Monday, June 30, 2008

My Trip to Marshall

**Warning - there are a few pictures that show some dead animals**

Well, from a previous post you should all know where Marshall, Alaska is. Our trip started out leaving Bethel at 9:00 am in a pretty small plane. The plane had room to fit roughly 8-10 people. We were the only 2 passengers on the plane. All the other seats were filled with cargo and our luggage. This was the first time for me being on such a small plane. I didn't know how I was going to handle it. Well, I handled it well. We weren't very far off the ground, so we were able to see alot. The pilot got us up in the air and set the auto-pilot and then he did something I wish I would have gotten a picture of. He pulled out a book and started reading!!!!

We landed in Marshall and got a ride to the river from some locals (very friendly people). We got a ride to the camp, which was held at the Fish Camp of Nick and Nastashia Andrew. The first picture is of the fish camp (the brown weather port is normally not there). The second and third pictures are views from the fish camp. We don't get those types of views in Bethel!
We spent day one getting to know the kids and elders. The guys went out that evening to try to get a moose, but it was too cold and drizzling out. On Tuesday the day started about 10 am. Eric gathered the kids and elders to talk about moose. Some of the kids were having fun with the collars Eric brought. Poor Mukluk (the camp dog) seemed to get the poor end of the stick on this one.
After the talk, he took the kids down by the water to have the kids try to track a collar that was hidden in the trees. The boys ended up finding the collar, but the girls gave up because of the mosquitos. Check out the mosquitos on the back of the red sweatshirt!
On Tuesday night the boys got to give moose hunting another try. This time it was a success. They went out at 8:00 pm and didn't get back to camp until sometime around 1:00 am. They just got a little spike bull, but it was delicious meat!
I've got a little trivia question for you. What looks like carpet, but is actually part of the inside of an animal? Don't know? Check out this picture and let's see if you can guess what it is.
Do you have any idea now? No, still nothing? Well, believe it or not, this is actually the stomach of the moose. You see, moose have 4 stomachs like cows do and it just so happens that stomach #1, the rumen, has the carpeting appearance to it. Interesting isn't it? That's the science lesson for the week!
Wednesday was our last day at the camp. We got to listen to some talks on diabetes, drugs and alcohol. Stuff that we as kids heard all the time, but they don't teach as much here even though it is a huge problem. We also had some down time so I got an opportunity to learn how to do some simple beading, while Eric got a lesson in how to string up a fish net.
Here's a picture of some of the fish that the kids/elders caught with the fish net while they were out. What they do is filet the fish, but backwards. They filet out the center/bones but keed the tail part intact for hanging. The will score the meat down to the skin without cutting through it and then they hang it to dry, all the while keeping a smoky burn going to give it the smoked taste.
On Wednesday evening, one of the boys whose nickname is Be-Bob, asked me why we had to leave. I told him that I needed to go back to work or I would get fired. He told me to get fired and then I could move up to Marshall and teach. I asked him what would Eric do and he said that he would "eat". How fair is that? Eric can eat and I have to work? Be-Bob was a pretty good kid. He was one of those trouble-makers that you can't help but love. We started the saying "you've been Be-Bobbed" (inside joke, kinda had to be there). Here is a picture of Be-Bop with Mukluk.

Well, Thursday came and when I woke up, I had a very strange feeling in my right eye. It was like I could only open it halfway. I asked Eric is there was something wrong with my eye and he said it was swollen. Apparently sometime on Wednesday night/Thursday morning I received some type of bug bite just below my eyebrow low enough to make my eye swell. It was like a black eye, without the black eye. Anyways, we left early in the morning to go back to Marshall and catch a ride home. This time the plane was even smaller then when we came out. I believe that this one was a 6 seater (including the pilots). Once again, we where the only 2 on the plane. This trip wasn't quite as pleasant as the first one. I think it was because I was starting to feel dehydrated.

So, in a nutshell (a long nutshell) that was the trip to Marshall!

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