Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome to the Village

We are finally home!!! It took us forever to get here, but we finally made it :)
This is the airstip, no airport, our things were just tossed off the plane along with us

This is the barge at the slough- it is about 60 ft here and has a strong undercurrent
My family and friends have been begging to hear more about my tiny village out here on the edge of Alakanuk, so here is my first update letter for everyone.

The village is actually the biggest one in Alaska at 3 miles long. We have three stores, two churches, and a cafe. The teacher housing, which is a double wide trailer, is actually the nicest housing in the village. We have two bodies of water, a slough and the Yukon River.

Here is one view of the Yukon River, doesn't do it justice at all

My favorite thing is the view of the Yukon River. It is a beautiful site and I would spend all day out there if I could. Unfortunately, it is just down from the dump, so it has some stinky driving to get to it. But when you get past all the garbage and look out on the river, it is an amazing view that could leave you breathless! The water doesn't get deeper than your knees until about 50 yards out, so you can just walk right on out to the middle and not get too wet at all.
My first walk in the Yukon River

Here is a view of the deck of the school, it is also where the students have recess
I was able to get into my classroom yesterday and it is huge! Plus, the teacher left loads of stuff that I can use. I've already started moving the desks and such around, so I can't put on a before picture, but when I finish setting up the classroom, I will put a picture on to show you all how huge it is. I'm in what we call a portable, which means the classroom isn't connected to the rest of the school. Because of that, I have a bathroom in my class, which I like because it will cut down on kids leaving the classroom. However, since I'm not connected to the school, I don't have a hallway to send the kids out to cool out in. Fortunately, on that end, someone offered to have my students go to her classroom if they need a cool down time.

Many of the villagers that I have met are extremely friendly. One young lady was teaching us Yup'ik words, which was really fun. These people are so fun loving and love to joke around, so it has been a ball to get to know them. They look serious, but they so aren't! I've truly enjoyed getting to know the people in the village.

My house is super awesome! I have a nice little bedroom with a connected bathroom. Then, we have a cute living room with a couch and two chairs. The kitchen is small but so well laid out that you can easily move around. We have a spare bedroom, where my friends Holly and Nathaniel have been staying while they wait to move into their house. Then I also have a washer and dryer room that is narrow, but wide enough to move around when you do your laundry. It is a cute, comfortable place and I love living there already.

That is a small nutshell of the village and the first few days we have spent here. I will continue to update family and friends on my journey here as things happen :)


  1. Love it Culea! So happy to see you've started a blog that we can all follow.

  2. Thanks for starting a blog. I have put you on my google reader and then I will know whenever you update! Love seeing the photos and hearing all about Alaska and look forward to updates when you start teaching and seeing photos of the students and teachers also.

  3. I've added you to my reader, too. Looking forward to hearing more on your adventure and seeing more pictures.

  4. Culea, just caught up on the whole blog. I'm jealous of the wonderful experience you are having of being immersed in a different world. I really enjoy your contemplative attitude.

  5. Now don't stay for one year; or two years then leave, stay a long time.