Friday, November 25, 2011


There's a reason I named this blog Kristin's Kapers.  This week is clearly proving that.  Last Weekend I went with 6 kids and the wrestling coach to Selawik where I got sick.  I was really sick and wanted nothing more than to get into my bed and stay there.  Unfortunately, I was sleeping on the floor in the school in Selawik.  The staff there were really helpful to me, but I just wanted my bed.  I tried so hard to get back to Kobuk, and got really close, but in the end didn't manage to go back until our scheduled charter on Sunday (by which point I ironically was feeling better again).  Then just a few days later on the day before Thanksgiving I try to leave Kobuk to go to Anchorage and get stuck in Kotzebue.  I am currently stuck in Kotzebue and am beginning to despair of actually making it to Anchorage.  This is of course why I scheduled my flight from Anchorage at Christmas for 3 days AFTER my flight to Anchorage.  So here's the skinny on my current situation.  It's quite a story...
Wednesday we had school all day, but the last hour was a program with coffee and desert for the parents.  It went really well.  The elementary students sang a song and some of the middle school students signed it. The high school students interviewed everyone in the school (or really close to it) and made a video about who we were thankful for.  It came right down to the wire on that one though.  We got the video finished about 20 minutes before the program was to start and then we still had to figure out how to get it to work with the projector in the gym (a total misnomer, our gym was once a classroom and it is the size of a classroom complete with carpeted floors and the ceiling is slanted.  At one end it is classroom height at the other it is higher.  You should see the kids play volleyball in there, it is comical).  It all worked out though and everyone loved it.  Then I was busy cleaning up and trying to get ready to go because my flight would be somewhere around an hour (or less) after the end of my official workday.  I left school right around my scheduled end of workday (a rare occurrence for any teacher).  I then called Era in Kotzebue to find out the routing of the upriver flight (Upriver refers to Ambler, Shungnak and Kobuk and the flights go to all three and can go in any order.  They announce the routing on the VHF as the flight leaves Kotz and you can also call and ask the routing.  When I was trying to get home from Selawik I thought I had gotten them to re-route the upriver flight to come to Selawik and pick me up - there was a miscommunication though and the plane didn't come).  Well, when I called I got the first surprise.  The woman told me that the flight hadn't routed yet.  I said, "It hasn't routed yet?  That means it hasn't left yet..."  It was supposed to have left at 3:30 and it was 3:50.  She told me that it was Wednesday and on Wednesdays they go to Red Dog (a mine) and the plane's late.  I'm now concerned about catching the jet from Kotzebue to Anchorage.  After I hang up, I call the Alaska Airlines 1-800 number to ask if they were flying on Thursday because I knew the Bush airlines weren't.  I called and the woman was probably in Seattle and I could tell she was a little surprised by my question, but I had started off with that I was trying to fly from Kotzebue to Anchorage (and briefly why I might miss my flight).  She replied "yes, we're flying tomorrow."  But then I could tell she was looking up information based on what I had told her because her voice slowed and you could hear the surprise in it, "but... we're not flying between Kotzebue and Anchorage."  So now I had a decision to make.  Do I get on the plane and run the risk of getting stuck until Friday morning in Kotzebue or do I just bag the whole trip and stay in Kobuk.  I had really wanted to go to Anchorage, but I was torn.  I called my parents who really didn't know how to advise me and I was debating the situation when I got a phone call.  The plane had been turned around due to mechanical problems.  Another phone call and it appeared actually the plane hadn't left Kotz yet because of mechanical problems, but still the result was the same, even less likelihood of catching the jet.  I texted my aunt to tell her that it didn't look like I was going to make it.  She then called me and we talked.  When I told her that FBC Kotzebue was having a Thanksgiving dinner she said, why don't you just do that.  Plan to spend Thanksgiving in Kotzebue and then catch the first flight out on Friday morning.  The ticket's already paid for and we're not doing our celebration until Saturday (because my grandmother is in Montana).  While she was saying this they came on the VHF announcing the flight departing Kotz.  There is a possibility of just making the flight... I call the pastor of First Baptist Kotz and ask him if I get stuck in Kotz can I stay at the church he says yes and so I prepare to leave Kobuk.  At the airport one of my co-workers asked me if I had called Alaska in Kotzebue and told them that I was on my way.  I hadn't and asked her to do it.  She said she would, and I'm sure she did.  Three other ladies got on my plane in Ambler also wanting to catch the jet to Anchorage.  When we landed we could see the jet was still there and one went running ahead to tell them we were there while the rest of us got the baggage handlers to get our luggage for us without making us wait for it to come out through baggage claim (I know I asked one of them and showed him where it was and he stopped where he was unloading the plane and grabbed my bags for me).  We get to the Alaska terminal and they are still boarding, but they have closed out the flight.  I speak with the woman in charge and she is rather rude and won't let us check in (yes I know they have closed out the flight, but it IS possible to re-open and they weren't flying the next day which was a big family holiday).  For a while I thought she was going to let us check in if we found someone to get our bags (she said she would), but then she didn't.  Matter of fact she never even told us she wasn't going to she just walked off and took all her agents with her and left us standing at the counter waiting and never came back.  After the flight left, an agent came and changed my reservation to the first flight on Friday.  I was now scheduled to get in 37 hours later than planned (she was also very appolgetic and said that it was wrong and she would have done it, but she wasn't in charge.  She also gave me a card and told me I should absolutely contact the local supervisor about it).  I also found out that the flight had gotten into Kotzebue late and left early.  That says to me that the woman in charge just wanted to be done and go home and didn't care what she was doing to us (the flight only has a 59% on-time departure and they left early).
So I was met at the airport by the pastor of First Baptist and his son.  I went out to dinner with their family and then they took me to the church where I stayed in the church basement.  Thanksgiving was fun and I had a really good time so I don't regret the decision, but it has been frustrating.  I met a lot of interesting people and it was also good to meet some of the people in the church in Kotzebue since that's the closest church of any size (I've been the only one left in the sanctuary after the kids left for Children's church before in Kobuk).
Then this morning, I got up way to early to be ready to leave at 7 am to go to the airport.  I went to the airport and checked-in and they told me the plane was delayed an hour and that I didn't have to be back until 8:30.  That is rather worrisome because John had checked at 6:15 and the flight had left Anchorage late, but was still scheduled to arrive on time.  An hour late makes things suspicious and I'm afraid the flight isn't going to make it at all.  I then posted on facebook about being delayed and a friend commented that there were storms moving into Anchorage.  So I may not make it to Anchorage at all (the Bush flights I don't think are flying today either though).  We'll see.  I'll post this now and post an update late.  Life is one giant adventure and I'm trying hard to keep it in that perspective.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Back in August when I was on Kotzebue for teacher in-service I took pictures of the prices.  I wanted to then take pictures of the prices here in Kobuk, but that is a lot harder to do.  I will try to get some pictures of that up, but the prices here are written directly on the item or sometimes aren't on things at all and you have to ask.  At O'Brown's there is a list of the prices for the frozen foods written on the freezers.  Nonetheless, the pictures here will show you why I order a lot of my food from Amazon and otherwise buy it when I'm in Anchorage.  Of course, many of the things available in Kotzebue aren't even available in Kobuk and even the things that can be purchased in Kobuk often aren't predictable.
Dreyer's ice cream $14.99.  You can sometimes get ice cream here in Kobuk.  I know one of my colleagues bought the generic flavorite brand (the only one available) for $13.75. 
Note: the sale prices and everyday low prices of $3.59 and up.  I bought a can of Del Monte mandarin oranges for $3.75.

Yes, that does say that milk is $11.89 for a gallon.  In Kobuk you cannot even buy fresh milk.  The only milk for sale in Kobuk is the ultra high pasteurized kind that comes in the box and doesn't have to be refrigerator until it is opened.  I bought a case of this kind of milk in Anchorage and have been using some of it, but I'm not a big milt drinker.  The school gets its milk as powdered milk which comes in 55 pound bags!

$5.39 for a small jar of peanut butter.  That's why I order mine on Amazon.  I can get 6 15-ounce jars of Skippy All Natural peanut butter for $11.99 with free shipping. Can't beat that price...

The cereal on the upper shelf is $7.95 a box.  The cereal on the lower shelf is $6.15 a box.  

This stuff can't even be found in Kobuk.  I order my vegetables via full circle farms!  I get a box of 10 items every other week for $69.25.  I can modify what's in the box and cancel an order if I'm not going to be in town.  I also canceled some orders right after my last trip to Anchorage because I brought a lot of fresh produce back with me.  I have occasionally seen different produce items for sale in the stores - carrots, lettuce, tomatoes.  Onions are often available.  I don't know how much they cost though.  I did buy an avocado once.  I paid the low, low price of $3.49.

The is a random picture that I didn't think I had posted before.  Here is an Everrets Cargo plane.  This plane felt huge when it came in and is MUCH bigger than any of the bush planes, but I doubt it is really all that big...
I have bought a few other things in Kobuk.  I bought a 1 pound box of blue bonnet margarine.  The kind that costs $1.30 in Anchorage and I think you can get it in NC for $1.  I paid $5.75.  I also have bought a dozen medium size eggs for $6.25 and a bag of Dorritos for $13.50.  I don't drink Pop, but at one store in town you can buy it for $1.25 a can (if they have it) or at the other store (which is more likely to have it) for I think $1.85 (not positive on this price).

An attempt to give the layout of Kobuk

My Dad asked me to try to take pictures that show the layout of town.  This is actually, very difficult.  I have tried to take a few shots to give part of the village layout and I will see what else I can do to add to this.  Hopefully, if I can find the time I will label an ariel shot of Kobuk (I think I took some fairly cool ones from the air).  I also took a close-up of the ambulance because my dad wanted a picture of the ambulance up close (an earlier entry has the ambulance meeting the medivac plane).  So here are the pictures.
The village ambulance.  When I looked in the windows before it appears that the ambulance is mostly empty.  Thus far I have only seen the ambulance used to transport from the clinic to a medivac plane.

The east side of the village (except for uproad or what I refer to as the Kobuk suburbs). The building in the right foreground is the clinic.  The ambulance is on the left.  Behind the ambulance is the greenhouse the school is building. My house is the redish building in the back.  The satellite dish on the left is for the cell phone.  I don't know what the big satellite dish on the right is for.  There is also a smaller (probably 4 foot diameter) dish mounted on my house.

From here you can see just the edge of the clinic with my house and the GCI satellite.  the house behind the satellite belongs to the Baptist pastor and his family.

The southwest corner of my house with the red building front and center being the  post office (on the first floor) and the city government offices (on the second floor).  The blue building behind it is the school.  The tank that is partially showing on the left side of the picture is attached to the yellow building that can only be partly seen.  The tank is the water tank and the yellow building is the washeteria.  This used to be where the people could come to do their laundry.  Now it is only used for treating the water and isn't open to the public.  Most people do their laundry at home.  If they don't have a machine then they use someone else's.  Two of the four teacher housing units have washers and dryers (mine does) and two don't.  The three teachers without laundry do theirs in the school.

The back side of the post office and city offices.  On the left just through the trees is the baptist church.  More or less to the left is the river (although still a ways).  One of the stores (O'Brown's picture shown in a previous post) is down the road that starts past the first building on the left (I think the road runs between these two buildings).  I'll have to take pictures of the other side of the village later.  I guess that means there is more to come...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life gets busy

Sorry it has been over two weeks since my last post, things have just been a touch on the crazy side.  Two weekends ago we went to Shungnak to buy gas because the city of Kobuk was out of gas.  That was a lot of fun and was my first trip to Shungnak.  Then last weekend I taught on Friday until 3:30 and then went to the school office about 3:45 to start listening to the VHF.  at 4:20 I left to go out to the airport to catch a plane.
 I flew first from Kobuk to Kotzebue. When we landed in Kotzebue I was yawning up a storm and I said something to one of the other passengers about being asleep before I arrived in Anchorage.  The pilot overheard me and said, "Oh, you're going on the jet.  That's no fun.  You have to sit on the plane in Nome..."  (Note: around here a plane is a non-specific term.  A plane is either a bush plane, a jet or sometimes it is a cargo plane, but if it is not specified as a jet plane then even the cargo plane (or for that matter medivac plane) is a propeller plane.)  I  then talked to him a little more and mentioned something about coming back in reverse on Monday (I think he asked me when I was coming back).
We flew from Kotzebue to Nome and the plane parks on the tarmac.  The passengers who are going to Nome get off and then an agent comes on board and gets the names of all the passengers still on the plane.  Then very slowly (because they have to go through TSA security one by one after the plane lands and deplanes) the passengers bound for Anchorage get on the plane (The 6 am flight leaves Anchorage and goes to Kotzebue, then to Nome and then back to Anchorage.  at 11 the next flight goes Anchorage -> Nome -> Kotzebue ->Anchorage and the last flight goes Anchorage->Kotzebue-> Nome -> Anchorage) the Anchorage bound passengers board.  As these planes were boarding I got a bit of a surprise.  One of the passengers was a very long time friend of my parents!  Matter of fact I had seen him about 10 days earlier when he had come to Kobuk for work and had brought me some fresh produce and cheese goodness.  He was on his way back home to Fairbanks (Alaska is the smallest big state).
So I got into Anchorage at 10:30 after having started working before 8 and of course I couldn't go straight to bed because I got to see my grandmother and then I had to call a friend and so it was after midnight before I got to bed.
The next day I went to a really awesome workshop, which was the purpose of the trip to Anchorage and the thing that paid for said trip.  I got some cool ideas and lessons plans and gadgets and even used one of them this week.  Saturday evening I went biking with a friend, dinner and then shopping!  You cannot make a trip from a village to Anchorage without shopping!  When I went to church on Sunday several people even made comments about how they were sure I was doing a lot of shopping.  When I was catching the plane in Kobuk the Era agent who met the plane seemed a little worried and asked me if I was moving out. When I told him that my tubs and cooler were empty he seemed a little relieved (that made me feel good).
Sunday was another busy day filled with church and lunch and more shopping and then of course the packing.  I mailed two tubs and took a cooler and a tub on the plane with me.  I was a little nervous.  Alaska Airlines allows 3 checked suitcases up to a 50 pounds each free of charge, but the bush planes allow a lot less.  Bering Air only allows 50 pounds for free and Era allows 80.  I was flying Era, but I had 96 pounds.  When I checked in I was holding breath ready to ask her to look the other way on the 16 extra pounds (something they will sometimes do).  She didn't say a word.  When she said, "Alright, you're all set." I let out a sigh of relief.  It was kind of funny though.  While I was waiting for the plane the pilot walked through the waiting area and recognized me.  He made a comment about I see you're on the return trip.  I didn't even recognize him until AFTER her spoke to me.  He was our pilot back to Kobuk.
The upper Kobuk [river] consists of 3 villages.  Ambler, Shungnak and Kobuk.  Ambler is the furthest away (from Kobuk, it's the closest to Kotzebue) at around 20 miles, then comes Shungnak which is about 8 miles (as the crow flies) from Kobuk.  My flight back landed in Ambler and then Kobuk.  I was surprised though because there was quite a bit of snow on the ground in Ambler, but none in Kobuk (there is now though).
When I got back to Kobuk I was really made to feel welcome.  The Era agent helped me carry my stuff and then a whole bunch of the kids that I ran into welcomed me back very enthusiastically.  It was nice.
But things just got busier after that.  Tuesday the superintendent came.  After school there was a long meeting about the new school (or really the massive school addition project).  Then we met with the principal of Shungnak and Kobuk because he was doing the formal evaluations on Wednesday of the three of us who are non-tenured.  After that I cooked dinner for him and one of my other co-workers.  Then the students had asked me to please do homework club (I usually do it on Mondays and Wednesdays, but Monday I wasn't back in time for homework club and didn't have time/energy/desire to do it later at night) so I agreed to do homework club from 7:30-8:30.  Made for a busy night.
It gets still busier!  Wednesday morning on the morning from my AKT2 (Alaska Transition to Teaching) mentor/evaluator arrived to do informal observations on Wednesday and informal and a formal observation on Thursday.  I had to meet with her Wednesday night.  However, I didn't have to meet with her for all that long on Wednesday night because I had actually had a lot of my meeting with her on the plane on Monday (remember I said it is a small big state - we were on the same flight from Anchorage to Nome to Kotzebue on Monday).
So by today (Friday) as you can imagine I was pretty exhausted.  After school today I just went home and crashed. Unfortunately today was the end of the quarter and so I have to have grades in by Monday. Guess what I'll be doing a lot of over the weekend?
No blog entry would be complete without pictures to show people my world.  So I'm going to upload photos from the trip to Shungnak and photos of the river from a few days ago.  If I have any pictures of Kobuk with the snow I'll upload one of those too, but I don't remember taking any... Enjoy the pictures!
Look carefully, against the mountain you can see the plane landing in Kobuk.  This picture was taken from the boat on our way to Shungnak.

Again looking carefully at this picture will reveal many things.  Not only the price of gas, but also the Inupiaq words for gas and diesel are included on here.

Shungnak Clinic

We got a ride back down to the river with the gas (33 gallons is a bit heavy).  The new village in Shungnak is built up on the top of a steep hill.  That makes everything a touch far from the river.

The village you see right on the river is the old village of Shungnak.  There are people who still live there, but there is no running water or electricity.  Up on top of the hill you can see part of the current/modern village of Shungnak.

I found this picture, but I think this was one or two snows ago.  I don't think it makes much difference it has been pretty warm today (upper 30's) and so even though we got more snow than is in this picture, the snow has been melting all day)

The school.  Again after a previous snowfall.

The pretty dead tundra on my way to Kotzebue last weekend.  I saw some caribou herds, but by the time I decided I should take a picture and then got out my camera, I didn't see anymore.

The river two days ago (looking up river).  It is getting more and more ice build up.  Plus this was the start of the current snowfall.

Two days ago: the view looking down river.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The weather is Changing and an the Earth Trembles

Last Friday was the autumnal equinox and while Saturday still felt nice, Sunday marked a distinct change in the weather.  Winter is coming.  The leaves have been off the trees for a couple of weeks now and on Sunday I had a bit of a surprise.  I was getting ready for church when I heard a sound like a European ambulance.  There IS an ambulance in Kobuk so I looked out my door to see if it in fact was the ambulance (I live in the former clinic building and so the ambulance which is parked outside the clinic is very close to my house), but it wasn't.  The ambulance was sitting there not in use (and actually it isn't an ambulance in a traditional sense and I don't think it even has a siren).  I then proceeded to call Sarah (a missionary here in town) and ask her.  She told me that it was the alarm signaling that somewhere in the line the water was freezing.  It hadn't been cold enough before, but she said it was a sound I would hear often.  Thus, we had a literal signal that the weather was changing.
Today, it started snowing.  It was funny everyone was so excited.  The students wanted to go outside in the snow and everyone was busy watching it.  It was enough to make one think that people never see snow around here. It's not yet October, there will be plenty of snow yet to come (the snow wasn't sticking at first, but by lunchtime it was sticking, but by the afternoon it had melted).
Today was an exciting day for another reason too.  We had an earthquake.  In the Anchorage area earthquakes are very common, but apparently here they aren't.  I was teaching my middle schoolers and I was kneeling down and leaning against a table when the room started to shake.  Now, I've told my parents before that since everything is built on stilts because of the flooding one could easily experience and earthquake in Kobuk and not even know it.  That is kind of what happened today.  It shook for probably 15-20 seconds and you could here things rattling around. One of my students said the top of my Smart Board where the projector is connected was shaking.  However, after it stopped I said to the students, "that was an earthquake," and they responded incredulously.   One student told me that earthquakes were rare here.  Several insisted it was someone on the stairs outside.  I insisted that it wasn't.  One even had to go outside and check (there was no one outside at all).  Others wanted to call the other middle school/high school teacher and see if they felt it.  She missed it, but her students, said yes they had felt it.  I decided it was a good time for a brief science lesson (I am the science teacher afterall) and so we went to the USGS website and found that the earthquake was a magnitude 4.4 and was located 33 miles from Kobuk with a depth of 11.8 miles.  We also filled out the survey on reporting if you felt the earthquake.  The kids were pretty excited by it and I have to admit I was too.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Trip to the Clinic

I went to the clinic yesterday and was very impressed.  I haven't been feeling well for quite a while now and on Tuesday I couldn't talk very well.  On Wednesday I had no voice and by Wednesday night I decided that was it, I was taking a sick day.  So I came back to school Wednesday night and laid out substitute plans (keep in mind that going to school involves walking about 40 yards!)  On Wednesday morning I went to the clinic.  I had been sick long enough I figured I should seek medical advice (My general rule is if I still don't feel well or something hurts after two weeks, it is time to see a doctor).
So I walked over the the clinic (maybe a 40 foot walk from my house, I live in the old clinic building) and when I got there they asked why I was there.  As soon as I tried to talk they had a pretty good idea.  Since I had never been to the clinic before I had to fill out the regular questions and then after they processed my paperwork I was called back my the health aid.  She did the regular beginning of a visit procedures - blood pressure, and weight.  Then we went back to an exam room.  I was really impressed by her professionalism and skill.  Health Aids only have a few weeks of training and so they rely on a manual that they use to get the symptoms and then call a doctor in Kotzebue for a diagnosis.  She also, gave me a rapid strep test (it was negative) and examined me.  She noted the scar tissue in my ears from all the ear infections I've had over the years and I felt did a really good job on the examination.  Then I left and she called the doctor.  I got a call back that afternoon and they had diagnosed me as having a sinus infection and bronchitis.  They also had the prescription meds filled for me (remember the pharmacy is officially in Kotzebue too, but they have a system set in place for this too...) I don't know all the details of how it works, and of course if the situation is too bad patients get sent to Kotzebue or if needed to Anchorage, but I think it is a good system for dealing with small things in such a remote location and even as a stop gap for large issues (the health aids also respond to emergency situations where the medivac flights are called in).

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

4 Wheeling!

This post is a little bit late since I already posted about Sunday late afternoon and Monday and this was Sunday early afternoon, but oh well.  On Sunday it started off real cloudy and overcast.  We were afraid it was going to rain, but we had decided we were going to take the Hondas out whether it rained or not (as long as it wasn't pouring).  Nonetheless, we waited until the early afternoon in hopes that it would clear and while it was still quite foggy when we left town it ended up being an absolutely gorgeous day.  We went out to the end of the road which is at Bornite a mining site that had been inactive for about 40 years, but is starting to become active again (I'm not sure, but I think most of what they are doing is pretty exploratory these days).  Here are some pictures from that trip.
This is apparently a new bridge.  The old bride was very scary I hear.

Isn't that just an amazing view?  This is a little past the end of the road near the cabins seen below.

The cabins are a cool look back at history

This was a cabin where they kept core samples.  There were also cabins where they lived and so forth.

I just thought this old bottle of Raid was really neat.

Is this a cool vehicle?

Driving the Old School Jeep!

Yet another piece of neat old equipment.

The road on the way back.  Don't worry I wasn't driving when I took this picture (we were moving, but I was riding on the back)

My turn!

There are these mile markers all the way along the road.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Weekend

So I had a friend come out for Labor Day weekend and he is much better at taking pictures than I am, plus I downloaded all of the pictures from his camera before he left this afternoon so I thought I would upload them.  As I said in my last post we had a carwash out at Dahl Creek which is where Nova Gold is renting out the camp and we washed their vehicles on Friday.  On Saturday it was kind of rainy and dripping and I did chores and worked on my course work for my Alaska Transition to Teaching program and then came Sunday and Monday; the days when I had fun!  On Sunday my co-workers and I went out on 4 wheelers to Bornite (which is about 15 miles from Kobuk and at the end of the road).  We had a beautiful afternoon (the morning was pretty sketchy so we didn't leave until after lunch) and I really will try to get those pictures posted this week (they are still on my camera, which I never did find my card reader for, but I did find my cable so I can at least download the photos).  On our way back, we got to an easement trail that the others wanted to take, but I had to get back to Kobuk because I had a friend coming in from Fairbanks and I needed to meet his plane.  So earlier the 5 us of (the entire teaching staff at Kobuk school) had been out on 3 Hondas.  Katie and I were sharing one and Rob had one by himself.  I took the one that Katie and I were sharing and came back.  Rob was all concerned "be careful, be very careful."  I reassured him again and again that I would.  Katie said she was getting text messages (we were only about 4 miles from town) and to text her when I arrived back (I did and she shared it with Rob who was apparently worrying). 
 Unfortunately, the Era flight came in early yesterday.  This meant, that unbeknownst to me my friend had arrived before I got back.  When I got back to town I looked at the airport and didn't see any agents waiting to meet the plane so I figured it was all good.  I stopped in the school to go to the bathroom and listen for an announcement of the plane's arrival.  I had just decided to go to my classroom (which is a portable; see pictures below) and look up the number for Era in Kotzebue to learning the planes routing and stuff when I stepped outside and one of the kids told me that a man named Chris had been looking for me.  I asked the kid if he had come on a plane (silly question.  If a stranger in Kobuk is looking for me and the kid has the right name clearly it is the friend that I am supposed to be meeting).  I ended up tracking him through town.  Basically, I just kept asking people of they had seen a stranger and where he went.  The first kid said he'd gone down the street in front of the school.  The next ones said he went to the store.  I asked which store and they told me.  I went to that store where the adults said, "oh he was just here" and one of the kids told me he was down on the beach taking pictures, which is where I found him.  Not exactly an inconspicuous trip (although in a village the size of Kobuk, I think that's kind of hard to have, especially when you're visiting the middle school/ high school teacher - we saw 75% of my students around town last night).  So Chris is a lot better at taking pictures and took pictures of all the important things that people want to see like my house and school and the beautiful fall foliage so here are those pictures for everyone to enjoy.
Transportation Kobuk style.  Chris left his stuff at the airport (which was mostly all for me anyway) and we went back with the Honda to pick it up.

My stores in my kitchen.  In addition I get fresh vegetables every two weeks from Full Circle Farms (a new box arrived today!)

Hopefully, you can tell this is my living room.  I shipped up my 32 inch HDTV, now I just have to get the satellite and Internet set up at home and I'll be all set.

I think I posted a picture of this before, but I wasn't in it.  This is one of the two stores in Kobuk, O'Brown's.

I think this speaks for itself.  It is hunting time - I hope someone gives me some meat.

We had a gorgeous double rainbow yesterday!

This is the lake just on the back side of town (with the river side being the "front".

The lake again

The Honda's.  this is outside my building, but that's not my door.  My house is split into two and you can hear the other person sneeze!

My door (on the right side of the house from the angle of the last picture).  My house is about 100 yards from the Runway, but it is actually further from the runway than a good portion of the houses in Kobuk!

Me going up the steps to my portable.

Inside my classroom.  I teach so many different classes that I have one board set aside simply for keeping up with all the assignments.

I'm sorry, I can't find a way to change the orientation of the picture after I uploaded it and it is not all that easy to upload pictures out here so you'll have to either turn your screen or your head.  Whichever is easier. 

One of the classroom procedures.  We provide the kids with pencils and I hate the sound of the electric pencil sharpener during class.  Thus, why I have them simply exchange the pencils.

We had a little problem with my oven last night. I had made pizza dough in my breadmaker to have it ready for dinner and when we went to heat the oven last night to get the pizza ready it started arcing and smoke started pouring out of the oven!  We ended up cooking it in the school (which is where this picture was taken).  Today when I looked at it the heating coil was burned through and there was a 1-2 cm gap, which is why it was arcing!  Good thing the school is only about 50 feet (or less) from my house.

The cellphone tower and corresponding satellite dish, which are directly in front of my house.

The clinic.  The school will be building a greenhouse out on the clinic gravel pad shortly (hopefully we'll begin constructing that this week).

Another picture where you have to rotate your head.  Note that the high watermark is over my head (rather significantly actually)

This picture was taken this morning from the runway (I tend to walk the runway.  Sometimes along and sometimes with one of my colleagues).

Isn't it gorgeous?

Me in front of the main building of the school.

On the Honda!

Berry picking

It's really cranberry time now, but there were still some good blueberries left.

A small sand dune.  There is a big desert (see previous post) on the way out here from Kotzebue.

Dahl creek perhaps?  This is right by the Dahl creek camp.  Matter of fact there is a pump in here and a hose carrying water up to the camp from here.