18 August 2006

Two Weeks On...

This is me, fifteen days ago, standing amidst what was left of the Hooper Bay School. I'm wearing my Nome Ambulance Department jacket (that got me to Hooper Bay) and my KNOM hat (what I did while I was there).I haven't been back since - travel is difficult between the Bering Strait region and the Delta - but I post this picture because I've been impressed at what I've been hearing. The site is largely cleaned up, housing is on the way, the Red Cross has raised enough money, the school has figured out what it's going to do until the new school is ready, and so on.

When I first heard about the fire, almost the first thing out of my mouth was, "This is how the bush dies." What I meant was that if villages keep having devastating fires, pretty soon urban Alaskans are going to get tired of paying the bills. Fortunately, I was completely and utterly wrong.

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