A Great Trip Needs An Extraordinary Destination ...Hallo Bay? ABSOLUTELY

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Goodall Quotes

We had the lovely fortune to have Dr. Jane Goodall visit us this summer.
She had so many interesting stories and comments that over the winter we would like to share them with you.

"It is easy to be overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness as we look around the world.  We are losing species at a terrible rate, the balance of nature is disturbed, and we are destroying our beautiful planet.  We have fear about water supplies, where future energy will come from - and most recently the developed world has been mired in an economic crisis.  But in spite of all this I do have hope, for without it all we can do is eat and drink the last of our resources as we watch our planet slowly die.  Let's have faith in ourselves, in our intellect, in our staunch spirit and in our young people.  And let's do the work that needs to be done, with love and compassion."

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alaska Facts

Alaska Fun Facts
* Alaska is as big as England, France, Italy and Spain combined.
* If New York City had the same population density as Alaska, only 16 people would be living in Manhattan.
* Alaska's largest city, Anchorage, covers 1,955 square miles (including the entire political municipal district). The state of Rhode Island covers 1,045 squre miles while Delaware also covers 1,955.
* More than half the world's active glaciers are in Alaska.
* About 5 percent of Alaska is covered by glaciers.
* There are more than 3,000 rivers and 3 million lakes in Alaska.
* Alaska is one-fifth the size of the "Lower 48," larger than the next three biggest states combined, more than twice the size of Texas and 488 times larger than Rhode Island.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Spirit of the Great Bear

Bear Spirit Names

In many cultures, the bear was looked upon with such reverence that members of the culture were not allowed to speak the word for "bear". Instead, they referred to the animal with varied and creative euphemisms. These euphemisms are related here. The general catagory refers to names that were wide-spread through several native American groups. Many cultures found a spiritual kinship with the bears, and speaking the name of the animal would bring swift retribution from the gods.
  • Angry One (Cree)
  • Big Great Food (Cree)
  • Big Hairy One (Blackfoot)
  • Black Food (Cree)
  • Broadfoot (Estonian)
  • Dark Thing (Koyukon)
  • Divine One Who Rules the Mountains (Ainu)
  • Dweller in the Wilds (Ostyak)
  • Famous Lightfoot (Finn)
  • Fine Young Chief (Navajo)
  • Food of the Fire (Cree)
  • Gold Friend of Fen and Forest (Ural Altaic)
  • Good-tempered Beast (Cree)
  • Great Man (Siberian)
  • He Who Lives in the Den (Navajo)
  • Illustrious Pride (Finn)
  • Lord of the Taiga (Tungus)
  • Master of the Forest (Lapp)
  • Old Man of the Mountain (Lapp)
  • One Who Prowls at Night
  • Owner of the Earth (Siberian)
  • Pride of the Woodlands (Finn)
  • Reared in the Mountains (Navajo)
  • Sacred Man (Lapp)
  • The Strong One (Taglish)
  • That Which Went Away (Koyukon)
  • The Thing (Koyukon)
  • Unmentionable One (Blackfoot)
  • Venerable One (Vogul)
  • Winter-sleeper (Lapp)
  • Wise Man (Lapp)
  • Wooly One (Lapp)
  • Worthy Old Man (Ural Altaic)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bear Hugs

Teddy Bear Hugs Program

 Two seasons ago we started the Teddy Bear Hugs Program after taking a tour of some of the non-profit organizations around Homer.  We toured one called the Haven House which helps abused children, women and men get through very difficult times in their lives.

One of the rooms that they have is called their 'safe room' in which the police and councilors talk with the abused children to find out what happened to them.  During the interview with the children, they are allowed to choose a teddy bear to hold and hug.  This is in an attempt to give the child a feeling of safety and caring in hopes that the child will feel comfortable enough to tell the police what happened to them so the offender will be caught and charged for their horrible crime.  After the interview, the child is allowed to keep the teddy bear they were hugging and the child is then sent to a safe location to live with caring relatives or family friends that will care for and protect them.

Over this summer we found that not only adults wanted to donate teddy bears but kids wanted to help out as well.  One does not have to buy a new teddy bear but only to talk with their kids and have them pick one from their room that they want to donate to a child in need.  We had a lot of kids this year give one of their own teddy bears to the project, and that just warms the heart.

Anyone wishing to donate a teddy bear, feel free to find new or gently used teddy bears and bring them up to Alaska with you when you visit us.  Also, please donate teddy bears in your own community as well.  We are hoping this idea will spread to other areas and communities around the world.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Greek Bear Mythology

Greek Mythology

The pre-Classical Greeks believed in the ability of men to become bears. One of the most commonly told stories is that of Callisto, who bore a child of Zeus'--Arcas. Hera, Zeus' wife, became jealous and transformed Callisto into a bear as punishment. Arcas, out hunting, came upon his mother and shot at her. Zeus, taking pity on the mother and son, changed them into Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the two great bear constellations. From this one myth comes a whole score of others.  Arcas' name comes from the Greek word for bear--Arctos. By extention, the "Arkades" of Arcadia are supposedly decended from Arcas. Their name means bear-people.  The Callisto myth also blends very well into the werewolf myth of Lycaon. According to legend, Callisto was Lycaon's daughter. Arcas was the individual who was supposed to have been served to Zeus as a test of the god's divinity, but he managed to escape. Even one of the synonyms for bear used by the Greeks, bee-wolf (for the bear's love of honey), managed to make it into legend.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Bear Mythology

Bear Mythologies of Scandinavia

In Scandinavia, there was a firm belief in the ability of some people to change into or assume the characteristics of bears. Our English word "berserk" comes from this legend. It was thought that if a warrior was to don a bear-skin shirt (called a bear-sark) which had been treated with oils and herbs, that the warrior would gain the strength, stamina, and power of the animal. These people would be driven into a frenzy in battle and were said to be capable of biting through the enemy's shields or walking through fire without injury. No matter how much of the legend is true, the thought of a group of Vikings made up as bears is sobering.