Saturday, October 17, 2009

Running at Sunset

I took a sunset run along the beach towards Siberia, and it was absolutely gorgeous! Running along the Bering Sea facing Russia the whole time was one of the most surreal experiences yet. It's a rare thing, too, because of the usual cold weather. Here are a few pictures and even a video:


Friday, October 16, 2009

Water Shortage

I've experienced many things in my life, mostly as a product of being a military brat but also as a direct result of my travel addiction. Even so, I've never experienced life without water. When I was in college at OC, the campus was very involved with an organization called Wishing Well (which helped get fresh drinking water to those without in Africa). It always seemed very far removed from myself . . . until now.

Have you ever been without water? I hadn't, not really, until now. Through an unfortunate series of events, Gambell is now without potable drinking water for the unforeseeable future. The water has apparently been contaminated and no one really knows when it will be tested or fixed. Practically speaking, this means no showers, no cooking water, no laundry water, no hand-washing water, and most of all NO DRINKING WATER. Do you know how thirsty you become without any water to drink?

It's not as if we could just go buy some soda or bottled water at the store; by the time we got out of school, our store had been cleaned out. Luckily, someone gave us a ride to the mountain spring for fresh water. Of course, we still have to boil and filter it . . . but at least it is gasoline-free.

We also set out plastic totes to catch the rain water as it falls, just in case. We hope to survive off rain water for some time.

Just when I think I am used to living in the bush, something new happens and it's like starting over again.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Trash Run Pictures

Here are some pictures of our 6plex Clean Up Day!

We made 6 or 7 trips to the dump like this. I rode on the front since I was the lightest. We found some antlers on our journey, so we strapped them to the front grill. Not sure if they were reindeer or caribou.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Must Share

This is too good not to share with everyone. Enjoy!


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pre-Freeze Clean

In the L48, most people do a Spring-Cleaning in the Spring. Only makes sense . . . but here, we do a big cleaning before the first freeze. Why, you ask? Well, would YOU want to clean an entire building and make 8 trips on a Honda to the dump if it is below zero and blowing snow outside?

Neither do we, so we all spent a Saturday morning cleaning out the Six-Plex. No joke, we found old trash and packages dated from February of 2009. As you can imagine, the smell was overwhelming.

We found some really sick stuff, but we also found a few awesome things. The sled will be used soon enough, and there was also this gem:

Yes, that is a life-size cutout of Fabio. Weird, right? We put him in our window so that he guards the six-plex front door.

You never can tell what will happen next up here.


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mere Doors Cannot Defeat Us

It was a gorgeous day outside today, so clear that you could see the ice in Siberia melting.

Well, maybe not THAT clear, but we could see Siberia. We decided to go walk out to the beach to get a closer view . . . and being the lazy bums that we are, we chose to take a different door than usual which would get us out of the building quicker.

None of us had actually seen this door used. We now know why:

The six-plex is actually the old Gambell Elementary School, so there are oddities around every corner. The entire doorframe actually splintered on this one, and of course we were the ones to finally kill the door.

Andrew called the principal and it eventually got fixed. Moral of the story: only go out doors that you have personally seen open.