The beauty of a blog is the way individual vignettes and adventures become entwined into one larger story of a journey. The ambitious version of myself hopes that this blog can do what Jhumpa Lahiri’s books (Unaccustomed Earth, The Interpreter of Maladies) do. Lahiri is currently one of my favorite authors because she writes these individual short stories that stand on their own just fine, but when you read them all in one sitting you emerge with one much larger story. In any case, the more realistic version of myself recognizes that this blog will probably not be worthy of literary accolades, but instead will be a way for me to document my Alaskan Adventure. [As a sidenote, I think it might be worthwhile for every adventurous person to move to Alaska just to get that beautiful alliteration “Alaskan Adventure.”] You dear reader, are invited along for the adventure. I’m afraid that it’s just not going to work too well for you to actually feel the midnight sun on your skin or have your bones chilled by -20 degree weather, but I will do my best to relay the things I am experiencing.
Truly, the Alaskan Adventure has not started quite yet, as I’m spending a week in Seattle before flying to Anchorage. One thing about Seattle that bears noting: the FOOD! After a long flight from Boston my friend Erica picked me up at the airport and let me sleep at her house. When I awoke the next morning there were fresh raspberries, blueberries and yogurt for breakfast. In Olympia, my aunt and I made a blueberry galette, salmon, potatoes we dug up from her garden, and a great spinach dish. Yesterday, Shara and I learned how to cook oysters on the grill. We put the oysters on the grill and after a reasonable amount of time decided to try opening them. With sharp knives we tried to pry open the two halves of the shell. The result was that 30 minutes later our dinner plates were strewn with salt water and broken bits of shell, while we were still hungry. A few more minutes on the grill, and the oyster shells just popped open on their own! Lesson learned.
In another book I recently read: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert describes how every city has a word. She thinks that New York’s work is “achievement” while Los Angeles’s word is “success.” Certainly the word of Washington D.C. would be “politics.” Gilbert explains that the word doesn’t just describe the city, it is the primary thing that residents of the city are thinking about- the word that is in the back of your mind all day. I don’t know whether the residents of Seattle would agree with me, but for now I would say that Seattle’s word is “delicious.”
For the curious, and those that like to know logistics and whereabouts, I will arrive in Anchorage on Thursday. Saturday afternoon I will fly into my village and spend a few days unpacking. Then I will be fly to another village for new staff training. Pictures will come soon.