Rita Walker (Blog Thirty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Thirty-one):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Sustainable Management and Environmental Engineering are two careers that look for ways to have technology work a mutually beneficial way with the environment and nature.  One are that needs to be researched and developed is what we eat.  Environmental impact on a particular location may be the most important factor on whether omnivore, vegetarian, or veganism is the most appropriate eating habit.  (References can be found at the bottom of the blog)

 

As they drive to the airport the driver puts on the news.   Along with the unusual heatwave Rita hears about a disturbance along the Queen Charlotte Fault near Tasu.

The heat outside the airport is so hot Rita asks Marlo to help her carry Kanayago inside the arrival lobby.  The girl’s skin feels hot and clammy.

Kanayago is able to walk on her own as the cooler air of the airport washes over them all.  Rita notices that as they wait at Pier C to board Aella makes sure she is always between Ember and Kanayago.  There’s no animosity it’s just an elemental thing.  She listens in as the elementals discuss nutrition.

Aella is a vegan and explaining to the others that veganism is healthier for the body and environment.  Marlo asks what will happen to the species of the animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens if humans no longer consume them.  Ember says she is vegetarian and only eats fish.  Kayango in a weak voice asks how someone who calls themselves an animal lover can be against eating meat.  “Wolves, bears, cats, ravens, and even fish eat other creatures,” Rita hears Kayango say.

“Perhaps not one is better than the other,” Marlo suggests.  “It may all depend on circumstances of survival.  If there are too few cattle, pigs, chickens, fish, and so on, maybe it would be better to let them replenish.”

“And not simply replace them with other livestock or vegetable foods,” Ember adds.

Rita hopes some of the elementals will take Sustainable Management.  Right now though she knows they have to get to the Haida Gwaii before the eclipse.  That gives them one day to prepare to meet Kaneki.

 

A Haida Gwaii Elder meets them at Prince Rupert Airport.  He wears a cedar cone shaped hat and a red blanket across his shoulder with the raven symbol on the back.  “I will take you back on my boat,” he tells Rita in a solemn voice.

He leads her and the others to a white dugout longboat covered in Haida art.  At the stern of the boat Rita sees a large electric outboard motor.  The Elder must have noticed her surprise.

“We do not have time to paddle,” he says with a half-smile.

As the boat heads towards the Haida Gwaii she notices they are not going to Skidegate.  “Where are we going?” she asks.

“Directly to Tasu.  Do you notice the air is cooler here?” he asks.

She does.  “Yes.”

“I must get you to the shore of Tasu before the moon blinds the sun.  The cooler air tells me that time is soon.”

Rita glances at the others.  They are all staring into the distance.  “What preparations have you done?” she asks the Elder.

“None,” he replies with a shrug.  “If Kaneki is successful the Earth will crack open.  He and Rae will be together once again but the rest of us will be devoured in lava.  Tasu has been abandoned.  You and…” he sweeps his arm at the others, “…will be the only ones there.”

Rita gulps.  Failure is not an option than.

https://www.hellobc.com/places-to-go/haida-gwaii

https://spiritsofthewestcoast.com/collections/haida-art

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Northwest_canoes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_management

https://www.plantbasednews.org/news/vegan-mentor-program-challenge-22-seeks-volunteers

https://www.azocleantech.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=907

https://www.eco.ca/career-profiles/environmental-engineer/

 

Rita Walker (Blog Thirty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Thirty):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Nine Haida Elders got together in 1998 to create the Skidegate Haida Immersion Program (SHIP) to save and continue the Skidegate dialect (HIGaagilda Xaayda Kil).  Vehicle Air-conditioning has become more environmentally friendly since the European Union’s decision to ban HFC-134a in 2011.  (References at the end).

 

Rita squeezes her eyelids together as she uses a cloth to wipe perspiration from her forehead.  According to Expedia.ca the flight from Pearson Airport Toronto to Prince Rupert Airport, BC will cost her between $400 and $500 for one way.  For the other four elementals it would be at least double that for a return trip.  Then there’s the cost of the ferry from Prince Rupert Airport to Skidegate, Haida Gwaii.    Zsofia said she would be paying her own way.  Now that Rae is communicating she knew the Haida Gwaii Elders would not make them wait on a list.  For environment reasons there are a limited number of tourists who can visit the island at any given time.  She hopes the Elders will help pay the difference of whatever the students can’t afford for the trip.

 

“I feel like I’m melting,” Kayango complains as they board the Pearson Airport Minibus.

“And I feel fine,” Ember says from the seat she shares with Aella.

Rita was hoping Marlo would sit beside her but she sees him sit instead beside Kayango.  He lays his guitar across his lap and as he plays starts singing to her.  Rita sees Kayango smile and hug him.  As she does Marlo looks at Rita in a way that causes her body to quiver.  She stares downward shyly to hide her reddening face.

Zsofia gets into the bus and plunks herself down beside Rita.  Staring straight ahead she says very quietly, “I know you only bought a one way ticket.”

“True,” Rita replies.

Zsofia nods her head.  With a shaky voice she asks, “Does Marlo know?”

“I think so.  He also only bought a one way ticket.”

“Who do you belong to?”  Zsofia asks as she squeezes Rita’s hand.

“Earth has Metal inside, Water all around and throughout, and Earth touches Air and Fire on its surface.  But Albine Rose shares me with Rae.”

“Will you stay on Haida Gwaii or transport elsewhere?”

“With Water I can go anywhere,” Rita replies with a smile.

The bus driver turns on the bus’s SINTEFF air conditioner and Rita feels immediate relief from the unusual heat for autumn.  She sees Kanayago sigh thankfully.  Only Ember seems unaffected by the heat.  Rita closes her eyes.  She realizes Rae is affecting the environment to slow Kaneki’s progress to the surface.

 

https://www.expedia.ca/Cheap-Flights-To-Haida-Gwaii.d3000391365.Travel-Guide-Flights

http://www.highwaterhouse.ca/getting-here

https://news.viu.ca/nine-haida-elders-receive-vius-most-prestigious-award-language-and-culture-preservation

https://www.sintef.no/en/latest-news/cars-with-environmentally-friendly-air-conditioning/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sustainable_automotive_air_conditioning

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-nine):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-nine):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

The Haida Gwaii has carvings of three men with hats on the top of their totem poles.  These watchmen tell the carver of the totem pole if enemies are coming or if there is any other important information they should know.  (all references are at the bottom of the blog).

It’s unusually warm for autumn and Zsofia had asked Rita to bring her class to Victoria Park in Kitchener.

From the driver’s seat Rita glances in the rear-view mirror of the college’s Ev Star Min-eBus.  All the elementals are here now.  Marlo is sitting right behind her with his arm across two coolers full of sandwiches and thermos with water.  Behind Marlo is Aella and Ember.   The other students fill the rest of the double chairs behind her and the single seats.  Kanayago sits on a single seat at the very back by herself.

After the police came to talk to them about the attack the man named Norm made on the woman called Wendy, Rita asked Aella her background.  Once Aella found out who Rita is and that she teaches the Environmental Technology class at Six Nations Polytechnic Brantford Campus she became more talkative.  Aella explained that she was supposed to be in Rita’s class but couldn’t.  She was volunteering in the Haida Gwaii as a Red Cross Emergency Response Worker until just a few days ago.

No one is talking so she turns on the radio.  The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” comes on and when the song gets to the verse “All the lonely people” she glances in the rear-view mirror at Kanayago.  The girl is looking out the window with a conflicted look on her face.

After she parks she and her students walk towards the lake that runs through the park.   Rita sees a weeping willow.  Not knowing why she touches its bark.

 

Shrouded in mist she stands on the eastern shore of Haida Gwaii.  She knows its Tlell because of the totem pole with the three watchmen carved into its top.  The mist disperses for a moment and she can see Rae standing on a wooden outlook with cedar rails.  Rae is staring across the Hecate Strait.  This time Rita can tell Rae knows she’s there.

Nicki Henry by Darren Henry

Rae modeled by Nicki Henry, picture taken by Darren Henry of Nixxx Design Custom Printing   nixxxdesigns@gmail.com

“You have all the pieces,” a soft soprano voice says.  “They must come to Haida Gwaii before the eclipse.  I have already told this to Ember.”  Mist covers Rae and Rita awakens from the vision with a feeling of displacement.

 

“Are you okay?”  Marlo asks.

“Yes, but I need to get everyone to Haida Gwaii.”

“I don’t think that will be so hard.  Rán has already told me we must go and the new girl, Aella told me of a vision she had from Onya also saying we must go to Haida Gwaii.”

“I wonder if Kanayago has received a message from Kaneki?” Rita asks.  She sees Kanayago walking separate from the others.

As they reach the shore of the lake Rita sees Zsofia standing in a sleeveless t-shirt and shorts reading over a sheet of paper.

DSC_1036 (2)

Zsofia modelled by Dr. Arla Kasaj picture by Dan Watt:  akwellness@gmail.com

Zsofia looks up and says, “You’re all here!”

Rita doesn’t miss the remark: all here.  Zsofia is the only person who is not an elemental that knows almost all her secrets.

“Have a seat but watch out for the Canadian Geese droppings,” Zsofia tells them.  “What happens with our medical supplies once they’re used is quite interesting.  In the past many of the sharps such as needles and syringes were put into containers and autoclaved.   Hydroclaving was found to be more efficient so that’s how all needles and syringes are sterilized now.  All other medical items such as bandages, gloves, and so on have to be sterilized and buried in a separate landfill or incinerated.  Incinerating is becoming safer for the environment as stricter rules are enforced and as better technology developed.”

“Our health is hurting our environment?”  Marlo asks.

“Not as much as it used to,” Zsofia answers.  “Infectious disease such as AIDS, Hepatitis, and super bugs such as SARS will increase if we don’t keep everything sanitized.  But to clean items like bed sheets or to sterilze needles means putting CO2 or other pollutants into the air.”

“A catch 22,” Aella says with a shake of her head.

“Less so as we use better technology and learn to waste less.  Any other questions or comments?”  Zsofia asks.

No one else asks anything so Rita stands up.  “Thank you Zsofia.  Well let’s eat,” she continues nodding towards the coolers they brought from the mini-bus.

As the others eat Rita walks with Zsofia along the lake’s shore.

“What happens now that you have them all gathered together?”  Zsofia asks when they are out of earshot of the others.

“We go to Haida Gwaii,” Rita answers with simple solemnity.

“You want me to go?”

“Yes,” Rita replies.  Zsofia may be part of the solution no one considered.

 

https://www.greenpowerbus.com/

https://www.redcross.ca/volunteer/apply-now/emergency-response-team-ert-supervisor-17

https://www.readersdigest.ca/travel/canada/haida-gwaii-watchmen/

https://www.whetung.com/products/haida-raven-iii

https://www.cmaj.ca/content/183/18/E1307

https://www.hydroclave.com/technology/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK233627/

With thanks to Nicki Henry of:

You can contact Nixxx Designs Custom Printing at: nixxxdesigns@gmail.com

Nixxx Designs Custom Printing

And Dr. Arla Kasaj:  akwellness@gmail.com

 

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-eight):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Rita Walker (Blog Twenty-eight):  By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris

Aesop’s Fables are full of animal characters meant to teach morals.  In Rita Walker the elementals and mythological characters are meant to represent the connection between the Earth and its atmosphere and all of life.  Enjoy the fictional representation but don’t forget the real policies and technologies out there that are beneficial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee_sting

http://www.honeybeecentre.com/learn-about-honeybees#.XkfL-2hKiUk

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/self-defence-what-s-acceptable-under-canadian-law-1.1229180

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/other-autre/rsddp-rlddp/p5.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aesop’s_Fables

“Get away from me!” Rita hears the man named Norm cry out.  She also hears a very faint buzzing sound.

There’s the sound of scuffling and something falling over.

“Get back here!” she hears Norm shout with a voice full of violence.  “I’ll kill you bee!” he says with a hiss.

A door slams as the honeybee flies with a wounded wing onto her back.  Rita hops down the duct work to where it curves up towards the second storey ceiling.

Back outside she feels a gust of wind pressing her down.  As the wind dies down the honey bee becomes a crow.  The crow rolls its left shoulder and Rita can see it has some damaged feathers.  The crow flaps its wings, grabs her in its claws and flies clumsily down to the tree where Rita had changed.

Rita climbs atop the soil that consists of the rest of her body and changes back into her human form.  The crow hops onto her left forearm.  Rita dashes to the front of the building where she can feel another swirl of air.  The crow hops off her arm and in a moment turns back into the young women.

“I couldn’t sting him as a honeybee or I would be dead,” the young woman says in a frustrated voice.  “So I buzzed him in the ear until the woman could get away.  But he hurt my left shoulder.”

In the parking lot by an old red hybrid Echo, Rita sees a woman in her mid-thirties fighting off a much taller man.   Rita watches in surprise as the young woman runs behind the man and simultaneously grabs the back of his collar while punching him in the centre of his back with her other hand.  The man crumbles to the ground with a gasp.  Before Rita can reach her the young woman strikes the man in the temple with her elbow.  By the time she gets there the man is lying motionless on the ground.  Rita looks for some kind of movement around his chest.  She kneels beside the man and places her hand by his mouth.  He’s breathing.

“Are you okay?” the young women asks the woman called Wendy.

“Yes,” Wendy replies with a shaky voice.  She whips out her cell phone and Rita sees her dial 9-1-1.

“I have to go,” the young woman says.

“We can’t,” Rita tells her.  “We have to be witnesses or nothing will happen and he might attack her or someone else.”

Rita hears the man grumble and start to sit up.  She gasps as the young women kicks him in the head sending him back to the ground unconscious.  “I hate bullies,” the young woman says.

“Who are you?” Rita asks.

“Aella.”