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Days 13 & 14 (The Calm Before the Storm)

I have a feeling these past two days will seem like a vacation compared to the next week and a half (specifically the next few days).

Yesterday I watered the hanging baskets and beds out by the dining hall and then we did some watering and seed starting in the greenhouse. We laid the whole thing out on the whiteboard in the greenhouse so that we could plan what needed to be harvested and what needed to be planted over the next few weeks.

The green is all arugula and mixed lettuce that had been started earlier in the week. The bare soil blocks are borage, nasturtium, marigold, and beets that we started yesterday. Borage, nasturtium and marigold are all edible flowers and they also help to prevent pests.

The green is all arugula and mixed lettuce that had been started earlier in the week. The bare soil blocks are borage, nasturtium, marigold, and beets that we started yesterday. Borage, nasturtium and marigold are all edible flowers and they also help to prevent pests. (Also, the smooshed part in the top left corner is from one of the other WWOOFer’s dog stepping in it! haha She’s super cute)

The rest of the day yesterday we all hung out in the greenhouse and I was able to have some downtime to appreciate the scenery.

The sunset view from my yurt (Eagle). This is at about 11:30 and it really hasn't been getting much darker.

The sunset view from my yurt (Eagle). This is at about 11:30 and it really hasn’t been getting much darker.

Today, I watered the hanging baskets and beds outside of the dining hall again. The rest of my time before lunch was pretty slow again and so I had some time to get some reading done (working on Wuthering Heights). We harvested some romaine and mixed lettuce and then brought it to the kitchen to be cleaned (with this really huge salad spinner – it’s pretty cool).

We also got some predatory mites and lady bugs (which are actually called ladybird beetles – who knew) for the greenhouse and so we were able to let those loose earlier!

Ladybugs on the himalayan huckleberry!

Ladybugs on the himalayan huckleberry!

All of the WWOOFers have also been rotating helping in the kitchen before dinner. Today was my turn and I was able to make a salad with the greens we had just harvested and cleaned (which I thought was pretty awesome – being able to harvest, clean, chop, and eat produce myself!). Then for dinner I went upstairs to join the instructors for their daily meeting so that I could get filled in on the schedule before I start filling in for another instructor tomorrow.

I will be with one group of 8 campers from 9:30am-6:00pm with a break for lunch and some free time afterwards until about 2:30. Most of that time will be filled with pre-determined activities but for a 2-hour block in the afternoon I will be teaching them about birds. This is all a little intimidating so far because there is a set curriculum and A LOT of information to get to know before I have to tell the campers about it. I spent some time earlier going through it all and taking notes and I’m feeling (slightly) confident about it, but I’ll have to see how it goes! The instructor I’m filling in for told me that you can’t really mess up because the campers don’t really know how it’s supposed to go – so I’m going to keep telling myself that! I think either way it’ll be a really great experience and I’ll come out of it knowing more about native Alaskan birds! I’m just glad there are field guides and notes to use as the basis of the information so that the campers will still be learning a lot.

Honestly, I’m ready for the challenge.

So, the next few days will be a little crazy… but then I also found out that I will be able to go across the Bay in a week! It’s a little complicated but basically I’m able to go because I’m filling in this week. Normally WWOOFers don’t go so I’m pretty pumped about it. The trip lasts 7 days and all of the campers, counselors, and instructors go. We take a water taxi over and then use kayaks and umiaks to get around to hike in different locations. I’ll be able to go on a handful of hikes and a few paddling trips and eat and stay for free while we’re over there. The trip does change up (what I thought were) my plans a bit, though, because we leave the 22nd/23rd and then don’t get back until a day or two before I catch a ride back to Anchorage on the 31st, which means I only have a handful of days left out here strictly WWOOFing. That’s all a little sad to think about but I’m also incredibly excited to get across the Bay. I’ve heard it’s beyond beautiful over there and I’ll be closer to the mountains and the glacier and that’s really something I haven’t been able to get out of this experience yet!

UPDATES

I tried salmon cream cheese for the first time on my bagel this morning and it was actually awesome! (I had been a little afraid of it)

I’m getting really good at grabbing mosquitos out of the air (karate kid style) instead of just aimlessly swatting at them.

And, I’m not sure if I’ve posted about this yet, but for the past few days we had only been seeing the male crane around (which is strange because crane pairs are normally always together) so we were afraid that the coyotes got her BUT I saw them together earlier! So she’s okay – thank goodness. I was actually getting a little sad about it!

I forgot to post a picture of my herbal tea (lemon balm and wild yarrow) so here it is: I had also put a bag of ginger tea in the mix which was pretty good

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-Hannah

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