Thursday, 26 September 2013

When words fail

Knowing that today would be my last blog post, I have been trying to come up with something profound to say, but words, as powerful as they can be, are sometimes not enough. There is no way to adequately express my thanks and gratitude to everyone involved in this project. I could not have asked for a better introduction to Newfoundland than what I found here. 

The harbour on a foggy day. Photo by Kari Sawden.
Quidi Vidi Brook. Photo by Kari Sawden.
Quidi Vidi is always beautiful - rain, fog, or shine. Photo by Kari Sawden.
There are a lot of horror stories out there about the graduate studies and programs, especially concerning the competitive nature of academics. I am delighted to report that this has not been my experience; my classmates amazed me daily with their support, creativity, and knowledge. I continue to marvel how each of us could look at the same building and find within it vastly different stories, and I am grateful that this course provided opportunities to explore our unique perspectives.

Creativity and a little fearlessness are definitely assets. Xuan and Ed try to maneuver a floating platform into a measuring position with the support of Christine, Kayla, and Jerry. Photo by Kari Sawden.

Teamwork in action. Ed, Xuan, and Christine work on measurements. Photo by Kari Sawden.
That we were able to arrive in this community three weeks ago and be in any way successful is due to everyone who was working on this project long before we entered the picture. I can only imagine the amount of work required to make such a course possible. And the quality of education that we received is remarkable, made even more so given the short time-frame within which we had to accomplish everything.

Only a few of our many classrooms:
A splitting table. Photo by Kari Sawden.
The Plantation. Photo by Kari Sawden.
Underneath a stage with John and Adrian. Photo by Kari Sawden.
I remain in awe of the generosity and kindness of the people of Quidi Vidi who entertained us for three weeks with open doors, stories, tea, and much patience as we worked to master new equipment and techniques. Through this community I learned so very much and fell more deeply in love with the study of folklore. It is impossible not to when you are surrounded by such as these.

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