Hello from Alaska!
My name is Aurora Borealis. Don't laugh: that is my real name! Honest! I am 11 years old; I live with my family on the northwestern coast of Alaska, in a tiny little Inuit village with fewer than 100 people. It is small, but it is all I have ever known.
I look like your typical Inuk girl: short, rather dumpy in nature, with long, waist-length inky-black hair, slanted black eyes, and a round, moon face. I usually wear leggings, a thick warm sweater, a parka, and my mukluks: it is cold a lot of the time where I live, even in summer. The warm months are short and don't last long for the flowers or greenery to stay. That's okay; it's what I'm used to. Also, the sun doesn't set for nearly twenty four hours in the summer; even at night, the sun can be up, even though the clock says it's nighttime.
In the wintertime, meanwhile, the dark can last for three months; during December or January, when the "Long Dark" is at its longest, we don't see the sun; it's the opposite of what happens in the summer here in the Arctic.
The only thing we do see is the northern lights dancing in the skies like multicolored curtains or ribbons; sometimes they can get really spectacular. Watching the northern lights always makes me happy because it's like my ancestors are visiting me. (We Inuit believe that when a person dies, they go up into the northern lights.)
I was named Aurora Borealis because when I was born 11 years ago, there was an exceptionally bright aurora in the sky, and mamma, she says that I bring brightness to her life. She says I am her sun, her moon, her stars, her aurora. So this is how I got to be named Aurora Borealis Titaniq, which is my whole name.
I have two sisters: Jenny (10) and Grace (8), and three brothers: Adames (6), Rico (5), and the baby, Christopher (1). When mamma is busy, I take care of them; I am very good with the little ones, and I love taking care of them.
We don't see Father that much: he spends a lot of time hunting or taking care of things in our village; he is one of the village elders, and he goes to a lot of meetings. When we do see him, it is always a treat because he brings us kids sweets from town, or some food (walrus, whale, seal perhaps, maybe even a new toy or clothing); I miss him when he isn't here!
When I am not at school with my friends, I like to dance the native dances of my people and sing the native songs, draw, write stories, play on the computer, go to church (we go to a native church in town), read (teacher tells me I am a very good reader), and help mamma with the cooking, sewing, or the littler children. I have a very happy life. It is simple, but to me it's okay; it's all I know.
Well, I gotta go. Mamma has made lunch; today we're having elk soup, seal burgers, and for dessert, cherry ice cream. Yum! We will also have seal milk to drink. I will write in here again soon; until then, this is Aurora saying bye! May the Great Spirit bless you!
~Love, your new friend in Alaska, Aurora Borealis, aged 11. :)
*to be continued.*