Friday, March 28, 2008

March Break: Some Pics

One Wednesday Francois and I went ski-dooing with Seasi and her husband, who happens to be an outfitter (takes people into the bush hunting).

First up... a photo of my glove which has several small holes in it... I accidentally shot it when it was left near our targets.

Next. Francois on his ski-doo. Note the size of the skis. The ski-doo that I borrowed has thin skis and a narrow track which equals very bad. I sink like a rock. And what makes it worse... the machine is liquid cooled... so the extra contraption adds ALOT of weight which is a really bad thing when two tiny guys are trying to lift the bloody thing out of four feet of light snow. The hole you see is only small compared to some others. But at least the scenery is beautiful.

The last set of photos are of the ptarmigans we saw, and the Outfitter hunted down. Seasi was able to pluck the little birds in like a minute sending feathers flying. They only pluck them at first (the outfitter told us) because they usually freeze on the way back, and if you let the animal freeze unplucked then the feathers become very difficult to remove. To see the little guys in the first picture look at the branches in the foreground (you can see the face and see how close you can get). Then Seasi cleaning the bird. The mess left behind. Then a photo of three birds near a tree (one trying to get away).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

March Break: A Time of Firsts

To begin with, Monday, one of Gene’s students had caught several (68) ptarmigan, so he passed a few on to his secondary III teachers. Gene made a stew with the meat, and may I say… it was enjoyable, like a savory turkey. I have yet to see a living ptarmigan (cross between a chicken and a pigeon), but I should see one this week as I’ll be skidooing often.

Next, my mommy will be proud, because last week we (the teachers and several classes) were asked to fold crosses for Palm Sunday. So I sat for over an hour folding and teaching my students to create small crosses out of the aging palm leaves.

Well, we just started our March Break today and already I have had several firsts. It began yesterday as Francois and I (the teachers staying behind) helped a group of teachers to the airport. Several had garbage in their homes that they wanted taken out, so as they plane took off we headed to their homes and on to the dump. I had not yet been to the dump; a football sized parking lot, were all matter of things were discarded and burned (including several caribou carcasses). This gave Francois the great idea of having a barbecue. We got into the truck, heading to the Northern for hamburger ingredients, when he looked at me and said “you don’t know how to drive a standard, do you?” I had never driven a standard, but we switched places and off we went. I have no idea what people complain about, the only real difference would be the fact that there is no stress here… I didn’t see a car between the dump and the Northern. The barbecue was moved outside and may have made some of the most delicious burgers I had.

Today, we met at 9:30 and headed to Rita’s Restaurant for breakfast. The “complete” breakfast has fried eggs, bacon, 3 slices of taste, fried baloney sticks (I had never see before), and “coc-crush” (I think?) I guess it’s a big thing in Quebec (like jam). It is like a salty meat paste. So I tried it… it was eatable, and then passed it on to Francois.

We headed out to skidoo, but opted to return home because visibility was low due to the snow. We settled in and watched some movies and when the weather passed we decided to try some shooting practice with a 33 cal. that belongs to one of the teachers. We grabbed some cans and bottles and headed out to the iron mines. This is another first, for I have never shot a gun (well air rifles, but they don’t count), or seen the mines. There was no kick (from the gun), and my aim was fairly good. But I was surprised to find that the buck shots were not strong enough to break a stoneware plate we brought because it had a chip in it. Then on the way back I hit a patch of sold ice (otherwise known as a bare piece of road) and the skidoo fish tailed. It was exciting… in that scary kind of way. But no worries… I borrowed a helmet from the principal mom.

Next, I did something my mom told me never to do... I, for the first time, cut my own hair. It's idiot proof when you have hair clippers with a guide.

Three more photos. The first was the sign from the recent winter carnival. It became a topic for an English class on grammar (It reads "3rd Kawawa winter carnival").

Next a picture of the sun rising behind my house.

Lastly, this is a photo of one of the dogs that we have been feeding at the school. He is the wildest looking one of the group, almost wolf like... kinda interesting...

Friday, March 7, 2008

3rd Annual Kawawachikamach Winter Carnival

The Carnival opened Wednesday afternoon with a parade.

The cars met at the Manikin (corner store) and paraded the duchesses through the town on the way to the NCC (Naskapi Community Center) where the activities were going to start.

Here are the duchesses with the Chief (in the brown) and Bonhomme (the Quebec winter carnival mascot). The duchesses are in a small competition... they sell tickets and the one that sells the greatest number becomes "queen". She wins cash (over 500$) and big prizes (like a flat screen tv).

The teachers came out in full numbers to show our support for the school duchess Susan (our secretary- in the green).

Here are some of the activities; each had a cash prize: the egg toss, snow shoe race and log sawing (100$ prize). It was -23 that afternoon, so after freezing my toes (because I forgot to wear wool socks) and smelling up my cloths with the tamarac smoke from the fire (about two hours worth) I went inside for some hot chocolate.

Activities go on into next week and include: hockey (last night my kids were up till 1am), a dance and feast, youth and adult poker (the youth win prizes like an ipod touch and flat screen tvs). Then members of the community place bets to guess who is dressed up as Bonhomme. Its a nice break from the monotony of the white winter.

Now some nice photos. Ashley and Dan in the wigwam. The teachers at lunch playing badminton. Some of the pups that we feed from the adult ed. window. And a photo of an adult ed. studnet and her very cute baby (me in the background researching guidance stuff for her).