CARE PACKAGES: Proud village listens for news, readies shipment of keningyuk and baby wipes.
By JOEL GAY
Anchorage Daily News
(Published: April 11, 2003)
With two native sons serving in Iraq, the Bristol Bay village of Togiak is sending what it can to make them comfortable -- letters, baby wipes, dried fish.
But the akutaq will have to wait until Cpl. Mariano Peters and Pvt. Everett Arnariak return home to the village of 800. Village elders had asked if they might send the popular Yup'ik dessert -- a mixture of Crisco, sugar and berries -- to their kin, said Kristy Kritz, who is coordinating a care package effort for Togiak Traditional Council.
No, she told them, but bring dried salmon and herring or the spicy jerked meat known as keningyuk, whether it's moose, caribou or seal.
"It would probably make them feel closer to home, eating their own food," Kritz said by telephone from the village earlier this week. "It's important they know we're thinking about them and how much Togiak cares for both of them."
Peters and Arnariak are among the many dozens of Alaskans in the military now deployed to Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. They're from cities, towns and villages across the state. Chevak, a Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta village, also has two young men in the theater.