August 22, 2013

Newtok.. from our eyes

We have been in Newtok two weeks and one day now.
I can't believe we have been here that long.. the days are just flying by.

Although Newtok was definitely an adjustment (it still is),
this village is definitely treating us right.  
Every native has been super friendly and welcoming, all the students have been energetic and outgoing (maybe a little too much!), and all the other teachers have welcomed us with open arms. 
We are definitely feeling "at home" here.

School is in full swing now.  One of my earlier blogs shows my classroom and the gym of the school.  Joshua has kept busy everyday.  This week was nice because he came in three days to sub for computer class for the elementary grades.  They all love him.

Joshua actually shaved his beard because he had an interview with Bethel Police Department earlier this week.  We buzzed his hair and he shaved his whole beard off... kids actually did not even recognize him when we walked into school the next day... they thought he was some other random gusek (white person in Yupik).  

But like I said, Newtok has been great and it really has been an eye-opening experience for us.  It really makes us realize what we can live without and what is really important in life!

So without further ado, Newtok from our eyes:

This is the front of the school.  Like I had mentioned before, this is where Joshua and I spend most of our time for laundry, showers, and internet (since we don't have it at our house).
The main boardwalk.. This runs right in front of the school and can take you across the entire village!

The post office

This used to be the school for Newtok.  If it looks small in the picture, you should see it in person!

Newtok's streets!

This is the water pump for the town.  The teachers and staff get water from the school, but the rest of the village gets their water here.  Usually they ride on their four wheelers with their water carriers to fill it up faster/easier!

Newtok's Health Clinic.

I am not for sure, but I was told by one of my students that this is Newtok's police headquarters.  If this is the building, this structure also sounds the siren at night for curfew.

You can see a typical steam house in this picture.  I am told that it can get up to 300 degrees in one of these puppies.  If you are to take a steam, it is called a maqi in Yupik.

Especially this time of year, moose antlers are everywhere! Josh is aching to go!

This is looking out on Newtok's airstrip.  It is a 5 minute walk to get up there from our house.

 Make sure you say it correctly - these are snow machines. If you talk to Joshua, everyone has them... except for us!

There are two stores in Newtok.  This is the bigger one - The Corporation.  Newtok is definitely more expensive. 
Examples: A jar of mixed nuts- $30.  A 32 oz Gatorade - $5.  A package of string cheese - $15.  But good news.. the other day there was actually bread and for only $3!

 This is the second store - Tom's.  It basically has the same stuff as The Corporation.

This is the only church in Newtok - most of them are Catholic.  This church is not open every Sunday.

Walking around Newtok, you will notice two things: 1) there are so many dogs and 2) clothes will always be hanging to dry.  These clothes hanging are called a kuspuk.  They are worn by men and women - usually men wear them for ceremonies only where most of my female students will wear them everyday.  Here is another picture of one to show it a little better:
I am hoping to find a family to make me one!

And I know I cannot forget to mention this place.  This is the community hall where they play Bingo six nights a week! 

So if Joshua and I decide to take an evening stroll, which we did today after school, these building/sights are what we see! I hope you enjoyed seeing Newtok through our eyes!


  1. I looks like to you will need to learn how to play bingo and basketball the two biggest entertainments in town. Plus, you should think seriously about a snow machine unless you get a bunch of dogs and like yelling mush. Just kidding. Jim Pfeister

  2. Hey, glad you are enjoying Newtok :)