Saturday, September 27, 2008

Airport Project and Land Erosion

Iwas amazed to see trailers and vehicles for the first time in this village. Several barges have been coming in this past summer when the tide is high. The barges are bringing in dirt for the 17 million dollar airport project. They will continue to come in several times each week until the river freezes. Quality Asphalt Pavement Co. (QAP) is in the process of expanding and widening the airport runway. The project is expected to have a completion date some time next summer.

The community also has been dealing with land erosion along the river for several years. This land erosion prevention project will cost 4.7 million dollars. The QAP Company is putting rocks along the river to put a stop to the erosion. This project began in the summer and work will continue until the river freezes. It is expected to be completed some time in 2009.

Building Supplies for the New School

I came home last month and was surprised to see several projects going on in our small community. Its official, Kongiganak is getting a new school at a cost of about 22.5 million dollars. I took these photos on September 1 which was the first day the barge brought in supplies. Most of the school building supplies are stacked and ready for January 2009, when 30-40 workers will start building the school. They plan to have it completed in time for the 2010-2011 school year. Dick R. Kiunya Memorial School is the name of our present school that was built in 1976. The community is excited to get a brand new school with a different name.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tundra Vegetables

My aunt picked these tundra vegetables called, “Kapuukaraat” in Yup’ik. They are found on mossy edges of tundra lakes and in ponds along the coast of the Kuskokwim. They are picked and cleaned in water. The vegetables are frozen and used in bird soup and stir fry caribou. While not eaten raw, they can also be used as a side dish with seal and fish. They provide a rich source of Vitamin C. We have many nutritious Native foods available in the Kuskokwim area. People along the coast have lived off the land and picked these good nutritious foods for many years. Most people stay busy gathering food from spring time until the fall.

I will be gone most of the summer and won’t be taking part in subsistence gathering and hunting. I am going to continue taking classes through distance education this summer. I will be back mid-August and should have plenty of time to take part in some subsistence gathering activities.

Have a great summer!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bearded Seal

My cousin David shot a bearded seal yesterday when he went hunting with one of his cousins. His cousin shot one and took it home to his family. We call this type of seal "Maklaar". There are several types of bearded seals and most are generally larger than the one shown here.
In this picture his Mom and girlfriend are cutting up the seal. This time of the year many fathers and sons in the village hunt seals and freeze the meat in preparation for the winter. We have a lot of birds flying in the sky and the snow is starting to melt….signs of summer weather around the corner.