September 19, 2004

7. Content.

This is the school... The camera I ordered hasn't arrived yet. I wish I had it this weekend. All teachers new to the district flew into Bethel Friday night for the cultural orientation program. We learned to prepare duck and fish for eating- I got to pluck a duck. I'm not good at it, so I'll need to practice. The orientation was part of two courses in Alaskan Culture required for state certification. I learned a lot of interesting and important things from it- even though I had to miss part of it. Everyone seems to be catching a little something- a runny nose here and there, mostly. It's to be expected, as the cold weather sets in much earlier here. In any case, I got it checked out before returning to the village, and I'm fine now. I had to stay an extra night in Bethel, but as it turned out, so did pretty much everyone else. The tiny planes were grounded due to low cloud cover.

The three other teachers from my school almost made it to Tunt last night, but they had to turn back. The pilots need more than three hundred feet of visibility in order to land. Sort of makes me wonder what would happen if they returned to Bethel only to find the same conditions (or even worse). I'll have to ask someone about that. I feel like I have so much to say, but I think it is more important to not say so much right now. They are really wonderful things though. Right now I can tell you I feel very content. It bothers me a little in a way... Only three weeks have gone by. When we flew out of Tunt on Friday, I saw the village differently from the way I've been seeing it these three weeks. I've been so into my daily routine that maybe I haven't noticed some things. Or, maybe being this close to what is going on will somehow balance out the sense of isolation I keep hearing about. Or, maybe three weeks isn’t possibly enough time to have any real perspective and my ramblings just confirm that for now, I’m just your typical ‘green horn.’ For now, good enough for me. :- )


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