It is almost two weeks since we arrived to Alaska. I didn’t even notice when that time passed by. The number of activities we participated in, the places we have been and people which we talked with is uncountable.
We arrived on the 16th of May at Anchorage just before midnight. Since the days get very long in the north, it was still quite bright outside and if I were in Pittsburgh I would easily say it isn’t later than 6pm. Our first night we spent at the “Captain Cook Hotel” which is considered as one of the nicest in town. From our rooms we had in insanely beautiful view on the mountains and ocean.
The next day we had a small trip to Seward. We drove with our partner through incredible Alaskan mountain/fjord sceneries.
In Seward we met Dr Alex Hills and had some really great time discussing our project organizational issues while exploring Alaskan nature. We also had a chance of trying some of the fantastic Alaskan fresh seafood: Halibut cheeks (Yammy! .. really), shrimps, crab meat etc.
That day I learned all the possible species of salmon found in Alaska:
sockeye (red salmon), champ(dog salmon), humpback(pink salmon), chinook(king salmon) and blackmouth(silver salmon)
18th of May
Again we had a chance to see the gorgeous views when riding back to Anchorage. This day was a tough one for us. Since we had to make grocery shopping for our 9 week stay in the “bush” (areas in Alaska that aren’t connected to the national road network – basically extremely remote). As a daily visitor at Giant Eagle in Pittsburgh, having to buy 25 pounds of meat, numerous bags of pasta, beverages and many more other stuff, it was a hard exam on my estimation skills – see whether made them right
At the end of the day we spent over 2 hours at the post office at the Anchorage airport packing and than waiting in a huge line (some Business Process Modelling would be there) to ship our boxes to Unalakleet – our project destination.
19th of May
Time to go to the wild bush. On a PenAir plane we flew other to Unalakleet. Quite excited we recognized the village from air and successfully landed at the “huge” airport.
We are in the bush. Literally, it is mind blowing!!!
20th of May
Director of Educational Technology organized a trip to four remote villages (Saint Michael, Stebbins, White Mountain and Nome) where the Bering Strait School District operates (our client). We had a chance to talk with principles, teachers and administrators who use the developed by BSSD Student Information System – DART for which we are supposed to make an open source strategy. We also had some marvelous time flying on a smaller aircraft owned by BSSD.
All of the schools are an important place for each of the villages. Those schools play a role of a community center. They are incredibly equipped – all teachers have MacBooks, classrooms have SmartBoards and in overall the buildings are really nice.
On our way back to Unalakleet, the plane was so packed with freight, that I had to jump into it through the front tiny pilot window … only in Alaska
I am aware I am a little bit behind schedule with posting you my experiences … I hope to make it up .. in the meantime jumping out to take more photos …
More to come – more about our project, fishing and my first catch, four wheeler tundra driving and picking up skills in fire arms, so keep us tracking