Of course our Thanksgiving started on Wednesday with the school lunch turkey dinner. Bonnie’s class made placemats, the ever-popular hand-turkey decorations and turkey favors created out of the available cookies, snacks and candies from the Native Store.
Thursday at noon we were with the other teachers sharing a traditional turkey dinner. Thursday evening we were with the community sharing a traditional feast at the church. The pews were all moved to face the center where a tarp on the floor held all the food. Think big pots and containers of caribou and moose soup, bear meat (for the elders), Eskimo donuts (similar to fry bread), fish, plenty of jello, and a huge bowl of Eskimo ice cream (fat, berries, sugar, and some dried fish). The men do the serving up and down the aisles; ladling one scoop into waiting bowls. You eat the contents of your bowl and just about when you’ve taken the last spoonful, another server is coming towards you with a ladle of a different delicious offering. Every family had a box full of containers with lids and ziplock bags to hold anything that couldn’t be consumed during the feast. It’s a unique way to distribute food and makes for a many-course meal, consumed one bowl at a time.
Friday the Kobuk teachers braved -35 degree temperatures; mushing dogs and snowmachining down to share a meal and play games. Of all the week’s festivities, this one reminded us of home the most. Although we missed our family and Lower 48 friends, we are very thankful for our Arctic Family.
We hope you were surrounded by friends and family for your Thanksgiving wherever you happened to be. Warm wishes…