By Carol Christoffe
February 11, 2007
When you come to Ketchikan you are entering another world. I have traveled a great deal and will travel again but this is special. This is a place of hard-working and exceptionally loving people. Contrary to popular belief, we are not getting "rich" off of the tax nor are we "greedy" as some folks think. Most of us are struggling to make a living and our tax dollars go into maintaining and improving expensive docks et.cet. for the tourist trade. Many of the local businesses do not get a lot of that trade, which is a pity, because nicer folks you'd never meet!
In Ketchikan, and Alaska in general, people look after one another and care about each other. There is a strong "pull together" attitude here.
We have thousands of waterfalls, lush, vibrant rainforests that pulsate with life, verdant pools teeming with colorful exotic sea-life.
When you step into the rainforest, it is as if time has stood still, as if you are timewalking into another world, more ancient and primeveal.
We have some exotic and creative
people living here with a wonderfull ability to entertain, make
music, song,dance, and theater. Our art community both Native
and European are gifted and strong. The amazing amount of talent
here makes it an undiscovered Art Colony.
The totem poles that dot the landscape are silent books that tell a lot if you take the time to get to really know them. It is a culture to be respected.
Today's generations are seeking
to bring back and preserve in a good way the traditions that
are thier birthright. This includes thier arts and crafts and
customs that a sovereign nation-within- a -nation must have to
preserve it's identity. Despite misguided attempts to kill the
languages, there is a new interest in preserving the linguistic
heritage and learning thier own language in addition to English.
All this makes it a very diverse and rich place to live. There
is so much to learn here.
Now in this new era of looking to take care of the earth, women will play a vital role, as well in bringing back worthy and respectfull traditions. For any society to have balance, we must have the leadership of both men and women. As long as Fog Woman still watches over and blesses her children, fish and people,these Island people remain a blessed people. I am sure there is more to be learned in this regard and I admit that I am just a child in this matter. However I am wise enough to see that Fog Woman's children carry something good and powerfull within them.
When I first came here, I heard a local young lady sing, with the voice of an Angel, Christy Miller, (she has since married). She sang a lovely free-form prayer song that said, "Alaska, God smiles upon you!"
And so he does! Come see the good and blessed people of Alaska. They often don't have much, but they are willing to share. They work hard and live off the land. They are trying to balance the need for the jobs and industry, with the need to have drinkable water, and decent food. Come see an island of berries, and fish, and whales, and bears, all of whom have teachings,messages for you if you learn to listen and bless. Take a little time and shop the small places, the less glitzy, and meet us. You're going to love them. I have.
About: "Resident of Ketchikan, supporter of diversity"
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