September 29, 2013
Last Tuesday was known for an open blue sky, warm low-50’s, and visibility way down river. It’s been snowing ever since. At first snow was heavy and wet. Then with a temperature drop the snow turned light, steady, and on/off. This has resulted in a white-green landscape with bare gravel roads throughout the village.
Good weather last Tuesday also allowed our second team to arrive. With eleven folk on the ground, home repair has been as steady as snow. This has resulted in the team, the first and second now is acting and working as one, finishing four of five homes. The fifth, with a Sunday half-day of work, is now roughly half finished.
Not bad considering the weather has not allowed a flight since Tuesday to bring materials for the homes or food for the team. It has only taken a bit of scrounging for materials and a bit of bartering for food to repair buildings and feed folk—it ain’t as bad as it sounds.
Tomorrow is a day of funeral. One homeowner passed since we arrived and finished home repairs. What that calls for, from us, I am not sure. A few of us sat in the community hall last night, eating moose soup, and trying to learn a regional card game. What I found, again (this seems to be the norm of my life), is three weeks in any community isn’t enough time to learn how to flip a card, say “hi,” or have a clue as to what to expect in a Athabaskin-Koyukon, village of Hughes, funeral service. But ya gotta make a guess to figure out some type of timeline to complete work before it is time to leave, right? So, figuring on tomorrow being somewhat like a funeral day back home, I’m figuring an all-day affair. Therefore, it is good to have gotten in a half-day of work so there is time to be present tomorrow.
© David B. Bell 2013