September 17, 2012

Attendance and Subsistence

Hunting season always makes for an interesting time in rural Alaska. It's exciting, it's hard work, and it's something that everyone looks forward to.

Brianna and Diana with
Jeff's first moose. 
This year we've had quite a few students and teachers get their first moose (a pretty big deal and an awesome accomplishment). Talk about lots of work! Moose are BIG! They're heavy as all get out and they pack a lot of meat, which means that they are usually the number one target this time of year. Once a moose is caught it has to be hauled back to the village (usually by boat), hung, cleaned, and packed for the winter. 

Tomcods hanging behind
the house.
Even though moose hunting is the big event this time of year, bird hunting and fishing are popular afternoon activities. There are a lot of geese this time of year and tomcods a-plenty! 

If hunting isn't your thing, like me, there's always berry picking to be done this time of year. Salmonberries, cranberries, blackberries, and blueberries litter the landscape just waiting to be made into yummy jam, savory agutaq, or frozen for use later this winter. My personal favorite way to eat berries is covered in condensed milk with a little sugar. Yum!!

Yup, it's an exciting time to share food, stock freezers for the winter, and work hard.

It also means that a lot of the high school students are missing from class. 

My Sophomore class is small all the time by lower 48 standards (it's pretty average for here with 15 students), but it's never been this small:

Yup. That's it. I guess it makes it pretty easy on me and it's always fun to work with small groups but getting all of those missing kids caught up when they return will not be my favorite thing to do. I sure hope they're catching a lot before winter gets here!

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