Monday, November 22, 2010

...and i'm off again.

so. I got back from fall blast on November 14th and I planned on just being back at the apartment and subbing for the week. Lauren, Byron, Sue, Mary and Joe were all planning on flying out to Unalakleet on the 19th for the Norton Sound youth worker gathering. Since I was already able to be a part of the Yukon-Delta region one in Mountain Village I was going to stay back in Wasilla; however, after a crazy turn of events Joe needed to stay back and so there was an opening on the plane. On Thursday afternoon [the day before the flight] Mary asked if I would be willing to go and help her with  the weekend, you know, doing the background stuff so she could facilitate the discussion. There is no way I was going to say no!

The conference took place in Unalakleet, which is actually the Village where the bible camp is located. I was already dying to get out there and see what it was like, plus Sue and Byron just began moving out there so I was thrilled to be able to go visit!

This was Lauren's first trip out to a village, so I was so excited that I was able to experience that with her, secretly I have been dying to go anywhere with her because things are always more fun with friends! In following tradition, we took a group photo before boarding the plane.
Lauren enjoying the trip to Unalakleet.
Leaving beautiful Palmer.
Getting ready to land in Unalakleet. That dark cluster in the upper left corner is the village of Unalakleet.
We arrived there around lunch time so a group of us decided to split a Unalakleet famous pizza from Peace on Earth.

As a side note: The man who owns this restaurant came down to anchorage with one of his sons to visit his older son who goes to school there. The older son is a part of the young adult group in anchorage called Arriga, so as a special treat on what just so happened to be my first visit at Arriga, the father Brett and his two sons made enough pizza's for the whole crew. They were unbelievable, any type you could ever imagine, and each one more delicious then the one before it, so I knew that when I made it out to Unalakleet I would have to go and see where the magic is made!

This was their greek pizza: tomatoes, olives, feta, garlic, banana peppers, and delicious herbs spread around the crust. yum! 
This pizza was the Bella Ryan special: pepperoni, olives, jalapenos, and pineapple. Bella used to work at Peace on Earth for a year or so and came up with unbelievable combo.

Here is the crew dying to dig in:

Sue Bruckner.

Bella Ryan.

and Adam London.

A snapshot of the inside.

And one of the largest set of moose antlers I've ever seen!

After gorging on our delicious meal, we made our way back to the auditorium to get set up for the conference.

All the other youth workers from the other villages started arriving, and in keeping with tradition again, we began each session with prayer and singing a few hymns. Here Nathan Toots lead us in singing 'Up from the grave He arose.' This wasn't everyone who came but atleast here are a few group shots:
This is Nathan leading, Byron and Austin in the left corner, Adam London, and Lloyd.
Going from the Left there is Isabelle sitting down, then behind the couch is Donna, Bella, Ruth, Suzie, Sue, and Mary. Isaiah is standing and then the back of Austen and Byron.

Nathan conducting, a little bit of Adam, Lloyd, Curtis, and Nathan Hobbs. 
And a better close-up of Adam, Lloyd, and Curtis.

While our conference was going on, the village of Unalakleet was also hosting volleyball games at the school. The team from Golovin came in and the team from Elim was also supposed to come in but freezing rain made it too hard for the planes to land.

After our meeting on Friday, a group of us headed over to the school to watch the volleyball game. A few of the students I had met at Fall Blast were playing so I was SO excited to see them again!
Here is Roberta (Wassuq) dominating.

Number 22 is Lynda Cooper, she also was at Fall Blast.

This is Thomas jumping to block the ball, he was on the Golovin team and was a part of the Fall Blast crew!

There were quite a few more from the crew:
Svea is in the sweatshirt, jennie is giving double thumbs up to me, and the others are mixed into the huddle.
The UNK team had great team sportsmanship!
This was the funniest little girl. She kept trying to scare us in her spiderman costume!

So many of the little kids kept playing with us. This little guys kept tickling Suzie and I. They also made paper airplanes and were shooting them at us throughout the entire game, with incredible force I might add.
Our way back to the auditorium was quite an adventure. The entire village of UNK was like an ice arena. The streets were completely frozen over, so we had to skate our way back. It was so fun, but SO dangerous. The slightest incline left you stuck in the same spot for quite a while until you could muster up enough momentum to get yourself out. We had quite a few laughs at every one's "almost" wipe outs! 

As always, the weekend flew by.

Thankfully the conference went great, and I was able to be a part of some amazing discussions. We were so thankful that Unalakleet let us host our retreat in their village, and to be welcome to stay with a number of the families in town. Also, I was so blessed to be able to be a part of their volleyball games and their church service on Sunday. I have no idea when I will have another chance to go back to Unalakleet, but I am already looking forward to that day!

One final goodbye to the beautiful village of Unalakleet.

The flight home.

And back in Palmer.

Until next time.

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