Friday, January 23

Explaining who I am and where I'm from....

Let me see... how to start this. I live in Akutan, Alaska. A small volcanic island that is located in the Aleutain Chain, which is in Southwestern Alaska. We are about 40 air miles northeast of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, 770 miles southwest of Anchorage. Unangan's (Aleuts) moved here from the nearby islands and the small village was built, Akutan Founder's Day is written in the books as September 12, 1878. Last year in 2008 we celebrated our villages 130th birthday!

There are around 45 building that make up the village, about 36 of those being residential. There are only about 77 people total living in the village, ranging in age from 1 year to 82 years! Most of us have all lived here all our lives and watched our village change and grow over the years!

I am the second to last person to have been born here in the village, my cousin Halie was the last to be born here back in 1991. My parents still live in the same house that I was born in. My maternal grandfather died a couple months before I was born, and I lost my maternal grandmother in 1992. My paternal grandmother is still living down in Washington, but my paternal grandfather died as a student in an UltraLight accident over the Knik Turn, near Anchorage, AK on 06/06/03. Here is a link to a site explaining it:
Both of my parents are still here, living in the same house that I've known all my life! This year will mark my parents 16th wedding anniversary, although they have been together for the last about 28 years (when my dad turned 18!) I love them more than words can express!

I live with my husband Demetri Jr, we just got married in court last year on August 14! We are exactly 24 days apart, with me being the older one! We moved into our own house here for 5 years ago already! So far we don't have any kids, but we have 2 beautiful dogs. A black lab named Tug and a chihuahua named Roscoe! We have 3 cockatiels, 4 bala sharks and 2 silver dollars (fish). My husband and I have been together unofficially since we were 12, officially let everyone know when we were 19! I love, love, love him! Without him I don't know what I would be doing or where I would be right now, he keeps me on my feet and I love spending as much time as I can get with him!! We love traveling to warm places and enjoying new experiences together!!

I currently work for our local corporation, the Akutan Corporation (AC). The AC owns/runs a grocery store and a small "hotel", and rents out 2 different buildings:The Corp Building has the Akutan Traditional Council office located in it and the cafe is leased out to an awesome couple who keep it running as the Akutan Bayview Cafe. We also have a sub-company called the Krenitzen Island Cattle Company, which one days hopes to be working a full cattle ranch - raising, slaughtering and packaging the "wild" cows on the island of Akun, about 7 miles from the village.
I work in the Corp office with the title of Secretary/Bookkeeper. I answer the phones, take care of most of all out going bills, we cash checks for 10%, I have to keep our store stocked by doing mass orders every 2 weeks with the help of the storekeeper. I take reservation for our small 6 room hotel, believe me when I say to book early they fill up pretty fast! Especially with all the work going on trying to get us a runway on the island next to us, Akun island. I work from 10Am-5PM, Monday thru Friday. We get an hour off for lunch where we get to go home and cook, or eat at the cafe! I have been trying to learn more about shareholder information and how to deal with stocks and transferals. My mom is my boss, her title is Corp Manager. I try to learn how to run this office on my own so she knows she has back up when she needs it, especially when traveling! I am getting pretty good at Quickbooks now! We have one of the first credit card machines on the island (the post office had the first one!)! So we take cash, credit and check for payments at the store and hotel! I have been working here since August of 2003 and I love my job, although it can get stressfull - but what doesn't give us challenges once in a while right??! My office is located upstairs above the store (McGlashan Store is the name). I pretty much take care of stocking our office with all the supplies needed to run properly. I never really did think that I would be doing as much as I do, but it doesn't bother me any! Give me more! ;) My office contact number is (907)698-2206

My hubby works miscellaneous jobs for the City, and also does Longshore Man work for the Horizon LLC container shipping company. He has been doing "the barge" -as we all call it- since he turned 18! He is one of the best workers they have working over here, other than Raymond M. who's been there much longer than my hubby has!

Life in the village is pretty simple, nothing really changes. Everyone knows everyone and their business. It doesn't take long for word to spread around here. It can be a good thing, or a bad thing... but it all depends on what it is that's being said! There are boardwalks that connect all the houses and building together, none of that muddy road crap here, unless your walking to Trident Seafoods. Speaking of the cannery, its considered one of the largest bottom fish processing plant in North America! Around peak season they can hold over 2000 workers! They process mostly pollock, cod, halibut, and crab, along with others that I'm not to familiar with.

To travel too and from here we have to fly through Dutch Harbor on an amphibious Grumman Goose run by Peninsula Airways (Pen-Air), a ride that takes about 20 mins from take off to landing! We have one of the biggest runways I've ever seen, if you considered the whole size of our harbor the whole runway!! The goose will land and take off in the waters in our harbor. All flights are weather permitted, most the time its blowing, raining, or visibility isn't great so they don't make flights all that often. We are supposed to get 2 scheduled flights a day! When the airlines gets back up with passengers, we will rarely get any incoming mail due to the fact they the airlines said "Passengers and baggage are more important than moving the mail." So, once they get all the people and their bags moved we will finally get some mail and freight! You get used to it living here.

Let me see here now, let me explain to you what we have in the village:

We have a school here that teaches grades K-12. But they have been suffering the last couple years to have at least 10 kids enrolled. I'm not sure how much longer our school is going to be open. Which scares me because if I plan on having kids, I don't want to have to home school, send my kids away or have to move because no one had any ideas on how to get more kids here. I went to school here and graduated in 2001 with 2 other classmates! One who is my husband now, and one of my very best friends! Our school team is called the Akutan Falcons, and we wore black, white and silver for our school colors. We were pretty much unbeatable during my high school years. It was always so much fun to be able to fly out to another one of the smaller schools in the district to play against each other! With barely any kids in school today, there is no sports program anymore, pretty sad! School's number is (907)698-2216

We have a grocery store here, prices are pretty reasonable prices for a village due to the fact that most groceries get shipped here on a freighter from Seattle, WA. If everything was flown in air freight, you wouldn't even want to know what postage prices would do to the grocery prices! As I said before, I work hard to try to keep that store stocked with everything we need. It's not really my fault when the storekeeper and her stock person doesn't let me know when we are either low on an item or completely out. I'm just lucky I guess that I have to cook every night to eat and I shop and notice what's missing! Plus I like to throw a couple new things in each order just for something different, even though most times my mom doesn't agree with me getting it. I just say "HEY IT SOLD QUICK RIGHT?" LOL. I think it's good to get something different in once and a while! break the routine! Store's number is (907)698-2226

We have a small "watering hole" here in the village. I believe it was built in the late 60's early 70's. My paternal grandmother and grandfather built it and established it as the Akutan Roadhouse. They only serve beer and once and a while some wine cooler. I believe they open from 6PM until 1 AM Monday thru Saturday, closed on Sunday's. Their number is (907)698-2219

The City of Akutan offers check break down and they also sell and supply town with our gas, fuel and electricity needs. We go down and pay for it.. and they will have it delivered :) They city also has weekly garbage pick ups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Recyclables are picked up on Fridays by the Tribal Office. We have a pretty state of the art water filtration system, and a working sewer system established in town. The city also has a multi-purpose building that holds our library, museum, art n crafts and rec center. Hours vary, contact the city for current hours at (907)698-2228

We have a small clinic here that has some pretty awesome stuff in it for being in the village. Some pretty smart technology that they come out with these days. Nice to know that we have that stuff when we need it! For Emergency's call (907)698-2208

We have local law enforcement called a VPSO, Village Public Safety Officer, who works out of the "police dept" building, complete with 2 jail cells!! HA HA..... Call him when needed at (907)698-2315

we also have a small cafe, Akutan's Bayview Cafe (907)698-2260, which is open seasonally. Their hours vary, but right now they open at 9:30 AM and close at 8:30PM Monday thru Saturday, closed Sundays.

The Akutan Traditional Council is our local tribal office. They help by offer town aluminum, plastic and battery recycling. They also help by having a say in what goes on in this town. You can call them for more information at (907)698-2300.

We have a small USPS office located in the same building as my office and the store. They are open from 9AM-5PM Monday thru Friday, 1PM-5PM on Saturdays and closed Sundays. Their phone number is (907)698-2200

Trident has a little store that supplies some food items and "Trident Akutan" souvenirs. They also provide DVD rentals. For their hours please call the office at (907)698-2211 They also have a gym and church which is open to the pubic.

Other than that, we don't have any cars that drive in the village. Our mode of transportation is ATV 4-wheelers or bicycles! Our boardwalks are lit up with street lamps, so it's not just dark our like some places! We used to have a Tsunami building up on the hill, but due to not being taken care of, it rotted and had to be torn down.

So, with this blog I am going to try to document how my days go and what's going on around in the village. Like weather updates, if we got planes or not (I should say if mail comes or not, lol) and what I'm kinda up to in the office. That's if anything is going on at all :P I hope all of the above information gives you an idea of who I am and where I live. I'll try to write everything that goes on. And fill in any missing info that I might have missed. :) All business phone numbers are listed in the phone book. I hope you enjoy my blog.


  1. Wow! Your first post was so informative! Looking forward to hearing more about island life. And don't forget to post pics. Between you and Darryl we should get a better look, 1 from an outsider and 1 from a native citizen.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Very thorough summary of what you do and what it's really like up there. Thank you for all that information. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around how you guys deal with certain things but I'm sure since you grew up there and are "used" to it, it seems easy to you. I'm sure it'd be a shock to the system of someone coming up from the lower 48 here.

  3. great background knowledge thanks for the patience to type all of the information

  4. your blog is great! i feel like i have been there!!
    dr. jim howell and his wife sarah are there right now...jim is a dentist ,hoping to see everyone in the community.....when his suplies arrive. sarah is working teaching about nutrition and diabetic care.
    i hope you will go and meet them, they are awesome young adults.
    you did not mention if there is a church there?
    email me if you want
    a proud mom
    charlotte, n.c
    bebe howell

  5. That was an extremely informative post. You do a fine job of making Akutan sound to be a very interesting place to visit.

    BTW, your paternal Grandmother is my maternal Grandmother (Lilian of Port Orchard). You would have never met me though because I grew up in Ketchikan and then graduated from High School in Kodiak. I don't know too many people in the family from Akutan. Uncle Bob (Pelkey) lives in Ketchikan and I have known him since I was a young teenager, but I haven't been to Ketchikan in 22 years.

    Great work with your blog!

    Byron J. Whitesides

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