VISITING FRIENDS AND FAMILY & SHOPPING FOR ALASKA

Woohoo, my box filled with cords and chargers has arrived! This means I’ll be able to catch you up on what’s happened these past couple of weeks. It also means I’ll be able to take my camera around Newhalen this week to share the village with you!

Okay, backtracking a couple of weeks… I flew into Sea-Tac International Airport (in Seattle) on July 31st and was picked up by my beautiful mother, my grandma, my brother, and my two step-siblings. It was so wonderful receiving big hugs from them after an exhausting 18+ hours of bus rides, checkpoints, terminal-sitting, and plane rides. Below is a picture of my adorable step-sister, Jessica, and I. Boy, was I glad to relax at home with my family!

 

Throughout the week, I was able to connect with my family in addition to some near and dear friends. Spending time catching up, hanging out, and eating too much American food was time well spent. One of the toughest things about being a traveler is having to spend so much time away from those you love.
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Towards the end of my week, I decided to get some shopping out of the way for Alaska. I got several months worth of toiletries and cleaning products that I shipped from Seattle to Newhalen. Buying these things ahead of time was a good decision because it allowed me only to concentrate on buying food in Anchorage. With the help of my most generous mom, I packed everything up in flat-rate boxes and shipped them off at the post office. About half of my boxes arrived today, so it’s safe to say that the delivery time was a little over a week.
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I also shipped a good portion of my clothes and shoes in flat-rate boxes. I packed my large suitcase with what I needed for one week to make it through my district training and the first few days of living in my village. If I were to pack again, I would have also packed some food to last me several days. Even though there’s a store here in Newhalen, things are overpriced and there’s not much variety. I shipped my food totes from Anchorage 6 days ago and am hoping that they arrive soon!

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My mom and I stopped at Cabela’s in Tulalip to pick up some Alaska wear. I purchased two pairs of water-resistant pants, a pair of canvas outdoor pants, a fleece jacket, a raincoat, and some wool socks pictured below. I still need a parka, some winter boots, long underwear, and a good pair of gloves. I decided to hold off on purchasing these things because Cabela’s didn’t have a good selection of winter wear just yet; still too early. I’ll order the rest of my Alaska wardrobe online after I talk to some of the locals about the best brands.
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While at home, I also compiled several lists of what I needed to buy at Costco in Anchorage. I’m really glad that I printed these out because it made shopping so much easier! Having an action plan definitely saved time and energy. I found a well-rounded grocery list on www.grocerylists.org.
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After my busy week in Seattle, I said goodbye to everyone and flew to Alaska for an intensive day of more shopping in Anchorage followed by a jam-packed staff training. More to come on that in my next post!

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