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The Daily Updates

Sounds, sights and stories brought to you by the A'wila team on the trail, every day live from the A'wila Tribal Journey, right here, don't miss it!

Monday July 19 - Saturday 24th, 2010                      



The expedition has ended - See the route >>
Location:     Makah, Neah Bay, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚22' N  124˚ 37' W
Weather:     Sunny and 65˚F / 18˚C



Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010My last thoughts: I am very happy to be here on the Tribal Journey. It is so exciting when different people dance and sing. When we are in the canoe for 5 or 6 hours a day it is really fun and it is so cool to be here.

At night we go to a Long House for dinner and to sing and dance together. This journey is so amazing. It is hard to understand that we get to part of something like this.. :D "

by Sara Lyberth from Uummannaq, Greenland





Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010What is climate change to me? - and last thoughts: .... Greenland is changing because because the level of C02 have heavily changed. Summers come earlier now than before, flowers bloom earlier than they use to. The sea ice melts earlier and is thinner than normal. This has significant consequence for the hunters - fishing and hunting gets more difficult all the time. The animals of winter die faster.

Jens Thomassen from Uummannaq, GreenlandI hope and wish that people in Canada and the United States will understand this and that they will help so that we can survive many years into the future. Thank you for everything being part of this journey."

by Jens Thomassen from Uummannaq, Greenland





Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010What is climate change to me? .... During the winter time in Uummannaq, the sea ice does not come for long anymore. 

Jens Zeeb from Uummannaq, GreenlandNow the hunters have trouble with the ice, difficult weather, and that the animals of the ice such as the polar bears come closer to our communities because the ice cover is so changed. Uummannaq is an island about 800 kilometers (~ 500 miles) north of the Arctic Circle. The only way to get to the island is by helicopter, boat or dogsled. We eat lost of Greenlandic country food - food from the land - such as caribou, seal and musk ox."

by Jens Zeeb from Uummannaq, Greenland



Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010It is July 24, 2010 at 3:26 am. We have been totally consumed in Tribal Journeys these last days. Wes drove the RAV the whole way home tonight with the canoe packed up with gear as I drifted in and out of sleep in pure exhaustion. We left at 3 PM this afternoon and arrived at his place around midnigh to drop off the canoe.

 We also dropped off Janelle on the way, at family just north of Seattle. Pipaluk, Sara, Megan, Naya and Hans Ole all left this morning from Neah  heading for Portland, Oregon (USA). They will be travelling for about 3 days and make their way back up to Vancouver for another last visit with me, before heading to LA and then back to Greenland and Alaska!

This was the most incredible experience that I have ever had with youth. Each one of us grew in such amazing ways. The Native American mentors on our journey were all beautiful, gentle, caring, patient and most importantly exemplified working together very well. I personally grew in ways I never imagined. I was given the opportunity to lead a terrific group and it went well! I can’t wait for the next tribal journey – then putting to use the lessons we have learned this year!
 
In truth we actually did not do as much paddling on the water as we planned, but we did paddle smoothly as a family on land and in the big house! …The weather was very rough for the last 3 days of paddling so we took the black sea as Wes says. “There is no shame in being safe.” When we arrived in Makah on Tuesday, Lars, Jens and Jens had left for Boston to begin a kayaking camp. We were very sad to see them go but there was no way to change the plans already made months earlier.
 
When we arrived at the Makah reserve it was filled… with canoes and people were camping everywhere, vendor, food and a huge tent that was to be the Big House for the next 5 days as each canoe family get up and present their canoe family. Word had it that we would be one of the first 3 groups as the groups present in order: from the farthest away to the closest!
 
We set up camp on Lee Book’s front lawn. He is an elder in the community and later I found out, also a minister. He opened his humble home to over 60 people!! We all cooked meals, took showers, and camped on every square foot of his property. He is truly one of the most generous people I have ever met.

The next day we woke to find the wind still too strong and a decision way made by Wes not to take the canoe out. We did put A’wila in the water though in the Marina in Makah and then we took her out for a little spin and lined her up for the official protocol. We paddled together as a real team and paddled in. The Makah put on incredible introduction along with traditional meal of cold salmon, potatoes and bread.
 
As it turns out we were the first to start protocol with lots of people were there to see the kids! They performed with great pride, humility and eloquently. Megan lead Inuit games – a huge success once again. We presented wonderful gifts and the kids sang and performed beautifully. Our message on climate change was shared and heard…
 
We need to take care of mother earth together...like paddling a canoe... if only one person paddles the canoe then we cannot move forward... but if we all paddle together than we will move forward quickly.

Many people and elders came to us after and thanked us for our message as they expressed how climate change is affecting all of us and as first nations people they were very happy to hear this message expressed by our youth and share in knowledge and experiences.
 
The rest of the days to follow were spend in the Big House witnessing other canoe families protocol from the Mario, Inu, Bella Bella, Chief Frank Nelson, Alaska, Victoria Friendship Centre, Alert Bay, Pulalup, Nooksak and on it went. We all made many friends. We attended the sacred ring ceremony – each with a necklace around our necks, we were reminded that the beads on our necklace don’t represent the journey but the lessons learned on the journey.

Megan and I also both received an eagle’s feather from LeeBook—such an honor.

Read  the  daily   journal entry by team members  of A'wila Tribal  Journey 2010By the end we all refer to Lee Book as Grampa, Wes as Papa and well I was mama… but I am always called Christine :) Our crew conducted themselves very well and I am proud to know everyone of them. We are all talking about next year! Really powerful experiences came out of this journey and I know that next year we will work even better together on the water paddling to Swinomish.

by Christine Germano from Vancouver, BC in Canada





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Tuesday July 21st, 2010                      

Location:     Makah, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  123.5˚ 8' W
Weather:     Sunny and 65˚F / 18˚C



Read the daily      journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010We are still in Makah and staying on Lee Book's lot which is covered in tents. Every morning someone goes into the house to find the first pot of coffee already on... the eggs are ready... bacon or sausage, or both, just waiting to be cooked – and in half an hour … some 40+ eggs later and some serious toast making … a feast for 40 appears! You eat wherever you can find a place to sit!

Almost every morning a huge fog rolls into the community. We are making tons of friends.

Today all but Wes and I me in our crew attended their first Tribal Journey Ring Ceremony. This is not an advertised ceremony. Running it for many years since its beginning, there is a man that makes a ring necklace that he gives to each participants along with his words of wisdom on the meaning of the Tribal Journey.

Read  the  daily   journal entry by team members  of A'wila Tribal  Journey 2010By taking the ring it means that you agree with the rules of the canoe: take care of the land and its creatures, and that there are to be no drugs, alcohol, or violence during Tribal Journeys with the hope that you will continue this way of living throughout your life. Each year after participating in your first Tribal Journey Ring Ceremony you may receive a bead to mark how many years you have attended Tribal Journeys. Today there are close to 5,000 rings out there

by Christine Germano from Vancouver, BC in Canada



Sunday July 18th, 2010                      

Location:     Makah, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  123.5˚ 8' W
Weather:     Sunny and 65˚F / 18˚C


Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010Well this was the day that Lars and Jens T and Jens Z left us. We are all sad to see them go. Taking them to the aiport I drove 2 and half hours there and 2 and a half hours back. When I returned our camp was still up but almost everyone else were gone!

Finally, we too packed up and headed for Makah where we set up camp and left the canoe at the marina with the hope that we would paddle the final part to Neah Bay.

Read  the daily   journal entry by team members  of A'wila Tribal  Journey 2010We stopped in at Pilar Point to check out the eight or so canoes that attempted the paddle that day. Most of them had to be dragged by a support boat for a couple hours. So with that in mind we decided to leave our Awila canoe at the marina where the kids posed with a wooden dear and eagle.

Oh, and now Hans Ole is the only guy with four beautiful girls to

by Christine Germano from Vancouver, BC in Canada




Saturday July 17th, 2010                      

Location:     Port Angeles, Lower Elwha, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  123.5˚ 8' W
Weather:     Sunny and 65˚F / 18˚C



  Friday July 16th, 2010                      

Location:     Port Angeles, Lower Elwha, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  123.5˚ 8' W
Weather:     Sunny and 65˚F / 18˚C

Sara Lyberth from Greenland talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Click to listen

Waves are still too big to paddle...

by Sara Lyberth from Uummannaq, Greenland


Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010We are now in Port Angeles (Lower Elwha) we could not paddle today as the swells in the ocean were from 4-6 feet high with white caps and our skipper did not feel that our crew was strong enough to take this on... so we proudly trailered it to Lower Elwha. On tribal journeys, there is no shame in being safe.

The youth have become very popular amongst the native youth as they are teaching all the other kids traditional Inuit games.

I am amazed at how much they are growing. They are helping each other out more, taking care of their things, working together, hanging out like a family, speaking to the canoe and taking care of each other. The youth are totally taken with Wes and have already started talking about what they want to do next year on the journey.

Today we start Protocal right after lunch as many canoes arrived from Vancouver Island, crossing one of the most dangerous parts of the trip from T'Sou-ke to Lower Elwha. I feel calm, loved, and so full of joy -- I keep breaking into tears whenever I am alone. I have never worked with such a great crew before... so respectful of each other.

Read  the daily   journal entry by team members  of A'wila Tribal  Journey 2010Some of the other tribes call us the igloos... ha ha! Other tribes and canoe families have helped us with moving the canoe, with car rides and bringing us food. Many gifts have been given and received. Last night Lars had a tattoo made on the back of his neck that says "(be quiet) and paddle,” and last night I feel asleep outside as we were in a circle learning a song with the drum... total peace."

by Christine Germano from Vancouver, Canada



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  Thursday July 15th, 2010                      

Location:     Jamestown, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  122˚ 8' W
Weather:     Fog and windy! and 68˚F / 19˚C

 
The daily picture    from Tribal Journey 2010

  Team A'wila - Look through the photo album from Today
  Proud to be Team A'wila!
 

  Look through the Day 9 :: Photo Album >>
   


Meghann Pioscya   from Alaska talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Click to listen

Huge waves - cool protocol: our Igloo song!
by Meghann Piscoya from Alaska, USA




Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010This time of year, the Shishmaref day (from editor: Shismaref is in Alaska) is about 22 hours long. The sun may go down for a while, but it never really gets dark. I had no idea, when I started this trip, that the longest days would be down here in Washington.

Our typical day starts anywhere between 4:45 and 6 am. The adults usually wake up first, and spend some time rousting the youth. Wake-up songs, bribes, and threats are all used at this time of the morning. We often avoid telling the youth just what time it is. We find it safer that way.

Breakfast is either provided by the hosting tribe, or consists of what we've packed along, namely individual boxes of cereal, instant oatmeal, or fruit. While everyone is still together, the tents are taken down. This is especially helpful for the road crew, since the boys tend to wrap those tents up smaller than the girls are capable of. Theoretically, the skipper and pullers are not supposed to help pack camp, but it's just easier if they chip in. It also ensures that there are no random socks left lying around.

At the appointed time, everyone heads to the beach, where the canoes are being launched. Our cedar canoe is too heavy for us to lift and carry on our own, but we were able to slide it along the sand at Port Townsend. Once everyone is checked out to ensure they are in possession of a hat, safety whistle, water-bottle, and life jacket, the youth announce their intentions "Meghann getting in the canoe!" and load up. The canoe can hold two people per bench, except for the skipper, who steers from a single seat in the back.

Once launched, the canoe is brought around, and thanks are given to the hosts for their hospitality. Permission is asked for departure, and once granted, the canoe heads off down the coast with the rest.

At this point, I grab whichever kid I have for the day, we check the tarps on the truck, and head to the next camp site. We have also taken people to different spots along the route to swap out pullers with those on the canoe.

When we reach the next camp site, it is the job of the road crew to find a suitable camping spot, set up the tents, blow up the air mattress', divide the luggage between the three tents, and prepare a snack for the pullers when they come in. Soup seems to go over well in these situations, along with watermelon. Even though the pullers had water-bottles on the trip, we still worry about their fluid intake.

After eating, or sometimes, during eating, the pullers will usually take a nap. This could be an organized sort of nap, but is usually a case of sleeping where they land. Jens T. snuggled so close to the luggage pile that he almost disappeared yesterday.

Once the youth are woken, dinner is provided by the hosting tribe. When that is over, we dress in our regalia; kuspuq's for the Alaskan girls, and traditional clothing for the Greenlandic contingent.

At protocol, each family takes a turn coming forward and presenting songs and dances from their region. When we presented at S'Klallam, the Inupiaq girls explained and then did a dance about building igloos. The Greenlandic youth sang a song about dried fish. Then Meghann got up and showed off some traditional Eskimo games. She then opened the floor for contenders, and proceeded to beat a full-grown man at finger-pull, and then the Jens proceeded to beat several people at leg-wrestling.

Protocol can end anywhere between midnight and 1:30 am. Everyone is encouraged to pack everything they won't need in the morning, to save time, and the kids are sent to bed. It is at this point, alone, in the dark, that I light a candle, or find a flashlight, and start making and bagging the fourteen sandwiches, drink mix, and snacks that the puller will need on the canoe the next night.  I find working by candlelight, sitting on the ground, and using my cooler as a table to be a very relaxing experience. I don't actually eat tuna fish, but the kids say I make a very nice sandwich. This may have less to do with my sandwich making skills, and more to do with the fact that the kids are ravenous when they land for lunch.

Colleen Deighton   talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Last night, at Port Townsend, because there was no protocol (we were at a state park, not tribal land) I was able to get into bed by 11:30, but my bedtime is usually much later. I fall onto my air mattress, pull two blankets over me, and fall completely asleep until the wake-up announcement."


by Colleen Deighton from Alaska, USA


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07/15/10   To all the youth it has been a phenomenal time to have been with you, know you. It has been an honor to talk with you, listen to you, laugh and enjoy each others company! I hope to join you soon! Until then keep updating cause I can read it from my phone!! Miss you all :)  - Jessie, Vancouver
     
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  07/16/10   Hey Jessie! Thank you! We hope you can make it. We are having so much fun. See you soon. - All of us on Team A'wila
         
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07/16/10   Meghann! Made me cry - so beautiful to hear your voice singing. Wish I could see your performance in person. Will you try to catch it on a movie for us? And, can't wait to hear the performance from Greenland too! Hope you guys get back on the water soon again. - Mille, Minnesota, USA
     
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  Wednesday July 14th, 2010                      

Location:     Port Townsend, Washington, USA
GPS point:   48˚1' N  122˚ 8' W
Weather:     Clear and 69˚F / 20˚C


Janelle Pootoogooluk from Alaska talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010
 
The daily picture   from Tribal Journey 2010

  Paddling into Port Gamble - Look through the photo album from Today
  We arrive at Port Townsend! WOW!
 

  Look through the Day 8 :: Photo Album >>
   
Click to listen

Paddling the A'wila - I am not stopping!

by Janelle  Pootoogooluk from Alaska, USA

















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  Tuesday July 13th, 2010                      

Location:     Port Gamble, Washington, USA
GPS point:   47˚8' N  122˚ 6' W
Weather:     Sunny 72˚F / 22˚C
   
 
The daily picture    from Tribal Journey 2010

  Exploring the  Shore of the Pacific Ocean - Look through the photo album from today!
  Hans-Ole bonds with a bird... We explore the shore of the Pacific Ocean and do our first performance at the protocol now in Port Gamble.
 

  Look through the Day 7 :: Photo Album >>
   



.
Watch Jens, Jens, Lars-Ole and Lars from Greenland on today's  events on the tribal journey   Watch WCCY movieFor Real!
  by Jens Thomassen, Jens Zeeb,
Lars Skøtt
and Hans-Ole Poulsen
all from Greenland
     
Watch Jens, Jens, Lars-Ole  and Lars from Greenland on today's events on the tribal journey   For Real! in KalaaWatch WCCY moviellisut
(Greenlandic language)

  by Jens Thomassen, Jens Zeeb,
Lars Skøtt
and Hans-Ole Poulsen
all from Greenland


Read the daily        journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010We ate breakfast at Suquamish long house. The long houses are really nice. Hans-ole, Jens, Jens, Lars, Pipaluk, Robin and I went canoeing. It was kind of lots of fun but yet most of us were tired still. Like we were half asleep and canoeing at the same time. Most of us wanted to go to shore for a break! So we went on to the shore…

Then there was some canoes passing by so they also stopped and asked if we were okay and we were, it was just that we were tired and lazy because it was in the morning. As soon as they knew we were okay they left. Once we were on shore some in our team did not want to go back out to sea but instead wanted to stay on shore. So we all stayed on the shore waiting for help. As we were waiting Hans-ole and Jens walked down the beach – about 40 minutes later they came back with a bird, eagle feathers, a lighter, and a ball. Really, it was funny, the bird would not get off: no matter what, Hans-ole would jump and hop and the bird would still never get off. Then I wanted to hold it! So Jens put it on my head and then I yelled cause I didn't want it on my hand :) As all this was happing it was getting low tide. So I followed Hans-ole and Jens and they were flipping big rocks and they were finding worms, tiny fish, suckers, and all different kinds of sea mammals.

We later got some help and we went to our new place. Most of us kids took a nap and the others did something. Once we woke up again to grab some dinner it was all good. I really wanted a fry bread but I couldn't find any. We later sat around waiting for protocol.

Its is so nice watching others tribes sing there songs and dance for everyone.  When it was our turn I got Meghann Piscoya  from Alaska writes during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey  2010scared. It was late and there were few people but yet it was lots to me. Yet tomorrow night there might be more people, we think. We didn't get down on the floor until almost midnight. After we got done with our performance we went to our tents and packed up what we need for tomorrow and finally got ready for bed. - Meghann

by Meghann Piscoya from Alaska, USA




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  Monday July 12th, 2010                      

Location:     Suquamish, Washington, USA
GPS point:   47˚7' N  122˚ 6' W
Weather:     Sunny and 74˚F / 23˚C

 
The daily picture   from Tribal Journey 2010

  Pow  wow in  Vancouver - Look through the photo album from Sunday the 10th
  We are in our first community on the journey - on the land of the Suquamish people. Lars-Ole and Jens here, we are setting up camp in the resting area - it's the night of our first protocol.
 

  Look through the Day 6 :: Photo Album >>
   
   

Pipaluk Hammeken    from Greenland talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Click to listen

Our first day on the trail - tired and amazed

by Pipaluk Hammeken from Greenland





















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  Sunday July 11th, 2010                      

Location:     Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
GPS point:   49˚16' N  123˚ 07' W
Weather:     Sunny and 75˚F / 24˚C

 
The daily picture  from Tribal Journey 2010

  Pow  wow in Vancouver - Look through the photo album from Sunday the 10th
  We take it all back! This has by far been the longest day yet!!! Cleaning, setting up fence, packing the vehicles, Stanley Park beach, making Vancouver-Sea-People, take-off (!!) and by the time it turned to Monday we were on the ferry on our way to the community of Suquamish where our canoe journey begins!
 

  Look through the Day 5 :: Photo Album >>
   
   

Colleen Deighton   talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Click to listen

Reflections on Coming Together...

by Colleen Deighton from Alaska, USA


Christine   Germano talks during WCCY Awila Tribal Journey 2010Click to listen

Ready for Take-off!

by Christine Germano from Canada




Read the daily     journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010We're leaving Canada today; I can't believe it. We have been here for over a week. The most awesome thing that has happened so far was going to the Pow Wow. I really liked the Pow Wow, it was pretty awesome. I got up and danced in a common dance, even though I didn't really know what was going on. I also tried going canoeing but I'm too afraid of it.

We went to the beach yesterday, and it was pretty cool. I don't like the heat but it wasn't that hot at Stanly Park yesterday, so that was pretty cool. I had fun meeting Jessie, Robin, Tissa, Connie, and Tyler, they are all pretty awesome!

The Chinatown street fair was pretty cool too. I really wanted to spend money there but I have to try to save my money. I saw a whole lot of cool things including the dragon dancers. I really liked looking at sunglasses. I bought myself a pair of sunglasses from the Pow Wow and i love them! They are so awesome.

We went swimming at Britanica, it was pretty cool! I went on the rope swing and it was fun and scary at the same time. I went on it like maybe 3 or 4 times. It was pretty fun swimming. Colleen tried to teach me how to swim underwater but I just don't get how to do it.
 
It feels like we have been here for more than a week, like it feels like a whole month. I am nervous about going camping, and I don't know if I will go canoeing because it's pretty freaky. I am really glad Jessie will be able to try to see us because she's really cool. I'm going to miss the people I met here, hopefully I will get to see them again somehow.

Read  the daily   journal entry by team members  of A'wila Tribal  Journey 2010We are going to drive to the States today, and I'm pretty excited about it, because I know I will be closer to home. Today we got drums from Christine, and I love mine. It is so cool. – Janelle

by Janelle Pootoogooluk from Alaska, USA





Read the daily      journal entry by team members of A'wila Tribal Journey 2010Arfininngormat ilulissaniit aallarpunga Island-mut allarpunga tikikkama mittarfimmi sumukarniarnersunga apersoppaannga tuluttut paasisinnaarpiannginnama qujanaartumik ilaqutariit kalaallit ikioppaannga  mittarfimmiit bussinut utaqqisarfimmukarpungut timmisartumi saqisoq ilangivaanga bussit ilaaffissakka utaqqilaariarlungit Hotelimukarpunga 45-minutit Hotelimut iserama allakkerisoq kalaaleq Hotelimiikkunartoq ikioppaanga inissannut pingama nerilaariarlunga innarpunga aqanguani ilassakka tikipput Lars Jensikkut Jensilu aamma Sara Pipaluk aqanguani aallarpungut Vancouverimut Canadamut Vancoverimut tikikkatta ilassangut ilassiorpangut. - Hans Ole


Hans Ole translating from Kalaallisut:  Last saturday I left Ilulissat for Iceland, when I got to Iceland's airport the people who works there asked me where I was going in English, and I didn't understand them! But thank goodness there was this other Greenlandic couple who helped me.

Hans Ole Poulsen, GreenlandFrom the airport to the bus-stop by the airport, Saqisoq were with me in the bus I was going in. We waited for like 45 minutes. I got to the hotel and the Greenlandic woman helped me get the room I was staying in. Finally in my room I ate a little and then I went to sleep. The next day my fellow Greenlandic team members came: Lars, Jens, Jens, Sara and Pipaluk. The next day we flew to Vancouver Canada. When we arrived in Vancouver we met the others! - Hans Ole

by Hans Ole Poulsen from Ilulissat, Greenland



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