Where I’m From: Kwigillingok, AK – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;
Although it seems like an easy assignment, this was probably the most complicating one for me. I struggle trying to define myself and it’s tough because I feel like I’m repeating the same things I’ve already stated. I was born in Bethel hospital, and was raised in the village of Kwigillingok. Out of all the regions in Alaska, I feel the Yup’ik region has been fortunate to not have the natural substances that attracted the Americans. Others weren’t so lucky. Nome had the gold. Barrow region had the oil. Bristol Bay had the salmon. Other coastal regions had fur, whale, and other resources that attracted the Russians and the Americans and eventually took over the region. The only group of people that came were the Russian Orthodox and Moravian missionaries to build schools and churches into my region. My hometown Kwig was isolated, and there weren’t that many things to do. Hunting, fishing, and picking berries were necessary in order to put food on the table. If Eskimo ice cream wasn’t made, some families used fried bread as a substitution for dessert. When there weren’t much subsistence activities going on, many youth played basketball at the ball court during the summer. The main transportation to Bethel or other villages was a small 7-seater plane, although many caravans have been introduced in the last few years. There are no roads to use automobiles there, but there are roads made of wood for bicycles and ATVs.
After spending much of my life in Kwigillingok, I decided to move to Kenai/Soldotna to attend college. About halfway through college, I got married to a girl from above the Arctic Circle who went to college there as well. We have lived there basically for the past 11 years. We now have two kids and we love taking them out to the beach. I have worked as a longshoreman for the past two years, and I typically tried to take time off during the dip-netting season. Our plan now is to move back to the village and teach.