Where did all the sand at the top of my vacation hour glass go?
Somehow spring slipped into summer, yet the transition never made it to my blog. I've got some serious catching up to do! And today I'll take the first step.
The first half of July was relatively cool with average temps in the forties...my kind of weather! But over the last couple of weeks, the Buggy Side has seriously lived up to its name.
It's been buggy and muggy and way too warm with nary a breeze to rustle even the most delicate sliver of grass. That lack of wind is significant because, without a stirring of at least 10 mph, mosquitoes become relentless. I have reluctantly been spending a lot of my time indoors.
But today wild winds from the West have energized the village!
Children are running around like parka squirrels, happy to be bug-free and cool. People are smiling as they scurry here and there on foot or four wheeler. The lake water is choppy with white caps breaking toward the shore. Little fluffs of arctic cotton float on the air, building up here and there, like summertime drifts of snow.
I walked into the post office earlier today, happy to be out, even ecstatic to be swayed by 36 mph gusts. The first thing the clerk said to me was, "Thank goodness we finally got some wind!"
At least for today, there is a lightness afoot, a reprieve, a respite from the sticky, sweaty, suffocating stillness of the last two wearing weeks.
Of course, that crazy wind is kicking up sand which stings the skin, irritates the eyes, and fills the nose and mouth with an unpleasant grit.
But, for today, I'm completely satisfied with the trade.
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")