Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homer, Harry Potter, Full Moon, and Freshly Caught Alaskan Salmon

On our third day, we all piled into a van heading for Homer to meet Lasa, a friend of Ionia. He showed us around his timber frame house, which he built himself with no steel or nails, and insulated with a mixture of straw bales and straw clay. Right now, he is building his daughter's room, which includes special footholds for her to climb onto the roof. He is something of a local celebrity for his expertise in brewing beer and his property, which overlooks the Katchemak mountains.

The mountains are breathtaking, and photos don't do them justice. The view from Lasa's house was amazing, and was even better when we drove out onto the spit and saw the mountains and glaciers up close. The spit is a touristy area that hawks handmade Alaskan goods- there was one shop called the Better Sweater, which upon closer inspection Rose dubbed as Slightly Worse. We went to a gourmet pizza shop where they served us a bleu cheese and pear pie; we were SUPER excited to eat cheese and of course, both got stomachaches because of it. One of the Ionians, Connor, decided right then and there to go swimming in the freezing ocean- tourists from all parts of the boardwalk came outside to take photos of him skinny-dipping. Welcome to Alaska.

(Later that night, we decided to sleep outside and were soon rewarded with a prime moose spotting. The community's dog, Huxley, and the moose chased each other back and forth for a good twenty minutes.)

Harry Potter
We love Harry Potter, obviously. So it was a serious concern of ours that we see the newest movie whether or not we were currently residing in the boondocks. Luckily, many Ionians are also fans, and we took all the kids to the movie theatre to see HP in 3D. Rose wasn't so happy with the rewritten battle scene, but Melanie was too busy crying to care. Overall, we agree that it was pretty great.

 Full Moon
The full moon here is a big deal. On the full moon, everyone eats a special meal together and then folk dances. This month, it was sandwiches- for some reason, Ionians have a huge obsession with sandwiches. They included tempeh that we helped make, onion rings, lettuce, pickles, avocado, and vegenaise, the vegan choice of mayonnaise. According to our friend Connor, steaming bread slices make them more digestible, so all the sandwiches were steamed. It was odd. Folk dancing was super fun but also pretty difficult, and the people here have been doing it their entire lives.

Last night, we headed to the beach to join some friends of Ionia in cooking up salmon they had caught earlier that day. IT WAS AMAZING. Especially the salad salmon, which is exactly what it sounds like- one of the Ionians put salad on top of the salmon and we ate it. The beach overlooks a ring of fire of volcanoes and it is sooo beautiful. We are excited to go back to the beach and see the volcanoes without the cloud cover.  

Today we made seitan. It was pretty easy and REALLY delicious- we're both planning to make it at school at some point next year.

And we rode a tandem bike.


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