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Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 6:34 am
by Fabbecky
So I am likely just hours away from signing a contract with a bush district and SO excited. But I am hoping to get some insight into the logistics of moving from NV to one of the Bush Districts. With my family. And my dogs, and my cats...

So possessions, quite frankly besides a some personal things and mementos from my mother (who just passed this winter) I am okay with selling most of my things and shipping what I need. My husband and children have slightly more things that need to be shipped.

I am not sure if I have a real question right now, more of a wanting to speak to someone who has made the move successfully and is happy :)

Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:13 am
by Bushteachers
You will need to determine what bush airline will provide service for your village with the pets. Also keep in mind that each carrier will cost you an extra $75ish to get to your place and from your place. Make sure you don't make travel plans without a couple of days in Anchorage for vet certificates. Doubt there will be a vet in the village.

As far as shipping stuff, minimize. It costs a lot of money to mail stuff (about $3/lb), and I'd weigh the cost to mail vs replace new via amazon.
Cats are rare in the villages. At least in the ones I've been in. Dogs are viewed differently (be prepared for that).

Take what makes you happy and congratulations on the job.
May we ask where?

Feel free to contact us via message or email. We've made two bush moves, and I feel that we have a decent understanding of what you should expect.
Do you have childcare lined up? Or are the kids school aged?

Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 10:22 am
by Fabbecky
My boys are 6 and 8 and will be in 2nd and 3rd grade next year, so childcare is not a problem. Plus my husband is disabled and a stay at home dad.

I have an offer for Akiak, waiting to see if I will get one for Togiak or Twin Hills. There really are few things I personally will want to take. The rest of my family will be a different story. I some high quality and very expensive kitchen equipment I would like to take, but I could sell and replace if I needed to. Some clothes - although not many. Most of the stuff I have in Vegas will not be coming with me, but will be donated and we will order new and necessary items online. I am planning to get the dogs checks up before we go, and will now plan for a stop in Anchorage for final paperwork on them. Are cats a problem? Or just not usual. I have 2, one a recently adopted foster, and one a 10 yr old companion that I don't know if I could re-home. The younger newer cat... I have some family that might adopt her, but I would really prefer to bring her if I could.

Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2016 4:26 pm
by Bushteachers
You won't need to have them checked out in anchorage on your way to the village. But if you fly down south at Christmas time or summer time you will need to get them to a vet.

Cats aren't common. All the kids will want to see them.

Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:43 am
by marymatt718
Hey Fabbecky!

I am SOOOO annoyed with our slo-mo (district) admin right now, but I hope you enjoy Akiak. If you email me at dmatthews I can send you the information packet I send out to all the newbies for Togiak. It has a lot of Togiak-specific stuff, but a lot more general, movin-to-the-bush stuff too.
As for your pets, check to see how many animals your housing will allow. Ours only allows up to 3, so you may need to find a home for your new cat with family.

And yes, a cat is a novelty in the bush, so the kids will all want to see her/him and they can be non-too-gentle. You cat will freak, so keep its existence on the down-low and keep it inside.

The way pets are treated out here is heart-rending. Puppies are often used as living stuffed animals and rarely survive the treatment. I also have villagers ask if they can mate their dogs with my boys, but I always refuse...there is no way I would want to be responsible for producing puppies in this environment nor am I wiling to leave their DNA behind in this kind of village-pet environment. If I remember right from another post of yours, you also have large dogs, so be prepared for the novelty of that as well. Even after 3 years of saying NO, I keep having kids ask to ride my dogs and, sometimes, even trying to get on them when my back is turned (yeah, they are nearly the size of small ponies). We go outside, and suddenly there is the cry of "BIG DOGS!" and 6-10 children come running. Fortunately Fred and George are used to it now, but it was a little freaky for them at first.

Do not tie your dogs outside, and do not walk them off-leash. If you want to let them explore a bit, get the leash by Flexi (buy the brand name; the others are crap, as I have found from personal experience) that expands to 26 feet. I have one of those for each of my boys. I also bought light-up collars so I can see who is doing what, where, when the days get short and I'm letting them explore to the end of the leash...also keeps the snow-machines and ATVs from running us over in the dark. The brand I have had the best experience with in glowing collars is Go-Doggie-Glow. (Thank you Amazon!) The collars are rechargeable, which is nice since batteries are so frickin' expensive out here. Our Sunday ritual is to charge collars while I grade papers and write lesson plans.

Good luck in Akiak, and I'm sorry Togiak dropped the ball. (Grrrrrrrr! :x )


Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:50 am
by Fabbecky
Your information has been SO helpful! Akiak allows 3 pets too, but one of the dogs is an emotional support animal for my son, so it doesn't count as a pet. 1 cat needs a new home...

I will be getting both the collars and leashes you recommend, and would LOVE to see your welcome package, I'll email you shortly (my email is )

I'm a little sad too as Twin Hills and Togiak were positions I really wanted :(

Re: Who has made the move - with a family to the Bush?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:23 pm
by Adrianna
I have never taught in the bush. But I'm a born and raised Alaskan who has lived in the bush. I have had cats in the bush. Make sure as suggested keep your cats on the quiet. They will want to hold and cuddle your cats and squish them. As suggested be prepared and keep well stocked in cat food and cat litter and bottled water for your cats especially at first to let the cats get used to the new water. Cats should never ever be allowed out even if they are used to be outside. Because in the bush that is not good. Take extra collars for the cats and plan for cat in kennel or back room if company is over. Cats are awesome I have cats and dogs too. But just be prepared and as mentioned do not tie your dogs outside your house EVER!!. Be prepared for how Dogs and animals are treated in the bush it can be heartbreaking. The mortality rate of puppies is not good. I'm not bashing the bush or native people. But it is reality. Be prepared and understand this is their land and their customs and your a visitor and in some villigas a gusak that's the Inupiat word for white person. This is their reality and their life. That's so important to remember at villiages!! I love Bush life but its a reality check!! Also if your a picky eater, have allergies prepare plan ahead, also time to think ahead, I have a card maker and I also buy lots of cards like birthday cards and wedding cards etc. In the fall I buy Halloween, thanksgiving and Christmas cards and items ahead of time. Plan your meals with two weeks at least of extra food. Buy some packaged food as storage. I love Chai tea so I plan ahead for it. I don't drink Coffee ever but I have kept in the house both regular and decaf for visitors. Also hot choclate, spiced cider and teas. I'm not saying one has to do that but its planning ahead. I also buy little gifts like 1 to 2 dollar gifts for friends. In school cases for collegues you don't know yet, their birthday parties, potlatches, celebrations etc. Think ahead plan ahead just keep planning ahead. think you need 4 pair of socks take 6 pair just in case. Think you need 2 cases of spegutti try 3 cases, try powdered eggs ahead of time, try boxed or powdered milk ahead of time. But also a good will guesture is to get a few things at the villiage store, this is how you make friends with people and stay on the good side of the villiage post office and the airlines. These are small villiages that's reality!!. Be prepared for stares and again this is their land, their culture, etc. Sorry super blunt here. I'm in Alaska but not in the bush right now. But planning on attending UAF to get my degree in Elementry education. Already looking at school districts as I'm a JR in college so already looking and scouting and learning. I want to teach in the bush. Good luck all.