We left Nome last Sunday after having had a fantastic casting process there. We met a lot of very talented people. Nome showed up! Aarigaaaa Nome! Our most sincere thanks go out to everyone at the Nome Native Arts Center, especially Lisa Ellanna, Wilma Osborne and our friend Marilyn Koezuna-Irelan for all their enthusiasm and hands-on support. Your generosity and positivity are inspiring and infectious. Thank you! For those that know Marilyn here's a great picture of her and her adorable granddaughter Owaluk.
We felt lucky to get the chance to get back to Shishmaref. Andrew and I were there in the summer of 2008 researching a documentary on the environmental issues Shishmaref is facing (erosion, high water, and intense storms related to climate change). This time we got to see what Shishmaref is like in the fall with a real snap of Arctic cold (20 below before wind chill) and some snow on the ground. Chilly and beautiful.
We were able to visit with some old friends and meet a bunch of talented people from the community excited about On the Ice. Shishmaref is a small village of about 800 so we got the word out pretty quickly on the local scanner. For those who don't know, this is what it looks like:
We did the casting at the Shishmaref school and the IRA Friendship Center. Here's a pic of us in the middle of a casting session in the school's carving room.
There are no restaurants in Shishmaref so we did a fair amount of cooking in our very simple kitchen.
We stayed in a trailer with no running water, but we were able to pull together some tasty meals with the help of our friend Dennis. Dennis has a very creative flair when it comes to cooking, and one night he invented a new Eskimo classic we'd thought you'd get a kick out of. Here's a quick video of how to make "reindeer tartare." (Sorry about the weird squashed proportion, still figuring out how to use Compressor.)
Thanks to everyone at the IRA and at the Shishmaref School, in particular Fred Eningowuk and Principal Steve Sammons respectively.
We're in Kotzebue now and already feel right at home. The incredibly warm and welcoming Maija Lukin and Corina Kramer are helping us get the word out with gusto. These ladies know how to rally the troops. I'll write more soon on Kotzebue, but here's my favorite picture so far from just outside the airport.