My first two weeks in Atka learning Niiĝuĝim Tuunu have been interesting. I am learning a whole new lauguage, meeting a lot of new people, eating new things, and learning about the Orthodox religion also. This experience isn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. I thought that it was going to be different somehow, like I thought that we would be learning words and then putting them into a sentence or a phase. But instead we are learning how to ask for things and playing Go Fish. I like this learning style; I feel like this way is more interactive then a classroom style.
We are learning how the Unangax̂ people used to live: living from the land, eating wild game from the island and the fish that are around the island, and learning how they survived all the way out here in the middle of nowhere. It not like living in the city or a town closer to one. They have to rely so much on the airplane out here. If the plane doesn’t come in one day or for a week that means that they are backed up on eveything: people coming and going, mail that is coming and going, and the store supplies also, like food.
I am happy that I can be here learning all of this and I am enjoying it. I hope at the end of this summer that I can take the language and try to bring it back with me, and not just the language but the whole culture, like how they live off the land and what the people used to do to survive. I want to find new ways of trying to bring the culture back to life. So my first two weeks are going good so far. I hope my last 10 weeks are just as good and I’m looking forward to learning a lot more!
Post authored by Bobbi.