Some Visiting Workers Find Opportunity, Others Tedium


Maggie Wall/KMXT

Summer in Kodiak can be a mixed bag when you are a stranger in town. The lure of money or adventure can be enticing to young people in faraway lands.

KMXT’s Maggie Wall chatted with a few visitors who came to work in the processing plants this summer.

(Foreign Workers 3:51 SOC)

Some come for money, some for adventure. And some have a great stay, while others are disappointed. I spoke with several summer visitors who were hanging out at the library recently. The library-and its Internet connection to home-holds a vital spot on a world traveler’s agenda.

Mohamed is an engineering student in Turkey. He came to Kodiak with a couple of friends who were planning their exit after a boring couple of months of hanging out because they couldn’t find jobs when they got here:

-((Come back to Turkey :21 "I’m studying…come back to Turkey."

After a bit more chatting, I learn that Mohamed and his two traveling companions came to Alaska earlier in the summer, fished in Naknek and then came to Kodiak. The plan was to take what they earned and hit the road-or the skies-and travel to other parts of the country before heading back to Turkey and back to engineering school.

That dream fell flat when they arrived too late to get in at local processors during this less than stellar year in fishing.

-((Naknek :47 "We came here..go back Turkey."))

Another visitor had better luck. Victor is not a student, he’s 29 years old and has been in the U.S. several years. Most recently he was working in Ohio:

-((From Ohio :27 "I’m from Albania…waiting for be busy."))

Victor was a cook for his three years in Ohio, but the economy is not good there so he and his cousin took some friend’s advice:

-((First time :16 "Actually it was…so we go…Anchorage, Kodiak."

Unlike the guys from Turkey, Victor and his cousin got work early in the summer and were able to settle in. Despite talk of high rents in Kodiak, Victor is thinking he got a good deal.

-(($800 for rental :13 "I rented one…$800."))

Unlike the young Turkish students who were planning a speedy exit, Victor is thinking Kodiak has some long-term potential:

-((Might stay :10 "Are you going…we’ll see."))

I’m Maggie Wall.


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