Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not Your Typical HMO

So back last Monday I had a pretty busy day. I rode the SkiDoo from Bethel to Napaskiak and Oscarville and back to Bethel, proctoring tests that had just arrived. Then I hauled gear out to the airport and flew out here to Quinhagak (home of the Seahawks). It's a friendly school atmosphere. Nice students and staff. The site administrator is from Ladysmith and is a big Brewers fan, so we're getting along well. It's a beautiful site out here.

Over the weekend the Seahawks hosted a basketball tournament. Three of the teams were from schools where I've taught, so it was nice to get to say hi and cheer for my former students. The fourth was a school I'll be at in a couple months, and I got to meet several of their students as well. It was, however, alot of people to share living quarters (the school) with. Wouldn't ya know, Sunday I was not feeling so wonderful after living in the germ pod. Great, I thought, another cold...that's three now.

Monday was worse and Tuesday was the same. By Tuesday I was figuring it was above and beyond any cold I'd had, and was going to have to relent and seek medical advice. The two options were: go to the village clinic, or fly to Bethel and go to the clinic there. The village seemed like the faster way to get treated for what I was pretty sure (correctly) was a bad case of the strep.

Getting treated at the village clinic was an experience all on its own. It's in a building that is also the washeteria and what-not. There are only a couple of people on staff to deal with a village of about 800 people, so they are pretty busy. When situations and emergencies arise, you get rescheduled, which happened to me a couple of times. Yesterday I squeaked in to get tested quick, but they couldn't treat me, so I had another appointment for this afternoon. That got bumped back to later because of an emergency. When I went in, the emergency was still on. If my ears don't decieve, the emergency was a bad case of the stomach flu, or something to that effect. But...haha...they found time to stick me in the backside with some antibiotics so I should be good to go now. They were very friendly and treated me well.

Being sick and quarantined in the upstairs of a school for a few days is about as much fun as being restrained and forced to watch a marathon of Paris Hilton's My New BFF. Or a loop of the yankees' champagne celebration.

Better times await. It feels good to say that I'm really looking forward to teaching tomorrow.

Hopefully I get some more good days and clear skies so I can click the digital shutter and show you how cool looking this place is.

In the meantime, stay healthy out there.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Napaskerville Checkout

So it's been awhile. I haven't been mauled by any more bears as of late, nor lost any more personal belongings to the gnashing teeth of my studded snow-go track. Relatively smooth sailing, although my daily triangle commute from Bethel to Napaskiak to Oscarville to Bethel was starting to wear me down a bit. Speaking of the commute, here's a couple peeks of what my morning commute might look like:

My river commute would start at the Lomack building, which would be just off the left edge of the above photo. Then you can see the ice road heading down the center. Then it's about a 10 minute (or less) ride down thissa way...

You can see just a little overflow at the edge on this particular morning. Crossing overflow is not the time to back off the throttle, unless cold and wet is your thing.

Back to what I was saying though...of course, at this time of year, wearing down=getting a cold, which I realized was destined weeks ago. So, although I've enjoyed being able to commute from home, I look forward to moving on, feeling better, and not putting in quite as many hours.

One pretty cool thing happened this past Thursday. I was in Napaskiak, working after school with some students on this project, a rack for their new dumb bells in the weight room.

My students were working away, about to put in another weld when I noticed some people approaching, so I told them to hold off and let these people pass so they wouldn't be flashed by the arc light. Seconds later this man approaches and greets me with a handshake saying "Hi my name is Sean Parnell." It's kind of an odd feeling when your state governor comes up and greets you unexpectedly. We chatted a bit about the project and our program. Nice guy. He was out visiting sites that are perspectives for getting new schools built. I wonder if having the governor encounter a welding class being taught outdoors in February helped Napaskiak's chances....couldn't hurt I suppose.

Monday, weather permitting, I'll be flying out to Quinhagak for a few weeks. I'm looking forward to working with the friendly folks I've met who work at that site. As well, I'm looking forward to being near the mountains again, and being able to hopefully feel the pull of a fish on a line again. The world famous Kanektok River flows nearby and I'd like to get some more fish for the freezer.

That's about it for now. Pitchers report for spring training in 7 days. GO BREWERS!!