49 Voices: Sierra Anderson of Nome

Sierra Anderson of Nome (Photo by Wesley Early, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage)

This week we’re hearing from Sierra Anderson from Nome. Anderson is a junior in high school who hopes to study architecture after graduating.

Listen now

ANDERSON: It looks like a lot of fun to like design your own house that no one’s ever thought of before — just like build your own stuff.

I thin it started when we built our own cabin out at at Nome. I’d kinda just sit there looking at my dad and my uncle cutting out the boards and putting it all together. It just seemed really cool to me. It’s like a huge puzzle, and when it comes out in the end it’s your own house or your own cabin.

I have been outside the state twice: once in D.C. for a school trip and another time in Florida to see family. Their structure of building is a lot thinner in the Lower 48, because it’s hotter, but in Alaska we have to do outside wall, insulation, inside wall, so it’s a lot thicker walls up in Alaska. And smaller too, to conserve the heat. But down in D.C., there’a all these big, open buildings.

When we went down to Washington D.C, there was a group of people who thought we had polar bears as pets, igloos as houses and stuff… We have an actual house. We have actual cars. We don’t always use dog sleds.

So after work, after my parents’ work, we’d probably go out and berry pick. But one time we went on a berry picking trip and came back with a moose, so it’s kinda just like whatever happens, happens. We went out for salmon berries and came back with a moose, which is… it was funny.

We can drive out and there’s a bridge we can go bridge-jumping off of. We can go and ride four-wheelers on the beach. In the winter, we can ride snowmachines and sled down the hill. So it’s kinda like, we’re isolated but we have a lot of activities ’cause we got used to it and we just use our surroundings, so it doesn’t feel so isolated.

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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