Category Archives: Fanoe My Home Island

An Untraditional Jobapplication

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Today, when the weekly local paper comes out, it will contain an open letter I´ve written to everybody living on the island of Fanø.

Here it is, translated into English: (I will copy paste the Danish version straight underneath this translation, just scroll down if you prefer to read it in Danish).

Dear Fanø

I come from the west coast of Norway, and have lived on Fanø now for seven years. I am very happy here, living with my husband who lived here when we met, and our three little children, two of which were born on Fanø in 2010 and 2012. I have stayed at home looking after my young ones, with the support one can get from the counsil, for that purpose. I have always wanted to be at home while my children were little, and I am very grateful that I have been allowed to do so. However, now it has come to an end. My little boy started in kindergarten in October, and I must find a source of income.

That´s why I write here now, an open letter to everyone on our island. Because it might happen that there is work for me  here on Fanø. Then I could work part time, and keep my halftime kindergarten slots, the kids staying there from 9am to 1pm only.

I am educated at the University of Bergen. In social sciences. (Anthropology, comparative politics, organizational psychology and media science). I have worked in kindergartens, as a teacher, in old people´s homes, fish factory, as a secretary and in various shops. I have worked quite extensively in the field of film production (voluntarily and professionally, short films and documentary), and I have always written poems and songs.

Since I came to Fanø I have been cleaning summerhouses for a couple of seasons, I´ve made tv programmes for Tv Fanø, I have been a movie operator in Fanø cinema, and sometimes I have helped out at Glaspusteriet (the glassblower´s). I have been a board member in Fanø Kindergarten, and I´m still a board member in Kulturelt Samråd, it´s my 6. year there now. I held an exhibition in Fanø Artmuseum spring 2011, together with fine artist Margit Enggaard. I self published a book for the exhibition (poems and short prose in English), and made a video installation with my poems and songs linked to filmclips of amongst other things, Margit Enggaard’s paintings. The Summer of 2013 I published, together with two other people living in Nordby, the first app about Fanø, which is a walk through town with lots of historical facts and anecdotes. (My role was recording and editing sound and video).

So. I´m thinking that it can´t be totally impossible at some one can use me for something or another, here on this island. As a personal assistant, for example. I have a good temper, love people, I am responsible and considerate. I can make songs or a film to order. I can translate texts from Danish into Norwegian or English. (For an impression of my English language, check out www.kaltwasser.dk/wordpress). I am service minded, I easily learn new skills, and have an allround positive attitude. I enjoy conversations about life´s challenges, but can also be quiet. I don´t smoke, and I have a driver´s licence. I´m currently studying vocal sound therapy under leadership of Githa Ben-David.

20 hours per week would be perfect. 9am to 1pm five days a week. But less will be welcome too. And if it has to be more hours than 20, of course I would really like to hear your proposal.

I hope that you, my fellow citizens, will look upon this letter as a sign of what is good about Fanø; that we can be ourselves, and be personal in our relating to eachother. If I myself had money, and needed help with something, I could easily see myself responding to a letter like this. Maybe there are more people like me on Fanø. I think that´s very, very possible. And as we know; as long as there is life, there is hope. “There is hope in a hanging fishingline.” (Norwegian proverb).

Friendly regards from

Lene Kaltwasser Henriksen

lenekaltwasser@gmail.com

 

Yup. That´s what I wrote. Danish verision follows below, like I said. It is very exciting to see if something good can come of this. Fingers crossed. Lucky is my middle name. What will be will be. Let it come.

:o)

 

Kære FanøJeg kommer fra den norske vestkyst, og har boet på Fanø nu i 7 år. Her trives jeg meget godt, med min mand der boede her da vi mødtes, og vores tre små børn, to af dem født på Fanø i 2010 og 2012.
Jeg har gået hjemme og passet mine små, med den støtte fra kommunen man kan få til det formål. Jeg har altid ønsket at være hjemme mens mine børn var små, og det er jeg meget taknemmelig for at jeg har fået lov til. Men nu er det slut. Min lille dreng startede i vuggestue i oktober, og så skal jeg finde en indtægtskilde.

Det er derfor jeg skriver her nu, et åbent brev til alle på vores ø. Det kan jo være at der kunne findes arbejde til mig på Fanø. Så kunne jeg arbejde deltid, og fortsat have mine små i halvdagsplads i vuggestue/børnehave.

Jeg har uddannelse fra Universitetet i Bergen, i samfundsvidenskab (antropologi, statsvidenskab, organisationspsykologi og medievidenskab). Jeg har arbejdet i børnehaver, som skolelærer, på plejehjem, fiskefabrik, som sekretær og i diverse butikker. Jeg har arbejdet en hel del med filmproduktion, (både frivilligt og professionelt, kortfilm og dokumentar), og jeg har altid skrevet digte og sange.

Siden jeg kom til Fanø har jeg rengjort sommerhuse et par sæsonger, lavet udsendelser for Tv Fanø, været filmfremviser i biografen og indimellem hjulpet til i Glaspusteriet. Jeg har siddet i Fanø Børnehaves bestyrelse, og sidder stadig i Kulturelt Samråd på 6. år.
Jeg lavede en udstilling i Fanø Kunstmuseum foråret 2011, sammen med Margit Enggaard. I den forbindelse udgav jeg en bog (digte og kortprosa, på engelsk), og lavede en videoinstallation med mine digte og sange koblet til filmklip af bla. Margits malerier.
Sommeren 2013 publicerede jeg sammen med to andre Nordbyboere, Fanøs første app, nemlig en byvandring med fakta og video om Nordby. (Min rolle var optagelse og redigering af lyd og video).

Så. Jeg tænker at det er vel ikke totalt umuligt at en eller anden kan bruge mig til et eller andet her på øen. Som personlig assistent, for eksempel. Jeg har godt humør, er glad for mennesker, er ansvarsbevidst og omtænksom. Jeg kan også lave film, eller sange på bestilling. Jeg kan oversætte tekst, fra dansk til norsk eller engelsk. (For indtryk af mit engelske sprog, se www.kaltwasser.dk/wordpress.) Jeg trives med kundebehandling i butik, lærer nemt nye færdigheder og har en positiv grundholdning. Elsker kulturprojekter. Er god til at indgå i kreativt samarbejde. Er glad for samtaler om livets udfordringer, men kan også være stille. Jeg ryger ikke, og har kørekort. Er under uddannelse til vokal lydterapeut under Githa Ben-David.

20 timer per uge ville være perfekt. 9-13 fem dage i ugen. Men mindre vil også være velkomment. Og skal det være flere timer, vil jeg selvsagt også rigtig gerne høre forslaget.Jeg håber at i, mine medborgere, vil se på denne henvendelse som et tegn på det som er godt med Fanø; at vi kan være os selv, og være personlige i forhold til hinanden. Hvis jeg selv havde penge, og havde brug for hjælp til et eller andet, ville jeg sagtens kunne finde på at respondere på et brev som dette. Måske er der flere som mig på Fanø. Det tror jeg er meget, meget muligt. Og så længe der er liv så er der håb, jo.

“Der er håb i hængende snøre”. (norsk ordsprog).Venlige hilsner fra
Lene Kaltwasser Henriksen
Galeasevej 4

Email; lenekaltwasser@gmail.com

 

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A new everyday life

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So.
The following day, after my motherinlaw died so dramatically,
my two and a half-yearold son Linus-Ferdinand, had his first day in kindergarten.
Nothing like a good contrast. Life goes on. However much one can´t stop onself from crying in the grocery store. Which in many ways is a good thing.
Not the crying, necessarily, but the being forced to continue living as if things still were ordinary, as if things were in order. Life carries on. And proves to you that you can indeed carry on. Even when you feel sure that you can not. There is relief in having to focus on something earthy, some task that demands your attentive presence. The waves of sorrow take a break.

We are so lucky with our kindergarten. My daughter, now four and a half, went there too, in the young-ones-area, before she moved over into the group for older children. She never EVER actually shed a single tear when I left her there. She barely had time to say goodbye.
Not so with my son.
He absolutely does not want me to leave. He really likes all the people there, and the toys, the music playing, fruit eating, their tiny little toilet… and especially the outdoors playground, with a shed full of bikes, police cars and other way kool things to ride.
He just wants me to stay there with him. Available.

So far I have stayed the first hour or two. First day I didn´t leave him at all. Next day for half an hour only. He is big enough to understand I will be back. He´s helped deliver his sister in kindergarten ever since he was born. But all kids are eased gently into this group. They are great at taking it slow, allowing each child´s different needs to be considered.

I´m just looking forward to when he stops holding onto my clothes, screaming, when I tell him I will leave now. As soon as I´m out of sight, of course he stops the protesting. As he realizes it is futile, he´s lost the battle, mom did go. Outside the closed door I pause, relieved to hear his crying stops after half a minute.

He is my third child. My two daughters have been far more robust than him. More independent. Or what words can fit this issue. My son is very… sensitive, but so are my daughters. He´s more… clingy…which sounds negative, but… I mean he´s very close to me, holds on to me, needs me physically close to a larger degree than my girls did when his age.

They do say that children are different. But it is actually hard to imagine my kids being different, before I have experienced it. They are treated similarly at home, hence they should be similar. Haha… I do know that statement is… incorrect. Of course. I´m just describing an emotional expectation. Every person is different. Siblings too.
I think it´s because a we do not consist of genetics and cultural upbringing only. We are born with… a soul. We are souls, born into human bodies. We are not empty at arrival, filled and formed by life. We are already complete beings at birth. Call it soul or call it something else. Consciousness, for example. We each bring our individual consciousness with us.

Anyways.
Our family of five were on a plane home from Spain this easter. At take off, as my son felt the plane lift from the ground, he said “Me scared!” That adjective is amongst his first fifty words or something like that! I was so surprised. My daughters are never scared. Apart from that time I took my then 3-yearold firstborn into a “ghost train” ride in an amusement park. Big mistake. She jumped around my neck as soon as our cart entered the darkness, and didn´t see a single glimpse of it, she just heard scary voices of witches and skeletons, and her mother going “It´s not dangerous, dear… it´s only theatre, you know, like your films at home…. oh look there´s a puppet that looks like a witch, oh those red dots in all that smoke are not eyes, darling, their just little red torchlights made to look like scary eyes…” Poor child. Stupid mother.

I just didn´t realize she would be that scared. It took months and months of reading a library book about a girl who found a ghost house in the woods and wasn´t afraid no matter how much the monsters tried to scare her…. we read that book for months on end, discussing that ghost train ride several times a day, the noises she heard, and how that witch above the door “spat” at us last thing before our cart came out into the sunlit safety again.

But apart from that.
Lately my son has gotten afraid of darkness. As he was outside at grandma´s the other week, and from the dark garage, his sister suddenly came running out. He keeps saying to everybody we meet: “It only a girl… eeeh Viola! eeeh dark! eeeh scared!” (He uses the “word” eeeeh to fill in his blanks).

Ever so cute. And he may be as he is, of course he may. And must. There will be no more little sibling after him either, so there is plenty of room on my lap and in my arms for him to seek shelter there. I will comfort him and talk him through things, as much as he needs. And then, suddenly, or rather, gradually, luckily… he will grow into a confident young man who won´t hold my hand in public anymore no matter how much I beg him to. So I will have to enjoy his need for me while I can.

Wow.
There´s still one more hour before I go pick him up! And Viola. Who is next door, in the same building. Getting 3 hours off… is such a rare thing for me. Haven´t had that since… whilst pregnant in 2012. Last two months before he was born. Soon it will be four hours a day without my kids. Every day! Mindblowing.
Today I have spent one cd tidying the guest room, and organizing washing. Then I spent one programme of Dr.Phil having brunch. Commercial breaks spent tidying utensils back into kitchen, emptying dishwasher, restarting my netbook here, ready to write a new blogpost as soon as Dr.Phil was finished.
Love that guy. He helps a lot of people. Today he made a mother and a father realize they were guilty of child abuse and needed help. Dr.Phil helps a lot of children. He uses the television medium in a way I wish more people did. To spread important information on how to heal.
Some times he gets a bit moralistic. But not often. He is influenced by his cultural upbringing, as we all are. In those cases, I just switch off and return to watch him another day.

Anyways.
A whole hour more. I think maybe I will set my alarm clock,
go to bed with a good book, and have a catnap if it happens.

And so she did.
:0)

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Now…

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Yesterday I went into my netbank to see how much money I have left, and discovered I have not been paid this month!! It is my last payment before a year of support stops, so it really threw me. And gave me a taste of what it will feel like to be me in October.

I´m quite good at not worrying about things. I trust that thinking positive will create positive results. But it certainly is a challenge, moving towards no income, in a time like this, where so many are unemployed and struggling.

The local flowershop, just twenty metres from my home, wanted someone, so I applied, but only part time and from October, so they have  found another one. I am also not trained in flowerings (or what it´s called), but it seems like a peaceful job, colours and scents, quiet talks with customers, who want to buy flowers to express their emotions for someone, romantically or a funeral, or… just to cheer up themselves… I thought that could be a nice thing to learn to be good at helping people with.

But that train has sailed. (Quoting Austin Powers). Next move I will make, to find income, is to write an open letter to my fellow islanders in the local paper. Letting everyone know I´m available and searching. Maybe there is a person like myself on this island, eccentric enough to respond to a letter like that. I know that I would gladly employ a person for some hours a week if I had money, and could do with a pair of helping hands, doing dishes, writing letters, pushing my wheelchair…  I hope this strategy will be a success.

Coz if it isn´t…. Then the next step will be the dole office on the mainland, in Esbjerg. Have some meetings with their consultants to plot out my options. Take a masters degree in social anthropology or media science, f.ex. Or get a trainee job in a local tv station. (I make shortfilms, videos, photography and editing. But self taught, so I need more technical skills to apply for proper tv jobs).

Thing is, as soon as things are placed in Esbjerg, there is a ferry schedule included in each end of my work hours. And I want to keep my two littlest ones in kindergarten for half time only, for the next couple of years. Ideally, if at all possible.

Anyways.

Except for these plans of action, what I´m  REALLY gonna do, is collect my Norwegian poetry and send it to an author in Norway, who is known to advice writers on where they should send their scribblings. I have self published a book in 2011, but I realize I completely and utterly SUCK at selling the book. So I want to find a publisher who can help me spread the word, so to speak.

My self published book is written in English. And I have found a publisher who wants to turn it into an e-book. So it can reach people who actually read English. And hopefully it will sell. And if it doesn´t, at least it may be read, in the e-book library lines, and that is more important to me.

I am participating in a couple of exciting cultural projects as well. Making apps, for example, promoting my Danish home island for tourists. Giving them local information through their mobile phones.

And I´m part of a group or two of enthusiastic people with great ideas, for happenings, performances, festivals…

So it´s not as if I´m lacking interesting things to do with my time.

All I´m lacking is money, honey.                                                                                 Must be funny. In a rich  woman´s  world.

I´m in the middle of educating myself as well, actually. In 18 months time I can call myself  “a vocal sound therapist”. If I get all my case results together. Very exciting education. I will certainly talk more about that later.

So is this blog gonna be all about me myself and I? Probably, yes. Write what you know, as they say, the wise.

I´m first and foremost on this planet to increase my consciousness, of my self, my Self and of LifeDeath. (my word, just jumped into life this moment).

I support two things that the beat poets used to say:

Write your life.

&

Make the private public.

I believe in sharing our life experiences, to help each other learn and grow. I believe life is too short to make shallow conversation. I believe that sharing one´s truth, strengthens both the talker and the listener. Breaking taboos. Expressing feelings, fears, joys…

That´s what words are for…. (almost quoting a famous song there 🙂

This blog will find its own form as I keep typing along. I will for sure add photos and videos when I find out how to. And present my book and film on a page.

Be patient with me and my ramblings. And let me know your opinion on what I write, if you feel like it. I hope to find out how to get back the function of comments real soon. I effed it up installing a facebook sharebutton plugin. Big sigh. Until that´s back in order, you can always reach me on lenekaltwasser@gmail.com or find me on Facebook; Lene Kaltwasser Henriksen.

To be reachable or not to be reachable

is a central question in this our

new age of communication.

Bottom line.    :o)

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