Well, here we are, in beautiful downtown Bethel! Um, not sure I’m living downtown… don’t really think there is a “downtown” to Bethel. Stores and restaurants are scattered in between houses, mostly in the oldest part of Bethel, and all along Chief Eddy Hoffman Highway, the main road. I am ridiculously close to KuC (Kuskokwim Campus); about a 5 minute walk or bike ride. By the time I unlock/lock the bike, it’s the same amount of time to walk.
Select photo to see more of Bethel.
Harpo and I are living in a small two bedroom house that’s probably twice the size of my cabin. She is loving the room for tossing toys to chase! I am enjoying the freedom from hauling water, or at least I’ll enjoy it until I get the water bill! Harpo loves jumping in and out of the bathtub, filled with water or not. I had thought I’d get a roommate, until I got here and saw the mound of boxes that I’d shipped. Somehow it looked like a lot less stuff when it was in the cabin!
I haven’t gotten the sewing room organized, but the kitchen, bedroom, living room, and bath are all set. It’s wonderful to have so much space! Even though I’ve already crammed the house with what I brought from Fairbanks.
I’m listening to public radio as I write this; KYUK 640 AM. Pretty much like KUAC, from what I’ve heard so far. There are two FM stations, but they only play music and I quickly got bored with them. There’s a public tv station too, but since I have no tv, I can’t tell you much about that.
Select photo to see more of Bethel.
I got a ride up to Meyer’s Farm on Saturday, to go vegie shopping. I didn’t get to see the farm, just the store. It’s a really small little place, jammed with people and vegetables. The big draw is the freshness and the fact that everything is organic. I didn’t feel like prices were too out of line compared to what I’d pay in Fairbanks; higher but of course there’s shipping to account for too. The grocery store-AC Value Center-is much more expensive! I don’t plan on doing much shopping there. There is also Sammy’s, another grocery store that carries more exotic foods according to one of the women at school. I haven’t had a chance to go in yet.
Harpo and I have been doing lots of walking. She has to be on the leash all the time; there are too many cars and too much cool yucky stuff to get into. People drive surprisingly slow; mostly because of the gravel roads. The highway and one or two other streets are paved, and parking lots are rarely paved as well. The occasional taxi speeds down a street, and four wheelers are almost always going too fast, but other than that I don’t feel like I’m taking mmy life in my hands to ride or walk in Bethel.
Pinky’s Park isn’t far from my house; we go up there almost every day. There’s a baseball field, a hockey rink (well, I think there is; the ice is mostly melted and just the goal cages are there), and a small building that seems to be some sort of rec center. There’s also a whole system of boardwalks that Harpo loves. If there’s no one around I’ll turn her loose to run. The first day we did that she was so happy to be loose! She’s been a really good girl on the leash, but she loves running loose and she missed it more than I realized.
It’s been pretty chilly this past week, so Harpo wears her snowsuit when we go out. We get a lot of looks and “Isn’t she cute” from people who pass by us. Most people have been super friendly, although on today’s walk a woman asked if Harpo would attack her. Harpo? she might lick you to death!
My first week at work has been pretty easy. Graduation was on Friday, May 3, so everyone else has been finishing up the semester and getting ready for the ceremony. I reviewed my notes from iTeach and explored some of the tools we learned about. I also helped with decorating the stage for graduation. The ceremony on Friday was lovely; so small and intimate. It was the nicest graduation I’ve ever attended! Afterwards there was a party for faculty and staff, hosted by one of the retiring staff at her bed and breakfast. Vicky does it every year, and Mary (Pete, the director of KuC) wouldn’t accept her resignation until Vicky agreed to keep doing the party.
So I think you can tell I’m enjoying Bethel! I like the small town atmosphere, the friendliness, and how relaxed everyone seems to be. I like everyone at school; they’ve all been very helpful while I settled in.