Week two of my summer was particularly great. I remember feeling a shift from being totally overwhelmed and nearly intimidated into feeling more at ease and confident about my ability to contribute to the company, and the ability to fit in with this quirky, awesome, small town. I was able to work out a bartering system, seeing that I don’t have running water in my cabin yet (still, six weeks in!) with Nelle that if I helped her out with dog-walking during her busy days, she would help me out with a place to shower – and thank god! It can get pretty rough, living so ruggedly with no running water out here.
I remember a specific day from week two, when my boss, Joe Ordoñez took me out bird watching, and showing me around the Haines area. We were with another one of our fantastic guides, Bruce Blake – and Joe was sharing his experience with a particular tour he went out on, in which he guided a famous astronaut that had been to the moon and back. It really struck me, listening to him recall how this astronaut shared with him his mind blowing revelations of interconnectivity as he looked back on Earth from outer space.
I think it’s really great to be working with a small company, committed to contributing to the local community of Haines, and to providing the opportunity for smaller, more personable, and customizable tours for our clients. I’m grateful to have landed here, and not in the corporate world. I think it’s really important to focus our energy into small, local businesses to help stimulate our local economies. I’m so far really impressed with Rainbow Glacier Adventures commitment to doing so, as well.
Halfway through week 2, I attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Klukwan – a native Tlingit village a couple miles up the highway from Haines. The ceremony itself was very moving, involving many speakers, native dancing, and a ceremony honoring the first ground breaking (literally the first time shovel broke dirt) in honor of building the cultural museum the village has dreamed of for over forty years. It was very powerful and moving to be a part of it. On this same day, I woke to find a hummingbird stuck in my mud room (remember how I said my front door had been blown off by insanely strong winds during week 1?) and surprisingly, this tiny, gorgeous hummingbird calmed down enough to let me pick it up in my hands, and help it out the front door back into the wilderness. It was a definitely a tremendous day.
The rest of this week was spent familiarizing myself with the area, the office, my fellow guides and co-workers, and some company training – where I learned how to put out a small fire, and upkeep all of our tour rigs.
This here is a picture of my hummingbird friend who let me help him out of the mud room during week 2.