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.