Sunday, January 26, 2014


I recently had a conversation with my mentor about how I'm beginning to realize that regardless of the situation or location, Max and I are able to be incredibly happy. This year has had it's ups and downs, and teaching has been incredibly difficult at times, but we have always been able to leave that at the school, and come back to our house that really feels like home, and simply be happy. Sometimes we forget we live in Alaska, and other times we just stare out the window in disbelief that we've actually done this, and that we live here. With that being said, we could probably be happy anywhere else too, and is part of the reason that we're in the process of deciding where in the world to go next year. It'll probably be somewhere new.

That was the first day my mentor, Todd, was here. The next night he was here was because of bad weather. He and another guy who was working at the school, Will, from Portland, crashed at our house, and Sara and Anthony came over too. We all had a wonderful time talking about life, books, the future, weddings, and we played a good game of Apples to Apples. It was so nice to have some company, and was wonderful to talk to someone from "the outside". I was thinking about how funny it is to invite someone into your house who you met a few hours earlier, but then I realized that it might be strange if there was another option, like a hotel in the village, but since there isn't, it's just the norm. We wouldn't have had it any other way, and it was such a wonderful opportunity to hear new perspectives, to network, and to help someone else out. Todd comes once a month, and Will said he will probably be out again before the end of the school year, so we've made new friends!

In fact, Todd has offered that we stay in his cabin near Denali on our way out in the spring, so we're now in the process of planning an adventure including touring around the Anchorage area, making our way out to Todd's cabin, visiting Max's uncle's cabin in Delta Junction, and finishing off this wonderful adventure with a ferry ride from Whittier to Bellingham. More on this later...

Anyway, when someone comes out here because they want to, one can generally assume that they're a pretty cool person. I don't think it's much of a coincidence that we all get along so well.

I thought it was a little ironic and funny, that we spent the week in language arts
writing about how we can make people who are new to Pilot Station
 feel welcome, and then I got to try this out with our visitors.
I didn't take them to all these places, unfortunately.
I was pretty impressed with this list my students came up with though! 

Today Max and I were talking about how incredibly lucky we are to even have this experience. Many people come and visit Alaska, and many people move up to "Alaska" and live in Anchorage, but it is quite the opportunity to be able to live out here in the bush. This isn't a place that many people can just come visit, because if you did there would be no where to stay. You also can't just move out here, there are no houses for rent or apartments. There is almost no feasible way to come out here and just live, unless you are a teacher and they think you're up for it. We always have the best conversations while we're out on a good hike, getting some sunshine and exercise.

Here are some pictures we took from todays adventure: 


Our iced over runway

The trail up toward the tundra hill, and to St. Mary's

There was a "warm" breeze up at the top of the tundra hill.

@1:00 pm

This is what a beautiful, sunny day looks like

Life is GOOD. 

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