Sunday, October 18, 2009

Back From Bethel Bound

"The road to a friend's house is never long."
(especially if they lend you their truck and are in Bethel, AK;)
~Danish Proverb

Marsha, Steph and I flew into Bethel this weekend. They, for an art retreat/training and me to work on paperwork and make up an in service training I missed during our regional cross country meet. It was a bit of an oasis once the work day was done. Friday night we did some much needed shopping, this consists of paying $4.00 for a 14 oz. bottle of dish soap, $6.00 for a 1.95 lb. squash, $9.oo for a bag of Doritos, $18.00 for a bag of halloween candy, and $10.00 for some powdered lemonade. We hauled our groceries to Steph's hotel in backpacks. We looked like pack mules more than humans. We could take a cab but its still above 20 degrees and there is no snow so walking is the preference. A fun fact: Bethel, Alaska has more taxi cabs per capita than New York City. It's true more people in Bethel travel by cab than have their own car. Remember to get a car in Bethel, it has to be barged in. We decided on 'Shoguns' for supper, one of the few restaurants in Bethel feasting on chinese and mexican topped off with chocolate malts. When opportunity knocks around here you fling open the door. We enjoyed the food this weekend. Upon arrival back at the hotel, we decided to play beauty shop and do some high lighting. As you can see Paul (another fellow 'new' teacher at a neighboring village who was in Bethel for the art retreat as well) couldn't resist and got in on the action, actually we coerced him. While Steph was washing out the foiling I did on her hair Paul graciously jumped in and put a few foils in mine;) Anya took these pics and they are hilarious. Even more if you met Paul, he's an ex juvenile justice officer, sword fighter, fortune 500 investor, bush teacher and as of this Friday night he has added hair stylist to his repertoire. After my 8 hour in service Saturday my coworker/mentor and friend Joel let me use his truck to cruise the 12 miles of interstate in Bethel. Quyana Joel. He also invited Anya and I over for supper at his house with a couple other friends from Bethel. Again Quyana Joel. Notice the great galoshes Anya is sporting, like I said before, the tundra is an adventure, bring your mud boots;) It was nice to catch up with everyone and enjoy Joel's fab cooking...Thai shrimp and some other yummy shrimp recipe. As well as Anya's apple pie! Corey bought ice cream and it was gourmet meets gramma's home cooking, not a bad combination. This morning Anya whipped up the best blueberry cream cheese frosting french toast I've ever eaten or ever heard of for that matter. Finally it was time to head back to Quin. I said good by to Anya and Jackie (her roomie), my home away from home and hopped a cab to the airport. There I ran into a few other teachers I know and got to fly to Eek to drop them off before heading on to Quinhagak. Had a nice visit with Andrew the pilot from Virginia who made me very jealous sharing his stories of flying up the mountains, building a cabin with his friends and snowboarding through powder all winter long. He, like many of the pilots in Bethel, has the luxury of living in Anchorage and flying up here a few times a month for work. This is similar to the people who work on the 'North Slope' too.

Meanwhile back at the ranch in Wisconsin....I thought I needed to be worried about bears up here...guess not:)
updated 3:20 p.m. PT, Sat., Oct . 17, 2009

HAYWARD, Wis. - Shoppers in a Wisconsin grocery store got an unexpected surprise when a 125-pound black bear wandered inside and headed straight for the beer cooler.

The bear stopped Friday night at Marketplace Foods in Hayward, about 140 miles northeast of Minneapolis, sauntering through the automatic doors and heading straight for the liquor department, WEAU-TV reported.

It calmly climbed up 12 feet onto a shelf in the beer cooler where it sat for about an hour while employees helped evacuate customers and summoned wildlife officials.

Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources tranquilized the animal and took it out of the store. Store workers say the bear seemed content in the cooler and did not consume any alcohol.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another..." Hebrews 10:25


  1. You mentioned that cabs are so common in Bethel. Tell us more about Bethel. You said there is Interstate. Where does it run to and from? How large is Bethel? How long is the flight from Bethel? Can you get the recipe for the Blueberry Cream Cheese French Toast?

  2. Kris, The flight to Bethel from Quin is about 45 minutes by bush plane and $250 round trip. It's 70ish miles away. Bethel from Anchorage is 500ish miles and a couple hours by big plane and $600 dollars round trip. Bethel is the village hub for the Kuskokwim Delta Region, its where we go for anything from district trainings, connecting flights out to a real grocery store, hospital and a few restaurants. I'd guess its around 2500 people? The interstate is at the longest stretch 12 miles. It has a combination of gravel roads and a few main drags to the airport, past the AC grocery store and down to the slough/river. I think the recipe is something like this: cream cheese frosting (anya made it with cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and whatever she had left of pecans) slathered between 2 pieces of french toast smothered in at least a 1/2 cup blueberry compote (however you make it, anya did karro syrup, water, cornstarch and frozen blueberries) bring your appetite and voila!

  3. Hey Kid, Sounds like you are really going to cherish those Doritos!! Everytime I read your blog I am just so amazed at what you are doing. It is just so typical of you and I always knew you would be spreading your special influence on children and everyone you come in contact with!! Blessings To You Always~~~

  4. I was telling one of my co workers about the price of food at the store in Bethel. I can imagine it must be tought on stores to sell things at those prices. Wow, you have to be a faithful teacher to spend that kind of money to fly to a training. Now I understand why some villagers may never leave a village.

  5. Joe, It's true, I am finding that I am cherishing things that I once took for granted and this is a beautiful lesson that I am learning. Also I'm learning that my ideas of necessities are becoming far more necessary. And as I hope I've shared before and many times to come I am certain that I am able to do what I am doing because all along my journey the Lord has placed amazing, inspiring people like you to point out The Way. Thank you and I always appreciate knowing you are out there and on this adventure with me! Rachel