Friday, February 28, 2014


From time to time Mekkar would go back home from the smaller city where he now resided. Sometimes he would return with Lasse and other times alone by himself on the bus. Well, Mekkar and his best friend were still teenagers and still country boys at heart. They were both used to doing insane things without, as of yet, too many repercussions as a result of their actions. It was said that due to their youth and immaturity, Mekkar and Lasse were shielded from drastic consequences. The two developing young men were relishing in their newly found independence of living on their own at such a young age. They needed to grow up quickly as individuals away from their home village. However, boys will always be boys and when those two get together sparks can fly.

The small city Mekkar and Lasse now lived in had a greater number of fun activities to be involved in, but in some areas it could not ever match back home. Activities like ski racing while holding the reins as a reindeer pulls them around real quickly. The whole betting culture, among even the kids, which encouraged wagering to pick the winners in most everything they could think of. Plus, other enterprising undertakings that could be engaged in and possibly dangerous if it got out of hand.

This was also the beginning when Mekkar wanted to test the limits of his need for speed in various realms. He would have ample opportunities for this too. Mekkar thought that it was a good thing that he was still young enough that his hockey agreements didn’t have extremely restrictive clauses. It was not common to limit off ice antics and potentially self damaging physical activities away from the main sport or occupation. Well, at least pursuits that could possibly effect Mekkar’s needed contributions and performance related to his team. What if he got injured in these outside enterprises?

However, as Mekkar progressed up the ladder these aspects would soon change to protect both the individual and the franchise. The team already had some investment in him, through coaching and training. They desired Mekkar to develop as a player in a manner that would best benefit the team itself. Public image and perception also plays a part because positives sell tickets. Mekkar was well aware that he was not untouchable, but expendable like any other team member. Still, his philosophy became why not have some fun while you still can and try to keep it a secret from the club, if possible.

On one of these visits back to the village, the restless Mekkar and Lasse sought out the expensive first generation, prototype turbo engine snowmobiles in the barn. They both checked to see if they had enough fuel for their adventure. The problem was that these machines were only supposed to be primarily used on reindeer treks. The idea was to chase down stray animals and guide them back to the herd. Otherwise, those wandering animals might become a feast for another predator. Emergency applications were additional functions for the machines such as if someone gets lost during a blizzard, etc.

Both Mekkar and Lasse were fully aware that these machines were a newer supped up and custom modification version of snowmobiles. They could easily travel twice as fast as or more than the normal machines available for sale. Mekkar had been with both Henrik and Lasse’s papa when they acquired these special machines for village needs. On that particular journey Mekkar saw, with his own eyes, these snowmobiles in action and knew they were fast. He felt that might be the reason for restrictions regarding personal use.

This got their blood boiling with excitement and daring. Curiosity got the better of both Mekkar and Lasse and they took the machines out of the storage building. Without attracting too much attention they proceeded toward a makeshift 3.1 mile (5 Kilometers) snow covered racing track nearby. Mekkar called it their track, but basically it was a fairly flat open area which was normally cleared of any big trees. Mekkar likes to point out that the tree roots encounter permafrost below the soil at about 6 feet (1.82 meters) or less. So, it is fairly easy to remove any obstacles when they appear. Next, they scanned the area to check if most of the brush was removed, skipping an odd branch or two here and there.

There were only a couple of other buddies there beside themselves and they would be the judges of the race. Mekkar knew that they would be fair with no bias because there would be hell to pay otherwise. Plus, being dishonest, cheating, and playing favorites would mean losing friends. Since there is not a large selection of buddies to choose from that would be social suicide. If any of his peers wanted to be flat out crooked, like a politician, from that point on would forevermore result in a lack of trust of that individual. The first action taken would be a severe butt kicking while attempting to beat the corruption out of that character. The hope was to bring that one back to the fold as soon as possible.

So, after Mekkar and Lasse checked their machines again, they got back onto their vehicles. Mekkar’s heart was beating fast and he had beads of sweat running down his brow even though it was cold outside. Still, it was a little warmer than usual. Janne jogged out to the starting area and raised his arms above his head. The signal was given when Janne dropped those arms and they were off in a rush.

The race was supposed to be a minimum of 3 laps around the so called track. Mekkar was ahead the whole race. The ice sleds created a small cloud of snow dust due to the friction from the skis on the bottom, as well as, the rate of speed emanating from the machine which creates heat. It was fortunate for the trailing Lasse that this was not a pure ice track or his visibility would have been much worse.

On the homestretch Mekkar looked back at Lasse to see where he was. However, Lasse was not that far behind. Yet, Mekkar began to laugh at his best friend and even shout out cocky statements in Lasse’s direction. This caused Mekkar to lose focus. Just then, Mekkar slightly swerved a bit which forced him off the main part of the large oval shaped track they were on. This caused Mekkar to collide with a small tree. It was afterward described as just a large branch standing straight up out of the ground.

At the speed Mekkar and Lasse were racing, a collision with any object could result in some damage to the machine. There was contact with the front of the snowmobile and Mekkar flew forward in the air of the suddenly stopped machine. He landed on a small bank of soft snow right on his rear end in a prone position. The problem was that a small wooden object penetrated the side of his right wrist, past the skin into the muscle near the joint. It was the same arm and wrist that was injured before in a previous ski race.

Because of the adrenaline rush the injury was not Mekkar’s first concern. The physical pain to him was much less than the fear of damaging the front of the snowmobile. The psychological torment in Mekkar’s mind was worse right then. The teens knew specifically that these machines were not to be used for play or their own private purposes, but for work only.

Mekkar yelled out loudly, “My papa’s going to kill me for this!” He realized right then and there how much he screwed up through his devious actions. Before long, the injury pain was triggered and those messages travelled to his brain. In Mekkar’s mind, the actual damage to the snowmobile could have been worse. Nevertheless, it was enough to render it unusable for its full capability and intended purpose.

His cockiness caused Mekkar to lose big time. Let’s see, he didn’t win the race, lost all his money bet on it and had to fork over cash to Lasse. Not only that, Mekkar suffered an injury and would have to face the music from his family’s wrath for damaging the ice sled. In addition, Mekkar would be on the hook financially to have the mobile machine repaired to make it fully operational again.

This all happened because Mekkar acted stupid, cocky, and arrogant for just a moment. The teenager thought to himself what a terrible day, but it was an expensive lesson learned! Time will only tell. These thoughts went through his mind while getting back onto his feet. From there, they had to first go back to the village to retrieve a vehicle to pickup the now not running and noticeably damaged machine. Somehow, he hoped to haul it in for repairs before being noticed. All in the group knew what Mekkar’s fate was if he did not succeed.

Monday, February 10, 2014


This is where the agents of the government finally explained to Mekkar some of what was going on and the reasons for their actions. Mekkar wanted to cut through the lies and still had his doubts as to whether he was being told the whole story. He was still curious as to why they were being processed in this harsh manner like animals. Mekkar, at this point, was beyond perturbed and ready to kick some butt. Mekkar was at his breaking point with the overwhelming need to exercise his past sports demons on some government stooges. When he gets ticked off, Mekkar gets mighty ferocious and desires to get physical. Those hockey and fighter training skills were close to being exhibited in a harmful manner and he knew who his targets were – anyone in white.

Next, the white rats pulled out these old looking green canisters. They seemed to Mekkar as being from the World War II period. He could have sworn he saw foreign lettering on them, but couldn’t identify them. Mekkar wished his brother Alf were here just then because he could read that info on the cans. Mekkar figured these were either Chinese or Japanese by the lettering. He remembered from his history lessons that Japan got nuked by the United States in 1945. Thus, Mekkar assumed the items were from there and they must be old. The officials handed out large spoons to each person and poured out this foul smelling liquid substance into each spoon. The stuff reeked like rotten fish. A government overseer told Mekkar to take what was in the spoon, pour into his mouth, and swallow it. The individual attempted to explain in a personal way. Just, as if your mama gave you cough syrup when you were sick. Mekkar put it into his mouth and spit it back out on the ground. It was gross and he let anyone within hearing distance know about it. So, when he had to do it a few more times, Mekkar thought that he was better prepared for the next round. He wasn’t and becoming more irritated with each round.

One of individuals observing there told him that it was potassium iodine. They also added that it was supposed to help prevent thyroid malfunction and cancer. It didn’t matter to Mekkar what they called this nasty stuff. It was supposed to help him? I don’t believe it. He just knew when the liquid hit his tongue, it was absolutely awful tasting. Mekkar thought it was worse than when his godparents would have him drink a full glass of straight vinegar. Mekkar would then usually have to run to the bathroom and throw up. Mekkar thought that this iodine solution was much worse than the vinegar he remembered. 

The white rats had Mekkar and others there in the group take five big spoonfuls of this iodine juice. Mekkar wanted some vodka to drink right then to wash down the dreadful flavor in his mouth. He was of the opinion that he would rather eat fresh steamy reindeer excrement in the future before ever having to ingest that horrific syrup again. Mekkar later learned the syrup gave limited protection and only helped to protect the thyroid. No other parts of the body would gain any benefit from the liquid. Thus, the compound was very limited in its scope of defense. Oh Great! Mekkar thought whether it worth the effort to endure the hideous taste that gave minimal protection to him. It probably wasn’t worth the trouble at all.

Eventually, he did some research on the long term physical effects and consequences on the health of those exposed to the toxic particles. He checked out various sources, mostly at the library, to gather any information he needed. The data came from a host of various language newspaper articles, other media sources, scientific journals, and a few people he knew. It is important to note, the internet was less accessible back then and to enter it required some computer hacking skills. The internet itself is much older than the World Wide Web (www) which didn’t even exist for public access until 1989. He could do this when he had access. Problem was that he didn’t have his own computer and now Lasse’s was unavailable. Mekkar dug deeper and sought information regarding scientist predictions on future outcomes. That is, for people in the distressed areas due to the nuclear accident and the after-effects.

During the initial cleansing process, the national health people stated to Mekkar that he had nothing to worry about. The he would not experience any major effects from this plague for at least twenty five years, if at all. Mekkar thought that this was all hogwash. He later came to the conclusion that this advice was not correct after receiving the news of what happened to the two brothers. They have suffered severely and died fairly rapidly as well as others who survived for short terms after the incident. The young man also reasoned that the government claims are all falsehoods and full of lies. Flat out, Mekkar didn’t trust the government people. He was educated enough to know that anyone can make their case with statistical analysis alone.

He still had a nagging feeling that there are facts still missing and more that he is not being told. Mekkar wanted to ask a physician several questions. However, the doctor had to be outside of the current system and not employed by the government. It had to be a person who he felt he could trust a little more than these liars who arrived quickly on the scene. Mekkar’s sentiment was how did they know when and where to show up so speedily after the crisis? He was conducting a thorough analysis to satisfy some of his own questions. The objective was tying together time frames between cause and effect. When and how the predictions or warnings came announced and whether the full consequences of errors could be avoided or not. Mekkar searched a wide array of sources. He knew, like economists, very few scientific experts in any field completely agree on all data gathered, its interpretation, and impending possibilities.

After the explosion of the reactor other future events arose to inflict more long term health concerns upon the residents. Whole areas and people were burdened way beyond the scope of previous predictions. Mekkar and others he knew in the surrounding area heard rumors and innuendo regarding other nuclear plants that might affect them. These were also constructed in a similar manner as the one that melted down. A number of these energy plants and various nuke reactor stations were not well known. Some were in locations not far away millions of people, but kept secret from them.

Not a small number of people were affected by this event. The fear is that it could get much worse over time. Likewise, if these other plants have minor leakage issues the results could be catastrophic. A large storm, a great wind, or extensive atmospheric activity could carry the pollution sources right to people’s front doors in a hurry. It might seem as though the issue were caused next door, but not necessarily. If a population was previously affected, minor escapes of poisoned air is not such an insignificant factor upon a person’s health. Added to the fact, would be a great number of these stations were poorly designed and construction was worse. Standards that wouldn’t even meet minimal grades for similar power plant facilities in other parts of the world. Even first nations have problems with nuclear power technology and related energy generation.

Science has shown how acid rain can travel long distances to wipe out fish in lakes. This effect was due to antiquated manufacturing structures and policies of irresponsible nations who could care less about their neighbors. In the past, issues arose from a few of those alternative places were much closer to Mekkar’s village. Unfortunately, this is a realm that is more powerful than coal and has the ability to do more destruction over wider areas. There was a secretive hidden agenda used before in not revealing who was adjacent to some of these facilities. What would stop this trend from continuing and having much more potential destructive capability? Would the public be better informed of what is going on around them or lied to some more?

There were also other suggestions of explosions occurring due to nuclear testing and various mysterious activities. Imagine this was happening near the largest military bases in the world. Unfortunately, no large international media outlets said a peep about these conceivable incidents. It seemed to Mekkar that no one seemed to care or bother to investigate these possible occurrences. Maybe the reins were held tight by those in charge? Alf continued to translate some more alternative sources to Mekkar, in a host of different languages. The material reported a few fairly hushed up activities and locations. Alf and Mekkar noticed a tendency concerning these accounts had a habit of being removed from circulation quickly after exposing their covert details. These incidents were quickly hushed up or hidden from public consumption. Just part of another country’s rulers attempt to hide their misdeeds perhaps, thought Mekkar? Again being misapplied and all falling under the all-inclusive umbrella term of national security.

Mekkar’s family ended losing everything they owned due to the fallout. Contrary to the answers given by the officials, no one he knew received any compensation from anyone for it. His home, vehicles, reindeer herd, business, and all personal belongings were destroyed. Friends, relatives, natives, and fellow citizens perished or were affected by this disaster. Mekkar’s own personal health was affected also and still causes problems for him to this day.

A person that Mekkar met later on was an exchange student at the time in a university town not close to the event. That individual acquired type-two diabetes from the distant effects of the fallout that emerged. During the accident, a professional hockey player lived in a city nearby the plant in his youth. It was mentioned that he is awaiting any possible long term effects from the incident to eventually germinate. How can one fight against a force that is not well understood and we don’t know when it might surface?

Later on, the United States supplied a few billion dollars toward encasing and sealing off of the damaged nuclear reactor. The hope was subsequent damage could be limited somewhat and wouldn’t continue to be such a large problem down the line. Mekkar is convinced, however, that the governmental officials responsible for the plant at all levels stole most of that money. He thinks the cash loaned toward that securing and restricting the damage was basically siphoned off because many people had their hands out. The bureaucrats and officials kept a lot of project money for themselves through corruption, bribery, and outright theft. Now, Mekkar is of the opinion that is what government and their representatives always do.

Unbelievably, a few years afterward the incident some people in positions of power still wanted to reopen that plant. Thankfully it is permanently closed for power generation. Now, the local leaders there have the ambition to make the area available to attract tourists and rake in some cash to line their own pockets. What is forgotten is the fate of common people that were affected since they just get kicked to the curb. It is interesting to note that in 2003 fallout spiked in certain northern areas and reindeer had to be destroyed once again. The animal’s food sources were still contaminated along with the local food supply chain. The earth and surrounding environments will be spoiled for a lot longer period of time. People are now passing the effects to their children and nearby cultures have been impacted forever. [Chernobyl – 20 Years, 20 Lives by photographer Mads Eskesen] Has the cost been worth it? Mekkar distinctly says No.

It is important to note that sometimes details become fuzzy to Mekkar regarding events that occurred long ago. One reason is that he doesn’t want to remember when he had to basically start over. Another reason is that he has had multiple concussions with a number comparable to former pro athletes. Only their doctors probably know the extent of the full measure related to permanent memory and brain damage issues. All related to numerous and frequent head trauma. Mekkar at times describes it as the frustration of having short circuits in his head without the warning buzzer. He more often than not forgets what he is saying, while he is the middle of speaking. This is telling considering when he was younger he had a photographic memory and used it extensively. Mekkar is glad he was excellent at taking written notes.

Mekkar has said on occasion that people’s minds are similar to computers. That is everything that happens to them in their life goes on the hard drive. That is the subconscious memory. Mekkar’s trouble is with the accessible memory, the Random Access Memory (RAM), which is now faulty. That is the conscious memory that Mekkar is unable to control what he can remember at any given time. Mekkar figures that he is not the only one who has those same recall problems. He refuses to use the head impairment as a crutch because he knew the hazards and risks when he started. However, it is not so easy to replace or upgrade the brain Ram in human beings is it? There is the rub, maybe technology and scientific discovery can solve this issue in the coming future, perhaps?


There are two subjects that Mekkar has great difficulty talking about in relation to all others in his life and this is one of them. Normally he tries to block out of his mind these negative experiences and painful events such as this. So, this was an arduous process getting Mekkar to recall and speak about it. It was a laborious task to extract a few of the details that affected him during this time. There were a wide range of emotions that went through his intellect while writing this chapter and it was excruciating to watch. Anger swells up, even to this day, regarding the rough treatment of him and those around him affected by this tragedy. By the way, the whole situation came about, by no fault of their own actions.  

What is not common knowledge by most are the wind patterns and air currents that circulate in the upper cirrus clouds. These can blow around manufacturing pollution anywhere. Ash, from numerous volcanic eruptions around the world, has been found far away from the original source. The old tall smoke stacks rising from plants during the early part of the twenty-first century are examples of this. Tainted air also spewed out from heavy industry areas in the former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe. Mekkar believes that the atmosphere traps pollution and forces it to spread to other parts of the world. Otherwise, that foul air would continue on into outer space and away from the planet. Liabilities in the air can strike anything that breathes because it can travel worldwide. Thus, it is surely able to affect Mekkar’s home area also.

Of course, the young man from the arctic is not a weather expert but he has his own theories about the subject. On occasion, Mekkar’s region might receive acid rain due to emanations from the old industrial cities of Europe and elsewhere. Growing up Mekkar saw the effects first hand of the residue as a result of using these old methods of production. Soot and dinginess are extensive in areas nearby this type of activity. A look at industrial centers such as Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, or West Virginia coal mining towns in the United States shows this plainly.

On previous occasions officials arrived from the national government with news to supposedly deliver help to his family, as well as, other inhabitants of the area. For example, they would tell them that they will put certain substances in the lakes, but excluded the larger faster moving rivers. The white coats, as Mekkar described them, would inform the locals that this method would keep the fish and more alive. They also claimed the action taken would preserve wildlife for a specific amount of time. Mekkar knew this was untrue because this was not the first time he heard these promises. The same exact hallow echoes were repeated over and over. He figured it wouldn’t be the last time either.

The assertions of powerful lasting effects of neutralizing the negative aspects of the acid rain for long periods of time were false as usual. Mekkar read about other places that had used the same approach and the results were relatively short term or not effective at all. The young man also remembered the last time when the local aquatic life began to die much earlier than predicted. No real statistical evidence or acknowledgement by those in charge was published the last time this scenario was carried out. It was not in the official best interest and they did not care what the natives thought, is how Mekkar perceived it. Mekkar had a theory that this is just another example of another dominant culture attempting to destroy a much smaller native population. In this instance, forcing them to suffer from the cause and effect fallout due to grossly mismanaged errors of modern society. What was worse is these were not mistakes due to native ways and not by their own hand.

Mekkar read a story of the uniformed workers involved in the combat and cleanup process of the nuclear power plant accident. A food vendor on streets of a big city, which was nearby, made a reference to the falling nuclear fallout rain he saw around him at the time. It gave the impression to Mekkar that the kiosk operator felt that it was no big deal. This was part of an interview given to a journalist during the May Day military parade in the surrounding town. Unfortunately, there was a follow up story a few weeks later and it was revealed that the journalist along with the vendor both died excruciating deaths. Both had radiation burns all over their skin according to those close to them. So, much for trusting your government to protect their citizens, huh? Mekkar has a belief that governments will do everything, in their power, to hide their secret activities. Aspects such as incompetence, mistakes, and intentional actions against their own populations will be hidden as well.

When the explosion happened at the nuclear power plant, it transmitted the poison fallout in many directions quickly in all directions. Radioactive waste also travelled through the atmosphere. First, it traveled to nearby cities and nations and beyond. The harmful wind then directed itself due north into places no one could have guessed. Even some areas as far as 1,000 miles (1,609.34 kilometers) away were affected much more than anyone was told.  

Mekkar heard that it was originally thought to have begun at a nuclear plant in a nation in the north. The guess was that since radiation was detected there and that nation has a few nuclear power reactors of their own. They later discovered that it came from somewhere else. There was a claim that a phrase out of reliance on this type of energy would be completed by a certain period of time. However Mekkar stated, “You know how governments are.” Plus he added, “I will believe it when I see it’. He knew the lies were just beginning.

The native from the Arctic thought to himself that it is just another way the modern world behaves in a discriminatory fashion. He is convinced that those in charge desire to wipe out his native land and culture to gain domination over everything. Mekkar felt that it is ironic, that peoples that are frequently affected by pollution issues and this accident are the ones who cause little damage to the environment in comparison. Many native cultures see the earth as its relative with the idea of taking care of it. That is, if you want to enjoy its benefits. It is the total opposite of the “civilized” view of destroying the planet to gain resources with little effort toward replenishment for future resource usage. 

Part of his maturing process was following the lead of his parents. Mekkar refused to accept limited reports from only one source. His distrust of potential censorship pushed him to probe further for more information from a different perspective. In one aspect, it was good that Alf was not in the area, but Mekkar could have used his younger brother’s language skills right then. Even though this event occurred before the World Wide Web available to the general public there were other ways to find out information, if one were creative. Other reports on his monster sized shortwave radio poured in regarding the effects of this incident. Some the news was in languages Mekkar didn’t understand. He turned the knob constantly looking for sources he could comprehend. Eventually bulletins and detailed discussions about the resulting fallout were found. Mekkar listened to reports about radioactivity moving and descending in Alaska, Siberia, as well as other places far from the epicenter. He thought it was like the aftermath from the Mount Saint Helens volcanic eruption leaving remnants in many places.

A couple of Mekkar’s acquaintances from the large city in the vicinity were directly involved in the operational crews. These were brothers around his own age whom he played hockey against and went to the same high school with during an international exchange program. He heard that part of the duties included having to directly remove radioactive material. Furthermore, without the proper clothing or equipment. Both soon died from the catastrophic after effects. Mekkar directly received the news, via telephone, that they both lost their lives about a week later. Their relatives described the physical agony of their condition in gruesome detail. Recounting the severe radiation skin lesions and the internal poisoning was difficult for Mekkar to listen to. Sadly, one of the end results was the two brothers basically coughed up their lungs.

It was not officially disclosed what exactly each of them were involved in or whether they were thrust into action immediately after the fact to fight further damage. This made Mekkar extremely sad for his friends. He became skeptical and wondered if the whole thing was poorly handled by the authorities on purpose. His suspiciousness was heightened by his growing belief of population control through direct elimination. His opinion is there will be more fear created episodes such as this in the future. Plus, Mekkar was already familiar with the story of the 1979 Three Mile Island meltdown in Pennsylvania.

Mekkar was soon listening from various sources and even saw some pictures regarding this tragedy. Alf, who was not there, translated underground news about the activity to his older brother. He related information over the telephone about the efforts to put out a fire in one of the reactors. There was talk about some of the firefighters were also sent into that risky environment without any hazmat suits. Proper gear was lacking and items to fight a regular fire were used, which was ineffective at best.

The native from the north was outdoors tending to his reindeer during portions of the radiation fallout blanketed his area. Janne mentioned to him that national government officials would be paying them a visit soon afterward. He described to Mekkar that they would help them with things related to the effects caused by the cloud. Mekkar thought that he knew what was coming, however, he was sorely mistaken. The first of the officials came about an hour or so after Janne brought the subject up to him. Mekkar assumed correctly that more white clothed people from the health department were on their way. One of the first doctor’s and his nurse began to round up some the people. Mekkar was now imagining that he might be like one of his animals’ in this scenario.

Before long, Mekkar with some others were being transported by truck to a hospice type building set up away from his village. The architecture appeared to Mekkar as if it were formerly some type of old folks home. It irritated Mekkar when the health workers kept spraying everyone in the group with a liquid based substance at regular intervals. He wanted to punch some of them to make them stop. No one told the herd of people what that particular compound was, even when Mekkar asked. His inquiries were readily dismissed. Mekkar growled a couple of times at the health officials. He nicknamed them the white rats. However, Mekkar concluded that his reality at the moment was that he was actually a rat in a cage instead.

When the group arrived at their destination, they escorted Mekkar along with ten other males to a shower area. Females were separated at this point. He was required to remove his clothing prior to the body washing. Commands were given to the assistants to make sure all of them were thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned. They were given this rough gritty soap that looked like lava rock and brushes with hard bristles. It was painful to the skin and created red blotches all over his body. Mekkar was unaware that the government representatives had taken and destroyed the clothes he was wearing beforehand. What Mekkar didn’t know was that this would be the last time he would don his distinctive native clothing. Mekkar now especially disliked these authoritative robbers as he described them. He also wondered why they stole all of the personal belongings he had on his person.

The agent of the state claimed that they would compensate him for everything lost or destroyed during this process. But, Mekkar didn’t believe them. He had heard adults in his village tell many stories about how his native people had been ripped off repeatedly. The northerner had also read articles regarding many times where the state took from his people. On the few occasions when the authorities did give back something it was never close to fair value in return. Mekkar felt that this was dehumanizing treatment on their behalf and there was no need for it. Yet, he and fellow villagers were in for further surprises to come.

So, Mekkar at this point had no quality clothes or at least some that weren’t cheaply made along with no other items on his person. He told another person in the group, “Look at the cheap generic and common everyday clothing the white rats gave us”. Following the cleaning procedure Mekkar got dressed in a lackadaisical manner. He hated the helpless feeling and the continual turn of events that were happening around him. The white ghosts (health officials) as Mekkar thought of them now directed his group to a larger room. Here each one of them had face to face sit down contact with a government representative. Mekkar was ready with questions and wanted some absolute answers and he intended to get them. Despite the fact he distrusted them.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Mekkar first learned how to drive when he was twelve years old. His mama felt that maybe she had waited a bit too long to teach him a little bit. It was common in the region for kids, Mekkar’s age, to drive any number of motorized vehicles. The main exception was the highways away from a person’s village. Few really worried about whether one had the proper national driver’s licenses or not at that time. It was not a big concern as long as an individual could operate the vehicles and machinery in a safe and proper manner. Plus, there were not many traffic police wandering through the area either.

The sticklers for obeying all the national driving laws were always individuals who were employed by some money-grubbing government agency. Way down south the minimum age limits for obtaining the correct driving documents are much higher. This stuff was for the big city folk not us country people, thought Mekkar.

Mekkar and his mama were about to begin his first driving lesson together. He thought, in his mind, that it was an unfortunate thing that his mama was his driving instructor. He preferred to take these lessons from his papa instead because Henrik was calmer and laid back. His mama was too feisty and not patient in his opinion. Mekkar’s papa was less likely to react in a manner that would result in him getting frustrated and distracted. Especially, if Mekkar made any inexperienced driving mistakes and a possible argument might occur. Mekkar right then thought that Sirga might be just a little too crazy to teach him how to drive a car.

However, the boy realized that he needed to make the best of it and appreciate the opportunity to learn offered to him at this time of how to drive a vehicle. Another benefit was he also got to spend time with his mama. More experiences to develop his own growing independence streak were important issues with him too. It was a stage that Mekkar was going through as he was getting older. Becoming more self-sufficient would only be a larger concern to him in his teenage years. Sirga said that many people her son’s age have those same attitudes. Many emerging young people gain the mindset of wanting to show themselves as capable people before they reach adulthood. This is reflected by not having the desire to be constantly around their parents and pursue other interests. Mekkar’s mama admitted that she was like that also, but commented that the circumstances were very different in the post World War II era.

Sirga’s backed her nicely kept cherry red 1972 Porsche 911 Carrera sports car from the garage. Mekkar excitedly opened the door so he could hop in behind the wheel and his mama moved over to the passengers’ side. She reminded her son that this two-seat prime machine came right off the line, brand new, from the factory. The boy was trying to get the clutch and shifter timing down as they drove away from the house. After about twenty minutes they reached a flat stretch of highway. There were few cars on the road where they at during this part of the day. It was a very flat terrain with little overwhelming visible scenery for Mekkar to be distracted by. This was not a major highway like an Interstate freeway in America or the multi lanes of the German autobahn. In this section, it is primarily one lane going each way side by side with large center divider. Every so often there would an extra lane so slower vehicles could be easily passed. The average driving speed was fast, higher than the posted limits. The season didn’t matter either even when the road was like an ice sheet during wintertime.

The weather was a nice sunny day and not too hot for Mekkar’s liking. They were cruising along at about one hundred miles per hour (160.93 kilometers per hour). Mekkar was now feeling confident as a driver. However, his mama wanted to give him a surprise test. So, without slowing down Sirga reached over from the passenger’s side with her leg and her foot slammed on the brake. Well, Mekkar had to react quickly to get out of the slide they were now in. When he regained control of the vehicle, he lost his cool and yelled at his mama, “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”

Sirga’s reaction was not what he expected at all due to her usual straightforward intense demeanor. This time she was sort of calm which surprised him. It was the total opposite from her normal personality. Before long, Mekkar’s mama did return to her usual character and snapped at him, “First of all, don’t you talk to me like that!” The car was still moving as he was attempting to gather his wits. She then slapped Mekkar across the face with a whap and it stung. Mekkar replied back in a sharp tone, but he was focusing on steering the car as it slid off to the side of the road into an open field.

As they came to a stop, Mekkar was glad that he didn’t roll the car. He repeated again, “What did you do that for?” He added, “Why did you slam on the brake while I was driving your car at that speed? You do know this is my first driving lesson.” Mekkar’s mama responded, “I chose this area because the ground is relatively flat here. I felt that there was little chance of rolling the car over here. If you slide off the road, no big deal!” She continued on, “I have driven this road many times, so I knew what to expect. Also, it is easy to get back on the road again after going off the highway”. Sirga went on further, “I started to see that you were confident in your ability to handle the car. You know how long winter is and it’s coming soon. You should already know this through previous experience.” Mekkar took this as a backhanded compliment from his mama. The motor was never shut off throughout this ordeal. The youngster next put the car in the right gear, got back onto the road and the driving lesson continued. At this point, the flustered Mekkar just wanted to have this training time over with and get home as soon as possible.

Monday, February 3, 2014


At fourteen years old, Mekkar would have to prove himself once again. Successful completion of the wolf test would be important in regard to more important reindeer herding assignments. The whole idea is to show that the individual can protect the herd at all times and under duress.

He was no different from others who trekked with the herds as they had to go through the event as well. With greater trust in Mekkar’s abilities in handling and protection of animals resulted in more responsibility given to him, especially on the trek. Parents in modern societies would have a hard time letting their teenagers be involved in such a dangerous ceremony. The natives knew that it was necessary to test one under extreme pressure, in case that same scenario happened in the wild. Failure to pass resulted in death for the teen. It was very different from flunking a class in school. There was very little margin for error.

The teenager had recognized the reason behind why veteran herders in his village had colored ribbons streaming their hat. One part was to indicate what type of functions each could perform. Herders in other places might not have any of these indicators as they do not care about this. Despite this there are many that are also well experienced in many facets regarding reindeer herding.

On the hat there could be a spectrum of colors like red, yellow, blue, green, and a few others to show adeptness and proficiency in various areas of how to protect the herd. It could range from whether a person gets to use the snowmobiles, those who specialize with operation and coordination with animals to move the herd along. Other symbols can identify which individuals are able carry out other difficult tasks. The toughest is building and removing fences, as well other temporary structures, for roundup and more. Mekkar thought it was because those people had to do it despite the conditions, including in deep snow.

Despite the youthfulness of those who get initiated through this ritual, the only defensive and offensive weapon the participant gets to use is a knife. No guns are allowed. The reasons are very clear in the field. The teenager has take on a live wild wolf one on one with only a knife. In some cases out on the tundra, shooting a firearm could spook and stampede the herd. The herders would be fairly helpless as their animals ran away. That would be similar to waving your bank account, goodbye. Reindeer have some worth and value in monetary terms.

Unknown to many outsiders of the area, it’s rude to ask how many reindeer a person or family owns. Usually there would be no response at all or some type of general response is given to distract from the question altogether. It would be like if one person asked another, who they didn’t know very well, how much money do they have in the bank. A true response would be “None of your business.”

There are usually more than a couple of teens that are the main focus of this ritual. Usually, the wolves are expected to leap up and attack the individual’s throat region. Part of the preparation is that one wolf is separated out and enticed to attack. This becomes a one on one battle between prospective full responsibility herder and the predator. After the initial aggressive stage has begun, no party from the outside can interfere. That is, until either the kid or attacking animal dies. One has to prove their mettle under extreme pressure. What was worse, just prior to Mekkar’s turn, was that boy did not overcome and was defeated. The wolf jumped up and bit him in the throat, which took out the boy.

It was time for the young man to have a go at it and justify himself. He already knew to outwardly show any fear would benefit his opponent. Inwardly he was apprehensive, but this quickly turned to anger and a different mindset. The change in Mekkar’s demeanor became one of Come on, let’s see what you have and you will not defeat me.

Mekkar, being brave and a quick thinker in his mind, stuck his left hand into the attacker’s mouth. Next, he retrieved his knife from its sheath. It didn’t have a small blade but nowhere near as large as a crocodile hunter’s either, but somewhere in between. Then, the animal chomped down hard and almost bit all the way through his hand. One can still see the bite mark scars to this day. It was excruciating is how Mekkar later described it. He took this action because he figured the challenger can’t go for his throat, if it is already occupied with the hand.

The Arctic Warrior then drove the knife up through the aggressor’s jaws while his own hand was still stuck in there. Mekkar came very close to piercing his own limb. Fortunately for him, the extended dagger went right between Mekkar’s middle and ring fingers. This did not mean the action did not result in consequences for Mekkar as he growled in pain. After that, Mekkar twisted the knife back and forth and with his other extremity struck a bone in the neck of the wolf. This basically broke the bone and killed the attacker. Finally, Mekkar was able to remove his injured hand from the animal’s grasp in this dual to the death. He thought to himself what a stupid thing to do. However, it was another instance where Mekkar prevailed to live another day.