Freitag, 7. Februar 2014

day no. 20 /21- reflection

Erä-susi Huskyfarm, -8°C 
Communication. Variety. Growing together. Values. Commonality. Interpretation. Coexistence. Tolerance. Compromise. Learning Process. Mutuality. Listening. Feeling. Observation. Differences. Interchange.

Integration is a tricky thing. Becoming part of a group is nothing one could compel, but anyways efforts and compromises have to be made on both sides. 
Initially I though that my lack of  language skills is just a disadvantage that leads to isolation, a burden that makes it nearly impossible to become part of  the Erä-susi community. I have to admit that I had hard days feeling sad about not being able to get the full content of their conversations, jokes and anecdotes. But I got something else instead- I learned to observe and to identifies people's nuances. My picture about my surroundings and my team is grown by experiencing them differently then I used to do ever before. My impressions are grown absolutely apart from what some would have told me if I could understand, apart from stories or comments told about certain team members. I got to know them most of all visually and listening to them. Listening not to words but to nuances. I see and hear respect, friendship, provocation, trust, goodwill and fun. I see wonderful personalities: their is 'Miss sunshine' with the rare talent to enlighten the mood of everybody even when the sun doesn't shine; the storyteller fascinating people with a sharp sense of really dry humor; 'Mr. Dynamic' and the 'all-knowing memory', who does more or less its own business etc.... Since I didn't get what people are talking about I learned to be aware of changes in speech melody, mimic and gesticulation, appearance, attitude and habit of everyone and in interaction among each other. I'm already able to recognize their destination noticing the way they prepare for reaching their destination. It is incredible what the lack of milk for the morning coffee can tell about the daily dynamic of the team. I feel the group more than I really know them, but I guess in that way I got to know them already better than it would have been possible ignoring most of my perceptions and focussing almost just on words and stories. Nevertheless nothing can replace the spoken word and directly connected to that the ability to perceive and interpret its meaning. 

People like to tell stories, they like to laugh and to listen. I would love to not just enjoy the great atmosphere, but be surprised, amused, astonished, satisfied, sometimes embarrassed or confused together with them.

Since I don't understand work instructions in Finnish, I have to learn differently than the Finnish trainees. They learn by listening what is told among team members about the difficulties and joy of their activities. I always have to please somebody to repeat and ask for information. I rarely go my own way, but I'm told to follow. This is a good lecture for me, but I guess for the team, too.
I will keep this experience in mind thinking of integration and teaching myself.
I felt a stranger among friends initially shifting between being a tourist, a passing through worker, a curious German girl and an Anthropologist, but I actually have already found my place without knowing it- I'm the 'silent observer'. 

Tulva has the overview.
But to come back to the Huskies...I was wondering what those mysterious, circular hollows one can find in the fences are good for. The surface of the interior walls is much to smooth and even to be caved by the paws of a dog our a spade. They are inside covered with a thin ice layer and about 5 up to 30 cm deep. I observed the appearance of this holes for a couple of days-they became more and more during warm nights, none of them vanished, but after really cold nights rarely some new ones appeared.

the mysterious holes
One of my team mate disclosed the secret and destroyed my not all too serious far-fetched conspiracy theories I could come up with ( mentioning inter alia extra-terrestrial flying objects and laser eyes). His explanation was not as cool as my abstruse ideas, but still remarkable:
The huskies like to sleep in the snow when it's warm enough. They lay totally rolled up in the soft snow melting the subsurface with the warmth of their bodies and sinking deeper and deeper into the snowbank. This is actually very clever! These suitable hollows fit perfectly the shape of the dog's body and keeps the icy wind out. When it snows the dog gets covered totally from all sides with snow which keeps it warm like a blanket would do. That's how they survive even snowstorm on long trips when there are no doghouses available.

Tomorrow I'm going to have my first night- Safari! Start at 17:15 , when the sunlight will be already changed to complete darkness. :)

Knowledge of the day: A blueberry-muffins a day, keeps fretfulness away...

*in memory of the sun enlightened, beautiful frosty days*

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