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Friday, May 2, 2008

LE4K Traveler Pics

The first is of Molly and I with Katlene (left) and Sandra (right) in front of their house.

The second is of just Kathlene and Sandra in front of their house.

The third is of Molly and Vince. . .This is the view from Kathlene and Sandra's house. You can see the frozen river and Ketok (Koliganek) Mountain.

Life Experience for Kids Donations

We can now accept credit card donations!! Well, in 3-5 business days anyway. Thank you to Ann U. for pushing me into looking for a way to do this. Turns out it is much simpler than I expected. I can now accept PayPal! In a few days I will add a link here and the LE4K website for your donating pleasure! Then there can be no excuses for why you can't send me the ten dollars you owe (see Life Experience for Kids posting below)!! Although, we will be charged about 3% of each donation so checks are still slightly better, but this will make things much easier.

Also related to donations, we would like to get two digital cameras to give to the girls who will be traveling this summer. Nobody in their family has a camera and we would like for them to be able to document the trip. Anyway, I thought this would be a great way for somebody to donate. . .Especially if you have a connection that could get you a discount on a camera.

Nearing the End

It i very exciting that we have only two weeks left of school, but that means that we will be very busy because there is a lot to do in the next two weeks. We've also been extremely busy over the past few weeks again because the end of the year is fast approaching.

Three weeks ago we started Friday clubs. Each teacher came up with a fun, hands on project based club and students signed up for the club of their choice. We meet for the last two hours every Friday until school is out. I am running "The Racers." We build things to race like CO2 cars and gliders. Molly has a movie making club and her kids are making music videos. It is a lot of fun to work with a different set of kids for this time. . .I have nine kids between 4th and 12th grades. It's also nice because the kids in each club are really excited to be there. Although, it makes for very long Fridays.

We held an Education Fair yesterday. My science classes displayed their science projects and gave demonstrations for the younger kids. Things like poking a skewer through a balloon without popping the balloon, a simple machine catapult, etc. Molly's art classes displayed their paintings and self portrait drawings. And all the other classes displayed some of their work as well. I had judges come in and judge various projects and we will be giving out awards next week. It turned out well and I think the kids got a lot out of it.

In the next two weeks we have only two regular school days. The other eight days have something going on where we get out early or do not have certain classes. CRAZY!! AHH!! At least the time should go by quickly!

The last thing I wanted to mention was our messed up weather. We are still below freezing most of the time and the river only has a little bit of overflow flowing. Last year, The river was flowing with a lot of ice chunks in the beginning of April. Hopefully we thaw out soon. All the kids are ancy to get out hunting ducks and geese. A few high school boys pushed their skiff across the ice to the overflow water, crossed the river, and hiked to an open creek where ducks and geese have been accumulating since they have no where else to go.

The very last thing! I bought a brown bear tag yesterday! Hopefully I can find a bear in the next couple weeks since it will be my last chance to ever shoot a brown bear. It's illegal to hunt without a guide if you are a non resident and guides cost upwards of $15000 for bears. Basically, I am never going to want to pay that much to come up and hunt bears. I don't plan on really hunting for bears, but at least if I see a bear this spring while fishing or camping I can shoot it legally.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Life Experience for Kids

There are a lot of misconceptions about the world around us that many of our students have and we are always surprised when we uncover them. Things like how long the longest road is (yes, you can drive across the entire country if you want) and how big a "big" city actually is. We often tell stories from our own experiences and only to realize that many students have never experienced the things we took for granted like water parks, road trips, museums, cities, farms, etc. On the other hand, many students in the lower 48 have not experienced life in a very, very rural location.

Anyway, one day in February Molly and I were talking about a couple students of ours who have only briefly been somewhere other than a village. How fun would it be if they could visit us in Wisconsin and we could take them to water parks, malls, restaurants, museums, farms, cities, etc.! As expensive as it is to travel from here to there we would have to do a lot of fundraising for this trip and it would be great to do something similar every summer for deserving students so maybe we should start a non-profit organization. So we did!

We started an orgaization called Life Experience for Kids, LE4K for short. We will be piloting the program bringing a few students from Koliganek to the midwest this summer. As long as that trip goes well we are hoping to continue raising money all year to run a similar program the next summer and start smaller local projects that all provide experiences for deserving students, helping to develop self confidence, leadership, cultural awareness, and many other life skills.

Now the really important part. If you are reading this, you owe LE4K $10. Since we only have a few months to fundraise, there is a lot of work to be done. We estimate that it will cost at least $5,000 to bring two students to the midwest for two-three weeks this summer. That includes airfare, admission fees, gas, food, hotel, and spending money. Airfare alone will cost over $2400! That is why YOU owe LE4K at least $10. We just need 500 people to donate $10 and we're set! Every little bit helps! We are also writing letters to businesses in the area so hopefully we can scrounge up enough to keep ourselves out of debt.

Visit our website for more information and where to send your donations at:
Just copy and paste the address into your browser. Keep in mind that we are just starting out and our website is under construction. . .Suggestions would be great!

Monday, March 10, 2008


I just added a whole bunch of pictures to our snapfish page. I added a Christmas album and a Winter 2008 album. The Christmas album has. . .you guessed it. . .Christmas pictures!! And the Winter album has a whole bunch of different pictures of winter camping and trapping stuff. Check it out!

One Big Wolverine!

This is the largest wolverine I have seen or caught. . .and he is very pretty as well! I might have this one mounted, but we'll see.


Here are three of my wolverines I caught this trapping season.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Back to Wisconsin

It is official, we have decided that this will be our last year of teaching in Koliganek, Alaska. There are a lot of reasons on both sides of the debate, but the primary reasons we want to move are to buy a house and start a family. Those two things are on hold while we're up here, but hopefully they will be in progress in the near future. School gets out on May 16th and we will be flying back to Wisconsin on the 23rd. Then, I plan to come back to Koliganek for a couple weeks with family to catch king salmon again in July!