Wednesday, October 3, 2007

If Anyone Wonders Why I am Here...

This is just an interlude - longer posts will follow on my days in Kalskag yesterday and Sleetmute today but two things happened today which were so wonderful I had to share them.

First of all, I met a very bright and funny High Schooler called Vernon who is a real character (he came out to meet me from the Bush plane, told me he was my bodyguard, and that he could speak in a Scottish accent but he wasn't going to because he would never be able to get his own accent back) He is dyslexic but he was so happy to be telling stories and using his imagination (which is a wonderful one) that he decided he is going to write a story for me. (It's called 'Jonah and Vernon and The Wolves')

Secondly Mary the cook (a lot of the cooks in the schools are elderly native Alaskan ladies. Mary is profoundly deaf and very shy) gave me a present and a letter. I have taken pictures of it but for some reason I can't seem to upload my pictures to my laptop at the moment (now done!). It is three ornaments made out of the paper covers that individual tea bags come in. Wonderfully intricate circular ornaments made of hundreds of tea bag covers, folded, twisted and somehow fastened together, I have no idea how. And she wrote me a note which says:

"Donna - thank you very much for coming to Sleetmute. Our students enjoyed your company very much. I wish you could come again someday but maybe it's impossible. But you are more than welcome to come and entertain our schoolkids. Enclosed are souvenirs from Sleetmute, I made them out of tea bags. People use them as wall decorations. I hope you like them. Please take care and again, thank you very much for coming. Sincerely, Mary." And she gave me a hug. For an elder to do this is a real honour.

So there, amongst all the other hundreds of reasons why I am here, are just two. I'm not ashamed to say I cried.


Anonymous said...

Your wonderful posts have all been so touching and so entertaining and so interesting and so funny. You are making friends and it is so terrific of you to share your adventurous, meaningful tales with us.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime for you...but not just for you, for these people too. What a memory you are making, for all of you.

Thanks so much for sharing with us here! Your posts are a joy.


Yvonne said...

Donna, if you keep on writing about your adventures with the same level of sweetness and feeling as the latest ones, you'll make me cry too. (not that that's so hard).

I'm desperately jealous of your journey, not merely because of what you've seen and whom you've met, but also of the wonderful openness with which you've undertaken it. Thank you for sharing (and that's said without the tiniest hint of irony.)


Judy Bobalik said...

Not ashamed to say I cried, either.

Julie said...

Me too, love. J x

Anonymous said...

Donna, in your emails you said you thought we had dropped off the edge of the world. No, we had been to North Wales for a few days, the next time I see Welsh Lamb it will be swimming in a lake of mint sauce.
I have read all of your posts on the blog. It sounds as if you are having a wonderful time, please, when you come down next time do not speak in Inuit or the other Alaskan languages, we had enough of those speaking in Welsh and could not understand.
Speak to you soon,