Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Adios, Alaska

Our adventures in Alaska are sadly coming to an end. Daniel has been transferred to the office in Santiago, Chile and we will be heading down there at the end of April. We have had the best sixteen months ever up here in the Last Frontier and we will miss it so much. We made some lovely friends who threw a farewell party for us at the Sourdough Mining Co. I guess we moved up from our "Cheechako" status, as our card read: "Real Alaskans Award: Because you did more in Alaska in one year than most of us do in a lifetime"!

We received a beautiful Native Alaskan hunting mask to remind us of our time here. It is crafted in the Inupiat style, and it tells the story of a hunter from the Elim tribe who had a successful hunt. The soapstone and wood mask in the centre represents the hunter, and he is flanked by a spear and oars made out of baleen (whalebone). Around the edge are the animals he has killed, mostly whales and seals, carved out of ivory.

Daniel's office also held a farewell lunch for us and gave us lovely send off. We received a traditional Native Alaskan souvenir carved out of whale and seal bone, and a beautiful Alaskan coffee-table book signed by all of Daniel's colleagues.

Thank you so much to all our Alaskan friends who made our time here so wonderful. We would love to repay your hospitality in Chile!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter

In South Africa, the Easter Bunny hides a lot of chocolate eggs around the garden, which the kids hunt for and then stuff their faces with. In America, surprisingly, it is a much more wholesome holiday. Families spend time decorating boiled eggs together and then eat egg salad and egg sandwiches for the rest of the week! Because it's still a little snowy and slushy outside, the Alaskan Easter Bunny stays indoors and hides plastic eggs filled with money or sweets. We spent a lovely Easter Sunday with a group of friends, who were kind enough to let me decorate eggs and hunt for treats with their kids!