Hello from Umiat, Alaska!
This is your Inuk friend, Alaska Maniq Quilliiaaq, writing. I hope this finds you well! I have been busy, what with school, taking care of my twin baby brothers (Siniq and Saqaq), and helping Mamma with the sewing, cooking, and housework. I also have been helping taking care of Grandmother Oouliq; her Alzheimer's has gotten worse. She forgets things so easily now. It's scary!
I like being busy. That way, I don't have to think so much. I especially get sad whenever I think about Gemma, my little sister who died of cancer three years ago when she was only six. I miss her so much; she was such a happy, sweet little girl who always laughed!
The weather here is getting colder again, with temperatures in the lower to mid forties for highs. It gets into the teens and twenties at night; already we have had some snow here on the tundra where we live.
The hares, foxes, and ptarmigans are already starting to get their all-white winter coats in, and twice last week I saw snowy owls looking for food before the winter. I also saw geese heading south. So winter is most definitely on the way; by Christmastime we will be in complete darkness for at least three months, with only the aurora borealis (northern lights) lighting our way.
In school, the kids still tease me. I am getting more disgusted with Ms. Caroline; she doesn't seem to do anything to stop the teasing. The kids still call me "Eskimo-Pie", "Seal-Eater", "and other horrid names. It's getting so bad I am seriously thinking of dropping out of school and have Mamma and Father teach me!
I am getting worried about Grandmother Oouliq: she keeps thinking I'm Gemma. I keep telling her Gemma is dead, which always makes me cry. She's getting so bad; she may end up having to go to one of those old-people's homes in Fairbanks if things keep going like they are! This Alzheimer's she has is a frightening thing: it's like she's becoming a baby all over again, although she's an old lady!
Well, I am going to go. I'm at school now as I write this; if Ms. Caroline sees me writing in my book of words instead of doing my math, she might take away my book from me. That would make me so upset! I can't live without my book-of-words; it's very important to me!!
Take care, may the Great Spirit bless you, and talk to you again another day! This is Alaska saying bye-bye!
~Love, your Alaskan friend, Alaska Maniq. :(