“I think I am really starting to smell,” I noted today, looking down at the same set of clothes I’ve been wearing since June. Ben noted, “Lauren, the swarm of flies actually cleared away from the fish when you moved in to make photographs.” We’re hanging in there, cleaned up a little this evening thanks to the beautiful waters out the front door of the Nondalton Village Community Center and the wonderful Belluta family down the street. They, along with many others from this quiet village, have so kindly taken us in, tolerated showers, and fed us while we awaited a plane drop of food from anchorage for two days. I admire the patience that comes so naturally to the locals around us. Any longer and I would have started building our own fish camp here; yet I suspect two days in village time is nothing. It doesn’t take long for one to really see and understand how connected families are to the fish that return year after year, how life and culture is indeed so deeply tied to the renewable resources here. A toast today to Dr. Carol Ann Woody, brilliant fisheries consultant, who somehow manages to juggle white paper deadlines, field research schedules, and emergency food packing, bear canisters and all, for some hungry folks in the Alaskan bush. And to Rick and Nancy Delkiette, who so kindly shared the day with us, helping us learn more about the Athabaskan way of life.
And thanks to all those who have donated to the Face Fund. It’s actually just a ploy to raise more money for the film, sometimes you gotta take one for the team. So far it has raised us evacuation insurance from my mother, who so kindly sent me some sort of magic number today over the internet. It better be a magic number given our experience with calling cards thus far. And speaking of moms, Happy Birthday to Ben’s mom.