Sunday, 6 September 2009

Half a seaday

It is time to head south, everybody knows. So we are diving back again into learning: The lecture halls are not being half emptied when the next crowd is already lining up, eager to hear about Greenlandic culture, Passions for Ice, Earth History and more. Just as we are running in full university mode, there is news: As we are getting close to the village of Krauthavn and since the weather is just fine, tide included, we can as well do a landing there, right? Once proposed, everybody goes for warm clothes and life jacket and off we are.
Since 140 of the 200 inhabitants are on a school trip, the welcome comittee is rather small, although very friendly. The stroll through the place reveals a different side of modern Greenland. Situated in the most remarkable spot between two lagoons and the open sea, we encounter a vast amount of neglected houses, waste and miserable dogs. The friendly smiles of those we meet here are a stark contrast to this place where many people apparantly have lost their hope for a better life. This is what happened often in the 1970s when many villages where closed and the old way of living was lost.
But then again, the other side of the village is sporting newly built houses with nice verandas towards the sea. Perhaps life just starts to come back here. Thoughtful we return to FRAM, but when the villagers gave us a frantic farewell escort with no less than six fishing boats full of women, men and children it is really a touching sight, leaving - in a bizarre way - a good memory to this place.