A number of readers continue to contact me asking for updates in regards to Feyma and Aaron‘s work in Alaska. The readers want to know how they are doing there, what kind of work they are doing and such. I had promised to update this topic from time to time, so here is another installment.
Feyma and Aaron arrived in Naknek, Alaska on June 24 and are working at Red Salmon Cannery there.
Upon arrival, Feyma and Aaron both had plenty of work, 16 hour days, so they kept very busy. After these 16 hour days went on for 4 days or so, the work dried up for a few days. The early work was because of some fish that were sent by another company to the Red Salmon cannery for processing. At that time, the Salmon Season had not yet begun on Bristol Bay, where the Red Salmon cannery is located. So, after the overflow work from another company had been completed, it took a few “off” days before the salmon season got rolling for the cannery where Feyma and Aaron are working.
However, once the fish started rolling in at Red Salmon, things got real busy again. It is routine now that Feyma and Aaron work 16 hour days. Every now and then they will work only a single 8 hour shift, but it is far more common that they get a double shift. That means two things, one is good and the other bad:
- It is good that the overtime keeps stacking up, because they get time and a half pay for all hours over 8 hours in a single day.
- It is bad that after working 16 hours they are very tired and their bodies are sore!
Overall, though, they are happy if they get 16 hours each day. Even if it is tiring, as Feyma says, they went there to work and earn money, and the more work they get, the more money they earn, so that makes them both happy.
When they first started experiencing the long grueling hours, both Feyma and Aaron seemed that they would not want to do this type of work again in the future. However, it did not take very long that they adjusted to the long hours, and now both of them are already making plans to go back and do this again next year.
For Aaron, this is his first time to get a job. He is 20 years old. He has worked for me in the past, but working for your Dad is much different from going out and working for a company that is not owned by a relative, especially a parent. He seems to be taking to the work very well. His team leaders that he works under seem to like him a lot, in fact he is sort of a favorite employee there. In most cases if there are special jobs that need to be done, Aaron seems to be the go-to guy for that, even though he is new and still learning the ropes. He has been approached and asked if he would be interested in being a forklift driver next year, which has much higher pay. He is interested in doing that, he will just need to learn how to operate a forklift, but he has expressed interest in getting that training.
Like Aaron, Feyma is also often called upon by her team leader to do extra jobs, because she has shown that she can be relied upon. She often even gets a little extra work time beyond the 16 hour days, because most days that call upon her to stay over for the cleanup duties, only a few of the employees get that. Feyma says that her leaders like her because she never complains about the work that is assigned to her, she just does it, and does it right. She says that a lot of the people working spend most of their time complaining about the work. Because of her attitude she is well liked.
Usually, Feyma and Aaron don’t get to see much of each other, because they are assigned in different parts of the plant. From time to time they get to work in the same area, but not often.
Jared is working now too
Our youngest son, Jared, also went to the States in May with Feyma. Jared is only 17, so he is too young to work in Alaska with Feyma and Aaron,t hey only hire people 18 years old and up. He does intend to go up there and work next year, though.
After spending about a month with his grandmother in Vancouver, Washington, Jared traveled to Memphis,Tennessee to stay with some family friends during the months while Feyma and Aaron are in Alaska. Jared seems to be liking Memphis very much, and staying busy.
Jared really wanted to find a job and learn about working there in the USA. He applied at several places, but he has been hired at McDonald’s now. The branch where he is working is quite close tot he place where he is living, and he can either walk to work or ride his bike. He is just starting his job, and I don’t really have any updates on his work yet, but soon!
Jared is a really entrepreneurial guy, like me, and he is basically using his wages to invest into other business ventures there. Mostly, he is buying things that are not readily available here, and will be selling those items to his Davao friends when he returns, at a profit, of course.
Additionally, Jared has become somewhat of a fitness guru there. When he is not working, he spends most of his time working out in the home gym in the house of the people who are hosting him there.
What about Bob?
Things are certainly different for me here in the house. With Feyma, Aaron, and Jared all being away, it is pretty quiet here!
Our oldest son, Chris, is still here with me, as are our two daughters, Jean and Nicole. Our niece, Bebe is also living here in the house.
I am keeping busy with plenty of work, different projects with my websites and such. I do miss my wife and two sons though. I have been doing a bit of traveling, have made two trips to General Santos City in the time Feyma has been gone. I also like to go out for coffee and chat with friends, I’ve been doing more of that sort of thing than normal lately.
Overall, everything is going well for me, other than the fact that I miss Feyma and the boys, though.
It is often difficult to communicate with Feyma and Aaron. Where they are in Alaska is rather remote, and Internet is very slow and does not always work. Recently I went about 4 days without being able to contact either of them, but yesterday I was able to talk to both Feyma and Aaron, and they are doing fine. In addition to the Internet being spotty, cellphone communications are not much better, if better at all.
So, there you have it. That is what is going on with Feyma and Aaron, and I threw in Jared and myself this time too.
Good luck to all of the Stateside Martin’s! I hope things continue to go well for them.