Foggy Southeastern Alaska

Back at the library again, close to the water but unable to see more than about 200 feet off the shore. I can’t say I’ve ever been to a library where I’ve watched fish jumping out of the water and eagles flying by. But maybe that’s because I just hadn’t come to the library in Sitka yet! Despite the fog, boats are cruising around, kayakers are out, and the cruise ship that showed up this morning fades in and out of view. The cruise ship has brought a much different feel to town today as it’s the first time we’ve really seen Sitka in action with tourists. There are people walking all over town, but prior to today the streets seemed pretty quiet and we were all beginning to wonder if we had actually arrived during tourist season.

We’ve been here three days, gotten more settled in, seen more of the town and met lots more people. Last night we joined the former JVs from last year in Sitka and three from Anchorage who were visiting to have a little party. We’ve been asking them tons of questions and have enjoyed hearing about their year. We went down to Totem Park today and watched as the salmon were returning to the Indian River to spawn. We have yet to see the mountains that surround town and the picturesque Mt. Edgecumbe across the water. I’m confident that the first day that’s clear, I will go frolicking around town with my camera, skipping along the docks, waving to the fisherman, and shouting with joy (all in that order). Ok, maybe not. But I will be  very excited to see this place in a new light (sunlight that is). During our strolls through town we’ve tried to meet some of the locals and as soon as we introduce ourselves as the new JVs in town we get a much different response than we would being the average tourist. Yesterday we made friends with the guys who work at Harry’s Soda Shop/Pharmacy, tried to get free ice cream, enjoyed general banter. It’s quite interesting being six girls who are all new to town, but we’re sticking together and enjoying exploring and discovering it all as a crew. Currently, my housemate Gina is rewriting the lyrics of Katy Perry’s “California Gurls” to be “Alaska Gurls” and we’re considering performing it for the local talent show when they begin again in the fall. We will be accepting applications for anyone interested in being the guest rapper in place of Snoop Dogg.

Tomorrow we will be even further welcomed into the community with a potluck at the church with our JVC support people and we will make our visit to the agency where two of my housemates are working. Yesterday and today we visited the other agencies, the one where I will work, and two others where my other housemates will work. We are all excited for our placements and begin work on Monday!

My housemate Holly and I are off to check out the gym before dinner. Summer feels like long ago, as it’s a bit of a different world up here so far. One local said today that if we can make it through October, we will be able to survive a full year here. Then she added that October can last anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks. Ha! So I guess we’ll just see how much stamina we have 🙂

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