Author(s): Emma Stevens
Dancing on the Tundra, the sequel to Walking on Ice and Nesting on the Nushagak, is the final book in a trilogy of memoirs by Emma Stevens recounting her adventures of life and love in the Alaskan wilderness The plane suddenly plunged ...we were being thrown sideways straight at the looming mountain walls ...the clouds exposed rocks one moment, snow the next...the small plane gradually righted itself but we were sinking into a canyon with walls of sheet ice. If the window had been open, it seemed I could have touched the mountainside with my hand ...Emma's husband is now superintendent of nine village schools based in Dillingham, a small hub city in southwestern Alaska. As a bicultural coordinator, Emma ies to remote village schools to work with local Yup'ik Eskimo people, inspiring an inaugural Spring Festival to unite the villages in a huge dance celebration. After a particularly perilous ight in a tiny bush plane, the couple decides to relocate to Chevak, a remote Cup'ik Eskimo village in western Alaska. Shortly after arrival Emma is surprised by a Cup'ik elder holding a Maori tokotoko who declares, 'We've been waiting for you. In Chevak, when temperatures plummet and houses are buried by blizzards, the couple must once again deal with the realities of subsistence survival. After two years in Chevak, the life-threatening dangers of remote living force Emma to leave her beloved bush Alaska and return with her husband home to New Zealand.
Emma Stevens was born in Christchurch and raised in Whanganui. A graduate of Christchurch Teachers' College, Emma holds a MEd from Victoria University. 3 Much of her teaching career has been spent working with indigenous students in NZ, Australia and Alaska. She was voted Sydney's Child Teacher of the Year in 1994 while teaching at an alternative school in Sydney, Australia. Her way of life changed completely when, divorced and in her late forties, she met online, the principal of an Inupiaq school in the Arctic Circle, Alaska. The couple married, and Emma spent the next six years working beside her new husband in the icy wilderness of bush Alaska. Emma and her husband now live among orchards and vineyards just outside Nelson, in the South Island of New Zealand, where the winters are mild and the summers are long.