December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I captured this picture during the Christmas program on Thursday. The program was a success and it was cute seeing all the little ones dressed up. Look at those Cheeks!

December 18, 2008

Schools Out....

For the Winter! Finally. It's over. The long awaited semester of college is done! Now, I can officially say that I have a year and half left (which it's been for the last year!). It's nice to not have to worry about homework when we get home. So. For now, both Clint and I are done for the semester until January 12!

December 12, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Just wanted to note that it's Clint's birthday today! We had a wonderful day at school with most of the elementary kids shouting "Happy Birthday Mr. Shultz!" and making him birthday cards all day...At the end of the day, one of the teachers made a German Chocolate Cake for him (his fav.) it saved me time in the kitchen baking :) BUT-I did make him his favorite: Sesame Seed Chicken, and Satay Chicken...It was delicious! A student from his class-a cute little girl and her sister were staying with one of the teachers here...They wanted to visit Mr. Shultz and I so we had them over for some more cake and watched a movie. It was really fun...

December 10, 2008

It's Christmas Time!

It's Christmas time! My favorite time of the year, while everything just seems to feel a little bit more special, magical, and happiness. We have made our little 'hole in the wall' apartment into a nice little haven for us during this time. We received this fireplace from a teacher who moved and it makes it so much nicer! We didn't have full size stockings so we decorated it with five mini ones. It looks cute!

We bought this polar bear picture from Clint's art teacher from high school. The picture doesn't do it justice, but I can't wait until we get a pretty frame for it. The dolls are from a women here named Buehla, and are known around the world. She makes beautiful pieces!

And here's our Christmas tree:
It's a cute little thing huh?

Since I have been here in Gambell, I love to look at blogs. I posted about it a few days ago but I wanted to share another one that is of great value for craft ideas and fun handmade stuff. There is amazing giveaway's over there as well and there's one going on right now! She actually gives away GREAT stuff. Just click here to find out about it...but hurry you only have 2 days left!

December 6, 2008

The Day After....

...The storm is a beautiful day. Alaska's beauty is incomparable to any other place on earth.

December 5, 2008


Being on an island, and surrounded by the Bering Sea we have the advantage of experiencing the wind first hand. The Yupik word for wind is "anuqa" (a-new-qwa) the 'q' sound coming from deep within the throat. When I say it, it sounds right but not to the locals. They laugh. It's only natural. Yesterday and today we have had 60 mph winds, and all plane traffic was grounded until earlier today. Clint was a sweetheart and drove back and forth picking up teachers that were walking and giving them a ride. It was nice since the wind can actually push the Honda's back while we are driving. It's that strong. I would take a picture, but it's too cold to take my gloves off! So we left the rain in Ketchikan for the wind here in Gambell(?!).

December 4, 2008


Even though Clint and I don't have any kids (yet). I find myself looking at different blogs with a focus on family,children, and crafts. I visit many daily and you (Erika!) can find them here: Make and Takes,Soulemama,DesignMom, Lisa Leonard, and a personal favorite: Flip Flops and Applesauce. I have found some amazing, creative, fun ideas for holidays, everyday fun, organization and more! One thing that I found out from Flip Flops and Applesauce was a budgeting tool. It's called It has templates that are a quick fix to find out where all your money is going :) A very neat tool.

I also came across her embossing place cards. They are really cute, and I made some Christmas cards using her techniques...Here are some pictures:

December 3, 2008


If someone ever asks me, "have you ever had whale meat?" I can say, "Well...Yes I have!"...A good friend of ours came over last night with a big bag of whale meat. Clint cut, cleaned, and put it in the freezer right away. Tonight, he cooked some mixed with spices and soy sauce....Boy was it yummy! We had it over rice and gravy. The meat is dark...real dark. It tasted more like beef than sea mammal. I am really glad that we were able to get some...Now we have some to last us all winter long with our salmon. So, we have whale and salmon stocked up in our freezer. It's going to be a good winter indeed (except for the windstorm that the weather man reported!).

December 2, 2008

Whaling Day....School Closed....

We received a call last night that school is closed tomorrow because a different family had been successful in hunting another whale! 2 whales in 2 days is such an exciting adventure for the community, and us as teachers. This was a very surreal experience. School closed because of a whale? I have never thought of something like that! The district sets aside 3 days for closure of the school in the case of a whale hunt, which helps the community out as well. I think it's so important that we respect the ways of life here in Gambell. So, today we took our skis and headed towards the north beach again to watch the hunt of the whale. This time when we arrived, there was meat that was already divided laying on the ground. The captain of the whale crew gets the first cut of the meat, then the other members of the crew, and then finally divided among the other families in the community. Yesterday's whale was given to the men of the village, and today, the women. This is such a neat custom that these villagers have, and it's such a neat way of life.
Here are some more pictures for our enjoyment:

Here are the hunters with their spears, taking a break from cutting the meat:
Here are the sections of meat! There was a lot:
The men climb right on the whale to get to the meat:
And a close up: I'm not sure what the black part is, but I'm going to find out and then let you know.

December 1, 2008


To the community members here in Gambell, Whaling is an honored tradition that brings celebration to the people. Today, one of the families here in Gambell was successful in hunting a Bowhead whale. We heard the news around 1:00 that they had a few strikes on the whale (they use spears that have bombs at the end. When the spear hits the whale, the bomb explodes inside). It was not until about an hour later that they had the whale close enough to the beach that they could work on it. When we arrived at the beach on the northend of the island we could see that many community members have been waiting there for a while. The kids where playing on the ice-covered ground, and the parents watching. As we approached the whale, we saw that it was SO big that they could not get it on the beach completely so they had to work on it from the boats. This was such an exhilarating experience. I have learned about it through my college anthropology class, but nothing beats the real thing. It was an unremarkable, unforgettable experience.

This was the site we saw when we were approaching the whale. The villagers were congrigating together. It was a beautiful day too!

Here are some boys, sitting and looking at the whale while the men try and figure out a way to bring it on shore:

While the boys watch the whale some little girls in their quapahoks (winter coats) playing...They are so darned cute!:
While the hunters where still discussing tactics, the boys tried to help pull the whale and Clint, in the orange coat helped:)
It was getting way too cold out for me to stand and wait until they got the whale onto shore, so I asked Clint if we could leave. He was a little disapointed, but standing out in 5 degree weather with the wind chill isn't fun. So we left. The villagers however, stayed until 1:00 in the morning working on the whale. Some stayed even later trying to get as much meat as possibe.

What an exciting day here in Gambell!
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