June 28, 2013

Home Sweet Alaskan Home

I'm sure most of you had only ever heard about Newtok, Alaska from our Facebook pages or from word of mouth... probably also thinking that we are the craziest people ever! So I figured I would make this post all about Newtok, Alaska!
As soon as Josh and I met, we knew we wanted to live in Alaska.  And as soon as we got engaged, we knew it had to be our first year of marriage.  (How cool is it that we have to totally depend on one another, and have no outside influence whatsoever.. esp. family.. considering everyone we know lives 4,000 miles away!)
So how exactly do we get up there was our first question.  Answer: teaching fair.  As soon as we heard there would be an Alaskan school district at the teachers fair held at EIU, we made plans to go.  Pretty sure Josh skipped class that day and I missed one day of student teaching... paid off though, right?!
I remember not knowing anything about this school district - the Lower Kuskokwim School District... shoot, I did not even know how to pronounce it.  And having the man describe this kind of lifestyle as "primitive" and "hunting and gathering" scared me to death. Though Josh was all for it as soon as he heard the word "hunt".
This teachers fair was in February.  By late March/early April, I hadn't heard from them.  It was less than two months till our wedding, and we had no plan on what we were going to do after - may have had a few small panic attacks during this time.  I decided to take action and email the guy, Mike, from the fair and ask him if he had heard anything.  He contacted me the next day, along with the HR person, offering Newtok as a possible choice.
After we heard the name Newtok, my curious husband - then fiancĂ© - decided to do some research about this village.  It is here that we read - "NO RUNNING WATER".  Excuse me?!
After this search, the principal calls me.  He thought it would be best to talk to two or three teachers and have them describe the lifestyle of Newtok and what we would be facing.
I am really not sure how our brains shifted to accepting Newtok as it is - even though the lifestyle is completely different than what we expected to find.  When we mentioned Alaska, I figured Anchorage or Sitka - places tourists visit.  Anywhere that could be as close to home as possible - just a few miles away. I guess the teachers we talked to were pretty convincing, because within a week of that.. BOOM.. I accepted the job and the future Hall's would be moving to Alaska!
So without further ado...

Newtok, Alaska.  Our school district - LKSD - is the size of Ohio!

An aerial shot view of Newtok, Alaska.  The big building in the middle is the school.

Newtok's post office
Newtok's school - Ayaprun School - K-12
In Newtok, there are no roads - there are boardwalks.
I have to keep it suspenseful! Those are just a few pictures from Newtok, Alaska.  I don't want to give it all away before we arrive August 7th - Then you will see the village through our eyes!
But Joshua and I are in the middle of organizing and packing tubs/totes to send to Newtok this weekend and next, so they will be there when we arrive. Crazy we have to send them up 5 weeks beforehand! So there will be a blog here shortly about our packing and some good news we received about our time up in Newtok! Stay tuned, but thanks for viewing our...
Home Sweet Alaskan Home!

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible adventure! So excited for you two!