Well, technically you could say I’m in Bristol Bay or Dillingham, Alaska. My heart (on the other hand) is still on the eastern beach of Whiskeytown Lake soaking up the rays.
The initial magic of being in the last frontier is slowly wearing off but the food in the mess hall is keeping my stomach and spirits happy for the moment.
The weather is a lot like Seattle; it rains randomly with little warning, sometimes for minutes and sometimes for days. I like the rain though, it’s refreshing after living in the droughts of Northern California. The rain has always reminded me of abundance and it reigns true here in AK, as well. The salmon, apparently, like the rain; I’m not sure how they know it’s raining, but they figure it out and start heading up stream to spawn. Which is what we’re still waiting for… the fish. They could show up in nets any day; until then, we clean and wait.
In the mean time we’ve found many ways to pass the time with some amount of entertainment. For instance, if you attempt to laugh without smiling, you will actually end up bellowing harder than you originally planned. Like I said, entertainment. There’s not a lot to do in town but I managed to make my way to the local pub on karaoke night. It was a complete accident but if you know me, you know that I cannot resist a microphone so I made my Dillingham debut. I think there’s a video floating around youtube. I’m sure I’m already a local celebrity because of my trbute to Britney with “HIt me baby, one more time”. Sparks flew and they weren’t from the speakers my friends. Also, (to any Deadliest Catch fans out there) we got to meet the crew of the Cornellia Marie. It was a beautiful boat but it was mostly fun to watch my diehard roommate freaking out. She’s the cutest.
There is definitely a sense of isolation. It almost seems to make people a little stir-crazy. No roads lead to Dillingham but some how people smuggle in the drugs that keep them company. My local friends tell me that the drug, alcohol and physical abuse run rampant in this town of 2,500. What should be picturesque living- away from the hussle and bussle of city lights- has become a small spot on the map full of hopelessness and broken dreams. It’s not impossible to get out, but when you grow up on welfare and entitlement it’s hard to break poverty mindsets. But God has big plans for this little place. I’ve met some friends here that are crazy about Jesus and just as crazy about people. They adopted me the moment I stepped into church. I mean, I was the youngest one of their five other congregants but it was nice to be so welcomed and valued. They’ve given me rides and permissions to use the church’s instruments and space whenever I need it which is a blessing that I could never fully put into words. They call themselves missionaries but I think they’re more revolutionaries in this environment; it’s exciting to watch them at the frontlines of their ministry as it involves work as EMTs.
I’ve been comtemplating some things.
This is the season where I find out what exactly I’m made of. Will I still be faith-full through sleep deprivation and 18 hour shifts? Can I rest in the joy of the Lord when I’m being worked to the bone? Do I have what it takes to make it through the grueling weeks with little-to-no rest? I think so, but mostly I hope so.
My next post should be funnier. These things are time consuming to write, you know.