I have arrived home in Hoegaarden again… where I was welcomed by our lovely black cat (witnessed by the Niva, who was filming this comeback). The journey back home from St Petersburg was convenient and gave me enough time to realize this big journey is really over now. The NIVA TO NENETS project however, has not ended yet ‘coss I brought more than 3TB footage with me – in need for at least a whole year of selecting, editing, translating and designing of a proper platform.
Many thanks to all the people who have participated in this project, or who otherwise helped me to realize it this far!
It is now almost three weeks ago that I arrived in Naryan-Mar. Time has been flying fast: tomorrow I will already travel back south again. And a lot has happened in the meantime! If I try to sum up all the nice visits, celebrations and other meaningful moments it is hard to imagine how that could all fit it only three weeks’ time… When it comes to remembering, time sometimes acts in its own special way. For example memories about my short visit (of only three hours) to the reindeer herders camp on the Yugorsky tundra can easily fill at least two whole days, while the many hours I spent copying my film material and waiting for the next activities to film might fit just one thought.
Knowing that my time here has ended, I feel ready to go home. It will however take more than a week before I can set foot on my own doorstep again, because I will spend some time in Kronstadt and St. Petersburg again. My Niva is there waiting for me, and for a new gearbox too. I have decided to take her on a ferry towards Lubeck in Germany, after which it is only a small 700 km drive towards my home town. It’s better not to risk another car failure, I believe, because we are now both a bit tired of driving that long and that far. And driving her back to Belgium sure feels different than driving her to Naryan-Mar!
I still feel a bit pity that I was not able to give her a second life here in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Especially in the villages that I visited (Nelmin Nos, Krasnoye and a drive-through Ustye), I had the strong impression that people could have good use of the car. Of course I never thought of her as a big or important gift. She’s just an old car – she always has been. And in the end even a piece of garbage. But isn’t it simply better to keep using stuff until it becomes really impossible? Well, either or other way I shall use her again – at least when I drive us back home…
On Friday 9th of August it was International Indigenous Day. I was in the opportunity to celebrate this day on Cape Viselechny, at the Gorodetskoye Lake. The group Ханебцё (snow owl in Nenets) performed a ritual at the Khebidya ten Nenets idols, which was given a new information plate. After the tea and the reindeer soup they also performed a theater play. Also some games were played!