What can I say? Things are pretty crazy right now and, as much as I have wanted to, I just haven't been able to get photos loaded or get my thoughts down in any form that makes sense. The photo I've posted here is from a couple of days ago. I hope to share more very soon.
As I write this, it's almost 10:45 p.m. and I'm still at school. We are hosting a volleyball tournament that began this afternoon and will conclude tomorrow around noon. Our principal is out of town and the first choice for "acting principal" is gone as well, so the task fell to me. I'm probably being overly cautious at this point, but I didn't want to leave until the visiting students began to wind down a little. So I'm still here. In a few minutes, I'll do one more door check and then head home.
Sporting events work a little differently up here. Participation requires a higher level of commitment from school staff than it does out there on the road system. In a school district covering roughly 88,000 square miles, teams are forced to travel great distances to compete with other schools. Everything revolves around flight schedules and weather. Overnighting at the hosting school is always involved and that means meals must be prepared, classrooms must be used for sleeping quarters, and staff members are called upon to go above and beyond the ordinary call of duty in the midst of unpredictable circumstances.
In March, we'll be hosting the regional basketball tournament and prom here in Atqasuk. We'll be feeding and housing four to five teams, their coaches, and additional high school students who don't play basketball, but will be attending the prom. We hosted this event six years ago and, I'm here to tell you, it's a HUGE undertaking. Just coordinating trips to and from the airport requires strategy and dedicated manpower.
For tonight, though, we're only dealing with one small group of kids from Kaktovik. They flew about 400 miles to be here and they've been a good group. Our kids have had a good time with them, both competing and socializing. Tonight, the student council hosted a dance that started out being more of a "stand" than a dance, but everyone loosened up toward the end and seemed to have fun.
So, now it's 11:33 p.m. I just made my rounds and everything is locked up and quiet. The classroom where our visitors are sleeping is dark. They appear to have settled in for the night. I'm heading home to my poor neglected dog, a hot bath, and my pillow.
Breakfast and the morning volleyball matches are only a few hours away.