Saturday, August 25, 2012

8-24-2012 (Part Two)

I had every intention to finish part two of my blog last Sunday.  I also had every intention of having only one plate at dinner. Or just one drink.  But, as things sometimes go, I had difficulties with motivation.  Writing is not strenuous, but it does involve thinking.  Not astute thinking obviously, but thinking none the less.  But since I’m lazy and easily distracted, I didn’t write part two on Sunday.  I was distracted by college fishing on ESPN.

I did not know that colleges now compete in fishing. Oklahoma State was fishing against Auburn.  I looked for cheerleaders but didn’t see any.  I wondered how the recruiting worked for college fishing.  Do they have coaches?  Do they have boosters luring high school fishing talent with beer and Evinrudes?  How do they scout unless there are high school fishing teams.  I’ll check into that.

But with the distractions gone, I’m going to add part two.  This is the part where we left Oklahoma and arrived back in Nunam Iqua.  It was a relief to find cooler (much cooler) temperatures up here.  As usual, the plane ride sucked.  This time it started with a solid hour of a small human being screaming at the top of her lungs.  Not just crying, but screaming.  And her 4 yr old brother thought it fun to kick the back of my seat.  

Another reason I’m not comfortable on airplanes is because I won’t use the restroom on the plane.  Ok, I will if needed, but I try to stay dehydrated so I don’t have to try to pee while traveling at 500 mph.  But some people, usually those who sit next to me, find it very convenient to use the lavatory several times during a 5 hr flight.   Monica and I were not sitting together on that leg,(she said it was the airline’s decision) and I was stuck between a married couple who didn’t want to sit beside each other.  I decided to try my new icebreaker to start conversation: I asked each of them for their air-sickness bags because I might need all three.  Strangely that was where the conversation ended.
Monica took this picture of Nunam Iqua just before we landed.

But we made it to Anchorage and stayed two days so we could get our vehicles registered and so Monica could get her driver’s license.  We also needed to do some shopping before heading out to the village.  We went to Mr. Prime Beef and ordered our meat for the year.  They’ll cut it up and ship it out to us.  We have a big freezer, so we have the room. Paying for 241 lbs of meat at one time isn’t fun, but since it lasts most of the school year we swallow and pay.  We ordered our dry goods in July and it arrived in the mail before we got there.  So now we have most of our food for the school year. 

Our pantry filled.
We landed in Nunam Iqua on the 12th of August.  The sun was shining and people were complaining about how hot it was; it was a perfect 70 degrees.   Kids were hollering at us to welcome us home. And we had many, many flies in our house.  Monica said it reminded her of Amityville Horror.  I said it reminded me of our pig barn when I was a kid.  Either way, we killed flies for a week and finally got that under control.  I think our vacuum cleaner bag is full of dead flies.

The school year is beginning and we have food.  I think my motivation was all used up with making sure we had plenty of food for the year.  I obsess about that. Maybe my motivation cup is filling back up, like my belly, so I’ll get back to writing in a more timely manner.  I will try to update what is happening to us up here weekly. Monica says she’ll help motivate me by withholding food.  I believe that will work.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8-17-2012 (Part One)

One my greatest benefits of being a teacher is having summers off. This is a time we get to visit with our family and friends we don’t get to see for 9 months.  Also, we get to eat food that doesn’t come from a can.  Another plus is that Monica is able to get more than 1 mile away from me if she chooses. (The answer is yes, she chooses.)

 We left Nunam Iqua on May 21 and went to Las Vegas.  When we planned the trip it sounded like a good idea.  When we got there it was hot, noisy, crowded, hot, noisy, and crowded.  Since I don’t like giving other people my money, I didn’t do much gambling.  I mostly wandered around the casino floor with a beer in my hand wondering why we came here. Then I lifted my glass to my mouth and remembered.  We did have fun, but I think we’ll go straight home next summer.

We spent most of the summer in an oven.  I realize most of you did too, so I won’t go on about the heat; but good hell it was hot! It made me think about the 50-degree summers up here and contemplate just staying.  But the whole ‘eating food not from a can’ thing kept me on course. 

Without having to work during the day, I was able to catch up on some TV.  So my morning routine would be to get up, sit in the recliner, get back up and make coffee, sit back down in the recliner, turn the TV on, get back up and get my coffee.  (These workouts can be exhausting.) Another benefit of summers off is having the option to wears pants.  On my legs.  While watching TV I realized that the reality shows have exploded.  I guess they have been there for a while, but I just noticed how many shows are on TV about ordinary people doing boring, random jobs.  It’s not like they have lion tamers on; they have people running a cake shops or people bidding on storage units.  How bored do I have to be to watch other people’s lives that are more boring than mine?  So I spent the entire day watching people bid on storage units.  There are a whole lot of TV marathons on in the summer.

This summer also marked the loss of a very important man in our and many other people’s lives.  Monica’s dad passed away at the end of our summer break.  This was very difficult for Monica, as her dad was very important in her life.  She was able to spend most of her summer with him and was beside him when he passed a way.  Bill will be missed by many people for the rest of their lives.

I was able to attend my family reunion in South Dakota in July.  This is always a highlight in my year because it is good to catch up with family.  It was also fun to talk with my cousins who are teachers to compare our classes.  They teach on an Indian Reservation so we found that we face many of the same challenges.  I also noted that as we were discussing our classes, I had more cousins who were teachers at our table than we have teachers in Nunam. 

The summer is done for us and soon school will start.  Although I will miss smoking ribs and pork butts, visiting with family and friends, and not using a can opener, I’m looking forward to the school year.  This will be my third year up here and we don’t regret for one second our decision to come live up here.  It’s nice to return and hear kids and adults greet us with “Welcome home”.  It’s good to have two homes.