31 August 2008

A Whale of a Time

On Wednesday, I went to my second day of orientation. We started off with two classes. The first was called Whet your appetite. A native Alaskan woman came in and told us stories from her tribes/houses. She also introduced herself in the Tlingit language. I guess it was kind of like a cultural awareness class, since we are in their area. Kind of fun. The other class was called Mythbusters. They had a panel of "real UAS students"...so funny that they introduced them that way... and we were supposed to ask them questions about what college was really like. It took awhile for that one to get started. Both the classes were an hour long. After that, they let us have a sort of free time. They had four activities for us to choose from: kayaking, hiking, climbing, and a group that was for procrastinators so they could finish registering and buying books and such. I went climbing on the rock wall in the gym. I got to climb on the wall twice and I also got to belay once. My first time up the wall, I slipped and crashed into the wall. Luckily, I only ended up getting two big bruises on my hiney...I crashed backside first into a hand hold. The guy belaying me let me down and thought I was gonna be done, but I went right back up and made it to the top. The second time I went up, I didn't go all the way to the pulley, because my arms gave out on me. I took a rest part way up, but my arms aren't used to that much of a workout, and my hands were too sweaty to hold on anymore, but I made it within four feet from the top.

When our free time was over, they fed us lunch and then we got on a school bus and went to Auke Bay Harbor to get on the whale watching boat. There were over 100 students that went on the whale watch. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was out and we had blue skies. The whales were very active and came close to the boat. We also got to see a little island covered with stellar sea lions. They were loud.

We were out for about 3 hours, and after the whale watch, I went home and got Darwin and the kids, and we went to Auke Rec and had a bbq with my classmates. They had a native prepare a salmon pit...which is VERY similar to how the hawaiians roast a pig in a pit. He told us another story (he told one on the whale watch boat as well) and then his group did a drum/dance demonstration. He then had the group pass out their drums to the audience and the volunteers got to learn the drum/dance routine. Isaish really wanted to do it, so they let him, and then one of the students gave me his drum, so Isaiah and I got to learn a native Alaskan drum dance. He, of course, was the star of the show. Darwin took pictures of us with his phone, but I don't have them yet, so I will put them up later.

One of my favorite whale pictures. The sun was out and there was a rainbow over the whale when it spouted.

In this one, you can see the whales bumpy nose.

Humpback Whale

Whale tail waterfall.

Dive, Dive, Dive

These two swam together for awhile.

Momma and baby
Covered with Stellar Sea Lions.
King of the Hill

This group was swimming in a pack and swirling all over. One was definatly ADHD...lol...he was going crazy.

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