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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Teaching in Bush Alaska!

Molly and I have come to find out that teaching in bush Alaska is truly an adventure. Every new week is different from the prior week and we never know what to expect next week! So far we have dealt with extreme cold and white-out blizzards, no water. . .twice, power outage, a fire, basketball season (remember, teams fly to their games and sometimes get weathered in there), sewage backing up into our bathtub, high winds (makes our apartment cold), and this week one of the generators broke down causing there to be very little heat in the school!

Last week the heat stopped working in the shop and we could see our breath during class! I asked my students if they wanted to go to my classroom and have a free day to work on other things, but they said they would rather deal with the cold. We spent three days wearing winter gear in the shop while handling metal tools for 55 minutes! It was cold! The gymnasium was also very cold and students had to wear their hats and jackets while playing basketball until they warmed up a bit! This was because of the wind outside combined with an old, drafty school.

This problem was fixed, but then on Monday the classroom portion of the school was somewhere in the 30's when we got to school. By noon with all the students there and the sun shining it got up to 45 degrees, but we let the kids go home early. It's very difficult to write with mittens on and even more difficult to write with cold hands!! This was fixed that evening and now all is toasty again. . .Although, I never had heat in my room and still don't so it is quite chilly in the morning, but warms up eventually.

The funny thing about these issues is that I kind of enjoy them! I like the adventure of it all and as long as nobody is hurt, starving, or freezing I will continue living each day as a new day. Living in the bush is kind of like having Christmas every day; I go to sleep at night not knowing what I will get in the morning!!


auntibeck said...

Are you going back this Fall? I have family who may be there in the fall too! What a great idea to blog your great adventure!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering how you got involved with this? My sister is considering a similar opportunity, but isn't sure how to get involved...thanks and best wishes!

Anonymous said...

I really would like to get involved in teaching in the bush of Alaska. Would there be a website or a specific place to go to find out some more information. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Would you mind telling me where you are in the Alaskan Bush? My Boyfriend is from Soldotna AK, and we are currently in S. Korea teaching English, but we think our next adventure is going to be the bush. I am almost done with Grad school and he will be done in the fall.

I have a few more questions for you, if you don't mind can you email me at and feel free to check out our blog Thanks, Sammie

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