Here it is the first "full" week of September and I am just updating... wow, it's been a month since I last wrote on here, but it has been an extremely busy month! The college interns are gone and in school, the high school internship program is done and our educator is working on the Fisheries Science in the Schools, and the fish weirs are about to be taken out. And then I can't grasp the concept I have been in Aniak for almost four months. It really is "blowing my mind", to say the least.
On the 10th Mike, the interns, and I all flew to Anchorage for our Partners College Intern Day. What a blast! Our college interns are funded through the USFWS Partner's program. It is an extremely beneficial program because it allows students to experience working in the field of fisheries. They work on several different projects and gain an array of different experiences for their resumes. Our hope is that one day they will be doing our jobs, we are of course, training the next group to follow after us. I must say, I was extremely proud of the interns for KNA this summer (not that I knew any of the others), but they did a great job! They also gave very good presentations to the rest of the Partners biologists and other staff who came to watch. I believe both Jared and Charles will go far and we may see them again next summer, although it would be great if they were able to experience other opportunities.
After coming back from Anchorage it was the weekend of the Aniak fair. I must say it was pretty interesting. There were more bingo games, games for the kids and on Saturday booths set up selling food, crafts, etc. On Friday night I helped Esther (who owns the Hound House here, it is a little resteraunt type place where Esther sells pizzas, sandwhiches, burgers and other things) along with Connie make kabobs for the fair. It was so much fun! We danced around Esther's kitchen singing and putting together kabobs! The next day I helped Esther grill and sell them at the fair. So much fun!
Sunday, after the fair, I was sent out to the George River weir to cover for one of our technicians who was on break. I like being out at the weir because there is really nothing. It was just Spenser and I with the weir. Unfortunately the weir was underwater so we were unable to count fish for most of the week. We did manage to pull up the panels after awhile and get the weir "fish tight" so we could count again. It was a real struggle, though, because the water was high and the current was strong. Spenser was awesome, and I'll admit it, he did the hard parts. While we weren't working on the weir or fixing things around camp, Spenser and I played some Volleyball and helped Ann down in Georgetown. We helped Ann with cutting down willows, making sure she was good, other yard work, and keeping her company when everyone else was gone. I think Ann is one of the greatest people I've ever met. She is so nice and kind-hearted and she has great stories about living on the Kuskokwim her whole life. It is really neat to hear her history. Connie was also there for part of the time I was at the George and I got to meet Ann's sister Irene. Irene is crazy awesome and we had a good time together. Well, after a week I was supposed to go back to Aniak and switch out with James, but he ended up quitting and I ended up staying at the weir camp for an extra week and a half, until we could find a replacement. I almsot thought I was going to have to stay up there till weir take out. Fortunately we found someone for the last few weeks of the season. It was really nice up there, though. The sun was out for a few days while we were doing ASL sampling and I even got a tan! Pretty sweet!
I've only been back for a little over a week, but Aniak has been busy and Mike left for the AFS meeting in Seattle last Friday. Scott and I have been coordinating with the school district for our Fisheries in the Schools program and it's been fun to go over lesson plans and teaching strategies. I'm excited for Scott to start his work with the students in the area and I'm interested to see how well the program works.
The other thing going on around here, right now, is moose hunting season. It started on the first and people are getting what they need for the next year. I'm glad they are all getting lots! I was at Emily and Ronnies on the first and Ronnie looked out his window and across the river were two bulls. He, Richie and Richie's dad jumped in the boat and were able to get both of them. Fun fun times! Well, I think that's about everything crazy and new around here! Love you all <3