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

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Numbers 9 and 21

This past weekend, on April 2nd, there was a 9K Human Powered Race that was hosted by a teacher in the village of Kasigluk. Participants could run, walk, ski, snowshoe, bike, or basically complete the race anyway they wanted as long as their mode of completion was powered only by them. I choose to walk/jog (waog). In the end, I think I walked about half and jogged about half. The race was alot of fun and the turnout was great with about 20 or so people showing up. The race gave those of us in Bethel an excuse to go out to visit some of the other villages. We left from Bethel on Saturday morning and arrived in Kasigluk at around 1pm.
After the long ride to Kasigluk, one of the first things that I needed to do was use the restroom. The race host, Kyle, lives in a housing unit in Kasigluk that has an incineration toilet. I finally got to use one. This was a strange treat...something that not many people can say that they've done. The incineration toilet is a step up from the honeybucket that villages used for a long time. The honeybucket was just a bucket that people did their business in and then had to take out an dump in a designated area when it was full. The incineration toilet is a toilet that burns the waste right there in the bottom of the toilet. It is interesting and shocking to some people that there still are places in the U.S. that still dont have running water. Something to think about and appreciate next time you are feeling like life is dealing you a bad hand.
The 9K that we raced was a triangle between three villages that are close together. The race started in Kasigluk-Akula, then went to Nunapichuk, then to Kasigluk-Akiuk, then back to Kasigluk-Akula. The picture above shows the first leg of the race to Nunapichuk. On the way to Nunap, the wind was in our faces and it was strong. I walked alot during this first section.
The picture above shows the second leg of the race to Kasigluk-Akiuk. During this part of the race, the wind was at my back so I ran alot more and made pretty good time. The trail was clearly marked with pieces of bushes. We just followed the bushes most of the way. Below shows the third leg of the race to Kasigluk-Akula. The village is split into two sides because the original village (the Akiuk side) is sinking. People started moving their homes to higher ground on the other side of the river (the Akula side) because they were worried about the sinking. Later they discovered that it was not sinking as fast as they originally anticipated so the movement to the other side of the river slowed down. Eventually all Kasigluk residents will need to move over to the Akula side, but for now the village is divided.
We had the intention of camping out on the tundra after the race, but as you can see in the last two pictures, the wind continued to pick up and eventually was had an all out winter blizzard on our hands. Some other friends from Bethel tried once to head back to Bethel, but turned around and decided to wait out the storm. They ended up leaving a few hours later. We ended up spending the night on the Akiuk side at a fellow teachers house. We had a huge dinner with lots of food and lots of good company. It was a fun weekend and I feel great about waoging that 9K. My foot barely hurt at all the next day! It's so good to finally be healed.


Vicki said...

Was glad you made it out here for the race and got a glimpse of my village! You're welcome to visit any time.vi

Cindi said...

I enjoy reading your blog, you always seem to share a interesting, informed read.
Thank you!
Glad u made it home safely!

Anonymous said...

I thought that toilet looked familiar.