A Quick Shout Out for Volunteering

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A community is nothing without the help of its community of citizens.  In our small community of 4000, we have hundreds of volunteers who help make Unalaska a great place to live.  We probably host about a dozen non-profit organizations who provide services ranging from art and culture to education and protection for victims of sexual assault and family violence.  These organizations provide much needed services, at a cost much less than a governmental agency can provide.  So when you are out and about, no matter where you live, think about volunteering for a non-profit.  If you don’t think you have the time to serve as a director on a board, or don’t think you have the expertise to help provide actual services, think about donating something at the next non-profit fund raising event.  Be involved.  And if you are involved with a non-profit, remember to thank your volunteers and the community for the support.  That’s what I’m busy doing this week.  I sit on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the Aleutians.  We are hosting our 6th Annual Chocolate Extravaganza.  It is just a fun event we like to host for the community every year.  It gets people out of the house in the dead of winter to mingle, taste a whole lot of chocolate, and, this year, to view a one night showing of the Museum’s acquisitions for the past year.  So if you are ever in Unalaska in February, come join us for chocolate.

That is what I have been doing this week instead of writing….making a whole lot of chocolate.  http://kucb.org/news/article/the-exchange-chocolate-chocolate-chocolate/

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Unalaska at its finest.

We have been enjoying our beautiful February weather over the past week or so.  Mom and Dad say that they have always done a lot of boating in February because the weather always offers up a couple of weeks of beautiful, flat calm days with brilliant sunshine. 

This past week has also shown another finest of Unalaska, besides its February weather. It has been an action-packed showcase of the generousity of Unalaskans, from the Channel 8 auction (with their awesome and hilarious soap opera, Dutch Harbor 99692 ), to the Ballyhoo Lions bowling, spilling over to the Museum of the Aleutian’s Chocolate Extravaganza, and ending up on Sunday with the Preschool Ice Cream Social.  Where else but Unalaska, could you wear yourself out donating money to great public ideas in action?  And having fun doing it? 

A couple of my indispensable chocolate making tools.

I also wrapped up my segment for the Unangan Program at the elementary school.  My last week with the cutest little first graders you will ever see, was a breeze after my previous week with almost 30 second graders!  Not that the second graders weren’t cute…..there were just soooooooooooo many of them.  Keeps you on your toes when you are working with hot oil. 

Awesome journal-ing.

Suzi Golodoff now has five weeks with the students, teaching about our Aleutian feathered friends, and, last but not least – in fact, most importantly – Laresa Syverson will give 5 weeks of her afternoons in the pursuit of passing on Unangam tunuu (the Aleut language) to a generation younger than her!

Can you find the grey-crowned rosy finch?

Beginning preparations for the Chocolate Extravaganza.

In amongst the Unangan classes (2nd grade this week, 27+ strong) and taking care of SP full-time, it is also time to start preparing for the annual Chocolate Extravaganza put on by the Museum of the Aleutians.  Tickets are $15 each or 2 for $25.  You can get them at the Museum, or from Board members:  Chris Hladick, Kristine King, Don Graves, Forrest Bowers, Denise Rankin,  or myself.  Come mingle with old friends, meet new friends, and indulge in a variety of chocolate offerings, ranging from cakes to cookies to candies.  If you would like to make a chocolate deliciousness, give Zoya Johnson a call at the Museum, 581-5150.  Hope to see you all there on Saturday, February 13th.

Museum/Marine Advisory Lecture Series, LSA…Out and about.

It has been way too nice outside the past couple of days.  Sitting at the computer seems almost sacreligious! 

Last evening the spouse and I attended one of the first talks of spring, hosted by the Museum of the Aleutians and the UAF Marine Advisory Program.  Museum lecture aReid Brewer, recently returned from Fairbanks, was welcomed by Zoya Johnson,  the Executive Director of the Museum.  Museum2Reid has been out of town since winter working on his Phd, and since we all missed him so much – here he is again.  (Sarah – he has kind of a sunburn that he got up on the hill yesterday!)  Museum 3Reid introduced Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanography Institute, who gave a presentation on the research being conducted in the eastern Bering Sea ecosystem from 2007-2012.  The study is being funded by the North Pacific Research Board and the National Science Foundation.  It was a full  house and an interesting update on the work the team is doing.  They are being hosted by the USCG icebreaker Healy. 

Then we went to check out the progress – finally – being made on the small boat harbor project at Little South America.  LSA 1

Ballyhoo was our next stop.  Ballyhoo 2

Just wandering around to see what we could see.

An invite to an EXTRAVAGANZA and an update on the first and second graders…

We are preparing for the 2nd Annual Chocolate Extravaganza at the Museum of the Aleutians.  The event will be held on Friday evening, February 13.  Tickets are available at the Museum, or from members of the Board of Directors.  Those members are:  Kristine King, Chris Hladick, Denise Rankin, Patty Gregory, and Sharon Svarny-Livingston.  If you are so inclined, bring a chocolate concoction to the extravaganza to show your support, expertise,  and for others to enjoy.   I am bringing a couple of items,  including cherry cordials.   Come mingle with friends, meet new friends, and indulge yourself with all the chocolate you could possibly imagine.  I have heard that there may even be chocolate items for sale that you can take with you to help celebrate Valentine’s Day!  Get those tickets before they are sold out.cherry-cordials

Unangan Program Update

The first and second graders finished up the Unangan design portion of the Unangan After School Program.  practiceThey learned about Unangan design from Gert Svarny and after setting up their design and practicing, they implemented their plans and each created a chaayax, or rattle, made from clams.  Or two, or three.3-chaayax

1-chaayax2-chaayax

4-chaayax

Both classes were quite large, with over 25 students in each class.   Gert and I would like to thank Pat Ellis, Chet Higa, Mary Downs, and especially Ciera, for all their help.

It was a crazy madhouse at times!!  If you get a chance, visit the elementary school as all of the projects from the Unangan classes are on display in the entrance lobby.

Hope everyone watched and supported Channel 8 during their fundraising auction.