Blogging hiatus? What blogging hiatus?
So it’s been a month or so since my last post, and that largely has to do with the time of year. Alaskan summers are long in the daylight hours but short in the months of warmth, and so we are known for putting down our usual pursuits (say blogging, for instance) and chasing down every last moment of warm sunshine possible. As the summer winds down, I’m back in Homer, AK looking after my father while he recovers from knee surgery.
A quick recap:
– My dear friend Adrienne and I drove from Fairbanks to Salt Lake City together. From there, I drove solo through Zion and the Grand Canyon before meeting up with family in Santa Barbara. A month later I made it back to Alaska after visiting with all my aunts and uncles and recording their life stories. More about that project in another post. You can read more about our road trip down the ALCAN and through the national parks here, here, here, here, and here.
|Unloading fish on the Kenai River, AK|
– I was invited to serve in the United States Peace Corps in Zambia, beginning February 3rd. I accepted my invitation and am now wading my way through all the medical requirements before I’m given the a-okay to depart. You can see my invitation post here, and catch up on my Peace Corps timeline here.
– I spent July commercial fishing for salmon in Cook Inlet and Kenai, AK with my Uncle C and dear friend Mal (Adrienne’s better if less attractive half). We had an okay season, but it really is the very best job on Earth. It was especially neat to take a more active role in the operation and teach Mal all that I know about fishing (not much). When I die, I hope I come back as a salmon. There is talk about buying a boat together and expanding the operation, but we’ll see how that pans out.
– I was nominated for the Western Association of Graduate School’s Distinguish Thesis Award by UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks). A huge honor, and one that I am very flattered to receive. It has also been suggested that I turn my thesis into a book, and so my advisor and I are working on getting that done before I leave. Looks like my fingers have just seen the beginning of all the writing to do this autumn.
– It looks like I might have found a job working within the salmon industry between now and when I leave in February. The deal isn’t sealed just yet, so for now just keep your fingers crossed that everything works out! I’m excited to have the opportunity to get some work experience so closely related to my masters work under my belt before taking off for two years.
– I’ve found a really neat group of folks within my PC Zambia recruit class and am enjoying getting to know people who have such similar ideals and motivations to my own. There are so many great blogs out there talking about the Peace Corps experience, and I’ve been finding myself up until the wee hours of the morning drooling over photos and blog posts. Here are a few of my favorites so far:
That last blog is by my good friend and fellow PCV Zambia 2014, Craig. He hails from the East Coast and writes primarily about his experiences interning with The Mountain Institute in Nepal. He’s a fellow advocate for sustainable practices, small carbon footprints, and living a mindful and eco-oriented life. While he hasn’t started blogging about Zambia yet, I’m sure it’s coming. I’m excited to serve with him and folks like him over the next few years.
– My fellow PCV hopeful Zane finally got his invite just a week or so after I received mine. In case you don’t remember Zane (I mentioned him here…right?), he is a Floridian who received the exact same nomination as I did waaaay back in the fall of 2012. We have been in touch ever since with promises to keep each other posted the second anything Peace Corps related occurred. We’ve both had setbacks and disappointing moments throughout the process, but he’s been a strong ally in keeping my chin up. We had hoped to end up in the same country so we could collaborate over the course of our service. Zane was my first phone call when I found out I was heading to Zambia, and I was excited to be his first excited call when he learned he was heading to Tanzania! Not quite the same country, but neighbors will be close enough!