Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Monica's Travelogue
(part 3)

Sunday morning, Lisa and Iran took me to their church. I met a lot of wonderful people and it was such a joy to get to worship with them. Afterwards, it is apparently the tradition for everyone in the church to go upstairs to Pastor Bruce and Gloria's home to eat lunch together. Doug, Rayna, and Darcy would have LOVED the meal! Gloria is from the Phillipines and she had fixed some delicious stir fried moose and noodles. There was also "stinky fish" (which Iran and I tried, but Lisa would not go near!) and sour soup (made with cabbage...really good) and Lisa's potatoes and pea salad, potato salad, absolutely delectable salmon dip with ritz crackers, and hot chocolate with coffee mate (Lisa has taught me how much better hot chocolate is loaded up with coffee mate!). While the food was being prepared, seven or eight rambunctious little boys ran happily through the house pretending to be freedom fighters, while somber little Nadia (Siveon's sweet baby) looked on!

After we finished eating, Iran went out to start the snow machine we were going to borrow from Pastor Bruce, while Pastor Bruce and Lisa went down to pick out some snow shoes for us to borrow. I took advantage of the moment to walk around outside a bit and take a few photos. Everyone has their cars plugged in. Lisa and Iran have special grippers on their tires to enable them to have better traction on the thick ice that coats the roads. I especially wanted to get a picture of Old St. Joe's Church. That historic church was the first thing I had seen of Nome the night before as Lisa had driven me in from the airport. I wish I would have taken a photo of it that night, because the circular stained glass window at the top of the tower was lit up, like a warm beacon welcoming me to Nome. It isn't lit up in the picture, since it was taken in the day. That's too bad, because it just has so much more warmth and charm when it is glowing with light from within.

Still waiting for Iran and Pastor Bruce to get one of the three snow machines running, Lisa and I went to the only grocery store in town (Hansen's) to buy some jalepeno rolls to take with us to the cabin. The store was bigger than I had expected but still quite a bit smaller than the local grocery store we were used to going to when we lived in Peculiar, MO. The prices were appropriately impressive. In one of the pictures, here, Lisa is holding a tiny tomato next to the PRICE for each individual tomato of that type and size (nearly six dollars EACH!)!

Then we went on to Lisa's workplace. Her boss had called her earlier and told her she would need to come in and approve her time-card before we left for Banner Creek. We waited for her boss to meet us there, for nearly half an hour...burning precious daylight. By the time we finally got back to Lisa and Iran's house, Iran was already there with the smaller snow machine running, wondering what on earth was taking us so long!

(Lisa demonstrating to me how snow is shoveled in Nome...on the ramp in front of the Nome Public Health Department where she works! This building, like every home or building in Nome, is built on stilts so that the building can be releveled every few years, since the permafrost is ever shifting!)
(These are the insulated "Fresh Seafood" boxes that they send the vaccines to the villages in, reusing each box over and over again. One of their boxes recently came back to Nome thoroughly managled with a hand written note on it stating "Fell off dog sled. Vaccines inside okay.")

(Lisa in her office using her phone to call her boss...and detail on the employee refrigerator.)

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