"We had rules, we had to do chores, we had to go to bed at a certain time, we had to be nice to the other kids. Just basic stuff that they taught us and that’s what I think helped me."
What was a day at the orphanage like?
When you got up you had to wash your face and brush your teeth and then you would go down to, when breakfast was ready or lunch or dinner they would ring a bell and you’d hear it and you’d know it’s meal time and you’d go down and eat. And the Henkelman’s would come over from there and they came over, I can’t remember, it was most of the meals. Most of the meals they would come over and eat with the kids and they would say a prayer and then we would all eat and then we had to clean up. You know the chores, they would do the chores. And then we would get ready for school, brush our teeth again and then we’d go off to school and after school we had to do our assignments and then we’d have dinner and the after meal chores if you had it, cleaning the dining room and after that you were free until it was time to come in.
What do you remember about the Superintendent and his wife,
Mr. and Mrs. Henkelman?
We got to see them like at meals and they were, we got to see them everyday. They you know, did things with the kids and yeah… they were really nice and sweet and I loved them.
Do you have any sad memories from the Children’s Home?
Sad Memories? Maybe, missing our Mom, missing our siblings. I mean that was the only part that I didn’t really like but at the same time my sister was there. Yeah, it made it easier.
We were in school, it was during the school day and the teachers said that my sister and I had to go to the Henkelman’s. That they had to talk to us, and so we… poor… we ran over there and they brought us in and they sat us down and they said that they had bad news for us. They said that our mom had passed away and I think it was in March, yeah. We were able to go to the Kwethluk for the funeral.
How did your time at the home help you as a child? As an adult?
As a child? How did it help me? At an early age living there I think we had rules that we had to do chores, we had to go to bed at a certain time, we had to be nice to the other kids. Just basic stuff that they taught us and that’s what I think helped me.
I know I always say that the children’s home, the two years that I was there, the schooling and the structure and the rules and everything, they helped me later on in life to be… I did good in school because of there.
If you could describe your time at the orphanage in one word or phrase what would it be?
One word or a phrase? It was a loving and a safe place. My sister and I, we went there because of bullying in the place that we were living prior to going there. The kids were, everybody was good to everybody. You had to be because there was somebody there all the time and they followed through if you... there were rules.