A little taste of heaven.

Talk about one heck of a week. It can’t already be the end of week #1! There is so much Bethel has to offer. It is hard to explain in words my experiences so far to anyone else. Maybe thats just the Biology major in me struggling in this Journalism field. 😉

Here’s a glimpse of some of my Bethel experiences:

  1. Bethel pizza is amazing. Ramen (was amazing that first day! )and oatmeal on the other hand get kind of old after having it for one week straight.
  2. Gas is almost $7.00 a gallon.
  3. We walked to our first Bethel Saturday Market and saw all the gorgeous local native pieces of artwork, clothing such as Kuspocks, food, and tools. I bought fireweed jelly (YUM!) and some cool eskimo paintings to take back.
  4. I’ve gone to two fish camps so far and seen the delicious Red Salmon butchered right before my eyes. Call me a pro now at butchering fish.

    Behind the scenes of the camera crew filming our red salmon/dinner filleted right before we ate it. Photo by Kari Welniak
    Behind the scenes of the camera crew filming our red salmon/dinner filleted right before we ate it. Photo by Kari Welniak
  5. I had the privilege to join Nico, Tony, and one of our professors to shoot B-Roll on a fishing boat of a man and his wife while they checked their nets, bring back their fish to their fish camp, and enjoy a little taste of heaven while sitting outside watching the Alaskan sunset on the Kuskokwim river.
  6. We also stopped by the Napaskiak village and filmed some B-Roll of some kids and the Orthodox Church on our way to fish camp. This village did not have any main roads. The roads were all made of wooden boards and people drove 4-wheelers to get around!
  7. I witnessed firsthand my dinner caught in a net, brought back to a fish camp, filleted before my eyes, and barbecued on a grill right before my eyes.
  8. I love filming B-Roll!
  9. After 12 hours of filming we went back to their house and ate more fish! Salmon spread, pressure cooked salmon, and more salmon jerky!
  10. If there is an apocalypse I’m moving to Alaska and living in Bethel. These people spend June fishing and drying their fish for the winter. They spend the next few months moose hunting. And then in the fall they spend their time berry picking in the tundra. I think I’d be set for life.
  11. Tundra tea is probably the best tea I’ve ever had. Especially with a Bethel crud cold.
  12. We walked on the tundra for an hour and a half! And yes I couldn’t feel my legs the next day. Walking on a squishy mattress is exhausting!

    Taking pictures of the tundra that goes on for ever and ever and ever! Photo by Kari Welniak
    Taking pictures of the tundra that goes on for ever and ever and ever! Photo by Kari Welniak
  13. One night I managed to stay up to 3 AM and witnessed the sun set and rise all within a matter of 4 hours.
  14. Homemade berry cinnamon jam is the best thing ever!
  15. Learning Yup’ik words are so cool! Kenka means unconditional love. Quyana means Thank you. Goudak is eskimo ice cream (crisco/seal/fish oil, sugar, berries) which I still have yet to try.
  16. The river is FREEZING! I wore 6 layers on top and 3 layers on bottom when we were in the boats.
  17. We explored an old abandoned BIA boarding school which was pretty spooky.
  18. Basketball played at a fish camp with deflated basketballs, no net, and on grass is the way to play basketball. I think we can all agree the game of Knock Out will never be played the same!
  19. Showering after 5 days with no shower really does make you feel and look like a new person with all the dirt and fish smell washed away.
  20. Salmon egg salad is the way to go people.
  21. On top of all my experiences so far there is still so much to learn about the Yupik culture and native town of Bethel.

Kari’s great Alaskan adventure to be continued…Quyana!

4 thoughts on “A little taste of heaven.

  1. Kari – thanks for the great descriptions and details in your blog. Its a great way for those of us back in the lower 48 to have a good glimpse at the variety of experiences your group is having. The salmon sounds delicious. I’m glad you are savoring every moment. I know that B roll you love shooting will be important; they always need good footage to put into the film when they’re editing. Enjoy!

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