Monthly Archives: June 2015

The same…and different

One of the funniest things that interns and imports alike agree on about this town, is despite being very much a part of the mainland, there is a definite sense of always being on “island time” in Nome. For better or worse, the pace of life here is very laid back and unhurried. (And no, I don’t think it’s just because it’s legal to grown your own marijuana here…hehe). Most people here are simply very relaxed, and informal, which is kind of a nice break from my usual suburbia and metropolitan areas back home!

Downtown Nome from afar

            Downtown Nome from afar!

On the subject of home…there are some serious differences between my suburb of Cleveland, Ohio and the coastal town of Nome, Alaska!

  • First of all, people rarely lock their doors and/or cars, which was strange at first, but it’s just the way of life here.
  • Overall dress is quite informal as well; jeans and sweatshirts are the norm at the hospital, unless you’re wearing scrubs.
  • Most of the time, you can leave your bike lying around without a lock, and it’ll still be there when you come back for it.
  • The street is “busy” if there’s 3 cars in a row
  • People recognize you and will probably talk to you within a few days of being in town…if you aren’t local, you stand out 🙂
  • You can build bonfires on any beach out of anything burnable…driftwood, pallets, boxes…
  • There are no stoplights (!)
  • The majority of roads aren’t paved, they’re simply hard-packed dirt. Between the dirt roads and beach sand, it gets super dusty here. They actually have a truck that drives around spraying water behind it to keep the roads packed down!
  • This one might be a little strange, but where I live, I constantly see squirrels, deer, chipmunks, raccoons, and sometimes opossums. Here in Nome, there are numerous birds and random dogs loitering about town, but no little mammals running through the streets! I actually kind of miss greedy little squirrels…
  • I thought the gas prices at home were getting out of hand, but gas here is usually between 5-6 dollars per gallon! Yikes!

…And there are a few similarities (which are sometimes nice reminders of home). There is in fact one chain restaurant- a Subway. However not only is there a full-size movie theater attached to it, but there are NO 5-dollar footlongs…more like 7-dollar footlongs. But there is a great beach view, so I can’t complain too much 😉 It’s kind of nice not having a barrage of the same cookie-cutter eateries around town. I’ve also seen quite a few Subaru vehicles driving through town…since I drive a used Subaru at home (and love her), this makes me happy. The grocery store also carries a few varieties of sweet potato, and seeing as I am a self-proclaimed sweet ‘tater lover, I end up buying these guys regularly! Lastly, Alaska may be the land of the midnight sun, but it’s the same sun I see back in Ohio. Super cheesy…but when I look up at the sky, I know everyone is looking at the same burning ball of gas! Oh the feels 🙂

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Enjoy your week everybody!!

Week one of Summercise- COMPLETE!

Wow what a week! As you can all probably tell by my lack of posting, we’ve been quite busy! We work at the hospital in the mornings planning, organizing, and preparing for Summercise classes, as well as our different projects. Summercise runs Monday-Thursday, from 1 to about 4:30 in the afternoon. Those kids keep us busy for sure! I work with another intern with the 5- & 6-year-old group, and the other 6 interns work with the 7 & up crew. We also have assistants, who range in age from high school freshmen, to college students. It’s a lifesaver to have extra hands on deck!

This session, the classes I’m leading are Gardening n’ Grub, Movin’ & Groovin’ (a movement, music, and rhythm class I designed!), Zumba JR, and Kartwheel Kids (a gymnastics class with another intern- my adorable roommate!). We stay super flexible with the younger kiddos, and sometimes the technical “lesson plans” get tossed out the window and/or completely changed, but we keep them active and learning all afternoon! The best parent “complaint” is that by the time they get home, their kids are completely exhausted. That means we’ve done our job 🙂

We interns have also been able to experience some “only-in-Alaska” fun as well! We’ve met some really nice people…actually most everyone here in Nome is extremely friendly and kindhearted, which is greatly appreciated by us non-locals! We’ve gotten opportunities to hike through the tundra, walk along and build bonfires on the beach, gather sea glass (LOVE the green!), go 4-wheeling (extreme for this newbie!), climb through an old mining dredge, see musk ox, and explore town by both bike and foot. Needless to say, when we can catch a few hours of sleep, we take it! Most nights, as soon as my head hits my [extremely comfortable] pillow, I’m out like a light!

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Interns on bikes! We absolutely love biking around Nome!

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One of the many places where gold mining occurs

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There’s old mining equipment all over Nome…and anyone can feel free to walk around and explore! Which of course we did 🙂

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We are now fans of Bering Tea Co.- their coffee is organic, local, Alaskan brewed! It’s absolutely delicious, especially for someone like me who likes a bolder brew. Alaskans know how to brew their beans!

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It’s a beautiful life ❤

Peace and love friends!

Only in Alaska

The title’s pretty self-explanatory…but there are just a few things that are a little different here in Nome as opposed to my modest suburb in Ohio…

Only in Alaska…

…can you see musk ox munching on grass on the outskirts of town (MUST get pictures of these fellas!)

…are you surrounded by pristine, natural beauty like clear streams, and these snow-streaked mountains! (simply driving by left me seriously in awe)

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…can you eat reindeer sausage every week at breakfast (now THAT’S free range game!)

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…can you get really excited to be wearing flip flops and T-shirts…in June.

…can your roommate meet people flinging cigar fish on the beach, and be able to simply fill an empty coffee can full of little silvery fish to bring home

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…can you hear native Alaskan languages such as Yupik being spoken, alongside English

…can you build a bonfire anywhere you want on the beach, using washed up driftwood…because Nome is void of trees

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…can you feel overly excited and cheer with your roomies when watching Disney’sBalto, but then end up critiquing it because of the rather inaccurate portrayal of Nome

…does 10 pm look like 5 in the evening back home

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…can you see a pet reindeer riding around in the back of a pickup truck. (Her name is Velvet Eyes & she’s ADORABLE!)

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