Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Home sweet home

I've been hearing a little bit of whining as to why I haven't posted a picture of our house here! The inside is still a work in progress (as you may have seen if you looked at the video of Loki and Bailey), so pictures of that may wait until after we get to Bethel for paint, lumber, etc, but I figured I'd better give you all something. So here's our front door!

The building our apartment is in is actually an old school building, with the classrooms just separated off into living space. Which means, if you want to picture our place, just think of a big rectangular classroom, with two walls dividing it into thirds. That's it. We've even got the sweet long institutional fluorescent lighting fixtures. Don't worry, we don't use them unless we're cleaning or something.

So there are three of these apartments in our building, with one teacher living in each of the others. It's nice, we have a washer and a dryer in the building, water is piped in (no bulk tank), and flush plumbing! Really, what else can a guy ask for? But seriously, compared to what I saw of Sara's place in Quinhagak last year, there are some minor things about this place that are a little more, shall we say, ghettotastic, but there are definitely some major convenience factors that make it more comfortable. All in all, so far, so good :-)

And on another happy note, yesterday was like christmas...a grand total of 4 boxes came in the mail! Including...hold on to your hats...all my fishing gear! You have no idea how excited this makes me...ok, maybe you do, but still. I'm pretty excited.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Well hello there

Partially, I'm just checking in here at 12:28am on a Sunday night/Monday morning to assure you I haven't been eaten by a rogue salmon or anything...I've just had a perfect storm of internet issues and time issues this week that kept me from being online much at all. Sorry about that. More stories and pictures to come, I promise.

But for now, I wanted to just post a link to a story that I found interesting and that might give some of you a bit of a frame of reference for what life's like up here using something I know many of you are familiar with...high school football.

An added bonus, of course, goes to the fact that the story is about the school where our previously-mentioned northernmost pal Jody is a teacher! Allowing you, gentle readers, get the inside scoop as well. Nifty, eh?

(I would just like to point out, postscript-style, that while Barrow is indeed way, way up there, it also has a population of around 4,700. Nunapitchuk is roughly 1/10th that size. So I don't think I can hope for a $100,000 football program around here anytime soon. Just have to wait 'til basketball season, I guess.)

Friday, August 18, 2006 testing...

Okay, so is blocked by the school internet, but Google Video is in the interest of experimentation (as well as showing you the canine craziness, of course), let's see if you can access the video of their morning wrestling match if I link it like this!

Do not pass go, do not collect $200

Another boardwalk picture, I know. You're going to get bored with me pretty quickly...there's not all that much new and different for me to be documenting all the time, but I'll do my best to keep it fresh.

So after about a day and a half of blue skies this week, and now we're back to overcast and windy. It's in the 50s and fairly gloomy, but I don't really mind at all. My kind of weather, feels like football season. Besides, we're counting our blessings...our friend Jody moved up to Barrow this year, and they've been in the 30s this week and just had their first snow! In August!! Makes for a long, long winter, methinks.

In other news, I've got my application for employment with the LKSD as a sub or an aide here in my grubby little paws. Of course, I'm nervous to actually pull the trigger and doubly nervous to actually be in a classroom for the first time on the other side of the desk, but I'll suck it up and do it and see what happens. It's the only job I'm going to find here, and it's mine if I want it, so why not, right? A job's a job.

It's Friday, which means it's been two weeks that we've been here. Falling into a solid routine, getting comfortable, and it's really is starting to feel like home here. Not to say I wouldn't like to be headed to Joe's at 5 o'clock for a cold beer with the guys, but there's plenty of time for that later. Like Christmas break :-)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

What's this bright, glowing ball?

Hi there! I'm trying not to do too many posts of just pictures, but it's hard because there really hasn't been too much going on. Let me rack my brain a little and see what I can come up with...

Well, first of all, this picture is the sunset from tonight, just a couple minutes before 11pm. It's been overcast and rainy here for, oh, pretty much the whole time since we've been here, so I was pretty excited this afternoon while I was watching Monday "Night" Football when the sky started to break a little. First I could see a few little patches of blue, then a little more, then by about 6pm the whole sky was clear and there was actually sunlight bouncing in the window and all around. I know, not too exciting, but when it's been a while...what can I say? When I saw the sun startign to go down I ran outside to see the sunset and take some pictures.

You know, outside of the getting used to going to bed with it still being light outside, it's kinda nice to have it stay light so late in the summer up here. There's just so much As I type this at around 11:15pm, Sara's still out with our neighbors picking blueberries and salmonberries. I forced her to take my camera (the less unwieldy, more pocket-friendly of our two), so hopefully she'll return with some nice pictures as well to share.

Let's see, what else? Loki's been continuing to terrorize Bailey, of course. We were over there earlier tonight to play Settlers (yes Aaron/Eric/whoever's reading this, I actually learned to play Settlers, and I think it's something I could become addicted beware), and the two of them were going at it non-stop for the majority of the time. Dispite panting within an inch of his life, drinking 2 or 3 bowls of water, being bloodied and slobbered, Loki just refuses to leave poor Bailey alone. It's really quite something.

School starts this week for Sara, which is cool. I know she's excited to get to work and meet all of her kids for the year. Well, outside of the ones we already know from their knocking 5 times a day wanting to visit or play with the dog. Something tells me you'll be hearing more about a certain boy named Billy before the year is done...

Ok, I think I'm starting to ramble a little too much for tonight, but remind me to tell you a little about Loki's swimming adventures, not to mention some rediculous tundra mosquitos. I think I've had more bug bites in the last week and a half than I did the rest of the whole summer!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Partners in Crime

Here are Loki and Bailey, caught in a rare moment of pause due only to the introduction of a couple of tasty treats into the arena of combat. Otherwise, a full two hours of non-stop wrestling is not unusual for these two canine neighbors.

Please note that while they may appear to be constantly fighting, nipping each other and rolling around the floor, in reality they're becoming fast friends. This, even dispite Loki's insistance on stealing Bailey's food/water/treats/attention whenever the chance presents itself. My dog has a number of positive traits...good manners, unfortunately, are not on that list.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006


This is the view from our front door. That's the Johnson River there behind all the plumbing and the (diesel?) tanks for the power plant. Hey, I've always wanted to live on the water, and really, I could probably throw a baseball into the river from our front steps :-)

Another front door view, looking to the right, which gives a good shot of the boardwalks I've mentioned. They go everywhere around the village, down to the river, etc. They're just a few inches off the tundra mostly, and Loki's had a good time jumping on and off, into the swampy goodness of the not-yet-frozen tundra.

This is a picture of the "school dock", taken from the school's boat as we took it to go fill up the gas tank. Actually, Christina was taking it to get gas, and Sara and I tagged along to see how it's done and where to go so we could know how things work in the future.

This is Sara and Christina (and'll be hearing more about Bailey), in the boat at the gas station. Have I mentioned how important boats are up here? Hey dad, we haven't had ours out in a couple years...mind mailing it up for a few months? Slap some stamps on 'er, I'm sure she'll make it up in a week or so...right?

Monday, August 7, 2006

Hey, lookie there

So I took this picture of the school building as we were leaving for home, and since the internet happens to be working here at the moment, I thought I'd go ahead and post it. Exciting, I know.



We're here, we're here. Sorry for the delay in posting to let you all know, but our internet's been kinda spotty at home. Plus the fact that I haven't really taken any pictures yet to share, but don't worry...I'll be getting on that.

Things are good here, falling into place. Got in on Friday morning after a pretty harrowing 26 hour trip. Unlike past trips, all our planes were right on time this go-round, so we didn't have to worry about any of that stress. Having the dog with us was a little tough, though more from a worry perspective than anything else. So a car ride, three plane rides, and a boat ride later, we made it to our new place.

Like I said, I'll have pictures in a day or two, but here are a couple first impressions:

- Having boardwalks everywhere is kinda cool. It's like walking on a deck from the house to school, the post office, etc.

- I underestimated how much the extra sunlight would mess with my head. The sun goes down at around 11:30pm and rises at shortly after 6am, so I've never really seen the place in the dark yet. It's a little unnerving, but I guess we'll be making up for it in the winter months, now won't we?

- I slept a crazy amount yesterday. We're talking a full night's sleep, then a 4 hour nap in the afternoon. Still trying to find my balance, I think. They say it takes roughly three weeks for the average person to adjust to a new routine or situation before it becomes "normal" or "habit", so I have a little ways to go. But I think we'll be juuuust fine :-)

So yeah, I'll be back as soon as I get some pictures to show you, and as long as the internet cooperates and lets me post them! Peace!