Sunday, September 19, 2010

From Idaho to Alaska- Home is Where the Heart IS!

Well, it has definitely been a long time since I last posted. I know, I know...But life catches up with you eventually, and then you finally get some time to blog. Well, these days I have quite a bit of time on my hands, so I am promising to be a better BLOGGER (if the Internet connection will allow).
So, if you are interested in following me back in time I would love to catch you all up on what the Rupps have been up to.
Let's start with last spring...
Brian spent all winter "temping" while searching for a permanent position, which he finally found in March. He ended up taking a job with Hinnricks Trading Company in Pullman. (They specialize in agricultural trading, particularly Garbanzo Beans, or better know as Chick Peas.) So we packed up our belonging and moved to Moscow, ID. (Brian didn't want to loose his Idaho residency.) We spent most of the Spring and all of the Summer there in Moscow, and we really thought it was the perfect place for us. Brian was enjoying his job, I was networking with other moms, and we both loved our new ward.....But Heavenly Father always has other plans than the ones we intend for ourselves.
That other plan would be called ALASKA. That is right. After only living in Moscow for approximately four months, Brian was offered a job in Alaska. For those wondering how we got this random job offer here's a little info...Remember how I said at the beging of my post that Brian had spent a good chunk of the Winter searching for permanent employment? Well, six months after contacting a timber company in Alaska, a position opened, so they gave him a call to see if he was still interested. The job was more directely related to Brian's degree, and the pay was definitely more than what he was making in Pullman. There was a catch however. The job was located on a remote Alaskan island called Afognak. And when I say remote, I mean no stores, our groceries and supplies would be flown in, and the island is only accessable by boat or plane. So after a lot of deliberation and even more praying, we made the HUGE decision to pack up Sawyer, and very few of our belongings, and make the move.
So HERE WE ARE. Danger Bay, Afognak Island, Alaska.
Brian arrived here on Afognak about a month ago, August 20th. He was immediatly submerged in his new job, and he has started out with a bang. We decided that Grizz, our dog, needed to come with us on this adventure, so since day one Brian and Grizz have been scoping the forest of Afognak, side by side. Sawyer and I arrived here ten days after Brian. So this marks the end of week three for me, or the beginning of week four if you like to look at that way. I have been busy settling in our little trailor. That is right I said trailor....let me explain our living situation.
There are approximately a hundred people here in Danger Bay. All of them either work for Evergreen Timber, Trans Pac Fiber, or Concord, or they are the spouses or children of said company employees. Our "Camp", the Evergreen Timber Camp, has about twelve families living here, and two full bunk houses of single men. All of the families live in 1970-1980's-ish model trailor houses. So we are our own little Trailor park. I must say, a trailor is not my ideal place to live, but it will do for now....someday, we will have our own dream home.
There are enough kids in camp to warrent public school funding. In fact, when Brian first accepted the job, he told the company that I was a teacher. They told him that if needed, they might put me to work in the one room school house. Fortunately, the school district had already found a more experienced teaching team to take care of the kids. I am definitely breathing a sigh of relief. I don't think I was ready to play Laura Ingles, Little House on The Prarie, one room school marme.
Okay...Now for the area. Afognak is located just north of Kodiak Island, inside the Alaskan Gulf. So, we are on the ocean, but NOT "On" the ocean, if you know what I mean. The island is beautiful beyond description. I am hoping to upload some pictures, but the internet here isn't quite up to snuff. Some of the indiginous creatures to the area are the Sitka Black-tailed Deer, Roosevelt Elk, Foxes, Seals, Puffins, an array of fish (salmon, halibut, etc.) and of course Kodiak Bears. Brian has been fishing only once, but caught four Silver Salmon in a matter of 20 minutes or so. We've seen plenty of bear....NOT IN CAMP! Most of the bear stear clear of humans, most are a few miles away from camp. But man, are they cool to watch. It is completely different from the Bear Cages at WSU.
About a quarter of a mile from camp there is a black sand beach. It is so neat, but because of the bear we have to take precautions when we go down there.
The weather has been really beautiful since I have been here. Mostly in the sixties, and sunny. I know that it will change soon, so we have been living it up. As for the sun light, right now the sun in coming up around 7:30 a.m. and going down around 8:00 p.m. The "locals" say that in the winter the sun usually comes up around 9:00a.m. and down by about 5:00ish. Not too terrible. You have to remember that we are in Souther Alaska, and our weather in more like what you would experience on the pennisula of Washington State.
As for life here on the island, I have a lot of time on my hands. I am planning on "remodeling", or as Brian calls it "bringing it up to Camille standards", our little home. We have a little play ground just across from our house, and there are two other little guys that are close to Sawyer's age here for him to play with. Our groceries are flown in 3 times a week. I email my list to Safeway in Kodiak, and they fill the order and send it out on the next plane. Which is a Float Plane by the way. I have to say, speaking or the float plane, that it was so cool to fly in on. A bit freaky for some, but still really cool.
We obviously don't have an LDS church building here in Afognak, but there is a ward on Kodiak. We are hoping that once we get everthing settled we will be able to fly over once a month for church. As for now, we put on our Sunday attire, and listen to confernce sessions online. During the week we do a nursery lesson for Sawyer, and are wanting to add the Relief Society and Preisthood lesson into our weekly routine. OH, FYI, we have made contact and met with the Bishop of our ward. No worries, they know we are here.
Well, I guess this was more information that most of you may have wanted, but I felt obligated to fill you all in. Keep checking on us for more updates and hopefully pictures.
Lots of Love!
Camille, Brian, and Sawyer