Well folks we finally made it! There has been a lot packed into these past two days so I’ll give you a short briefing.
I survived my fear of planes on all three flights along with my plane buddy and fellow classmate, Stephanie Tedesco. It kind of threw me off when we saw the sun set in Minneapolis, but saw it come back up on our flight to Anchorage. It did not quite settle in yet that I was going to Alaska until I saw the snow covered mountains and ice filled rivers from thousands of feet above. We finally arrived in Anchorage at around 12 AM, but in actuality it really felt like 3 AM Omaha time. It was quite the scene seeing 20 students and professors along with all the travelers spending the night on the seats all throughout the airport. That was a first for me! It was amazing how the sun worked because it never fully set even at 3 AM. This really threw me off, but I did not care because we were all sleep deprived so we passed out pretty well.
Now it really settled in once I saw the Alaska logo on the outside of our plane. We were welcomed to Bethel with signs all over the airport saying “EXIT, WELCOME, and BATHROOM”, in the Yup’ik language. After our short tour of Bethel from the airport to the Immaculate Conception of the Catholic Church we finally caught up on some sleep with a nice long four hour nap. Somehow we managed to squish three mattresses into our little room for six people. I love my new sleeping bag that makes me look like I’m in caccoon!
After being all rested up, I put my new rain boots to good use and took a walking tour of Bethel with our group. Some of the things I noticed included the following:
1. All the buildings are on stilts.
2. There were a lot of dogs! People mush them in the winter time.
3. People walk everywhere as much as they can. There’s my exercise for the week!
4. The main boardwalk is beautiful and walks right over some tundra. This part was my favorite!
5. Tundra. Tundra. Tundra. Tundra. Tundra is everywhere!
6. There are a lot of “American Chinese” food places.
7. People rolled down their windows and were yelling, “Ya Creighton!” Yes, the Creighton crew has officially arrived!
8. All of the trashcans are decorated and painted.
9. There are signs all along the roads that are in the shape of salmon and have sayings to help protest the restrictions on salmon fishing.
Towards the end it was raining hard (The rain always comes and goes even when its sunny out!). Yeup! We are in Bethel, Alaska! We finally came back and had pizza and socialized with some people that we were going to interview, meet with, and help us with our documentary. The person I found the most inspiring was our friend, Alisha. The reason why she came to Bethel was because she wanted to get away from materialism and consumerism and found a true good culture. She found people who actually do things for each other and care for one another because everyone benefits form everyone. She also showed us a small video of why she fell in love with Bethel. Just listening to her and my first day in Bethel, I could already feel the beginnings of my love for Bethel start to grow.
To be continued!…