“Borders, I have never seen one. But I hear they exist in the minds of some people”
– Thor Heyerdahl –
Life here can be thought of as chaos. It is surreal, dark, cold, expansive, harsh, barren, peaceful, magical and ever-changing. It is full of random polar bear visits and the aurora lighting up the sky. We are living in this bare-bones hut sheltered from the cold and the wind. With no insulation, running water or electricity every day presents us with chores and plenty of physical labor; chopping wood, chopping ice for fresh water, making sure all equipment that is stored outside is fastened down (random wind gusts are frequent).
The entire experience is a daily surprise as we are now more than halfway into our stay round #2 at Bamsebu. We have spent over 10.000 hours together- did anyone say “the ultimate test”?
TESTS ALL DAY LONG
To be present here is to be tested in all ways: mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
With this extended isolation, harshness and remoteness you must exercise patience, pack a sense of humor, be rigorous with daily routine, possess a sense of calm in the incessant storms, be able to take care of yourself in the extreme cold, handle weapons and safety gear, and be a master problem-solver and fixer of all that breaks. A smile travels a long way here in the Arctic. Everything is concerned with simple being.
We can often hear the thunderous pound of the waves as they slam up against the ice wall. It’s a sound that travels all the way up to the hut as if to shake it with each surge. There is no ice in the fjord which is worrisome on so many levels. This means no seals, no food for the polar bears and no snowmobiling across the fjord.
THE LIGHT IS BACK!
On the plus side, the light is slowing making its way back to us. We have several hours of daylight so we try to cram in as much outdoor time as we can as things need fixing, Ettra needs her daily run and we need our daily dose of fresh air -something we cannot live without.
Stay healthy, hopeful and take care of each other. Living in community and reminding ourselves that we are not alone strengthens us. There are no ‘real’ borders between us.
With gratitude, the Polar Girls
SATELLITE LIVE CALL
It is astounding that we can send emails up into space and they land on your laptops. Satellite connectivity remains a mystery to so many so join us on Thursday Feb 25th 12pm EST/1800CET as our guest Expert from Marlink untangles the satellite web! Sign up for the satellite live call here.
Saturday Feb 27th is the day to celebrate and show your care and commitment to our protection of Sea Ice and Polar bears- please join us.
HILDE AND SUNNIVA IN THE NEWS
Read about Hilde and Sunniva in the Choose news “Sustainable voices”.
Hilde and Sunniva thrive in a long, cold Arctic winter with the help of Undersun Resistance Bands. Read the blog here.
Read an article in the WIRED Magazine “At the end of the World”