A good life is when you assume nothing, do more, need less, smile often, dream big, laugh a lot and realise how blessed you are.
What an experience! All indications were that last night would be an ideal night to see the Polar Lights.
The previous night I went to bed at three after spending a freezing time outside. It wasn’t time wasted, however. Have you ever tried to change camera settings on a pitch black night? It was valuable experience for last night.
At 22:00 the neighbours called us, the Polar Lights started showing some activity. We put on all warm clothes available, grabbed the tripod and camera and went down to the lake.
In the north the heaven started glowing with a white light that clearly reflected on the lake surface. It looked like dawn with the difference that the light was moving around. It looked like fog swirling up from the ground. It was fascinating to see the dance of the “fog” moving east and then west and disappearing just to re-appear somewhere else.
I was lucky to have taken some usable photographs. I learned a lot about the setting to use for best results. I used ISO 1600, f-stop of 7 and an aperture of 30 seconds.
Today I feel satisfied. I came to fulfil a wish, a dream, and it happened.
However, the good experiences continued. Tuia’s parents took me with to a spot in the forests about 40 km from here. Today the local people drove the reindeer to hat spot. When we came there were already about 500 animals.
Twice a year they fetch the animals from the forests, once during summer and then during autumn. During summer time the mosquitoes are such a nuisance (ask me!) that the reindeer come out of the forests. It is then easier to gather them for the count. During autumn it is time for the bulls to become active. They then drive the herds into the open.
This morning as we got there a hug fire was burning and these hardened people were making coffee. Having finished they went to the reindeer watching which your ones followed which adults. They then separated the young ones to mark them in the ears, quite a bloody story. After that the farmers decided which animals go back to the forests and which are to be slaughtered.
Around lunchtime we grilled sausages over the open fire.
While standing there I realised again: It was a privilege to share the normal life of those wonderful people with them. I was privileged enough to get off the tourist roads and meet people who I otherwise never would have met. I realised how blessed I am.
An anonymous donor donated R 1 000 to our Magrietjie fund-raising effort yesterday. Thank you so much Sir / Madam! We are getting closer to R 22 000.00!
Have a happy day and evening!