Sunday, May 20, 2007
My family in the Arctic
I’m trying to collect my thoughts to find a nice subject for the blog but it’s kind of difficult to think after seven hours fighting gravity and dragging the pulka uphill !
Well, I could write about the beautiful landscape of the fjord we just went up, or about the number of polar bears we meet in this area, or again about the colour of seals in the midnight sun, or tell you about our last visit to the local trapper but let’s admit it, all these subjects are rather empty!
I’m going to write about something far more important to me and tell you some stories about the five living beings with whom I just spent the last fifty days!
Ladies first, let me start with Hella. She really impresses me with her courage and determination. She takes on perfectly as the woman in our group and she even had the guts to break through the poetic spirit overtaking the blog and to write about our everyday life in its most physical issues. But may be she needed 40 days to understand how to adjust her telescopic poles to the right size…
Concerning Mats, our outdoor living expert, he never looses his calm and serenity however bad the situation may be. I will never forget that evening under the tent in early April by minus 30°C. I was shivering in my sleeping bag and praying to wake up alive the next morning, while Mats was unshaken, reading aloud a chapter of his book.
Now about Kim : author, poet, scriptwriter and director of the expedition film. Kim is the brain in our group. All the time he spends on his skis, he plans ahead and organises his ideas into what he will do next! His weak point : waking up! In the morning he looks completely drugged for an hour after he wakes up and can not speak more than one word at a time!
Ulli is our clown. He has a funny word for every situation. He’s also a true acrobat. He survived a major accident when his pulka ran over him at full speed. Most of the time Ulli has an extraordinary energy but when he is exhausted , he truly is. Some nights, he was so tired we had to feed him with a spoon.
Finally, Andre,our dog, who is a full member of the group ! Always in a good mood, Andre is as energetic as ever since Staffan ( the trapper at Austfjord) gave him a seal skull to eat. Andre’s major problem is getting adapted to 24 hours sun light. As soon as we stop skiing, he goes to sleep. One wonders what he does when we sleep!
A question for all of you who know my fellow companions better than I do : do you think they behave normally?
Our little society gets along rather well. There are at times some stress or clash. Generally bad mood goes along with grey weather or tiredness. Group decisions are not easy to take and one has to be flexible to conclude an agreement with the others. Finally, there lies the real difficulty and challenge of our expedition : getting on all together! The physical challenge is only subsidiary…