Staff members Prue and Kate, who were great! They are both from Alaska and were very friendly, interested in what we had to say, and knowledgeable about issues. We had a good discussion about several topics and somehow it came up that Senator Begich has a social worker on his staff. Way to go!
We had our graduation dinner and ceremony the last night as we finished up our yearlong fellowship with the Healthy Native Communities Partnership. It was supposed to be semi-formal so here I am in my heels. Note that I also had to wear some trouser socks because my feet were freezing. Ever the fashionista.
With my teammates Donna and Char and our graduation plaques. It's been an interesting year, with lots of new experiences, ups and downs. I am grateful for the learning but glad we are finished.
Poor Donna had to get up at 4:15 in the morning to catch a shuttle to the airport and take a trip to visit her family. I got to sleep in a little bit later but not much. Flew from DC to Minneapolis and Minneapolis to Anchorage--another all day travel session. I was hoping to get on standby and come on home that night but by the time I got my suitcase and walked to Pen Air, the last flight to Unalaska was closed. So I had a relaxing night in Anchorage and went back to the airport in the morning, where I heard that the last flight from the night before had turned around and come back due to weather...so it was a good thing I didn't get on it!
The flight home was routine for the most part; we stopped in King Salmon for fuel and were told it would be bumpy on the approach to land in Unalaska. It really was not bad and I was thinking I had certainly been on more turbulent flights. Just as we were about to touch down on the runway, we got slammed by a huge gust of wind and the plane started pitching from side to side. I honestly thought the right wing was going to hit the runway! I closed my eyes and grabbed the armrest and thought, "We are done!" Next thing I knew, we were screeching to a halt and everything was fine. I really have to hand it to our pilots out here--they are the best! The woman across the aisle and I were comparing our shaking hands and shaking our heads in amazement that we had made it. Neither of us had ever had such a close call. Whew! So glad to be home!