The day of my flight from Juneau to Anchorage, the rain clouds opened up with such force that the plane’s take off was delayed. This was because the Lord knew that I needed to arrive two hours late for my next surprise.
As I came out of the gangway into the gate area in Anchorage, out of the next walkway came Harry, my fellow runner from high school! And long with him was Henry, another fellow from our hometown.
“What are you doing here!” we both said, and then laughed, shaking hands and hugging each other.
“We’re on our way to Vietnam,” said Harry. “Come on, let’s sit down and catch up on things.”
In God’s grace the BIA person who was to pick me up was half an hour late, so Harry, Henry and I had a great time together. We all felt a lot better after that nice touch with home. Another wonderful God sighting.
I was taken to the BIA headquarters where news of the “hippy teacher” had preceded me. First I had an interview with the BIA director.
“You will have to shave your beard, and you will be required to wear a tie while teaching,” he told me. I was amazed; out here on the frontier, on an island 40 miles off the coast of Siberia, at the end of the world I had to wear a tie to work! Well, if that’s what it took, I could manage it.
“By the way,” said the director, “We got the results of your national teacher’s exam. You got a high enough score so you will be starting two pay scales above a first year teacher.” I was now amazed for a second time! No objections here! Another Jesus sighting!
Then came two tasks beyond anything I’d ever had to do. First I had to buy all the utensils needed for my new kitchen! Fortunately I got some help with that from some of the BIA staff who had a much better idea than I did of what was needed.
Then I had to order all my food for the next 9 months! That was even harder. How could I guess what I would need?
I ordered a lot of cereal, canned foods, crackers and hotdogs. I could only guess if this was going to be sufficient and hoped I’d gotten enough. Later I found that I could order more in on the sometimes weekly flight to my village.
One last thing was to send in my application to Word Book Club, now that I knew my mailing address on the Island: Savoonga, St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Not very complicated.
We packed up all my purchases, and took them along with the orange box from my motorcycle, my faithful sleeping bag and my two rifles to the airport. I flew off to Nome where the BIA worker put me on a little two engine plane to St. Lawrence Island.