Women’s March 2017

mom-plus-3We are privileged to live in an extremely diverse town.  If you can think of a nationality, we most likely are fortunate to have one or two or a small community living here.  We just all live and work together.  Our community is a blue town living in a red state.  We believe in equality and justice for all.

In our disbelief, the results of the recent election finally crept up on us.  I kept thinking that something would happen between November and January to save us all from the fact that life as we have known it was going to go through some dark and drastic changes.  So I was ready to support my fellow women who were marching on Washington in peaceful protest.

We all marched for many different reasons. Because we can. My 87 year old mother marched to remind US citizens not to step on people’s civil liberties like happened to the Unangan/Unangas people during World War II.  She was 12 years old when her civil liberties were taken from her by the US government.

Ours was not as formal as some of the larger city marches. We didn’t have speakers. We did have signs. Great signs. One said Ataqan Akun.  We are one.  One of them said March 4 love. One said March against Hate. Another said equality and justice. One said feminist AF, carried by a man. One said Tuman tanax^ agliisaax*txin. Take care of the land. Another said Tuman alag^ux^ agliisaax^txin. Take care of the sea/ocean. And one said Ig^ayuux^txin, ang^im atxag^ingin agachan madada. Do the things you know are right.

And this is not right. Unfortunately, things are being taken away from us all, but some are suffering sooner than the rest of us. We, the marchers, just knew it would happen before others realized the impact.   We all need to practice the values handed down by the indigenous people of this great land   Our people. Our values….the right way to live as human beings.

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Dedication and Procrastination

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I am a master at dedication.  Over the  years I have dedicated myself to performing major feats.  Raising three children on my own.  Coordinating a summer culture camp.  Planning a secret anniversary party for my parents with my sisters, where practically the whole town was invited, and it remained a secret.  Many, many feats.  So this morning, when I still have over 100 chocolates to dip, why am I sitting here procrastinating?  I will be mad at myself later when I am running around trying to get them packaged up.  I will really be pissed when I’m trying to squeeze in time to make that homemade ginger ale.  Why is it that I am a master at dedication and procrastination?  And look at that fingerprint on the peppermint…guess I’ll just have to eat that one.

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/

Kristuusax^ Ag^akux^! Amchuux^txichin!

From the land of saints, the faithful Orthodox in Unalaska, Alaska wish you a Merry Christmas.  This evening was the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.  Tomorrow we begin our tradition of following the Star of the East.  For three nights we will visit parish homes and sing carols.  We call it starring as we carry a large, decorated star and the star spins as we sing.

Kristuusax^  Ag^akux^!  Amchuux^txichin!  Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Kristuusax^ Ag^akux^! Amchuux^txichin! Christ is born! Glorify Him!

The title of this post is in Unangam tunuu, or the Aleut language.  We also say the phrase  in Slavonic.  Khristos Razhdayetsya!! Slavite Yego! And in English.  Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Happy 2013!!!

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Cousins….cool cousins with their ultra cool New Year hats from the Grand Aleutian Hotel. Awaiting midnight.

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Bubbly at the ready.

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A pretty amazing show put on by the the City of Unalaska!

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Love being able to watch the show from my driveway!

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12312012 011a We had the birthday cake and cupcakes for the two New Year Birthday babies.

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Happy Birthday! Happy New Year!!

Articulation.

The Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska hosts a traditional culture camp in Unalaska.    Camp Qungaayux^ is designed to bring Unangan Elders, Mentors, and Western science biologists together with the younger generation in order to teach both Traditional Knowledge practices and Western Science principles which encourages cultural and environmental awareness.  

So in 2003, I talked Caleb into helping his brother teach the kids how to construct model kayaks. 

2003

In 2004, I talked Caleb into working with his brother Mike, in teaching the kids how to construct a full-size iqyax^, or skinboat.  His brother couldn’t make it so Caleb ended up teaching by himself. 

2004

In 2005, Caleb taught the kids how to cover a full size iqyax^ by actually covering the one built the year before. 

2005

2005

In 2006, Caleb, with HIS mentor Lee Post, taught the kids how to articulate a Baird’s beaked whale. 

2006

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 Caleb taught the kids how to construct traditional drums. 

2007-2009

2007 was actually the last year I coordinated camp, so I don’t think that the Tribe knows what a jewel they have with Caleb.  The secret to Caleb is that he had never taught a class before 2003.  He had never made a model kayak.  He had never constructed a full size kayak.  He had never covered a skinboat.  He had never thought of articulating, let alone articulated, a whale.  He had never constructed a drum.  The secret to Caleb is presenting him with a problem and giving him the time to explore it and solve it.

So when the Tribe asked Caleb to teach at Camp again this year, and they asked him to do drums again, I said, “Drums?  Again?”  And Caleb’s other cohort who first suggested the whale articulation, Reid Brewer, reminded Caleb that they had the sealion bones from two years ago…… 

2010

….and the deal was sealed.  So, I am going to try to follow Caleb along in this project.  Not by being intrusive and all in his face with the camera and questions, but by using the photos he takes himself, and listening to him when he comes home lamenting his woes.  Hmmmmmm, I see he forgot the camera today.

…and the whirlwind of life continues.

Well, how about this life in small town America?  Are you all getting enough activities to be content?  I am continually amazed at how life never seems to slow down in Unalaska.  I think I just need to zone out for a bit to recouperate, but the really busy times are right around the corner.  The spouse and I are currently enthralled with all the arguments that are even remotely possible concerning such things as the greenhouse, getting the boat ready for fishing, the messy house, when Alena is leaving again for her classes, how come the tomato plant isn’t blossoming, where in the heck do you get seed potatos in the State of Alaska, and if I have meetings, what’s for dinner?

We had a great time last weekend cheering on all the wonderful folks who shaved their heads to support children who have cancer and typically lose their hair during treatment.  During the St. Baldrick’s Day event, the community raised around $20,000 to support research.  My nephew, Jacob, was one of the shavees.  I am very proud that he is compassionate about life. 

Jacob 'before'.

And off to the left, is CB, from Dutch Harbor Dirt http://dutchharbordirt.blogspot.com/ .  He was also a shavee. 

OMG! Feeling the head for the first time!

And look at that pile of hair!  Thanks also to Jacob’s mom, Wendy, for signing that permission slip, allowing Jacob not only to get his head shaved, but to raise money for the cause. 

And, yes, Mamma approves.

And two of my favorite guys, CB, of the above mentioned blog, and Steve, whose blog, A Sense of Place, keeps many of us centered with his thoughtful posts.  You can read him at http://senseofplace63.blogspot.com/ 

CB on the left, and Steve, front and center!

Aren't they just the handsomest?

We have had a couple of beautiful days in Unalaska, teasing us with spring-like weather. 

Dad - checking out the salmon stream at Summer Bay.

Mom and Caleb walking the beach at Summer Bay.

And just look at all the beauty and then look at the crap that washes up on shore. 

How in the heck are we going to get rid of this?

Next week is Clean Up Week in Unalaska.  The snow is melting quickly and it is time to pick up everything that has been blowing hither and yon over the winter.  Bags are available at PCR.  Pick up a handful and have at it!