Friday, March 2, 2012

Just now got the feeling that we're meeting for the first time...

One word, BASKETBALL.  Yes, basketball has got me up at this crazy hour.  Another word deserves to be highlighted.  Second word, CHAPERONE. 

            Since the beginning of the school year I’ve been asked to chaperone/coach several sports.  First it was my own team, the cross-country middle school runners, then it was for the females on our school’s wrestling team, and now it has been for the high school basketball team.  Great kids, great experiences, and great opportunities to travel. 

            I should probably start by explaining how chaperoning works out here.  Because of our rural location, playing another school isn’t as easy as hopping on a bus and getting there in 30 mins.  It takes planning, lots of money, overnight stays, and the good graces of mother nature.  In the fall time most travel is done by bush plane to nearby villages and or the nearest town, Bethel.  In the winter we can still travel using plane, but the cheaper and therefore preferred method is snowmachine.  You heard me right, snowmachine!  When you stay over at another school, the team is led to a classroom to sleep and hangout in for the weekend.  Everyone sleeps on the floor, unless you were one of the smart ones to bring an air mattress.  Finally I say it takes the good graces of Mother  Nature.  I’ve been stuck twice now at other schools because of weather delays… one of which was because the windchill caused tempatures to be in the -50s!!!!

           Tonight was a moment that I won't forget, because I saw a glimpse of the culture that still resonates deep inside these kids.  All day I'd seen high school girls and boys running around texting, facebooking, and listening to music on ipods.  At the end of the night, after the gym was cleaned and the kids were supposed to be heading to bed we heard noises coming from the front of the school.  Boys from another school began singing and dancing the traditional Yup'ik story telling way.  It was so neat to see these young guys embracing their culture. 

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