Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Gutta på Skauen - Lads in the woods

I love initiatives that grow from passion. Last week I was in Tromsø preparing for a collaboration with climate scientists which involved finding and erecting a lavvu (sami tepee) amongst other things. I thought it would be a very easy thing since Tromsø has a big sami population with everything from sami-kindergardens to universitydepartments. It turned out to be harder than anticipated until someone suggested ringing Gutta på skauen. One phonecall later it was all sorted - by a lot of retired guys who were tired of not spending their time doing useful things and having fun. In 2002 Per Rain and a few others got together and started DOING things - like creating opportunities for people to come to the mountains by creating a track and building a lavvu and turning up every Sunday morning to feed people coffee and buns. Now they are 18 guys - active and agile - working together for something they believe in that benefits the whole of the community. They recycle old watertanks and make BBQs, help people like myself with finding and erecting lavvus and have build up an amazing environment of small wooden buildings where they run their voluntary activities from in Tromsdalen. I am forever grateful and wish their initiative would spread to other places. We have made a society where children and old folks are redundant. This prooves the opposite. One of the members recalls his wife complaining that he had worn out 3 packs of cards shortly after he retired. All that energy wasted, feeling lonely and useless. Gutta på skauen has given him purpose and direction again. How fantastic is that!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


What happened to time? It got swallowed up by amazing days and nights of arctic sunshine, of sprouting brockoli overgrown by weeds in my veg-garden. It got absorbed in books, some workshops and yogurt-making, guests and gusts of inspiration - breathing in and out - sharing our wind with each other. Summer is now breathing out, leaving berries of all colors and shapes in its trail and autumn is enjoying the taste - bit by bit. A year has gone by since we arrived back at the island, and it still feels good to be here. Last week one of our hens hatched 5 chicks!