Field trips in the Bush 

Today we had our first school field trip! 

We decided to take the students to go berry picking, then make some Akutaq with our bounty. Fields trips in the bush are very different from field trips in the lower 48! For one we don’t have a school bus so field trips consist of walking or loading everyone into the school truck. Since our trip today was going to be by the airport we had to take the truck. 


After we arrived at our location everyone unloaded and started picking Berries! We were very lucky that a few parents let us borrow Alaskan Berry Picking claws! This is a big help because otherwise you have to pick each berry one by one. 


We spent an very successful hour picking berries. We came back with 3 gallon freezer bags and 4 sandwich bags of blackberries. I think if the students had saved all the berries they ate we probably could have had 8 gallon bags!! We had a lot of blue/purple mouths when we were done! 


After getting back to school we made Akutaq (also named Eskimo Ice cream). This consists of berries, crisco, and sugar. The traditional way of making it is using animal fat or fish instead of crisco. To love Akutaq I feel like you really have to have a developed taste for it. I have had it made with fish and it was a little rough for me to finish. I have also had it done with lots of berries and sugar and just a little crisco and it’s definitely better. 


This is a picture of our blackberry Akutaq. It was fun making the Akutaq and the students are very excited to share it tonight at our community potluck! 

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Enjoy long walks on the beach

Sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted…I’ve just been crazy with teaching and such but I definitely think it’s getting a lot easier! 

While I’ve missed several things about being home, such as coffee shops, cafes’, small things, and of course my family and friends, I have been trying to keep busy here. I could definitely see how people could get stir crazy if they didn’t have the ability to entertain themselves! 

Last weekend, the other teacher and I decided we needed to get some fresh air! So we took a walk. 

Down the beach from us is the set netters camp. It’s almost a small village on its own that is abandoned during fall-spring, but during the summer I hear its booming. There are several small houses and sheds that the fishermen use during them peak fishing season. 

Neither of us were brave enough to walk that far on our own (bear season is in full bloom) but we figured since we were together we would probably be loud enough. Plus we were on the hunt for Japanese glass floats, unfortunately we didn’t find any but we did have a good time. I took several pictures of the set netters camp and other things on our walk so even though we didn’t find what we were looking for it was still wonderful to get out and enjoy the amazing weather why we had a chance! 

Making ourselves at home

We’ve been in Alaska officially one month and so far we’ve loved everything about our small village. We’ve so luck to not only have each other up here (we were talking last night how were not sure we could do it alone…kudos to those that do), but we’ve been lucky enough to meet great people.

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Our fishing net during sunset

We’ve made great friends with my co-teacher Hannah, and her husband Cody. (She has a blog too… Middletons of Nowhere). That was a worry of ours, “what happens if we didn’t like this couple that we were pretty much were going to have to be with every day of our lives?” Luckily, they are great! We’ve had lots of fun going fishing together, picking berries, and laughing together about our mischief group of boys we have.

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Hannah and Cody learning to filet our catch of the day

We’ve also made really good friends with a couple of the locals. Ben has especially taken a liking to one of the older guys, Al. Al and his wife Sue have taken us fishing, shown us how to smoke our catch, took me berry hunting (which is not hard since they are abundant right now) and have taught us so much about our village (did you know Johnny Cash visited little Pilot Point?). In fact as I write this Ben is at their house learning to can the salmon, I had work to do so I opted to stay home this time.

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Our fishing net during sunset
Alaska “Blackberries”
Wild Cranberries

 

My harvest of the day (I actually filled the blackberry bag


Ben loading the smokehouse with tons of salmo
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Ben pulling the line with one of my boys

Every day, Ben and I wake up and look at the sunrise, and every night we watch it set. Each time we can’t help but think how lucky we are to get to be here in Alaska, doing what we love, and getting to see the beauty of our village every single day. The biggest down fall of living here in Pilot Point, Alaska is how much I miss my family and friends. I honestly don’t think that is something I will ever get over, the only thing I can hope is everyone will soon be taking their turns and coming to visit us soon. We do have a spare room if you wanna cross the REAL Alaska of your bucket list 😉 (Sorry invite extended to only people we know, just in case there might be people that actually read this blog that were not direct friends with haha)

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Oh you know, just some local wild life checking us out.. and yes i actually took this picture!

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So until you come experience this yourself…here some pics to hold you over.

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Until we talk again! Much love from the Follettes

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