Friday, August 13, 2010

Sorry about the delay, I was having problems logging in!

Anyways, I got home from camp on Wednesday. I was so tired that I came right upstairs and fell asleep on the couch. After I managed to drag my butt downstairs and take a shower, I felt a little more awake, so I came back upstairs for dinner. As I was eating and showing my mommy some of the thing I made at camp, she mentioned that there was a piece of mail for me on the table. I ran over (because I love getting mail) and it was a manila folder from the Alaska Humanities Forum (who is the head of the Rose Urban Rural Exchange). Yay! I opened it, and inside was a letter and certificate saying me and 5 other students (tow other urban and 3 rural) had all been named Top Cross-Cultural Ambassador for the state of Alaska. AHHH!!!! I was freaking out!! That is SOO cool!!! It means that I get to talk to and meet a whole bunch of important people and that we might be going to Washington D.C. in September!!!! So thanks you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! Especially Mrs. Barton for getting me involved in RURE, Mrs. Abshier for having the guts to take us all to St. Paul, Matthew for teaching us what it meant to be part of a culture and what being an ambassador meant, and Mrs. Kushin giving me the opportunity and the help to be able to go back to St. Paul. I love you guys! You are all awesome!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

After the Fact

I just want to say thank you. Thank you to every one that I worked with, thank you to everyone who helped me out, thank you Trenty (for letting my borrow the 4 wheeler), thank you to the St. Paul School District, and most of all, thank you to the Kushin family. Mrs. Kushin, I couldn't have done any of this without your help. I love St. Paul SOOOO much. I miss it a lot and hope to god that I can go back. Thank you everyone. Thank you SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I learned so much this summer. My brain is packed full of all sorts of new things. I registered for school today. East High Thunderbirds! Right now, I'm wearing my East High shirt and my St. Paul sweats. But Mommy and I are sick. Possibly flu. Bummer. I'm leaving for camp on Sunday, so hopefully we'll be better by then. I had written for my status on a social networking website that I had locker #4062. Andronika (from St. Paul) commented and said "Holy locker #4062!" haha. It was amazing. I just loved seeing her shock about the number of lockers in my school. I go to the biggest school in Anchorage now.

I miss St. Paul. A lot. I honestly didn't want to leave. It is just such an amazing place. Although being there in the winter was kind of hard, I loved it there in the summer. It was just great.

Again, Thank you everyone!

Cast of Characters

This is my "cast of Characters". Pretty much just everyone I worked with on St. Paul, but going through the list, I realized that Rachel and Karrith aren't on there. They are the bird people that I did cool things with. But here is everyone else. I'll try to get Rachel and Karrith's proper titles so that they're on there too.

Lisa Matlock - Education Specialist, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Ingrid Harrald – YCC coordinator, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge

Michael Ulroan – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Intern,

Chelsea Malstrom – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Intern,

Bobette Dickerson- Molecular Geneticist, NOAA NMFS AFSC

Louise Taylor - Biological Technician II, field supervisor of Northern fur seal vital rates program, NOAA, NMML

Greg Larsen - Biological Technician I, field researcher of Northern fur seal vital rates program, NOAA, NMML

Terry Spraker - Professor of Pathology

Juan Leon Guerrero - National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Pribilof Island Program, Alaska Region

Greg Thomson - Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Matt Henschen - Biological Sciences Technician, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Aka “Superman”

Yes. Matt is superman. Although he doesn't know quite how funny it was that he wrote that, considering my whole superhero obsession, especially Superman. I have a superman costume that I wear on a regular basis. That's how cool I am. So I think Matt is my favorite right now. Haha.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I'm Hoooome!!!

I got home last night at 6:45pm. Yesterday was beautiful, and the plane landed at about 3:15. I'm not sure what time I got on the plane, but the plane got in early, so I had to wait a while until my family got there. I'm so glad to be back home, but I will still miss everyone I met in St. Paul. I had so much fun, and I just want to thank everyone that helped me to have such a great experience. Especially Mrs. Kushin, because she is the one that really helped my make is possible. I hope that I can go back sometime.

At the airport, my family gave me my new cell phone. YAY!!! It has a touch screen, and a keyboard, and it's amazing. I love it. I'm glad that I have my phone now, but I didn't miss it at all when I was in St. Paul. That really surprised me.

I kind of don't know where I'm going with this blog. I just wanted to start writing.

I'm down to shorts and a t-shirt. And it's raining. Haven't seen much sunshine or rain all summer. Just fog.

Well I guess I'm out of things to say for now.
More later.
Peace out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I honestly had quite a bit of fun. Today’s seal harvest was at Zaponi Reef. Yesterday I went and got my permit (because anyone who isn’t part of the Tribe needs a permit) so I could go and be Terry’s “Pathology Tech”. Chelsea gave me that name. I really like it. It makes me feel special. Basically what I was doing was following Terry around with about 10 tubes between my thumb and forefinger, lids for the tubes in my other hand, pockets full of empty tubes, and a bucket under my arm. We took two tubes of blood from each seal. I had to have un-lidded tubes in my hand for Terry to quickly grab, lid the tubes as he handed them to me, put the bigger of the two tubes in the bucket under my arm, and continuously shake the other two. All while holding all the stuff that I had, keeping up with Terry, and keeping an eye on the live seal. It got pretty intense there for a while.

The seals were brought up off the beach and onto the tundra. They were kept in a big herd by people standing around the outer edges. As everyone was ready for seals, a few (7-9) were brought forward from the herd. Everyone only wanted the small males, and I think it’s illegal to kill females, so any females that may have gotten in there had to be pointed out. The seals were stunned by a blow to the head by someone with a club, and then dragged over and stabbed in the heart. Terry and I were trying to be right there as soon as they were stabbed in order to collect the blood before they bled out of clotted too badly to get any good samples. After that, the seals were cut up and skinned and put into bags and what not.

I was trying to stay relatively clean, in order to keep the blood tubes clean and sterile, but by the end it wasn’t an option to be clean. My rain gear and gloves were all covered in blood. I also got to run some guts. That just meant waiting until a seal was entirely cut up, asking if they were done with their gut pile and heads, and then hauling it all over to Bobette and Chelsea who were taking tissue samples and nasal swabs. I only wanted to do that so I could write “gut-runner” on my resume. So now I have the titles of Gut-runner, Pathology Tech, Blood-shaker, and Tissue-taker.

Yesterday was great. Except that the plane was canceled. Hopefully I will make it out today. Hopefully the plane the plane will make it in today. But the weather outside doesn’t look too promising….. Let’s just hope that the fog lifts by the time the plane gets here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Shoveling get kind of old after a while. Yesterday, we only worked for the morning. We headed back at 11:30, because we were doing the GPS camp for 8+ year olds in the afternoon. The YCC kids and Lisa left int eh car, and Ingird and I were going to drive our Honda's back. But mine wouldn't start. The battery had died again. So after weighing our options for a little bit, we decided to just tow my Honda back. We were late back, so I was just late to camp so I had some time to go home and get something to eat and take a shower and everything. Wow Karen. Way to write a run-on sentence.

5 kids showed up to camp, and we picked up one more kid when were all outside looking for the GPS coordinates. They found all of the stuff pretty easily, and I'm pretty sure they all had a good time.
More Later.
Peace out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can't think of a good title....

This is actually yesterday's blog. It didn't get posted...

After all that work, no one showed up. The YCC people and I had set up a GPS route that told a story about being a bird biologist. It included finding waypoints, and at each waypoint there was something that a bird biologist would use (such as transportation, tools, birds bands) and they also had to find and reunite a stuffed mother puffin and her chick. After they found all the stuff, there were going to do a fake bird banding with the mother and weigh the chick. We all met at the civic center at 8:30 and we planned all morning. The “camp”, I guess, was scheduled to start at 13:00, so after lunch we all met back at the civic center. By 14:00, we all kind of got bored with just standing around and waiting for someone to show up. The YCC kids went to work on their podcast and climate change stuff, and I went home and started working on a contact list for everyone that I have been working with on the island. I don’t think I have talked about YCC much yet. YCC stands for Youth Conservation Corps. The kids in YCC are high schoolers ages 15-18. They work on maintaining trail, helping out in visitor centers, along with other things. There are two youth in YCC form St. Paul (Cara and Catelynn), and two from Homer (Emily and Colton). Emily and Colton came over on the Tiglax after spending 6 days sailing the Aleutians and traveling from various camps to pick up/drop off scientists and supplies. Next year, I want to be able to do what Emily and Colton did. It would be so much fun and such a great experience to be able to spend a week on the Tiglax. There are some other things that I would have to do, such as finding a place to stay for the summer in Homer, but I would also really like to come back to St. Paul. That would also be amazing.

The plane finally came today, and Tonia, June, Henry, and Ashley all left for Arizona at 19:20. Saying goodbye to someone here is a lot different that saying goodbye to someone in Anchorage, or anywhere else for that matter. After not even having to go through security (everyone who’s going on to somewhere besides Anchorage has to go through security in Anchorage) John and I walked right out to the tarmac with Tonia, June, and the kids, and then we drove down the road and parked beside the runway to wave as the plane took off. Now I’m staying at Phil and Aqualina’s house until I leave on Friday. On Friday I’m also going to the harvest. Juan can’t legally let me go with him, but Terry said that I could help him and Bobette out. I’m going to be a gut-runner or a blood-shaker or something. That means that I get to play in blood and guts all morning. That should be fun. ….  Tomorrow hole more shoveling of gravel, and another try at camp with an older age group. We’ll see how that one turns out! Off to bed.
More later.
Peace out.

Monday, July 19, 2010


I'm not as sore as I thought I'd be. Right before we were about to head back, I started getting a little tired, but 5 hours of shoveling gravel tends to do that to a person. Today I was helping the YCC people with some trail maintenance on the High Bluffs trail. We were filling in the really bad, rutted areas, and anywhere that there was standing water. We started out with one trailer on the back of and Honda, but with only one Honda, we spent a lot of time just standing around and waiting for more gravel. So we got another Honda and trailer, so we were able to work a little bit faster. We split up into two groups of three, with two people driving the Honda's. One group was at the big pile of gravel loading up the trailers, and the second group was actually filling in the trail. I started in the second, and after almost 3 hours we traded out. We only filled trailers for an hour, and then we switched again until we were done for the day. I think that my group did the most work. We are the ones that got stuck with the 4 total hours of rut filling, and we did a better job at it. See how modest I am?? My head is killing me now, so I'm going to bed.
More later.
Peace out.

One more week....

So after a long wait and big discussion, I'm going home on either Thursday or Friday. I was at a lack of housing, so there was a chance that I would have been going home tomorrow. However, I now have a place to stay for a couple more days, so I will have a chance to get some more experience in.

Today I went out to do Tag Resights at Polovina at 17:00, and at about 19:00 it started to rain. Of course we had all left our rain gear in the truck, and we only had a little bit left to do, so we just sat through it and got a little wet. By 19:30, we just decided that we were done. Luckily we had finished the resights.

Tomorrow I think I'm starting with YCC (Youth Conservation Corps) to do trail maintenance, GPS, and what not. I'm really just trying to get known with the YCC people, because if I work at it, and play my cards right, I might be able to get on the Tiglax (tek-la) Research Vessel next year (Tiglax means eagle in Aleut, not that that's important to this blog in any way). But anyways, two YCC students got to spend some some time n the Tiglax, sailing the Aleutians and helping out the scientist on the boat and things like that. That would be such an amazing experience if I got the chance.
More later.
Peace out.
(There Dad. I blogged. Haha)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Yesterday at Polavina Cliffs, Chelsea and I were waiting for a seal to move her flipper and a seal that had been trouble earlier started to growl. We turned around to grab the bull poles, and sitting just a few meters away from us was a giant bull. Non-territorial, but still aggressive and scary. His new name is Creeper, because of the way he just creeped up on us. Luckily we were done at that blind, so we could just sneak away and head to the next spot. At the 3rd spot, there was a seal sitting right under the blind and very close to the cliff edge. We couldn't try to scare him away, because he might have gone over the cliff and crushed some females. We weren't very concerned about the bull, because they are mean and nasty (We all think that they are just born pissed off), but we didn't want any of the females or their pups to get injured. It only took us 3 1/2 hours to do resights yesterday, and hopefully tonight will go pretty fast as well.

This morning, I went out with Terry, Bobbet, and Juan to find dead pups and placentas. At the first catwalk, we found 4 placentas and one pup. At the second catwalk, Terry got at dead pup and brought it up. Then he went back for a placenta. I wanted to see if I could sex the pup by myself, so I picked it up by the left flipper to look at it. As I picked it up, the flipper twitched and it yawned. I freaked out and put him back down and curled it up, the yelled for Terry. Apparently, Terry had just forgotten to tell me that he was still alive. I thought Terry was a little rough on him while carrying him back, but I guess that we were waiting for him to die, but still. We killed him back at the lab by stabbing his heart, and then did the necropsy. He starved. We also got 6 placentas from that catwalk.

At 5 today, I'm going to do tag resights with Chelsea and Mike, so i might go take a nap now. I fell asleep on the couch about 10 minutes after I got home yesterday, and no one woke me up, so I just slept the whole night on the couch, and didn't sleep very well. Maybe a nap would be good.
More later.
Peace out.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blood and Eyeball Juice

Me: "What special gear do I need to bring today?"
Chelsea: "Stuff you can get bloody in."
Me: "Wonderful."

Chelsea picked my up at 8:30ish, and we and 3 other people went to the Paula Vina cliffs to do tag resites. It's a lot better than trying to see the tags on birds, because instead of waiting an hour and a half for a bird to stand up, we only have to wait maybe 4 minutes for the seals to move into view. Some of the females have tags on their flippers, and we have to determine the type of tag, the number on the tag, the color of the tag, and things like that. When we got back to staff quarters, I got to cut up some placentas from when the seal pups were born (The placentas were collected from Reef Rookery). After I did that, Chelsea and I had taco's for lunch, and the we butchered part of the reindeer that Juan had shot. I had never butchered a reindeer before, and it's a lot more fun than you might think. At 5:00, Terry, Juan, Bobbet, and I went out to Reef to look for more dead seal pups and placentas. We found one pup and two placentas. Then we took them back to the lab to necropsy the pup and cut up the placentas. The pup died of trauma. He had been sat on and crushed. When we got to him, his mother wasn't around, and the bull was protecting him. We're not sure why, because bulls don't usually care, unless that was the only female in his herrim, because that would be his only pup. I think I'm writing in run-on sentences now. Well I worked 12 hours, and then Juan made chicken fried reindeer for dinner (I cut up that reindeer!!) and it was delicious. Now I think I'm going to go to bed. Goodnight!
More later
Peace out!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Other Side of the Story

Being able to see the Island from multiple perspectives is truly and eye opening, jaw dropping adventure. There's the part of the island that the scientists see. The part where we go out and count Murre eggs, wonder where the eggs disappear to, and monitor the seal populations, and stuff like that. Then there's the locals perspective. What everyone does for fun, going Murre egg collecting (I found where the eggs have been going... I ate them for breakfast yesterday...), and enjoying the recreational part of the island. Today, Sean and I went riding. We went to the golf course at Northeast. It was so pretty. He was showing me a part of the island that I hadn't been to, and it was a lot different than going out riding with the scientist. When I go with the scientist, we stop and take pictures, or look at a seal playing on the beach, or something. But riding with Sean, we stopped to look at how pretty the water was, or for him to tell a story about growing up here. It is just so amazing for me to be able to sit back and watch what goes on here, and to be able to see things from both sides of the story. The scientific, physical, historical side with the scientist, and the funny story, growing up, myths and legends side with the locals. I'm glad that I don't have just one side of things, because I think the way I look at things now would be a lot different if I only knew the facts and figures. Or if I only knew the myths, legends, and stories side if thing. Riding with Sean today, I was just kind of able to stop thinking about things for a while, which allowed me to think about the bigger things, which is why I wrote this post. I had an epiphany, and I just wanted to be able to write it down, and also to tell everyone. St. Paul Island is WAY more than what it seems.
More later.
Peace out.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fixing Up My Ride..... Again....

I always like being able to work on my Honda, but it's getting kind of old. Every time I turn around, something is wrong with it. Today we put new tires on, and we looked for break fluid, because there is NONE in my Honda, but we couldn't find the right one, so it still doesn't have any. After we put the new tires on, I went to the beach and rode down along the coast. I saw a lot of birds and seals. It was really pretty. When I came to where I couldn't go along the coast any farther, I cut across the tundra and ended up at the airport. I got back onto the road and headed home. I was freezing by the time I got back.

After I had been home for a while, Juan called and said he was on his way to pick me up. Juan, Chelsea, Mike(I think it was Mike) went out to Reef Rookery. I got to go out on the catwalks that sit above the shore. It was so amazing to be that close to those huge, dangerous animals. We also went to Northeast and Big Zaponi Rookeries. We saw a dead pup at Reef, and a seal that had been dead for a while at Big Zaponi. I love the seals. They are so cool to be around. It truly is amazing that you can get so close to such a dangerous animal and still feel totally safe. Those catwalks are serious business. Juan and Chelsea carried there 15 foot bamboo polls, called bull polls, for fighting off the bulls if they get too close. I can't wait to go back out there. I loved today. It was awesome.
More later.
Peace out.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Catchin' da birdies!

Today, I went to Ridgewall with Rachel and Karrith again. We caught 5 or 6 birds I think. Two of them threw up, and we collected the vomit in little jars and poured alcohol in with it to stop the digestion. It was pretty cool to see what the birds had been eating. We also put GPS tags and leg bands on them. The GPS tags are bigger than you would think they would be. They are about an inch (maybe inch and a half) long and half an inch thick. We taped them to the middle tail feathers, and painted their tails orange. We spent about 6 1/2 hours out today. We were supposed to leave at 11:30, but when I got to their house, they were watching the Ghana - Uraguay soccer game. So we waited to leave until noon. At around 9:00, we all went to the 4th of July dance. No one really danced. They all just kind of stood in a circle and bobbed around. Haha. The music was ohkay though. They played Enter Sandman by Metallica, and that was my favorite part of the night. At about 1:00am, John John got out some fireworks, and we watched those for a little bit. Now I think I'm going to go to bed because I'm tired after climbing of those cliffs all day.
More later.
Peace out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Painting the Birds

Yesterday, I spray painted a bird hot pink. It was so much fun! I went out with Rachel Orben and her partner Karith. We hiked the rocks on the beach at Ridgewall to a place where we could look up and see some Blacked Legged Kittiwakes that had been tagged over the winter. We sat for a little bit and waited for the birds to move so we could see exactly which birds had the tags on their legs. After a bird moved enough for us to see his tag, Rachel and Karith climbed up under the nest and caught the bird on a noose pole (they slid the noose around the birds head, the bird is fine). I had a timer in my hand and as soon as the bird thought it was caught, I started the timer. They had 3 minutes to get the bird off the edge of the cliff and back down to our gear so they could take a stressed blood sample. They took the blood from under the birds left wing. The took 3 different blood samples. One stressed, one for sex, and one for DNA. Then they took feathers from the head, stomach, and pin feathers (feathers that were just growing in). We also picked ticks off of the Kittiwake's head because there were about 10 all in one spot on his head. It was gross. After that, I got to spray paint the tail florescent pink so we would know which bird we had already caught, and I got to be the one who released the Kittiwake. I just kind of threw him into the air and he almost crash landed, but he found a gust of wind and found his way back to his nest. Then we sat and watched the other birds for a little while, but we had to head back before the tide came back in. I had a great time, and I can't wait to go back otu with them!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My rotten, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I have had a horrible day so far. Greg and I started out walking the beach counting how many song birds we saw. None. And my Honda flipped on top of me in the sand and i hurt my hip. then we went to look at kittiwake nests and I hurt my knee and ankle climbing the rocks, then my Honda wouldn't start, so we had to manually start it, then when we were sitting on High Bluffs, I got really really nauseous so I headed back early, then I just about knocked myself out by hitting a rut really hard and slamming my helmet into the handlebars, then I got stuck and had to pull myself out cause I was alone, then I threw up at southwest point, and now I'm going to bed.
More later, maybe...
Peace out.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Making of Lusta

Lusta is made by putting the fresh seal flipper in a garbage bag and hanging it somewhere (like the garage) until it starts to rot. Then you put it in a bucket and between every layer of flipper, you put a layer of salt. Then you let it sit or 4-5 months. And then it's done! Yum!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


"You're having fermented seal flipper for lunch at Kooka's today," is what I heard when I came downstairs this morning. (Kooka is Aleut for Grandmother. Yaya is Aleut for Uncle.) I thought that Mrs. Kushin was teasing at first but she just kind of looked at me and nodded, so John, Ashley, Henry, and I walked up to Kooka's house to eat Lusta (fermented, salted seal flippers). It was surprisingly good. John warned me that it would smell really bad when we went inside, but it just smelled like a lot of salt. And let me tell you, it was the saltiest thing I have ever eaten!! (except for maybe Mom's cream dried beef!!) I also had some seal meat. That was realllyyy good. It tasted like chicken, except richer, and it was almost black. I also tried a piece of Yaya Old Man's seal heart. That was better than I expected it to be. I was really surprised that I liked it.
More later
Peace out

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fixing Up My Ride

I was supposed to go out monitoring again today with Greg. Instead, when I got to Staff Quarters, I had a flat tire. We filled it up with the air compressor, but it was leaking to badly to go out to Zaponi with Greg. I came home, and John went out to look at it. We went to the store and got a patch kit, and then went to the junk yard behind the airport to see if we could find and tires. We found one, but it wasn't the same tread pattern as the one that was already on the Honda (That means 4 wheeler, no matter what make or model it is). So we just patched the tire. Then after that we changed the oil, and it just kind of started escalating from there, because next thing I know, we were changing out the front fender. We had to take apart most of the Honda and I got really dirty. My hands had oil and dirt all over them, my jeans are filthy, and I had a lot of fun!!! I feel so accomplished!

Friday, June 25, 2010

First Day of Work

You never realize how much you like bologna sandwiches until you're sitting on the side of a cliff in your winter gear and freezing to death.

Today I went out with the scientists for the first time. For the first 5 hours, Greg and I sat at the edge of different cliffs with our binoculars and waited for birds to move. We were seeing which birds had eggs and how many were in their nests. After that, we met up with Matt and went out to Zaponi Point to collect Thick Billed Murre eggs. I got to put on the harness and hang over the edge of the cliff to get the eggs. We got the eggs with a 16 foot pole with an old can from some refried beans attached to the end. It took a while to get the hang of getting the eggs into the can without pushing them out of reach or over the edge. I got either 2 or 3 eggs, and we got 15 in total. It was a TON of fun and I had a great time. (Greg also taught me the scientific names of some plants and birds and then quizzed me on the way back down Zaponi. I did alright if I do say so myself!)

I left at 9:15 am and got home about 6:30 pm. It was a long day, but it was a lot of fun. Hopefully I'll get to go back out sometime soon.

After I got home, I went and hung out with some of the kids on the island. We were running about the house and I went to jump over a pile of ropes, but I missed and tripped and landed on my face. Literally. I still have sand in my mouth.I'm ohkay though. Didn't even break any skin. Just came home at about 11:50 pm or so because the sun has gone down, the fog is out, and it is COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

More tomorrow!

Peace out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I got my luggage today!!! It came on a freight plane this evening at around 9 I think. That means that I have all of my gear now, so I'm going out with Greg and John from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tomorrow morning. I'm really excited. The only bad thing is the weather here. It is SOO cold. It's the kind of cold that gets down to your bones and takes forever to warm up.

I also got a 4 wheeler today, and drove with Henry, Ashley, and Jon Jon around town a bit. I think we actually went all the way around town. And I still have a full tank of gas! Haha.

I have to get up at the butt-crack off dawn tomorrow morning, but I'll blog a lot more about what I'm doing tomorrow.

Peace out!!

P.S. Matthew Turner, you still owe me a dollar for blogging the fish pie factory idea! haha!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Arriving in St. Paul

Today I arrived in St. Paul at about between 5:45 and 6:00 pm. We stopped in Dillingham and St. George Island on the way. I brought 50 pounds of meat as one of my bags, and all of my gear and clothes in my other checked bag. Only the meat made it, so we’re going to see if my bag makes it tomorrow. I also brought blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwis, and grapes. The blueberries are one that I picked last week in Virginia while visiting my grandparents.
I was really nervous about coming out to the island because it was my first time traveling alone, but I’m here, and I’m alive. So everything was okay except that my flight was delayed for about an hour. When we finally got on the plane, 3 people decided to get off so they had to redo all of the weight balancing and paperwork. We ended up waiting about another half hour.
When I got here, we got the meat that I brought for the Kushins (the people that I’m staying with) and then came to the house for dinner. After dinner, Mrs. Kushin, Henry (son), Ashley (daughter) and Destiny (niece) went out to the cliffs to look at the seals and birds. It was a lot of fun to see the different birds and I can almost tell them all apart, but I’m still learning the differences between all of them.
I’m still really excited about getting to have this experience. I am extremely lucky that so many people have helped to make this trip possibly for me, and I will be eternally grateful.

Arriving in St. Paul

Today I arrived in St. Paul at about between 5:45 and 6:00 pm. We stopped in Dillingham and St. George Island on the way. I brought 50 pounds of meat as one of my bags, and all of my gear and clothes in my other checked bag. Only the meat made it, so we’re going to see if my bag makes it tomorrow. I also brought blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwis, and grapes. The blueberries are one that I picked last week in Virginia while visiting my grandparents.
I was really nervous about coming out to the island because it was my first time traveling alone, but I’m here, and I’m alive. So everything was okay except that my flight was delayed for about an hour. When we finally got on the plane, 3 people decided to get off so they had to redo all of the weight balancing and paperwork. We ended up waiting about another half hour.
When I got here, we got the meat that I brought for the Kushins (the people that I’m staying with) and then came to the house for dinner. After dinner, Mrs. Kushin, Henry (son), Ashley (daughter) and Destiny (niece) went out to the cliffs to look at the seals and birds. It was a lot of fun to see the different birds and I can almost tell them all apart, but I’m still learning the differences between all of them.
I’m still really excited about getting to have this experience. I am extremely lucky that so many people have helped to make this trip possibly for me, and I will be eternally grateful.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Hi everyone. I have decided to keep this blog here instead of on the Rose Urban Rural Exchange website so that I didn't overload their site. Here I will be blogging about all of my experiences during my trip to St. Paul this summer. I'll be writing about everything I do and all the awesome people that I meet. I'm going to try and write about not just what I did, but what I was thinking and how I was feeling when I did it. I'm going to try to get the most possible out of this trip and I hope you all will continue to enjoy reading about my experiences.

-Karen Lee