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Monday, January 15, 2007

Brian's Second Week

Hello all,

Some of you have been wondering if I am still alive up here, well I am. . .just a bit busy. I am also having computer issues, which is making e-mailing pictures much more difficult. Anyway, I am in my second week of teaching and things are going well. Today was the first day I actually had all of my students in class. On Friday I had about 20% of my students show up because they were all out Slaviing (I am not sure of spelling here, but that's ok). They go to a different village each day, stopping to eat at every house along the way. They do this for a week between the Russian Orthodox Christmas and New Year. I am already wishing for some of my students to Slavi some more!!

It snowed for three days in a row. . .Not a nice snow, but more like a crazy blizzard! Estimates are between 4 and 7 feet, but I am not sure. The wind blew it around so much that we may have gotten only a foot, but some drifts reach above roof tops! I really should have had snow shoes to get to school on Friday. The first door I tried to get in was completely drifted in and I had to walk around the school, sinking up to my thigh in snow! It doesn't take long for everyone to pack it down with snow machines, so it isn't bad anymore. Because of the snow, no mail came in for three days, but I got my luggage on Sunday!!!!!! I now have my rifle, but forgot where I put the key to the gun lock! I also have real winter gear! Yippee!!

On Saturday I went out wolf and wolverine trapping. We didn't catch anything, but we did get stuck twice for a total of 2.5 hours of snow digging/snow machine lifting fun!!! Snow too deep for a snow machine. . .Go figure! I don't know what he would have done if he was alone, it would have taken forever to get out. He blamed us not catching anything on the snow covering traps getting in the way of snares. Apparently, a wolf pelt will get 300-500 bucks! I will have to get some of my own snares so I can try to catch some wolves.

On Sunday, before I got my luggage, I went for a hike. The snow was starting to get hard enough so I could walk on top, but I did sink up to my waist a couple times. Looking down the river at Koliganek, I found a great spot for a fort. The snow hangs over the hill above the river a good 10 feet or better. Dig that out some more and it would make a great hide out. I will have to do that later. . .

I took pictures of kids playing on a roof top. One kid was shoveling snow off the roof, so others climbed up some pipes and would jump off into snow. Jumping off looked fun, but climbing up looked quite scary!

Some middle school students stopped by and asked if I would coach girls basketball because there is no middle school program. This would be kind of fun, but I am bad at basketball and don't have time to coach it. Then a bunch of elementary kids stopped by and asked if they could visit for a while! I was forewarned that if I said yes, they would visit me every day. I told them I was trying to get some work done. . .so they begged. . .then asked if they could stop by when Molly gets here. That will at least hold them off for a couple weeks!

Last thing, for those that did not know or forgot. I am teaching algebra, geometry (these two at the same time), reading, wood shop, middle school gym, high school gym, and life science. There are 36 kids in the middle and high school combined. I have all eleven middle schoolers three times a day!! When they start to get on your nerves, there is no waiting for the next class. . .They are the next class!!

I went to the store tonight and saw that they had gallons of vanilla ice cream (no price tag). Being the ice cream fanatic that I am, I picked it up and proceeded to pile some potatoes and onions on top of it. At the counter I asked the owner how much it was. . . $19. . .!!! I would have put it back, but it was all dirty from the potatoes. It's OK if I splurge once in a while right? For more perspective, a frozen pizza is $9, a 12-pack of Pepsi is $11 and a five-stick pack of Juicy Fruit is $.79. I also bought expired eggs. . .they don't get here before they expire and they have been good so far. My phone still thinks it doesn't work. I can sometimes call locally, sometimes 1-800 numbers, and rarely long distance. It's a tough problem to fix when I can't always make phone calls!!

Hopefully the next time I write I will be able to tell about my snow machine that I am working on getting and have pictures of a wolf, but you will just have to wait in anticipation.


Ross said...

Brian! I think I am going to start trapping too! I am going to bait the squirrels with garbage, because it seems that they love to dig through it. I think a rat trap will be big enough. What do you think?

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