Challenges in the Bush

One of the benefits of living in rural Alaska is that there is always something to entertain us. Between power water and mail the ‘Western’ aspects of village life could be compared to a three legged dog. It teeters and is funny to watch and you never know which way it’s going to fall.



Last year the metaphorical ‘leg’ was the water. We had almost a month without water, almost two weeks consecutive. We also had months in between where we had water running but it did not look taste or smell as one might prefer. There were stains on everything dealing with water. Sinks and tubs were crusted with sediment save a great deal of elbow grease weekly. Shower curtains were completely unsalvageable and white or bright cloths were rust orange.

Our latest entertainment is the lack of a postal worker. No postal worker means the post office is not open and mail is not being delivered. No mail means the mail is just being delivered to the office and it is getting to the point (in multiple weeks) that the post office is full, so full that they are unable to put more mail inside and have started dropping it at the door where anyone or anything not to mention weather can get to it.

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I should mention that the mail shown above was eventually moved to be stored in the school and all future mail has been put on hold. I don’t know where it is being held… Kotzebue, Anchorage, D.C.? But not here and pity for whoever ends up inheriting this mess because some packages were delivered some were just picked up and then there is the shear volume to be sorted.

We also just got our SPAN order in which is a bulk food shipment which is good because the store has been missing some things lately. They have eggs and even apples sometimes which is pretty good but the snack foods have not come in.


This photo is a little misleading because the other shelves are full but with the challenges of shipping and accusation, at any one point they may be supplied with one thing but missing another. This week there were lots of apples and eggs but few chips. There was even Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

I should also point out that there is a trade off living in the bush. Some of the creature comforts which are taken for granted in other places may not be so certain here but there is a far longer list of things that make up for it. Please check out my other posts to that end. Click on the title of this blog WOLFSLUNCH in the upper left hand corner to see the full list of posts. And don’t forget to comment!


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