I appreciate my Air Force upbringing for lots of reasons but also because it prepared me well for all the comings and goings in my life. I've said before that living here reminds me of being a military kid because Unalaska can be such a transient community. Of course, there are people who have lived here for years and years, but there's also a pretty large group of individuals who stay for a few years and then move on. I can't even keep track of all the people I've met over the past 8 years who are no longer here! Today brought another goodbye when my friend Donna left after about four years on the island. Some of us had a little farewell gathering last night with dinner and fun at Amelia's. Above, Kelly, Becky and Donna.
Donna and Kris-Ann
I first met Donna when she came to town to work as a Behavioral Health Clinician at the IFHS Clinic. I was still working in the same sort of position at the Oonalaska Wellness Center. We coordinated services and shared the on-call responsibilities with the other clinicians in town and got to know each other over lunches and phone calls and meetings. Eventually, she came to work with us at OWC but soon after that, I left for the TV/radio station. Still, we kept in touch, participated in many of the same activities in town, and hung out when we could. We traveled and worked together for the year-long Healthy Native Communities Fellowship, where we bonded further over many funny, irritating, and overwhelming experiences. Thank goodness she was there or I probably would have quit. :)
Here we are at the airport, delayed, of course!
I was complaining about my double chin in the previous photo, which brought on lots of laughing and silly posing.
Donna is heading to Ninilchik, where she will start a new Behavioral Health Program. I know she will do a fabulous job! She'll be living a couple of hours from Anchorage so we will be able to see her if we have more than an overnight there. Our friends Anne and Jeanette have just returned to Anchorage, and our friend Paul is there, too. So it will be like old home week next time we go "to town."
Safe travels, Donna! We'll miss you but will see you again!