This week has been eventful, after an amazing weekend with Allison Warden as guest in my home.  She came to Juneau to perform for the Women of Distinction.  She was a big hit and so were all the Distinct Women; amazing women with big hearts leaving trails of healing and rejuvenation in their paths.  I have the honor of serving on the AWARE board and have learned a great deal about the wonderful women in this community and state and the strength they have and share.

The beginning of the week was busy with a few meetings and brainstorming sessions.  It’s frustrating sometimes to begin great discussion only have to end it when solutions start to bubble to the surface due to time constraints.  A 90-day session I starting to find is debilitating, obviously workable and doable, but perhaps not ideal.  John Lamont, from the Lower Yukon School district, met with us and we made to time to discuss education, environment, suicide, alcohol, psychology, transportation and many topics that are needed to create a successful learning environment.  It was fascinating; we were all on fire for education and rural Alaska. It is so great to be surrounded by such like-minded people.  This is the first time I have felt like I belonged, that I fit in.  I have always lived in two worlds, never feeling like I belonged in either one.  My two worlds are now merging and I finally feel at home.

On a lighter note Senator Mark Begich came to Juneau and met with staff talking about his tow bill priorities: ANWAR and By-Pass mail.  Ella and I decided it was a pretty unique situation for two young women from Kotlik to both work at the capitol during the same session, so we gave him the honor of getting his picture taken with us.

This week the senator went to DC to honor Don Young for the mountain of legislation he has pushed through on behalf of indigenous people.  He came back from that trip after an all-night flight and got up and made is lunch.  What a treat, for your boss to serve you.  It just doesn’t happen very often.

One of the Senator’s bills was heard in Senate Judiciary this week and I went and watched.  I was frustrated how I waiver, when good points are made in opposition.  Trying to learn to take a stand and stick with it, but still stay open-minded when the opposition really has a valid point.  There was not a quorum at the committee meeting, because of energy break.  There is a conference in DC regarding energy that a number of legislators attend, and while they are gone, other legislators go home and hold meetings.  While others still, take the well-deserved rest, to get ready for longer work days, sometimes lasting into the night.

Ella is taking the time to go home to Kotlik, I’m envious.  I’d love to go and bring my children.  I get anxious spending that kind of money, but some days I think I should just do it and adjust the budget later.  What are your thoughts?

The Senator wrote a letter to Governor Parnell regarding the percentage of non-resident hire on the north slope and many industries across the state, I think by the time he signed, four lines of my original letter remained.  I understand this process well, and I’ve see it in many offices.  It’s always rewarding when a letter goes through untouched.

The other items I worked on this week were drafting memoriams and citations.  I am amazed at the accomplishments of so many people in this state, let alone the Senator’s district.  It’s inspiring to read about their lives and loved ones and the imprint they have left behind.

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