Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Native Youth Olympics.

Seal Ball

My son participates in every sport he can here up north. Well, not volleyball, but we don't have mixed Volleyball like the villages do. But, all the "boy" sports, he's right there in the middle of them.

Coach Aqpik

His problem is that he HATES to have the spotlight. I think once I heard him say that he'd rather lick dog poop than give a speech in front of the school. (Kaisa plays this game: Would you Rather.... and she comes up with some awesome choices!) When he was starting school, at age 3, the teacher would call on him, and he would just stare at the wall, refusing to be acknowledged. Then, when he took tests, quietly, on paper, he was SUPER smart. They couldn't' understand it. And me, living with a bunch of extroverted sisters, and family members, can't understand it either!

Koy jumping

Anyway. We've had talks about his shyness and think that it's OK, but someday, he's going to have to get over it. Or at least be comfortable enough to compete in anything. So, anyway, back to NYO.

Arm Reach

He competed in several events for NYO. The middle school kids compete with the high school kids here, so he said he pretty much did it to "get better at being in a crowd." He did the Alaskan High Kick, the One foot High Kick and maybe the Toe kick, I can't remember!

Koy AK Kick

So, NYO, these are games that are meant to condition you with patience, strength, agility, as well as get you ready to hunt. A few of my favorites are the Scissor Jump, sort of a hop, skip and jump, specifically meant to allow you to be ready to jump on and off of ice flowes when seal hunting; The Seal Hop, where you stay in a push up position and hop around the gym floor; and the Stick Pull.

BKC AK Kick winner

The stick pull is meant to condition you to pull, and pull, and pull. I learned this recently, after wondering aloud about why we did do these games. There will be situations in your life, maybe you'll be pulling a friend out of the water, or saving someone's life, and you're going to have to even longer than your mind tells you that you think you can. That is what this sport is for.

Stick Pull

Many of the sports are simply meant to test your endurance. The Ear Pull, for example. Testing your pain threshold, just to see how long you can endure it. The longer you can, the better of a hunter you'll be. Because, even though we have snowmachines, and guns, and many other super hunting machines, there might possibly be a time that you need to pull your hunting partner out of the ocean. Or hang onto the side of the boat with one hand, and your child with the other.

Aydin Carry

They may seem to be "old fashioned" but I'll tell you what...if someone can hold onto a stick and pull with all his might for over fifteen seconds, HE is the one I want to go hunting with!



Sabrina said...

Fascinating. Here we have soccer, baseball and boy scouts. I wonder if the boy scouts will teach my son how to kill, skin, and cook his own food? He's 6, that's not too early to learn, right? - My husband says they won't even teach him how to put up a tent or start a fire until he's at least 10...so I'm sending him to summer with you, ok?

Finnskimo said...

I love Comment Moderation! YAY. Saves my readers from Animal Rights Activists and Crazy People.

Anonymous said...

By the way, the fact that you were Notified of the information regarding the harm, and the fact that you've covered it up has also been now cached on the internet. So later, when or if what you've done has impacted your own, there is now a record of it, showing you knew, and not only did nothing about it, but you covered it up.

And by the way, it does no good to delete it from here just on your page, google has saved it in its cache, and all of it is still visible having been already shared to other feed sites all over the internet. All of the original posts and information is still visiblae, now in a thousand places, along with your responses bragging about covering it up.

It'll be online for eons.

Lauren said...

Delurking to say: Aww, but the crazies are so entertaining to read!

Love to hear the descriptions of some of the NYO events. My big brother teaches up in Napaskiak (go Hawks!) and has mentioned the NYO in passing. I originally came to your blog some time ago via Amazing Trips, and came back because I love your writing. Plus it makes me feel a little closer to my brother, since he is neither a blogger nor an emailer, so I only get to hear about his adventures when he visits in the summer.

Actually, the real reason I'm delurking is because Kotzebue is famous! I'm a teacher in MN and one of our standardized tests for reading this year included a short story that took place in Kotzebue. My jaw dropped, because seriously? Of all the remote places? I thought it was pretty awesome.

Finnskimo said...

Lauren, DO TELL! I want to hear the story about Kotzebue! Apparently, we're all crazy natives who don't listen to ANONYMOUS posters who tell us that eating the food we have been eating for centuries is bad for us, and that we are covering it up...oh, and that our kids are going to be stupid because of seal meat consumption.

So, I'd love to hear a story about Kotzebue! Especially one that shows that eating seal meat doesn't make you stupid, ,like staying anonymous makes you ignorant!

Sabrina said...

What is this anonymous lunatic raving about? I feel dumber having read his/her comment...

Finnskimo said...

Oh, I frequently get Animal Rights Activists on my blog telling me that "we Eskimos" are Animal Killers. Well, DUH! Free-Range Organic, man!

Anyway, I think the intent was to get me (or all natives?) to stop eating seal. How he/she came to that conclusion from reading about NYO is beyond me. I don't care really, but I thought I'd post at least ONE of their FOUR comments. Or, maybe I'm too stupid to "get it" from eating all that contaminated Seal Meat!!! It ain't gonna happen buster.

AND, I think its hilarious and a bit chicken-shit that he/she won't use their real name.

Sabrina said...

Ahh, I remember the PETA people protesting the circus when we lived in virginia. The language they were using in front of a bunch of children was disgusting. I don't really care much what anyone eats...I don't know that I would personally eat seal, but we eat a lot of chicken, pork, and beef here in the midwest...and I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is different in AK, I dare this person to live there in Kotzebue and not ever kill a living thing. Oh, did you ever make anything out of that gorgeous kitty your husband caught you??? I'd love to see it!

Anonymous said...

Someone has to do the killing for the food they eat, they'd rather not look at it; even if they're vegetarians, you kill the plant when you pull it from the roots or the tree. I'd rather know what I'm eating, how it was killed and prepared. Not some chicken or turkey that's never seen daylight all cooped up with thousands other chickens and turkeys; and cows that don't get to roam or run and they're all injected with hormones and heaven knows what. Thanks for letting me vent. Qimmiksaq

Lauren said...

Finnskimo: No, you wouldn't want to read it. From the paragraph or two I read, it was horribly boring to read, as is pretty much everything on that test. It was about a kid going on a hunting trip, which shouldn't be boring, right? They somehow managed. It's okay, half of my kids can't read it anyways, I teach English Language Learners and most of them are relatively new to the country and are 2 or more grades below reading level. But damn, it's like they try to make these poor kids fall asleep during the tests or something.

Now, I am all for animal rights, in the sense that we shouldn't go around torturing things. But I do not understand where the animal rights fanatics went wrong.. like somewhere along the way they jumped off the boat and forgot that *people need to eat* and other silly things like that. I love my veggies, but I also LOVE my meat. I wish I could get more that was *fresh* like lucky folks who live in great hunting/fishing grounds. My dad supplies us with fresh venison in the winter, but it never lasts long because YUM. Way better than fatty cow or scary mutant corporate chicken.

Also, what is Crazy Anonymous talking about with the whole google cache deal? Seriously? You have comment moderation. Their previous comments never existed on your blog, therefore they were never cached. Apparently NOT eating seal meat has made them stupid. And crazy. Sad. But totally entertaining.

K'man said...

I love to hunt here in Iowa and I had never thought of developing the skill sets that you mention in this post.
I may print it out and share it with the guys... After all, you never know...
Keep on posting everything you normally do. I love reading your post.
Finding you from Michele's blog has been great.
Reading your blog has re kindled my desire to go to Alaska to hunt and fish and see the beauty of the area.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the PETA people, truly missing a screw or something.
I got to try dried seal last summer. I have to say an entire kitchen/living room laughed when I was asked what I thought and although I spoke no Yupik they understood me. I told them I knew of no fisherman who could come up with a better use for them and yes it was good.
Could not quite get into the seal oil, burped it back too much!!
Agree with you on the games and what they teach/test.
People do not realize HOW likely it is that you will need one, or more of those skills in your lifetime living in AK. That is unless you stay inside all the time :-)