Week one is done. Monday to Wednesday, we prepared for the school’s opening. Thursday and Friday, we opened, with our first grade students arriving, in small groups, over the two days. The kindergarten students will start next week. Being at the K-1 school is great fun.
Last week, I let my supervisor know that I’m a trained records manager, along with being an archivist and academic librarian. Now, I’m working on student files. I don’t really work directly with students, as they’re being, well, homeschooled. The Homeschool Office is simply located in the K-1 school.
After two back-to-back Peace Corps assignments, in Armenia and Ethiopia, I am so enjoying the grocery store, across the street from the school and I’m living in their frozen food section. You never know how much you’ve missed six small pieces of ravioli, until you do. Note to self: Americans really need to work on carbs and plastic.
Dormitory living is still great fun, even at 64 years old. First off, all the spring and summer cancellations, due to COVID-19, has meant less income for the former college. Staying here is a small way of helping out the local economy. For me, the dorm also allows for less personal contact, as I’m ok with just chilling in my room.
It rains here, a lot. Arriving, August 1st, with pretty much my luggage from Peace Corps Ethiopia, has been a tad of an adjustment. Don’t get me wrong, my site in Ethiopia was cold. At 9228 feet, Kotu could be very cold. It’s just that I didn’t have the proper gear then and I don’t have it now. So, outdoor hiking will have to wait. Plus, does mommy really hike?
So far, I really like it here. Sitka is beautiful. Accessible only by air or sea, there are only 14 miles of road. The town offers incredible scenery, fishing, hiking, and abundant wildlife. Honolulu, my home of record for the Peace Corps evacuation, was very helpful in preparing me for island living here. Plus, Sitka has sticky rice, Spam, and Hawaiian cookies. If there was a 7/11 store, with Spam musubi, I’d be all set.
What’s been the best thing about my first month, in Sitka? When Sitka says it rains a lot, it rains. When they say wildlife, there’s a neighborhood bear, (no cutting through the National Park to get to the Post Office, after dark). When they put up a duck crossing sign, there are ducks.
And … I’ll drink to that, with a hot mug of tea, (in the cold and rain), all day long. —GGT