Thursday I got a call from the activities office at the high school asking if I would be willing to house some wrestlers for the Pilot Invitational Tournament. Wrestlers? We know nothing about wrestling. My son was going to be in Haines for the weekend with the drama team. We were asking someone in Haines to house our son, so maybe we could help out.
So I called back and said we'd take two to four wrestlers. "Pick them up on Friday night," I was told.
Little did I know that housing these four young men from Metlakatla was going to be a gift to our family. We learned so many things from them over the weekend. They told us about life in Metlakatla.
We heard about the purple mountains and the deep lakes. We learned that Metlakatla is on Seattle time, not Alaska time.
We learned about the Tshimsian and the Haida. One boy told us about his Athabascan heritage and his great aunt, Katie John. These boys noticed the few pieces of Alaska art we have in our home.
They studied it and commented on it; I now look at the art I've had for years in my home in a new way. We even attended a wrestling meet for the first time and learned some things about wrestling!
We heard about these boys' plans for the future. All are planning to attend college. One plans to be a math teacher, another hopes to go to art school. They have great goals and I'm sure they will meet them.
Metlakatla may not have scored high in the wrestling tournament this weekend, but the team scored high with our family. We had the boys sign our guest book. We hope to keep track of these boys and see what they accomplish in their lives over the next few years. Metlakatla can be proud of these accomplished and polite young men.
Thanks to Blaz Horne, Nathan Moran, Roy Nathan, Matt Russell and their coach, Ross Tulloch, and his wife, Wendy, for adding so much to our lives.
Your family can experience the gift of wrestlers on two more weekends. Wrestlers will be in town on Dec. 13-14 and again on Jan. 31-Feb. 1. Call Sandi Wagner at 523-1580, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and let her know you'd like to welcome some wrestlers into your family!
Jane McMillan Ginter