Friday, November 13, 2009
November 17th is the day I will leave Ketchikan, Alaska forever. I never imagined that I would be living on an island in Alaska, much less staying for nearly 2 years. Growing in an economically-depressed, mid-city, black city such as Flint, MI, I had never experienced a world as naturally rich and liberating as Alaska.
When I joined AmeriCorps in January 2008 to serve as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), I thought that I would see raucous bears and amble deer, but I never imagined that I would be pulling salmon out of a creek, blowing cans up with a pump action shotgun, split wood with an axe, camping in the middle of nowhere and cutting wood with a chainsaw. I knew that I would have to adapt to live in Alaska, but I didn't realize that this land would become such a big part of who I am.
Before I stepped foot on this island, I never wanted to be photographed, now I'm broadcasting myself across the world on the Internet. I used to sit in my house for hours, now I talk to complete strangers as if they were old high school buddies. In Flint, I had never fired a gun, now I own a Mossberg 500 and a Glock 21.
So although, I will leave Ketchikan, Alaska, I will make sure that I remember to bring a little piece of it with me.