I guess it's time to wrap up this Scotland thing. Of course, I have many, many more photos. For anyone who'd like to see a few that I haven't posted here, just click on a photo and you should be directed to the Going Places folder of my Flickr account.
It's actually been snowing around here for about two days and I really don't mind at all. It keeps the dirton the roads and out of my eyes, nose, mouth, shoes, and home. But, when I look back at my photos from Scotland, I am continually amazed by the breathtaking vibrance of spring in more temperate latitudes.
Of course, I expected to see lots of windswept trees and rolling, emerald pastures. And there were plenty of those.
And in the rural areas surrounding the coastal cities of Aberdeen and Banff, there were plenty of grazing sheep and highland cattle. Supposedly, this breed of cattle tends to be gentle in spite of the menacing appearance. I stayed on my side of the fence...just in case I misunderstood.
Some of the farms were less traditional, but equally as beautiful.
One thing I didn't expect to see was a ballet!
On our last night, a group of us attended the Scottish Ballet's production of Carmen at His Majesty's Theatre in Aberdeen.
We weren't allowed to photograph any portion of the performance, but they did give us permission to take pictures of the theatre. And it was lovely. It reminded me very much of the theatre in the movie The Illusionist.
Except that this theatre had room for an orchestra. And they were excellent!
I had almost as much fun admiring the architectural and decorative details of the space as I did the ballet. I said almost!
Even the ceiling was a work of art!
My trip to Scotland could be loosely categorized as a teacher exchange. However, according to UK immigrationese, "teacher exchange" implies that work is taking place and work is something we were not legally allowed to do during our visit (fancy that!). So, instead of using the word exchange, we had to explain that we were visiting, observing, learning, and building relationships.
Simple enough, I know, but it definitely took more time and vocabulary.
And, except for the immigration officers, our explanation was invariably met with, "So, it's like a teacher exchange, right?" You see the problem.
My receiving this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was basically a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Or, more accurately, having the right principal at the right time. Thank you, Becky! My principal was a part of the exchangevisitlast year and graciously nominated me for the trip. I was hesitant about being away from school for so many days, but I knew that I'd be sorry if I didn't jump at the chance to go.
So, I jumped!
And the whole experience turned out to be as sweet as the Sticky Toffee Pudding we feasted on almost every night. (Except for the carrying heavy luggage up four flights of stairs part...that wasn't so sweet...but I digress.)
The name says it all, doesn't it? Sticky...toffee...pudding (pudding is the UK word for any sort of dessert)...with ice cream on the side. Yum!
It looks simple and it is--divinely simple. And well worth another trip across the ocean!
Welcome to the Arctic! This space is dedicated to observations and experiences related to daily life in the Inupiat Eskimo village of Atqasuk. Questions and comments are invited. Thanks for visiting! Quyanaqpaq!
nuna:tundra, the land atikluk:snow shirt, parka cover
Interested in Inuit culture? Check out these films...
The Fast Runner is an excellent representation of ancient Inuit culture. The R-rating is for nudity, violence, and some language. Subtitles are utilized throughout. I do not recommend this film for children, but it's an extremely accurate portrayal of the culture. It was introduced to me by an Inupiat woman who raved about it. And I agree!
For a preview, click here.
The Snow Walker is another excellent representation of Inuit culture circa 1940's. This film is rated PG, I'm guessing for language. No subtitles that I remember. It starts a little slow, but gets much better. It will leave you with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the survival skills of this culture.
For a preview, click here.
Great For Kids!
Whale Snow by Debby Dahl Edwardson is a warm and culturally sensitive story centered on the Inupiat subsistence tradition of whaling. It is available in both English and Inupiaq translation. The illustrations, by Annie Patterson are exquisite and add to the quiet softness that the story inspires.
To order this title on Amazon.com, click here.
The Alaska Geographic series is an excellent informational resource. The edition entitled North Slope Now deals exclusively with this area and even features relatives of my students. Although it was published in 1989, it is still current enough to provide a general understanding of culture, lifestyle, and issues faced by this northern-most region.
To order this title from Alaska Geographic, click here.
More about Kaktovik Disaster of 2005 (from Dec post, "The Edge")