Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Miss the Internet

So... I apologize for the lack of posting.  The internet in my village is evidently not as reliable as I thought it was.  :)  Oh well...  Currently I'm sitting around all the other new teachers.  It's kind of a great feeling being surrounded by other people going through the same experience.  Plus we all seem to have similar personalities and dry sarcasm.  Isn't it funny how quickly you can become close to people in situations like this?  Some of us are already making plans for when we come up for Christmas.

What has happened in the past week?  It's been quite the experience.   I have gone to a throwing party, a Yupik/English Monrovian church service, a Fiddle Dance, and exploring the marshy lands around my village.   I will try describing each ones as best as I can.

Throwing parties are a Yupik tradition that woman put on for various reasons.  For example, when a child get's their first catch or kill they have a throwing party.   The reason for this throwing party was a 1st birthday.  At throwing parties the women crowd around houses, or in this case a junk car, and the people who are hosting this party begin throwing items to the crowd.  Things like towels, laundry baskets, soap, even underwear were thrown.  It was quite the interesting to see how the women would compete for each object.  It was also terrifying to see huge objects being propelled through the air.  I wasn't in the adventurous mood and just watched on the boardwalk.  On a side note, if you're a male don't go to these.  It's a very feminine practice, so boys and men are usually not present.

The church service was also a highlight of my week.  One of the other new teachers and I made the trek to the Moravian church at 10:45AM.  We heard the bell's ringing and rushed over thinking we might be late.   We opened the doors and were surprised to see only 5 other people.   Including the pastor.  I'm guessing the more popular service is in the evening.  All in all the service was pretty cool, because we heard scripture in Yupik and English and sang old hymns in Yupik.

Finally I attended my first Fiddle Dance.  It reminded me of the kind of dances you went to as a kid in middle school.  Only the entire town was attending.  I actually enjoyed watching all of the people dance to the country rock band singing Johnny Cash songs.  The kids seemed less reluctant to dance than the older people.  But I loved watching the older couples dance as though they were teens again.  It was also neat to see the entire town all congregate together for a fun event.

It's officially 12:05 AM and I have training at 7:00 AM.

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