Thursday, January 15, 2009

Good to be "home"

Well, I made it through the holidays in Anchorage. I would say the first four days I hit Target at least once, sometimes twice (it IS the newest hit since I left in August). (: The Christmas break was long enough to see nearly everyone and do nearly everything. The weather was actually colder there though than it was when I left Chevak so that was a rude awakening, especially since out here I am always geared up head-to-toe everywhere I go.
My flight home was nice, nothing special... until I got to Bethel. I made sure I checked in at the desk and verified my flight and made sure my "luggage" (the $300 hiking backpack I got for Christmas so that I can explore THAILAND this summer) was still following me. Things were looking good- no worries. But when it was time to get on the little plane to head to Chevak from Bethel, some other teacher friends (Ryan and Emily) weren't able to get on the flight because they hadn't "checked-in"... long story short, there tends to be confusion at this airport... which is the reason I double-checked all my stuff when I arrived in Bethel... anyway...

I got on the flight and met a really neat couple who teach in a neighboring village, Hooper Bay. They have been teaching there for 17 YEARS! This is so amazing to me. In fact, it kind of made me wonder how long I will stay... I have told people from the day I signed my contract that my personal goal was 2-5 years depending on life.... but, who knows... 10 years seems like nothing when I think about it... (:
Anyway, when you fly from Bethel to Chevak the plane goes in a circle... Scammon Bay, Hooper Bay, and Chevak. Well, when we landed in Hooper our pilot informed us that the front wheel had gone flat due to the extreme cold (it WAS cold). Hee hee hee. A Chevaker was on the flight with her 8 day old baby and at that point there was no set plan as to what our next step was to getting home. We were on the afternoon flight which meant there was only one more flight scheduled to go out- the evening flight (notice we don't have "times"). Lucky for us, the teacher couple that I had met took us to their house for the next few hours so that we would stay warm and have a place to spend the night if need be. They sure were wonderful. And you wouldn't believe their collection of Native art! Amazing!

After a few hours another plane was sent along with a mechanic to fix the first one. All went well. We got into Chevak around 630 or 7 that night... and it was cold. I couldn't recognize anyone at the "airport" because every inch of the body was covered... except for mine of course because I didn't bring all my "tougher in Alaska" gear with me to Anchorage. Also, the school truck had been put away for the winter so I was being picked up on a snowmachine (or "by snowgo" as we would say here). Did I mention it was very cold, windy, foggy, and snowy?
Leo, a man of many duties at our school, warned me to cover my face with the weather conditions as they were because it was dangerous; however, there was hardly enough time to cover seeing as it was just unbearable being out there (you have to remember that our "airport" is just a landing strip... no building). As we drove, I could feel the one spot on my face that didn't get covered freezing. I can't even really explain it.
I got to my house and checked the mirror and sure enough I had been bitten by the frost! This was my first time ever and it freaked me out for a minute. Less than five minutes outside and I was frostbitten!
Anyhow, my roomie had just arrived home a bit before my arrival so we hugged and shared stories and then headed up to the school to see everyone since there was a basketball tournament going on. I have to say, it was a GREAT feeling to see everyone and to be so welcomed back... I really love it here. It's good to be "home."
....below are some pics of the results of today's blizzard...


  1. Fabulous reads... It inspired me to create my own for when I travel out to the villages (if that happens) lol.

    and the Turkey soup looked oh so appetizing!!

    What is that thing youre holding in the picture??

  2. lol so glad you are reading them! i have NO IDEA what it was! lol some part of the turkey i guess! lol


Thanks for keeping up with me! (;