So this post is long overdue and I apologize. Once I have Internet in my new house I will be able to update more.
Friday the 15th was my 24th birthday! We didn’t have school that day so I had a relaxing day at home with Piper. I FaceTimed my parents and opened my gifts from them. They get me a bread machine, bread mixes, a cookbook, and all of the ingredients to make bread. They also got me some base layer clothes and warm socks. My sister got me two seasons of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Drives.” My Aunt Jeanie and Uncle Joe got me beef jerky and our family friend Amy got me two seasons of “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Mom sent me my favorite cake so I made that and got to lick the batter. Then I was feeling sad because I had this whole cake and no one to eat it with me because Meghan doesn’t like chocolate. All of the kids were out playing on the playground so I called them over and dished cake out of my kitchen window and ate with all of them before taking Piper for a walk. That night I went over to Meghan and Andy’s and she made me a birthday dinner! We had moose, which was very good and tasted like steak and homemade vanilla cake. It was delicious and even had purple cream cheese icing with sprinkles! They even got me a gift card for Amazon, Meghan made me a beautiful scarf, and they gave me a “Pamyua” CD which is a Southwestern Yupik group. Here is a video of them if you want to see: Pamyua. It was a birthday I will never forget!
Piper playing with wrapping paper
Cake Meghan made!
CD from Meghan and Andy
Scarf from Meghan
On Sunday the 17th I left for Manokotak for one of our 7th graders for a student council retreat. Once again I had the pleasure of having an air taxi ride. This time it was with Grant so the plane was a little bit bigger. When the plane first landed I was very excited to see trees!! We got a ride to the school, which is so new and pretty. They had a lot of cultural artifacts and paintings. Their village is a lot bigger than Twin Hills so they have a lot more students and their school goes until high school. Twin Hills only goes to 8th grade and then they have to go to one of the other villages for high school. I was also excited to see fellow Kutztown alumni Marisa! It was nice to see a friend and we even slept in her classroom. We were there from Sunday until Tuesday. We slept on the floor of the school and showered in the girls locker room. I got to meet and socialize with other teachers chaperoning the retreat and see some of the Manokotak teachers I met at inservice. We got to go into town, which is five miles from the school! I got a picture by the river that had a very pretty view. They have a store but it really didn’t have much. I got some candy canes ($6 for 12!) but there was really nothing there worth getting. I went to Marisa’s apartment one night and got to visit with her for a while and meet her puppy Macy she got there! Macy is very cute and sweet! Grant took us home and I was staring at the pilot because he looked so familiar. Then I realized it was Robert who went to old Togiak with Martha and I when I found the tooth! He did good work and got Sylvia and I back to Twin Hills safe and sound. When I got back a had an early Christmas present from my Aunt Jeanie and Joe, Omaha Steak! I was so excited to get chicken, steak, hamburgers, potatoes, and more!
Last weekend I got to move into my new house! Meghan and Andy were in Anchorage for a doctor’s appointment so our custodian John and one of our subs Nick helped me move in. I worked all day and all night to get unpacked and organized. I feel relieved I know where all of my things are, my house is so clean and new, it smells wonderful, and just feels homey. Piper was not happy at first but now she loves it with all of the low windows. There still aren’t artic entry ways or stairs on the front but that is okay. Meghan made me curtains which really made the place feel more like home. I love the fabrics she picked out and they look great!
Picture from Mrs. Maguire from the Kutztown Folk Fest
Hall from my room with washer and dryer
Back of house
Side of house
Brown building is the school to show how close our houses are
Front of house, no stairs yet
My house and Meghan's house
Last weekend while I was moving in the wet heavy snow that was falling I noticed a huge looking bird on a boat by the river. I took a chance and walked down and it was a huge bald eagle! It let me stand right under it! I took some pictures and went back to get my phone to take some on that. A student walked down with me the second time and the eagle decided one person was okay but not two and it took off. I got a picture right as it went to fly away.
We had our Thanksgiving feast at school at 3 on Wednesday. Our feast was dedicated to the founders of Twin Hills, three of whom are still here. The school made two hams and a turkey and I made stuffing. People brought some interesting things to the potluck like salted pickled fish head and herring eggs. I had some agukak (Eskimo ice cream) and a cranberry yogurt type of drink I forget the Yupik name for. I also tried the fish head but had a hard time trying to figure out how to eat it. On Thursday for Thanksgiving I went to church at 11. Then Piper and I spent the day with Meghan and Andy. We made turkey, homemade pumpkin pie and cherry pie, green bean casserole, homemade cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and corn. It was DELICIOUS! The turkey was perfect, the stuffing was delicious, and the pies were so good! All of it was delicious! We watched “Northern Exposure” while the food was cooking and the dogs played all day. This Thanksgiving I am so thankful I have a family and friends worth missing. I am thankful for Piper to keep me company while I am here. And I am thankful for my new friends Meghan and Andy who do so much for me and make it a lot less lonely.
Friday while Piper and I were walking I noticed a large looking bird on a telephone pole. Once again I took a chance and walked over and was rewarded. I couldn’t help but take a hundred more pictures of this beautiful bird. It let me stand right under it! Remember: click the picture to make it bigger! I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I enjoy staring at this bird.
Other random pictures from other the past few weeks: