late into the evening. Guitar Hero and Band Hero passed the hours quickly and the inservice days were informative and meaningful. 

Saturday night we decided to gather for some crazy fun on the frozen Yukon by recreating the Harlem Shake... Yukon style!