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A Bad Experience - Part V or Karina's Escape

Right, the story and the really bad relation could’ve ended right here. I was sure as hell not going to get in touch with this woman again. Sam and I were relieved it came to an end and that Karina and the rest of the cartoon figures, as Sam put it, were out of the picture for good. To be fair, Sam and I happened because of Karina and her boyfriend. It wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t bashed me so badly that night Sam would have been stuck in the same closet, and so would I. We both concurred on that one, but I wasn’t thankful. To tell you the truth I hated their phony guts. But I soon forgot about the whole thing and went on with my life. Until of course I met Karina again on this remote godforsaken island zillions of miles to the Southwest of Norway. Karina was like a large sunflower during the months she stayed in Norway and her life took a totally different direction from then on. She made sure, at least once a day, that the hatchet had been buried for good between us, and she was a fantastic shrink who managed to put the war of my life into a totally new perspective. It is remarkable that a person whom I loathed, who made my life a misery for a few days was actually the one to pick up the pieces of whatever was left of me and then manage to glue them all together like a jigsaw puzzle that one would normally just leave safely within the cardboard box they come in, so that you wouldn’t have to worry about picking up the 10.000 or so pieces that would easily cover most of anyone’s bedroom floor. The last thing I got from her was a collage with lots of photos of us together and the following words: “Your’re so lucky Svennie. Go figure – you actually managed to clean up a regime so squalid and so corrupt that it makes The People’s Republic of Congo stand out as the cradle of righteousness in comparison to what the situation was in Barranco de la Verga (still haven’t looked it up?). In addition to that you got acquainted to so many good and interesting people! Check your list of friends and tell med the goddammit truth – I know what the truth is: You have never had so many good friends who really care for you as now. Am I right? As always, yes. Come April she packed her stuff and got herself ready for a totally new life. She had made a decision that really impressed me. Karina was not going back to her remoteness. What she wanted to do was to travel around the world helping animals in need. She had always dreamt of honoring her late parents’ wish, and now she had decided that the time had come. She spent weeks working on funding her trip, sending applications to all sorts of organizations and to private people she knew had something to spare. I got to participate in the whole process, and I envied her guts and her stubbornness deeply. She was actually going to go through with her dream, and this dream of hers is exactly the dream I have – something I’ve always wanted to do as well, but that I have never considered putting into action. Compared to Karina I am a coward, and I don’t like taking chances. The point is, yes I travel around as soon as I get the slightest chance, and yes I have done a hell of a lot good for animals and animal shelters around the world, but I haven’t yet got to the point where I have dared just taking off with no job waiting for me at the other end, no income and an insecure future. I guess Karina was right when she classified me in the category of the person who wants to eat the cake and keep it. She was damned right, and I have to admit ; That’s the way I am. So Karina got to plan her two years’ of exploring the animal life all over the world, while I was actually the happiest guy on earth who just got a message that the Board at the most prestigious junior college of Oslo offered me the job as their new principal, including the possibility of teaching French at a high level. I must admit, the option of going with Karina was a tempting one, but the fact that I was offered the job of a lifetime kept me from pursuing the train of thought any further. I would still be the guy working the regular nine to five job, except for the possibility of long vacations being able to follow suit on Karina’s invite to come see her in whatever place she might end up in, now that her journey had started, and there was no time limit to it. She imagined herself being gone for years, doing the exact thing she had always wanted to do – rescuing animals.

Karina went through with her plan and I went through with mine. Three weeks after her departure from Oslo I heard her voice through the grapevine! She was interviewed by some guy who had met her in Suriname where she was working on a turtles’ project. Actually she had taken over the whole project and helped the villagers in the area where sea turtles come up to the beach to lay their eggs. Karina talked about the project and the work they were doing there so convincingly that anyone listening to her would be in no doubt this expert on turtle conservation must have been working in the field for ages. I was so proud of her, taken into consideration what kind of life she had led prior to this, and the way she had with words to convince a hell of a lot of people that she had all the competence in the world on the life of sea turtles. I guess she had acquired a hell of a lot of knowledge at the speed of light, because she obviously knew what she was doing over there in South America. I figured I’d have to talk to her. There was no easy way since Karina was not accessible by phone, SMS or even e-mail, but I figured she would eventually check her Facebook account, and so I left a message there for her to call me as soon as she had the chance. Galibi and Babusanta are two areas on the Surinamese coast and they have long been a priority for a group of environmentalists from the United States. The giant turtle is an endangered species , and thus, lots of resources have been pin-pointed on the education of children in the areas where the giant turtle lays its eggs. The group of environmentalists fund a teacher’s training school in the area, where environmental issues on high on the agenda for teachers to be. There is an effective training program for teachers and students, and years of relentless effort seem to have been successful. There is still a long way to go before the giant turtle and other endangered species can be taken off the endangered species list, but to some extent one can see that people in these areas are really eager to follow up on what they’ve learned, and they understand what an asset wildlife is for their country as well as globally. No more than four days after Karina’s radio interview I was right there with her in Suriname. She had booked my flight, paid for it, picked me up at the airport and taken me to her new found paradise. This is where she was working, and this is where she was employed as a teacher of a large school which hosted both elementary school, junior college classes and last but not least teachers training classes. They were in desperate need for lecturers at the teachers’ training college and she had already set up an interview with me and her principal, but I knew at this point of time that this was no option for me. What puzzled me was this Karina had been engaged as a teacher. I had no idea she even was a teacher, and I was sure she never took any kind of teaching degree. This time I was dead wrong. Karina had finished off her Master of Science degree years ago, and had also held different teaching positions at different schools before she was declared unable to work and therefore expendable by her Norwegian doctor. When I asked her what schools she named a few, but then she became evasive, and didn’t really want to discuss the matter any further. I got curious and I did not cave in this time. I did not want to miss out on the schools she had worked at and so I kept nagging her until she finally started speaking.

What now follows might be taken in as another trick played by the universe, and to me – as a believer, this is serendipity. There is no other explanation to what she told me in full confidence that night at the hilly beachfront of Galibi village. Karina tried all kinds of twists to get off the hook, but I did want to know. Finally, the story came out – and I was beyond shocked if that is possible. Part VI might reveal the shocking story – the more likes the faster the story continues.

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