My year in Chauthbaluk (then Little Russian Mission) was arguably the best year of my adult life. I built a cabin on banks of the Kuskokuim River, helped with the village government (including getting the name changed), survived being left for dead, made friends who remain the fondest of memories, and anchored my 20 years in the Alaskan Bush.
I learned that I was tougher, more resourceful, and more curious than I would have otherwise ever learned. I also learned that life can be an adventure for those of us lucky enough to have taken the step out of the ordinary and predictable. My VISTA year set the tone and gave the experience necessary to create a very full life.