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alaskan coffeehouse performance

Danielle Bastien, Area Director for Alaska, shares about the most recent Alaska JV retreat, highlighting a performance during the traditional “coffeehouse” segment of retreat.

The Bethel Community Sings to their Fellow Alaskan JVs

Over the February 9th – 13th weekend, JVs throughout the Northwest gathered for their winter retreats focusing on the topic of social justice. In each region they shared stories from their service placements, delved into the meaning of oppression and how to interrupt it, considered how their faith is connected to service, and brainstormed strengths-based ideas to move forward. While examining systems of oppression is never easy, JVs have the blessing of a retreat space in which to do so while being supported by their peers.

Along with all of the reflection and discussion, there’s always room for fun. During this retreat, JVs participated in a coffeehouse/open mic night. To start off the festivities, each community performed a skit or song about their community and locale. Then many individuals and groups performed skills and talents they had learned or developed throughout the year – poetry, guitar, etc. During this time, the Bethel JV community shared this song adaptation, sung to the tune of “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show:

Headin’ up North to the land of the ice

Makin’ my way up to state 49

Starin’ at the snow and swear to God I see moose tracks.

Goin’ out West where the salmon swim

Gonna settle on the shores of the Kuskokwim

And I’m hopin’ for Bethel I can see my honey tonight

 

Chorus: So rock me Bethel on your snow machine

Rock me Bethel like a dogsled team

Hey, Bethel rock me.

Rock me Sitka like a bush plane flight

Rock me Anchorage in your bright city lights

Hey, Juneau rock me.

 

Well we come from New York, we come from New England

From the left coast shores where we’re California dreamin’

My honey tends the wood stove, I pick the guitar now.

The Arctic winter ain’t gettin’ me blue

Saw the Northern Lights and ate a caribou

But I ain’t goin’ back to livin’ that old life no more.

 

Chorus: So rock me Bethel on your snow machine

Rock me Bethel like a dogsled team

Hey, Bethel rock me.

Rock me Sitka like a bush plane flight

Rock me Anchorage in your bright city lights

Hey, Juneau rock me.

 

Runnin’ to the Southeast down to Juneau

I caught a JV outta Sitka had a nice long tea

But she’s headed back up the Turnigan Arm,

To Anchorage city, oh baby.

Winds are 30 miles an hour ‘n it’s fifty below

Lost my honey on the Tundra in the blowin’ snow

 

Chorus: So rock me Bethel on your snow machine

Rock me Bethel like a dogsled team

Hey, Bethel rock me.

Rock me Sitka like a bush plane flight

Rock me Anchorage in your bright city lights

Hey, Juneau rock me.

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Zayna Abusada

(She/her/hers)
JVC Northwest Recruiter

Zayna Abusada (Ashland, MT ’17-18, Anchorage, AK ’18-19) was most recently a JV in south-central Alaska serving with immigrant and refugee English-Language learners as the Academy for Citizenship and Civics Support Specialist with the Alaska Literacy Program (ALP) in Anchorage. Zayna first served with Indigenous students on the Northern Cheyenne and Crow Reservations. Originally from Iowa City, Iowa, Zayna went on to earn her undergraduate degree in History and Theological Studies with a minor in Middle Eastern Studies at Saint Louis University.