While autism seems like the logical choice for the letter A…I do talk quite a bit about that on my blog. Alaska…not so much. After college, not sure what direction I wanted to go in, I did a year of volunteering. I found myself in Sitka, Alaska working at domestic violence shelter. It was quite the experience to be surrounded by so much beauty and such sadness. Sitka is an incredibly isolated town on Baranoff Island accessible only by boat or plane. There were about 13 miles of paved road and 100 inches of rain a year. The picture is from a retreat we had in Anchorage. The weather is pretty mild in Sitka so I didn’t have much in the way of winter clothes. In Sitka it was all about the rain pants and rubber boots. The ladies who worked at the shelter outfitted me in this incredible jacket with wolf fur hood and Sorrels.
My job was in education and outreach and direct service. We had a 24 hour crisis hotline and a 12 bed shelter. I did shelter shifts 2 days a week from 3-11pm, wrote the newsletter and gave presentations to the community and neighboring villages on personal safety. Flying to those remote villages by float plane was an experience I will never forget. Being the lone white woman in a Tlingit village talking to children and young adults about how to be safe…indescribable. While I was a vegetarian there, I found it very rude to decline the local food. I ate some interesting stuff…dried seaweed dipped in seal oil, whale blubber, herring eggs caught on hemlock branches with soy sauce. I also ate the most delicious food ever–Halibut cheeks! YUM!
I left the volunteer position a little bit early when my mom developed cancer the second time. I was considering a "real" position at the shelter or another volunteer position in Bethel–the tundra. All is well that ends well…Kevin and I solidified our relationship and a few months later I asked him to marry me. Gracie and I visited Alaska when she was one but I haven’t been back. I would like to volunteer again someday…perhaps when all of the kids are settled..
A little knitting…nearly finished with the left front of the Central Park Hoodie for Grace.