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Welcome to the Tundra Travel Log, page 1.

 

The following information will talk about the various trips to each village and site, thanking many folks and pointing out special events that make living on the Delta so exciting! It's kind of like a rated "G" journal, leaving many folks nameless for web safe purposes yet still sharing plenty of stories to enjoy - so I hope you do!!!!

 

Suzi's Tundra Travel ...


New Releases:

Site Tech '01

Travel w/
Shelley Gill


Mentors

Summer Training w/ ASD

Media Center / Tech Team


List by Name

Atmautluak
(pg 1)

Bethel, BABS
w/ Roy Corral
(pg 2)

Bethel BABS
w/ Deb Vanasse
(pg 2)

Bethel, BRHS
w/ Roy Corral
(pg 2)

Bethel BRHS
w/ Deb Vanasse
(pg 2)

Bethel, Kilbuck
w/ Roy Corral
(pg 2)

Bethel, Kilbuck
w/ Margaret Nicolai
(pg 2)

Bethel, Kilbuck
5th grade
(pg 2)

Bethel, ME
(pg 2)

Chefornak
(pg 1)

Eek
(pg 2)

Goodnews Bay
(pg 1)

Kashunamiut / Chevak
(pg 3)

Kasigluk, Akiuk
(pg 1)

Kasigluk, Akula
(pg 1)

Kipnuk
(pg 1)

Kongiganak
(pg 3)

Kwethluk
w/ Margaret Nicolai
(pg 3)

Kwigillingok
(pg 3)

Mekoryuk
(pg 2)

Napakiak
(pg 2)

Napaskiak
(pg 2)

Newtok
(pg 3)

Nightmute
w/ Deb Vanasse
(pg 3)

Nunapitchuk
(pg 3)

Oscarville
(pg 3)

Platinum
(pg 2)

Quinhagak
(pg
2)

Toksook Bay
w/ Roy Corral
(pg
2)

Tuntutuliak
(pg 2)

Tununak
w/ Margaret Nicolai
(pg 3)

Yupiit District
Akaik, Akiachak, & Tuluksak
(pg 2)


 

...Suzi's Tundra Travel


 

 

 Anchorage School District supporting staff: (Summer Training w/ ASD)

Check 'em out! 

Lower Kuskokwim School District Media Center & Technology Assisted Instruction staff:
(Media Center / Tech Team)

Check 'em out!


My first site visit was Atmautluak on the 24th of August. I was not alone for my first of many journeys. John Wallace and Richard Taylor accompianied me as we flew with Craig Air. We were welcomed at their small airport with genuine smiles and strong handshakes. They toted our gear to the school by using a four wheeler as we walked along the path made of dirt & gravel that later turned into a sturdy boardwalk just wide enough for a fourwheeeler.. ...

Atmautluak is known as one of the Tundra Villages. It is located 13.5 air miles west from Bethel. Located on the Johnson Slough, it connects to the mighty Kuskokwim for easy summer travel. In the winter, there is the "Famous" Atmautluak Trail that is so well groomed, at times you can even take a 4-wheel drive vehicle to and from Bethel. My husband, Tomas, and I have witnessed this while mushing dogs. Besides, I can see the traffic on this trail from the window of our home.

We struggled with getting the new airport system up and running (so the computers can go wireless within the school). How exciting it was when this worked for the first time!

I spent my day going from room to room working with as many of the classes as possible. We worked with AppleWorks or Microsoft Word. In addition, the older students worked with finding and exploring some preselected URLs. John Wallace. our very own Mac Wizard, was kept busy working diligently on their server and returned to Bethel the same day. The time flew by asRichard Taylor and I ended our trip with an inservice to work with a dynamite staff!

Atmautluak is my backyard neighbor; I will be back!

Let's see Atmautluak !


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I am scheduled to leave for Kasigluk September 6th, overnighting twice (once on each side of the river. Why? You'll find out as there is more to come...

...and here it is:

According to the locals of Kasigluk, the site we know as Akiuk is actually from the old BIA days. (Bureau of Indian Affairs). Apparently the old BIA building began sinking so they took it down. Some of the residents relocated across the river to the site we call Akula. I do believe this move was lead by a gentleman we know very well for he is LKSD's Superintendent, Bill Ferguson. There is now a new school located at the Akiuk side, that is not sinking, and is filled with over 80 students and their staff. They do not have an airport (the kind for planes for those techie folks out there) on their side of the river so travel is limited during freeze up and break up.

I spent the first part of this combined trip at Akiuk. Carl Williams met me at the airport on the Akula side and we traveled across the river; Minus my portable computers, for they flew to Saint Mary's by accident. We set up a tech lab in their exisiting lab thanks to Esai and went to plan "B". I was spoiled that evening enjoying homemade soup and fresh baked corn bread with Carl and Robin, one of the many awesome teachers in LKSD! Have you ever had an orange and onion salad before? 

Let's see Akiuk !

The next day I traveled across the river to repeat my lessons with the students and staff of Akula. Hopefully my computers would join me there and they did, along with Richard Taylor who would present an inservice for their staff!

My river trip included a couple of stops along the way to Akula, where David would graciously deliver hot cooked lunches to the elders of the village. I was greeted by Felicia Griffith with minutes to spare for she had to get back to teach and Algebra class ASAP. In many of the smaller sites, budget cuts and lack of secondary teachers in various certified content areas force our site administrators to become teachers in addition to their already busy schedule! Go Felicia go!

During my visit, I was able to work with my first group of kindergarden children. It's amazing how fast their little hands pick up the use of using a mouse pad! Of course, at this age, speaking only in Yup'ik, I couldn't have done this with out the help of the the staff - great flexible folks to work with, quyana (thank you)!!!

That evening was another gourmet meal with Felicia's homemade spegetti. Richard and I added to the feast with some lasagna and food that we brought with us. Yes, we even enjoyed fresh salad; Well, as fresh as it gets in the bush! Little Italy in the middle of the Kuskokwim Delta.

We ended our trip with an inservice for the teachers - another great group of folks. I hope to add more to this link in the future or even an additional link to a webpage that David and a group of students from Akula are currently working on.  

Let's see Akula ! 

Here ia a link to a website that was created a couple of years ago with the help of Scott Christianson. Enjoy!

 

Let's see the Kasigluk Website !

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Monday night, the phone rings, it's Pam Yancy, an ILL (Itinerant Language Leader), calling me from Chefornak.
"Suzi, could you bring your guitar with you?" she asks.
"What?" I exclaim in question being a novice with guitar playing. Expecially performing!
Pam contiues to explain, "Teri Tibbet is here singing with the students for they are going to perform in front of their parents tonight. She has invited you to join her."

So with my guitar added to my gear, I forwarned Pen Air and they loaded their Navaho with my projector, 5 iBooks, 1 Power Book, many reference books, personal belongings and my guitar with no complaints!

Because I was on a scheduled flight rather that a charter this time, my trip included a couple of stops along the way. When I arrived in Chefornak, I was greeted by smiling faces eager to help me with all of my gear. This site is one of the most convenient for the run way is right next to the school. Within minutes of my arrival I was engaged in working with students and technology and continued for the rest of the day! John Wachmann and Mandy provided a classroom for me to set up my portable lab where Mandy and I continued working together for the rest of the day.

After school, Teri and I practiced and reminisced over some of the old Girl Scout songs we learned during our childhoods - yet at different coasts of our country (now that was cool!). She is an outstanding performer and is genuine in her love of music. Teri's teaching me and coaching me along while I was there was an honor! While we practiced, Pam escorted a couple of students around the community of Chefornak to take photos. There are some great ones included on their webpage.

Before I send you there I need to mention LKSD's secret talent. Pam Yancy, born in China, as a small girl use to sing the Chinese Opera with her Mom. To this day, she still sings the memorized songs. Pam shared her talents with us that evening in Chefornak.

So much excitement in such a tiny site. We have John Wachmann to thank for putting it all together. Outstanding! 

Let's see Chefornak !


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Jumping on a Pen Air flight once again, I was off to Kipnuk. Many airlines travel between villages so it makes it easy to go from site to site, when weather permits that is! Although it was a beautiful day out on the coast, apparently the planes were weathered in under fog in Bethel. As Bruce Kleven wisely stated, "Now you see why I don't wait for planes!"
The morning flight was canceled - golly - I guess I'll just have to hang around Chefornak's students. No problem! As it turned out, Teri, Pam and I all stayed that day and left on the evening flight. The down side was that now I didn't have as much time as planned to work in Kipnuk.

As I was dropped off in Kipnuk, once again I was greeted with helping hands. This time it was the Post Master (or at least his son I do believe). As I walked down the boardwalk that lead to the school, he drove my gear around on a trailer hitched to a fourwheeler. It was door to door service with a smile and a warm welcome! It was really great to see Duane Gross while I was there for he and I taught at Kilbuck together for years before he retired. He introduced me to a husband and wife team of teachers and I think I can mention at least their first names here without their permission for they now know all about me.... Thank you soooo much Maria and Bob for welcoming me into your home while I was in Kipnuk!

Once agian, Bruce allowed me to put together a schedule that kept me busy with a variety of students all day. They are also on the road to success in designing their own Website. They have a community volunteer that will be helping them! Go Kipnuk!

Kipnuk has been the largest site I have visited with over 200 students. The village is right on the coast and wildlife is at their doorstep. It was beautiful!

Let's see Kipnuk !

Added note: So sad to say that Pen Air went out of business this past year. The friendly skies will miss their hospitality and kindness they continued to display to all of their passengers even when the times got tough!


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I have been talking with Gary Baker, from Platinum, over the phone. Still no go. I'm on Weather hold. A beautiful day on the coast, yet here in Bethel, we are surrounded by inclement weather! I shall try tomorrow. If it comes down to it once I'm out there, Gary said he could make arrangements for me to get to Goodnews by boat!

I also had a chance to speak with one of my former students over the phone who lives in Platninum now. His voice! I didn't recognize it! He's grown up according to Gary. It will be great to work with him once again!

More to come so stay tuned to Suzi's Tundra Travel!!

9/28/00... No wonder Platinum is worth more than gold on the market! Hahaha

I made it out to Platinum via a Craig Air charter shared by John Wallace on his way to Tuntituliak and Richard Taylor on his way to Goodnews Bay. I jumped right out of the plane and into the classroom. That's right! Only one classroom that is the home for 11 students, grade K up through 11th, 8 of the students were in school while I was there. It is a true sample of a one room school house. Gary Baker does it all - WOW!

While Gary took the older students out to take photos of Platinum, I stayed with the younger students and Anna, their wonderful aid, to work on various applications. They really liked the graphics in Appleworks. The visit continued with training on tips for using the internet and creating their web page which you can see with just a click. The older students used Microsoft Word to write short informative paragraphs about Platinum. We saved the work in html so you can read what they had to say. Enjoy:

Let's see Platinum !


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I would like to thank Jim, Don, and Daniel for sharing with Gary and myself some delicious moose cooked on the grill. Between the moose, potatoes, and fresh salad that I was able to bring, we had a feast!

It was time to fly. I jumped on a Hageland's Aviation flight and crossed Goodnews Bay. My pilot. pictured to the left, catered to me as we flew around so I could take photos out the window as you will see on the web pages!

 

Now talk about an adventurous life. This guy knows how to live. His home is in Hawaii. He flies back and forth between Alaska and Hawaii every two weeks leaving his beautiful wife and family to fly small planes in Alaska! I guess that's what they call having the best of both worlds for there is a world of difference between Hawaii and Alaska!

Goodnews! I can see why the name sake is in place. One of our most beautiful sites! A quick flight across the bay from Platinum and I was once again ready to go. What a great group of folks to work with!
After school I met with the staff and put a schedule together that enabled me to meet with the entire school while I was there. That night I had an opportunity to go berry picking up on the hillside. It was so beautiful that I stopped picking berries to take some photos. Thanks Dale! Food was not a problem during my visit. Kathryn, AJ, Gary, you were all wonderful hosts! Thanks to Gary, I will never eat a waffle the same way again (; !!! AJ is another hidden secret in Goodnews Bay with her musical talent. Listening to her sing songs that both she and her sister wrote while strumming the guitar was a perfect night of entertainment. During a visit to the beach front, a daring seal popped his head out of the water. Too much commotion for him to stick around as folks were preparing to go up river for the weekend. From the mountainous background to the shoreline of the bay and beyond, Goodnews is truley a great site to visit!

I must apologize for not uploading this page prior to now. I lost all the pictures that we took while I was there. I was showing someone how the camera worked and OOPS! ... a wrong button was pushed! Luckily we had downloaded the photos onto one of the site computers so Goodnews has the original pictures. I do have some photos from my evening berry picking and other miscellaneous shots that I can share with you. So their web page went from just a few photos to the following....

 

Let's see Goodnews !

Goodnews Front Page | Goodnews Photos #1 | Goodnews Photos #2 | Goodnews Photos #3


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This is one of ERA Aviation's twin otters

that travel to the coastal villages!

Two engines over open water - the only way to go!!!!!

Not visible yet in this piture is one of the most famous pilots on the Delta, Mike Hoffman!


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Keep us a click away!!!!!

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