Looking back to look forward.
One of my most cherished memories is sitting on my twin brother’s bed, my dad between us, while he read many genres including Kon Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft.
My father was an enthusiastic boatman from his early teen years. He bought his first boat (before he owned a car) at Abercrombie and Fitch in New York City, a sporting goods store known for extensive sporting equipment. To get the boat from the third floor to the shore, a crane was erected, a window opened, and the boat was brought down to a trailer. Dad held his breath until the boat safely arrived at the marina.
Kon Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft, published in 1950, relays the adventure led by Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer along with five other adventurers sailing from South America, crossing the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian islands in nothing more than a raft assembled from balsa logs. He was attempting to prove Polynesian folklore that the islands had been settled by an ancient race led by Kon Tiki, a legendary Inca God and this expedition set out to prove this intercontinental contact among different civilizations and culture. Whether this trip proved this theory is still unresolved, but most scientists discount it.
No doubt, this was a treacherous undertaking! The raft, measuring a mere forty-five feet in length, set sail on April 28, 1947, two days after we were born, and after many months, arrived at the Polynesian island of Puka Puka. The Kon Tiki Museum in Oslo houses the original Kon Tiki raft.
Within the pages of every book we read together, each one conveyed the message that if we have faith in ourselves, the strength of our convictions, we would succeed. These were powerful messages for two ten-year old kids.
Heyerdahl's book, The Kon-Tiki Expedition: By Raft Across the South Seas, may be the culmination of his log book. I have kept my own logbook through my care giving journey recording the full gamut of emotions, experiences, frustrations, and strengths. The messages learned so long ago have given me strength and support as I navigate my care giving journey today.
Life Lesson: Thor Heyerdahl said, “Once in a while you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but, when you are right in the midst of it, you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.” Alvin Hall, the author of Driving the Green Book, suggests we follow the sage words said by Frank Figgers from Jackson, Mississippi, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, in order to make a better life and a fair deal.”