Monday, 22 January 2007

:: Who am I working with? ::

:: Alice and Jerry Bathke ::

Alice is Navajo and Jerry was brought up in Minnesota. They are a wonderful couple and they take good care of NABI and its staff. They are very busy serving the Faith, so I haven't had too much time to talk with them individually yet, but already during the first night we had so much to talk about that the conversation wasn't about to end.

:: Amy, Administrative Secretary, my housemate ::

Amy is my housemate and she is employed by the NSA, as are the Bathkes. She works as a secretary, but being a secretary doesn't mean sitting behind a desk at NABI. She reaches out to the community every day. Amy had her mother visiting when I moved into the house, and I've seen pictures of Amy's lovely grand daughter. Amy and I get along really well, even though our sleeping rythms don't match ;). She's an early bird, I'm a night owl. She also makes good salmon cakes and takes good care of me! The picture was taken in a 19-day Feast we had on campus. In the picture you can also see Chester Kahn, a notable Bahá'í from the Houck community.

:: Peggy, Long Term Volunteer ::

Peggy is a wonderful woman with indescribable ability to make everyone feel like they are very special people. She keeps the thumbs up for everyone and is everybody's friend. Peggy often spends evenings with us youth, because hers and Ruhiyyih's trailer is our ultimate hangout place. Peggy has lived in the Navajo Nation for 35 years, in diffrent places, and now she works at NABI.

:: Ben, Youth Program Coordinator, 25 ::

Ben is the one who told me about NABI in the first place. He served in Haifa for two years and met Zoya and Ginger from Finland during his service, so when he saw at the Bahá'í Youth forum (www.bahaiyouth.com) that I was from Finland, he wrote me an email. Ben is also employed by the NSA and works as the Coordinator for Youth Programmes... he's our boss, but really the four of us are just a bunch of friends. He has done a great job helping us adjust and his attitude towards our ideas and initiatives is examplary. Ben can also do very long handstands.

:: Ruhiyyih, Year of Service Volunteer, 18 ::

Ryhiyyih is a close friend of mine already after 9 days. We've been singing a lot with her, and teaching each other Bahá'í songs that we know. Our favorite place to clean are the classrooms, because the acoustics there are wonderful. We have many similarities, and Amy said we are too similar for others to handle (jokingly, of course ;P). Ryhiyyih has been here for seven months, so she's most experienced of us youth. Ruhiyyih is an advanced ballet dancer and she plays the viola, too! A specially nice moment with Ruhiyyih was, when I went to her place one morning and we talked for hours, just sitting in the kitchen, drinking tea and chatting. I loved that.

:: Phil, Short Term Volunteer, 19 ::

Phil is from UK and already during first night we noticed that we know a lot of the same people from UK. Phil has served here for about three weeks, so he has been a great source for me about how to adjust, because he's gone through the same things very recently. He's a fantastic guitar player and we enjoy learning music from him. He helps us improve the songs we practice in the classrooms and he has also taught us new songs. We are the European invasion to America: we'll reclaim USA and give it back to Europe. Phil also enjoys photography so we've planned on making some trips to the surroundings with our cameras. We climb trees.

:: Carol and Harrison George ::

Carol and Harrison are wonderful Navajo people who belong to NABI staff. Harrison is the repairman and he takes such good care of the campus buildings. We provide clean water to the surrounding families, so it is important that he keeps the water running even on cold weather's like we've recently had. Harrison has a great sense of humour and is a joy to his surroundings! Carol, his wife, is our chef, and she makes the Thursday Community Dinners that we offer. I worked with Carol in the kitchen last Thursday and it was the most enjoyable job I've had here so far! I loved it! I hope to work with her also the following Thursdays.

:: Sugar ::

Sugar is the dog of Barbara Tong, a Bahá'í woman who lives next door to us. She hangs around at the NABI a lot, and she has 3 dog friends: Blaze (who reminds me of Max, my own dog, a lot), the Mysterious Tailless (who has had bad experiences with humanbeings and doesn't wanna come close to us however hard we try), and Jackal a.k.a Old Man Jack (who is huuuuge, and has charisma).

1 comment:

Mei said...

Dear cousin! Got your blog address from my mom and it's been so nice to read about your journey. Wishing you a wonderful, rewarding and inspirational period of service out there! Take care! Hugs!

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