An Update to Friends and Family (new mailing address too)!
Hi friends and family,
It's been a while since I've updated you on my life here in Alaska! I will try to keep it short! You can skip everything if you want, but please read the middle. :)
It has been a busy and interesting summer for me! My new position as the office manager at Denali ATV this year has been such a different experience than ATV guiding! I have so much responsibility (which I love), but with that comes needing to put my big girl pants on and be a boss when I need to (which I do not love).
I had to fire someone the other day...which was extremely difficult, but needed. I'm learning a lot from this job and am enjoying it despite the difficulty at times.
(I caught a cold so hopefully most of this email makes sense. Forgive me if it doesn't. haha).
At the beginning of the season (mid-May) we got a foot of snow! It delayed the start to our season, but despite the cold weather at the beginning, we have had more tourists come on our tours than we have ever had! It has been awesome for this company! And surprisingly, this has been one of the hottest summers in Denali (after the snow melted)! I have definitely enjoyed my sunshine. I've been backpacking, hiking, and fishing as much as possible.
*THE MIDDLE: Okay, so in other news, I have made a pretty big decision. Since before I arrived here this summer I have been stressed about my plans for after the season and have finally figured it out. After applying for jobs all over (in Oregon, Alaska, and other locations), I was offered a full-time position with benefits here in Alaska. After a lot of thinking and talking to people, I decided to take it and will be here for at least one more year! Eek!!! I will be working at a mental health and addiction clinic in this small town as a tobacco educator. It's grant funded and I'd be working to help Alaska become a smoke-free state. That just means that I'd be trying to educate business owners on how tobacco smoke effects other people and their businesses (there are still a lot of businesses here where smoking is allowed in restaurants, etc.). This job may allow me to get my feet wet in counseling as well!
After having small freak-outs here and there, I am becoming more excited. The thought of winter with negative degree weather here scares me, but everyone else seems to have survived it just fine. :) I am sad about not being in Portland with you guys, but it will always be my home.
I will be in Portland to collect my things from September 19-27th, so if you’d like to say hi/bye I’d be happy to try to make that work. :)
Also, I may need emotional support through winter survival kits, puzzles, warm things and more warm things. If you’d like to send me letters or things like that, I’d be happy to check my mail often! ;)
I love you all and have loved your support to me these past few years in Oregon.
I’m not even going to say goodbye. I hate that word, so see you all later!!! ;)
Love you all and hope to see you in a few weeks,
P.S. When I told my friend Anika (who lives in Ukraine most of the year) that I was going to stay in AK for the winter, she just kept laughing at me. Surprisingly, the winters here will be colder than in Ukraine. A lot colder. :( Here is a text I got from her shortly after we talked. I died laughing.