Sunday, February 02, 2014

12th Man in Alaska

Had a great time supporting the Seahawks from Bethel. Went to a house party hosted by a YKHC optometrist and her husband. Ten of the twelve people in attendance were Seattle fans, including Emily, a very fashionable and mild mannered Chihuahua. Go Seahawks!

Weekending in Bethel

When I left Seatac Airport last Monday morning, it was colder in Seattle than Bethel.

In the past few couple days, things reversed.

Temperatures in Alaska are dropping, though it is still much warmer than it normally is this time of year. On Saturday there was about an inch of snow on the ground. Today it has been extremely windy.The Bethel forecast indicates that temperatures will continue to drop, but no below-zero temperatures are anticipated this coming week.

On Saturday morning, we recruited additional participants for our study. We decided it would be a good idea to make some coffee for ourselves and the childrens' parents. After filling the clinic Brita with tap water, we noticed the water had an interesting color. The coffee tasted fine, but it is easy to understand why parents might be hesitant about giving their children tap water. In fact, some parents have talked to us about the concerns they have with Bethel tap water. Bethel's community water supply is fluoridated, but it would be interesting to know what percentage of the population drinks the water.

Before work on Saturday, we stopped by the Bethel Farmer's Market, located in a one-room building near large greenhouses in which Tim Meyers (the farmer) grows food all year round.

The market sells produce that is flown in as well as locally grown fruits and vegetables. Currently, Tim sells root vegetables grown in his winter greenhouses.

Before coming up to the YK Delta, I packed most of my food into a large cooler. This is the norm for visitors before heading out to villages for dental trips. There are no restaurants in the villages. I did go to the local grocery store in Bethel a couple times, one of which is called the AC.

Prices at the AC are high because all the food sold is flown in from Anchorage. I took a photo of a circular advertisement, which provides insight as to how much food costs in the YK Delta.

Since I've been taking cabs to most places within Bethel, there is a constant need to have a wallet full of cash. I came to town with a little over $100 in cash. There is a Wells Fargo in town located next to the AC.

This was what I encountered during my failed attempt to access the Wells Fargo ATM on a Sunday afternoon. So close yet so far. I'll have to try again during business hours.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

A Beautiful Dentist Visits the White House

A gift from a patient. The heading says it all. Is my hair really that long?

My UAF Co-Investigator is staying at the White House Bed and Breakfast, a typical Alaskan structure constructed of logs that were floated down the Yukon or Kuskokwim River in the 1970s. Fran, the owner, is a long-time resident of Bethel. The inside of the B&B is charming, clean, and comfortable. It's what comes to mind when I think of Alaska.