P.O. Box 19
Nelson Lagoon, Alaska 99571
December 10, 2001
Hello, everyone. My name is Rebecca Concilus. My husband and I are the teachers here
at Nelson Lagoon School in Alaska. My students and I were all very happy to participate
in this exchange with your school.
My students and I have put together a package that hopefully tells you a little bit
about Alaska and where we live. I wish there was a way to send you some snow. Right
now, it is cold, windy and snowy here in Nelson Lagoon. Of course, it doesn't get
as cold and we don't get as much snow as other parts of Alaska, but it does get very
windy here. The wind can get up to 100 miles per hour sometimes.
Nelson Lagoon is a small village in the Alaska Peninsula with a population of about
80 people. Most of the people in our village belong to a group of Native Americans
called Aleuts. They do no longer speak the Aleut language, or eat the traditional
Aleut foods very much here, which is sad. People in the village do eat moose and
caribou, which they hunt. The main industry here is fishing for salmon and almost
every family has a fishing boat.
We have to order all our food and supplies from somewhere else. We don have a store
in the village, but it usually doesn't have very much to sell because of the sea
ice and bad weather. So, people usually order most of their groceries and supplies
for the year in the summer. We can also get supplies and mail brought in by small
airplane about twice a week, but this is very expensive. The scheduled plane gets
cancelled regularly because of bad weather.
To get anywhere from Nelson Lagoon, we have to fly in small airplanes. These are
single engine, four or six seat planes. Anchorage, which is the closest city, is
about 700 miles away. To get there, we have to fly 100 miles to Cold Bay, the nearest
town. From there, we take a slightly bigger, 10-seat propeller plane for 2 1/2 hours
We see many kinds of whales from the beach here usually starting in April or May
and they stay until the end of September. Most are grey whales that go past us on
their way north, but some hang around here.
I have labeled the bags and your school may keep most of the items that we have sent.
We also sent some candy for your. We don't have any Alaskan candy, but we hope you
enjoy them anyway.
We are looking forward to learning about your town and your school. If any of your
students would like to correspond by email or letters, let us know. You can also
visit our website on the Internet to learn more about us. We have a webcam in our
classroom that will show you a live view of our classroom.
P.S. You can read this letter
in Spanish, too.