There are 17,000 Aleut people in the U.S. and 700 in Russia. The Aleut language is Unangam Tunuu. Only about 150 people in the world speak it anymore. The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association posts a "word of the week" on their Website along with audio and text.
My favorite word:
Let's drink tea.
If you listen to the audio, you can hear "chai" which is the Russian word for tea.
"At the end of this job the next would begin. Therefore, be patient. Such pleasure as there is, is here, now. Take pleasure as it comes. Take work as it comes. The end may never come, or when it does it may be the wrong end." - Wendell Berry, from "A Native Hill"
I found a video that I took on my camera while I was in Russia. I forgot I had taken it! I wanted to show my family what the sound was like entering into my apartment building and what "key" (silver round thing) I used to get in everyday. Here it is:
Right before I left for Russia, I said to my great-grandmother, "Nanny, what do you want me to bring you back from Russia?" And she said, "Wail, I don't really know wha'r I'm gonna be when you git back." I thought that she was talking about going to be with the Lord. In fact, one of my fears when I went to Russia was that Nanny would pass away while I was there and that I wouldn't be able to go to the funeral. I said to Nanny, "Well, I'll be back in May." And she said, "Oh! Well, I'll see you at my bairthday party then!" She turned 100 in May. She's so funny, and I love her.
I was talking to Nanny tonight about tatting and how I'd think it'd be cool to be able to tat. And she told me the story of her wedding dress. She said, "My mother said to me one day, 'Go git m'wedding dress, rip it up, and I'll make you yours.' And so, I got 'er dress, and she made it up, and I whare that weddin' dress, and Grace whare that weddin' dress." Grace was her sister, my great-aunt.
I love Nanny. She is so down-to-earth, practical, and easy-going. And I like it that she doesn't think you should keep your wedding dress in a closet the rest of your life. It's just a dress. And I think it's cool that my great-great grandmother was resourceful and wise in that aspect. I asked Nanny where her dress was now, and she said, "Well, I don't really know."