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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Goodbye Anchorage, Hello Seward – Community Service Alaska

Sunday was amazing in Anchorage! We started the day by going to the Native American Heritage Center. The Center was absolutely fantastic. We were led on an engaging tour by our knowledgeable guide, Isaiah, who led us through the shelters and told us about the traditional ways of five major Native American cultural groups that inhabited Alaska long before anybody else. We learned about subterranean shelters, ingenious ways to defend against Polar Bears, ferocious whale hunters, and seal-hide canoes and kayaks. It was so cool. We learned a lot.

In the afternoon we went for a hike. Flattop Mountain is one of the most popular hikes in the Anchorage area. We lucked out with sunny weather and good trail conditions. The views from the mountain were incredible. We were able to look at the Anchorage Bowl from above the clouds and admire the different mountain ranges surrounding us. We realized how much we love mountains, and how much we love the outdoors.

On Monday we went to the Northeast Anchorage Boys and Girls Club to volunteer. Clay and Brandon helped out in the kitchen getting dinner for the kids ready while Cody and Hallie kept the kids busy in the gym. Claire, Sara, Emily, and Helen taught kids how to fold origami paper cranes in the art room. Lizzie organized and helped out at the front desk. Jackie led a game of Apples to Apples with what seemed like a dozen eager players. Our group really enjoyed our day at the club and couldn’t wait to coming back tomorrow.

The next morning we arrived at the boys and girls club to spend another action-packed day with the kids. Lizzie, Brandon, Clay, Helen, and Jackie went on a field trip with John and Trip Director Courtney to the Campbell Creek Science Center where they learned all about how Global Positioning Systems can assist Geoscientists in their work outside. Claire, Cody, Hallie, Sarah, and Emily stayed back at the club and ran some very amusing programs for the kids. Claire and Cody played dodge-ball and kickball in the gym while Emily, Sarah, and Hallie led a game of Headbands with some of the kids. When it was time to leave we were faced children saying “Please Don’t Go!” It made everyone realize how much our time was appreciated.

To celebrate our last night in Anchorage, we had a delicious barbeque dinner with Alaskan King Salmon, teriyaki chicken breasts, grilled vegetables, salad, fruit, and banana boats for dessert. The Salmon was so fresh and delicious! There will be plenty more of it to come, as tomorrow we embark on our next journey. We are driving down to the Kenai Peninsula, known for its wildlife, its beautiful coastline and scenery, and its “real Alaskan” ruggedness. We can hardly wait!

The Westcoast Blogger