Friday, August 7, 2009


It is Friday and I have a large break from In-Service, so I figured now would be a good time to update the blog and just share my experiences in full detail. Barrow is absolutely amazing. The people, both Native and Non-Native, are so welcoming and kind. There is very little controversy and confrontation within this culture and it is a
beautiful thing. The food is great as well. Along with the Native food (muktak, tuutu, ugruk), there is plenty of Asian food. The cooks are all from South Pacific countries, so I am getting my fair share of delicious food.

After settling into my apartment, I have been busy with football and new-hire inservice. However, I still find plenty of time to walk two blocks down to the Chukchi Sea, one of the many bodies of water that make up the Arctic Ocean.

During these walks, I
interact with many locals, skip stones, take pictures, view the boats, search for the nanuq and the agviq, and observe the many dead jellyfish that have washed up onto the beach.
These walks are very calming and relaxing.

Speaking of football, the first middle school game is this evening at 5:00. Please cheer for the Mopson Middle School Wolves. The varsity game is tomorrow at 1:00. Please cheer for the Barrow Whalers as they take on Kodiak. It will be thunder on the true frozen tundra.

On Tuesday night, I took a dip in the Arctic Ocean. I have
swam in Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Green Bay, the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Colorado River. The Arctic Ocean was by far the coldest. It was about 34 degrees.
In order to be a member of the Polar Bear Plunge, one must entirely emerge him or herself under water. Most people do that and come right out of the water. The process takes about 15-20 seconds. Then, you get a t-shirt and patch. I took a dip and came right back out. As I was drying off, I decided to do it again. Being that I was still wet, as soon as I hi
t the water the second time, I literally felt a frost spread over my body. It was freezing cold, but what and experience.

The Sun has finally set here in Barrow. Each day, the slope is losing about 15 minutes of daylight. Soon, the darkness will be here. I am excited to teach these kids.
Next week I will get into my classroom and fix it up.

I can't wait to come home for the wedding and teach you all some Inupiaq words. Ray and Amy, you need to let me know what size you are for clothing, such as t-shirts and sweatshirts. Also, Amy, please let me know about yourself when you were a child because I need some information for the song I am writing about you two.

Anyway, quyanaqpak for all the wonderful posts and support. Please keep them coming because I love to read them.



  1. Dude - you are crazy for going in that water. Twice! But how totally cool.

    We love your stories; keep them coming! How did the games end up?

    Speaking of games, we are in Green Bay. Family Fun night at Lambeau just got rained out. We waited in the concourse for the storm to pass for 1/2 hour, but finally gave up. Our seats were row 5 - right by the end zone. I was about 3 yards from Aaron Rodgers. Oh well. We have good room service.

    We miss you & can't wait to see you in 3 weeks - woohoo!

  2. Hello Tony!
    I finally joined your blog! Your posts all sound so wonderful and I'm so happy things are going well! I look forward to more posts!
    Miss and love you soooo much Tone Bone!
    Moll Doll

  3. Dude! How are you? I have absolutely loved reading your blog. Keep it up. I loved the story of the 4 kids you came upon on the beach. Kids are awesome aren't they. I just started teaching yesterday. The kids here are great. They are very nervous to speak English, but also incredibly excited to be working with a native English speaker. I think my extra-curricular is going to be ping-pong! Should be great.

    How is football going? Do you coach a specific position? Tell me about it buddy. Take care.

  4. Hey Tony,
    Thanks for the update. So happy to hear the Middle School kids (!) beat Fairbanks. And instead of watching the varsity game I understand you made a debut as a ref! I would have LOVED to have seen that. It's fair week in Austin ~ I'm sure Tim will have a gyro in your honor. Hey everybody, Tony turns 23 next Tuesday:) Hugs and kisses to you, Tony. Love, MOM

  5. Hey Tony!

    How's it going future bro? Ray and I are just catching up on your posts and saw the questions you had for both of us. Ray usually wears a medium t-shirt and large sweatshirt (if the shirts run small then a large t-shirt). I wear a medium in women's shirts/sweatshirts and small in men's.

    The question you had of what i was like as a child......was a daddy's girl, loved gymnastics/camping, got pushed around by my big brother :), liked dressing up/putting on makeup.....

    Thanks for all the updates! It's fun to read about how everything is going! We're excited to see you soon :) By the way....what would you like for your bday? Ray says this was his childhood....what i got ya gotta give it to ya mama....

    Talk to you soon!
    Ray & Amy

  6. Hi Tony,
    I'm not sure why my comments are not being posted. Anyway, I love reading about all your adventures. Great to talk to you last night. I'm so happy for you, Tony. Love, Mom