Wednesday, July 27, 2011

She grew up in an Indiana town...

This is another long post.  This is your warning. 

Trip to Atmautlauk

1.  1st flight....
My trip started in Chicago at the O'hare Airport.  Getting checked in was quite the process, because I was hauling around 2 MASSIVE suitcases and sent to 3 different stations.  Thankfully there was a kind worker behind the desk who gave me a break because I was flying out to Alaska to teach.  God bless good Samaritans.   Then when I went through airport screening, I was pulled out to do extra screening.  This made me laugh because I just so happened to be between 2 huge buff looking gentlemen.... Guess it's those small people you gotta watch out for. ;)   When I finally made it on to the plane I was placed by a married couple form the UK.  They were quite adorable and very friendly.  The first four hour flight went by with no turbulence and 2 diet cokes.  That's a great flight if you ask me. :)

2. 2nd flight...
My second flight was from Seattle to Anchorage.  This flight was a bit different than the first one because there were tons of children on my flight.  I LOVE kids... but red eye flights and kids don't exactly mix.  My seatmates this time was a single mother and a 2 year old.  I know what you are thinking... :/  But it wasn't too bad.  First the mom asked me if I was a teacher, which took me by surprise, and told me her name.  She's a second grade teacher in Seattle and her name is Ms. Wilson.  Small world eh?  Anyway the rest of the flight was pretty decent thanks to more diet coke and really good headphones.

3. 3rd flight...
First glimpse Alaska
Those are mountains in the distance.
My third flight was from Anchorage to Bethel.  The flight itself was not terrible at all.  It was the waiting for it that was the most terrible.  When I landed in Anchorage the temperature outside was 54 degrees and the airport was running the AC.  :/  Besides the neat decoration the airport had (this included polar bear taxidermy and Yupik artwork) the stay there was cold and long.  The flight itself was actually really nice.  I might just start flying with Alaska Airlines all the time. :)
First Alaskan sunrise at 4:00 AM
4.  Rest of the time spent traveling...

This is where things got crazy!  I got off the plane in Bethel and waited for my luggage. I waited for 20 minutes and until the beltway was turned off.  As you can probably guess... my things were left in Anchorage.  Someone didn't properly check my baggage all the way to Bethel, my last major airline flight. Thankfully the people in Bethel are the nicest people ever.  One of the women who works for my school district came out and helped my get things in order to come directly to my town.  She also drove me around Bethel, which by the way is incredibly small compared to a town like Avon.  I also met the assistant superintendent while I was in town.  It happened to be incredibly awkward since I was still wearing my sweatpants and t-shirt. :/  Thankfully everyone was understanding about my situation.   When we left the office we stopped by AC, the closest thing they had to a Walmart, and picked up a few things.  You know... food, pots & pans, and drinking water.  Then it was time for my last and final flight.
Meet the pilot of my first bush plane

That's the size of the plane I rode in.
My final flight was on a teeeeeeeny tiny airplane which was just big enough to carry 4 people and packages.  I was kind of freaked out when I first got into the plane because of how unfamiliar this process was.  When we finally got into the air, my mind was blown by how beautiful and foreign everything seemed.

5.  First time in the village...
Aerial shot of my village at the district office.
I was greeted by my principal's husband, also the school's 4th/5th grade teacher, who took me to the school on the back of a 4 wheeler.  That was the first sign that things would be completely different here than what I've been used to.  At the school, I was greeted by town's children, my principal, and my new apartment.
Since this has been such a long post, I will make another one soon describing my classroom, apartment, and town.   Stay tuned for more Alaskan updates.

1 comment:

  1. Is it odd that I keep thinking of "The Proposal" ? :) Wrong part of Alaska, probably. I bet it's beautiful!