"A mind once stretched by a new idea can never regain its original dimensions." ~Oliver Wendall Holmes

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Poker night!

So, Avery is off with the Boy Scouts doing some winter camping. I worked all day and got a TON done! Chandra and I went to dinner and had a great meal(Korean food). Just as I walked in the door from being gone all day with all of that, I got a knock on my door. The knock was an invitation to play poker. So, I doned my gear(it was snowing pretty good out) and walked with my friends to their house on the next street over. We had beverages and played poker for hours. It was a great time!

My friends had house guests. Friends of a friend from a village not far from Bethel who were in town for a doctor appt and needed a place to stay. Originally, it was supposed to be just the father and son, but the wife, daughter, and baby ended up coming too. Needless to say, they were making themselves right at home, helping themselves to whatever they wanted in the kitchen and not picking up after themselves. Messes were made in the bathroom because the kids didnt know that they were supposed to keep the shower curtain on the inside of the shower because they dont take showers, they just do steams. They were very musty smelling. The parents let the kids do whatever they wanted, including letting the 1 year old chew gum. When we suggested to the mother that letting the baby chew gum might not be such a good idea, she said it was better than the baby bugging her all the time. As long as the baby left her alone, it was fine. All the kids, including the baby, were still awake when I left at 1:30. When someone said to the baby..."Can you say pop? say pop!" and the baby started saying pop, the dad piped in and said to the baby..."Can you say drunk? Say drunk!".

I am just so floored this first experience with a completely native family from a village. Basically, they raise their kids with the premise that they have to make their own mistakes and figure things out on their own. I have heard many native people say that this is the way to raise kids. It's just so different. Even though it seems so wrong for parents (and house guests) to behave that way, I dont think they really see it that way. It is just the difference in the culture and their fundamental belief systems. Or maybe this family is just a bad example of native family values in action?

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