Tragedy Aplenty

The past couple of months in the village have been a little tense.

In February, right about the time the kid and I were headed back into the village from town after my kidney stone mishap (and, incidentally, after I took my babysitter to the airport to flee from her boyfriend who hit her AND THEIR BABY with a beer bottle), one drunk kid took a gun to the head of another drunk young man.

The village was stunned. The school was full of grieving kids and people and teachers.

The kid who was killed was my aide’s son.

A few weeks go by, and things are lightening up. We have potlatch, people joke and laugh. The village starts to heal.

Last week, another young man shot himself.

He was my aide’s nephew.

He had 3 kids, including one who is barely two weeks old.

The village, again, is devastated – but this time, there’s an edge to it.

“Oh, this again? This family again? Why must they make such a fuss about things?”

The kids talk about cleaning up the blood, and what both bodies looked like.

Last night, my babysitter called. She’s back in the village, and isnt it great that she and this guy who’s hit her 4 times before that I know of are going to work things out. And do we still need a babysitter?

Today, unbeknownst to me, one of my students tried to commit suicide. The timeline and the method are both still unknown, as he was at school at least part of the day, but we do know he’s ok, and going to town tomorrow for evaluation.

Winter out here is hard – harder in many ways than winter in the lower 48. Many of the men dont work, because they mostly fish and hunt, and there isnt much they can do in winter besides drink. February tends to being out the worst in everyone. Maybe its the lack of a break between Christmas and Easter. Maybe its just that it’s been too dark for too long.

We’re well into March, now.

Can it be over now, please?

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4 Responses to Tragedy Aplenty

  1. shannon says:

    still sorry

  2. Melisa says:

    Oh Al. Things sound terrible. Will call later.

  3. natalie says:

    Oh Al, I’m so sorry. It really can be a very hard time of year. Take care and we’ll call this weekend. Big hugs.

  4. Kara says:

    You’ll be back in the lower 48 soon, if that’s any consolation…

    And people say that the seasons and lack of sunlight don’t affect our psychology…