This weekend I had an amazing opportunity to take a mitten sewing class in Dillingham at the Bristol Bay campus of University of Alaska Faribanks. The most amazing part about the class is that the University pays for flights to Dillingham and back, as well as lodging while in Dillingham. This adds up to just under 600 dollars. The only thing I paid for is $75 for the one credit class, which is less than the cost of materials used in the class. Apparently opportunities like this are pretty normal. I also paid for food, which is expensive in Dillingham. A regular ol' meal at the diner (one of the very few places to eat) is between 20-30 dollars. Anyway, it is nothing when the University is paying for everything else. Also, it was the first time I have been to a restaurant since August.
In a nut shell, the plane I was supposed to go on in the afternoon was going to be full of volleyball players traveling to Dillingham for a tournament, so it was suggested at 9:50am that I should get on the 10am plane for Dillingham, and I hadn't packed yet. So I talk to the principal and she agreeds I should go to be sure I make it there. So I literally sprint to my house throw some clothes into a backpack, grab a book and my toothbrush and as I come out my front door, the janitor who is giving me a ride to the airport is just pulling up in the school car. When we get to the airport the pilot is just shutting off the engines.
Anyway, I made it to Dillingham and attended the class. I had never sewn anything in my life prior to this. I guess sewing skins is a good place to start because everything else will seem easy now. Beaver skin is pretty thick and takes some doing to get a needle through two of them at once. I didn't finish my Beaver mittens yet, still have to sew in the lining and the cuffs. I will post some pictures when they're done.
A side note about 4 wheelers. There are a lot of big families here, but it's no problem getting them all on the same 4wheeler. I have seen 9 people on one 4wheeler before. Yes, 9. 4 Adults and 5 kids. This is the most I have seen, but it isn't uncommon to see 5 or 6.