Arrived at the tiny airport in Fairbanks at midnight following a LONG day of travelling to get here. Left home at 05:30am (Spanish time), and had to catch four planes, which took me from Mallorca to Madrid, from Madrid to Atlanta, and on via Seattle, till I finally arrived in Alaska... It took me almost 30 hours to get from Mallorca to Fairbanks, due to the time change and the distance (practially the other side of the world!), which made it feel like the day was never-ending! I met two friendly American guys on the Transatlantic flight, who kept me entertained for part of the flight, giving me tips of what to do, where to eat, and what not to say whilst in the States! (By the way, immigration and customs was the easiest thing ever, to my surprise!)
Mark, a graduate student from the Outdoor Adventures team at UAF (more about that in a mo), met me at the airport and drove me back to the uni campus, to check me into the 'Early arrivals' student hall, where I spent my first night. As you can imagine, the moment my head hit the pillow, I was out like a light!
The reason I flew out here early (Orientation doesn't start till Aug. 28th) is because I heard about a 'Wilderness Welcome' (!) trip arranged by an organisation at the uni known as Outdoor Adventures, who offer trips, excursions, hikes... (in other words, any type of outdoor activity) to students during term-time. Anyway, they had organised a 6-day trip, including 3 days hiking and 3 days canoeing, for new students, which I heard about, and signed up for immediately! To my disappointment, I later on heard that I was actually the only one who did sign up (quite funny really! And I'd gone and bought myself some brand new hiking boots!!), so they had to cancel it, and told me they'd try to arrange an altenative trip(s) instead. I didn't hear back from them till the night before I was due to fly out here, when they told me they'd be able to take me and this other Danish exchange student (who'd signed up later on) on a staff training trip, and they expected to see me in their office at 10am the next morning, to go through their plans and leave for the mountains to start the hike at noon! AAH! They could have at least given me the morning to try to get over the jet lag, I though at the time... As I later discovered, this trip was to be the best cure to jet lag imaginable!