Tuesday, 6 February 2007

:: Mentionables from the first week ::

Here are some things worth mentioning from the past week. I will not write this accurately about every week, but as this is the first one, I thought some of you might wanna know what my weeks are generally like. CLICK THE PICTURES TO SEE THEM LARGER!

Friday the 12th of January

First work day! This was a very light day. We only cleaned up the big hogan after the community dinner and the classrooms after the children's classes. Besides that, there wasn't much to do. But it was very interesting to start learning the rythm we follow at NABI! We also invited some kids over so this was the first time I got to see some of the kids who often join our activities. We played a name-game I introduced, and the kids just loved it. We went outside, did some art, had a snack... goodness, it's amazing how much we managed to do! The kids are fantastic, they have very strong characters and they have a LOT of potential!

Saturday the 13th of January

Amazing! I had only been here for two days at this point and as I look back now, it felt already then like I'd been there for weeks. We went to Gallup, the city about 45 minutes from NABI, and we did some grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. SO many stereotypes were confirmed during this visit. Gallup has ten times more fast-food places than the city of Rovaniemi, even though the population in Gallup isn't even half of the population of Rovaniemi. This was also the first time I saw a drive-in ATM and all those shops that I know from tv, like Midas, Wal-Mart, Sonic, Pizza Hut, TacoBell, Blockbuster's etc...

Monday the 15th of January

Today was Martin Luther King's day so we had a day off, which was good, because I still had a bit of a jetlag.. I woke up very early in the morning and got tired before midnight. We invited the Murphy kids Marsha, Mariah and Kraig and their friend Shelly over again and decided to do an art project with them. The US National Bahá'í Children's Magazine, Brilliant Star, has a contest going on about nature arts, and we decided to participate with the kids. We paired up, one youth and one child, so we had four pairs. We collected materials from the campus surroundings and made really beautiful pieces of art! Ruhiyyih and Shelly made a house, Ben and Mariah made a squaw dance hogan, Phil and Kraig made an eagle and Marsha and I made a nine pointed star. The kids also wrote short statements about their works and we sent them with pictures to the Brilliant Star Magazine! It was a really nice, beautiful sunny day!

Tuesday the 16th of January

We had a staff meeting in the morning and because Jerry and Alice were back, we shared last week's news. The staff meeting took about an hour this time, everyone had so much to share! Harrisons boys were going to have a basketball game at a nearby school, so we decided that Ben, Phil and I would go and watch their game. It was so much fun! The teams had really cool uniforms... the Warriors (Harrison Jr.'s and Garold's team) played against the Cougars. There was a girl's game at first, and after that it was Harrison Jr.'s and Garold's turn. They were playing numbers 14 and 21, and they were really good! Some of the best players of the team! And the game was so exciting! The teams were taking turns in leading, and in the last seconds of the game the situation was 26-28 to the Cougars. Harrison Jr. jumped up with the ball in the LAST SECOND of the game, and scored! Everyone thought it was a square, but apparently the alarm to mark the ending of the game had rang 3 seconds too late, so actually the game was JUST over when Harrison scored. So the game ended 26-28 but both teams were very excited!

In the evening we had a staff dinner at Ruhiyyih's and Peg's, and we really enjoyed seeing everyone under the same roof.

Wednesday the 17th of January

Today we had a lot to do! We had children's classes, study circles and junior youth classes at Barbara's (a local Bahá'í) house. Junior youth stayed at Barbara's with Ruhiyyih, and I went with the kids and Peggy to the children's class. We had a nice lesson about the Wilmette Bahá'í House of Worship, and in the beginning of the class I got the chance to talk with the children. I showed them where I'm from and we looked at the globe and talked a bit about Finland. I also sung them some Finnish and Karelian songs that they really liked. Norman has been asking me to sing those songs again many times.

Earlier during the day Carol the Chef came with all the groceries. We have a deal with the Community Pantry, and we get loads of food that has been discarded by Wal-Mart and other shops, with a small fee. The Community Pantry also gives food to families and individuals with rough economical situations. There was a lot of good stuff, and we are also allowed to take a lot of food to our own trailers.

Thursday 18th of January

Today we served community dinner again, as every Thursday! In the morning, something special happened. I had my first visit to the Prayer Hogan. We had our daily morning prayers there, and it was so warm and comfortable there that we could have stayed for hours if we didn't have work to do. At five o'clock we gathered in the Prayer Hogan again, and the fireplace was lit, and a lot of people from around the community came to praise the Creator in their own ways. Many Bahá'í prayers and many Navajo prayers were recited, and it was impossible not to notice how they ressembled each other. Even though I didn't understand the Navajo words, I saw that the prayers in Navajo language were said with the same devotion and the same meanings as the Bahá'í prayers. After the prayers we took the children and went to the classrooms with them. I went with Peggy to the children's class, whereas Ruhiyyih took the junior youth. Peggy and I did the same class as yesterday, and it worked even better this time. I really enjoy spending time with the children, they have incredible potential, but it is very hard to make the children show it and use it.

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