49 Voices: Andrew Freed of Anchorage

This week we’re hearing from Andrew Freed in Anchorage.  Freed is a UAA student and moved to Alaska 12 years ago from Mississippi.

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Andrew Freed of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media - Anchorage)
Andrew Freed of Anchorage (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

FREED: There was definitely more of a culture shock for me going from Anchorage to Kotzebue than moving from Mississippi up to Anchorage, Alaska.

Well, I’ve been to Kotz once and at sometimes you forget that you’re in America. The way the houses are built are different. You know, it’s not like you can go to this large shopping area here and there.

They’ve been a people for about… ever. But in the past 200 years they just been trying to integrate them in these school systems. And they’re kind of having you know trouble with that versus “Oh. we’re just coming out here, subsistence living, fishing for you know what we eat and what not.”

Anchorage is not what you see on TV when they talk about Alaska. That’s not Anchorage. No. Anchorage is like just another smaller American city.

Up here, everybody knows one another. So it’s just like, okay you know this person. Oh, I can already assume with the help of Facebook that we have four or seven people in common that we know. Just off the bat. So whenever I go somewhere, like oh, I’m going to see somebody I know. It’s not a matter of “if”, it’s just “who”, you know.

I don’t even count the amounts of different cultures up here in the city and in our community. I mean they all for the most part have some form of representation that’s something we can take from each culture and learn from and you know enjoy. And that’s kinda the joy of having a diverse culture like we have here.

There’s definitely something about Alaska in particular Anchorage that’s always going to feel like home. I don’t think I’ll stay here and make this my home base. At least for now. I don’t know what the future holds. But, I’ll definitely be leaving but I think there’s always gonna be a part of me that you know wants to come back here a little bit.