So, I just came back from Buckland yesterday morning. We worked and worked and worked some more.
We didn't really have an internet connection and actually, I think I was mourning the loss of the Blog rather than Facebook! Does that mean I'm growing up? I hope not. :)
In any case, my feet are completely numb from all that walking around in Mukluks, and my hands have sufficient blisters to showcase that I am actually fighting off another illness of an unknown cause. And you know what? It was completely worth it.
Buckland is a town that is FULL of wonderful people. They work extremely hard. They smile at every single opportunity. They make me laugh just by a look. I mean, seriously, it is just so happy and fun in Buckland! The kids are all wiggly, and cute. Especially the shy ones. Whom, of course, I love to tease. Their shy little smiles force their shoulders to shrug and open up. Maybe it helped that I handed out gum and prizes to them though!
For a while there, I sat in the middle of the gymnasium, closed my eyes and listened. All I heard, besides the meeting taking place was the sound of Inupairraq, Elders speaking Inupiaq. I giggled with them, teared when I heard one talk about how he wished his wife were here with him, and sighed when they said they wished more young people could understand them. So, I leaned over and smiled. "I Kaniqsi." (I understand.) To which, both of them blushed and smiled. They asked, "Everything?" So, I smiled slyly and said, "EVERYTHING!" haha. It was great.
The other thing about Buckland is that you would never know that the town doesn't have running water. Why? Because no one is complaining. They just go about their business, helping people, and smiling. They are completely appreciative that the town is getting water and sewer this summer (I'm pretty sure) and during one interview, an elder said, "The only thing I want to do before I die is flush my toilet."
Comments like that, completely humble you. Because in reality, she said she didn't really mind it, but she really wanted it for her grand kids. She said that she thought they deserved "flush toilets and water from a sink."
How many of you complained about your toilet being dirty, or your water tasting funny from the tap? Because again, reality strikes back, there ARE places in the United States of America, full towns, full cities that do NOT have running water, or sewer systems in place.
People get water by the 55 gallon bucket, make "dump runs" to empty their qugviks (honey buckets) and they know a thing or two about conserving.
Funny story about the word "Honey Bucket" too. Another comment was made by an elder who said, "I am so happy to get water and sewer, but I don't know who came up with the word 'HONEY bucket!' I never call my husband HONEY ever. Only when I'm mad at him!"
I didn't take a lot of photos, but the ones I did, I'll load soon. Right now, I'm resting my feet for my 5 day vacation. I just cut a bunch of skins I bought in Buckland for baby mukluks, kid mittens and Koy Gloves for our "Spring Break" trip to camp. (Our kids spring break is only a two day vacation, because they get out of school for the summer on May 8th. Yay!)
What'd you do for "Spring Break?" :)