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March 17, 2022: Priorities

Today I went with Milena to Anchorage and passed out books at the state-wide high school basketball conference. There were three games going on simultaneously, all day long.

Our meet and greet area was adjacent to all three basketball arenas.

Milena had told me that the hallway would be somewhat crowded early in the day, and very crowded in the evening. It soon seemed to me to be like an airport, with hundreds of people passing by.

Milena and Alys load books bound for Shishmaref in the van to Northern Air Cargo

Humans are more conditioned than they realize to the word free. I’d say this and people would first stop dead in their tracks, then lunge for the books. I think in most cases the parents and the children were truly glad to get the books. There were, however, a handful who took the books because they were free.

Later in the day, when I was so very tired, I had to figure out a way to keep from falling asleep. No matter that the basketball player’s fans were a raucous and loud lot – I could hardly stay awake. So I focused on passing out books to the little kids passing by, by literally putting the books in their hands. In this way, I gave away over 100 copies of Saving Dory, sweetening the deal by telling the kids and their parents that the book also came with a CD.

This event showcased Milena Sevigny’s First Wave Book Project. Her books came from publishers under the First Wave book project – and additionally, she’d garnered corporate sponsorship.

TOTE, the company Milena works for, needs the warehouse where she’s storing the books, so she’s working hard to part them out. Hence, the giveaway at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Again, I worked hard in order to stay awake, and also because I know that getting books into the hands of children is most important. And the majority of these kids were from villages, so these books will end up there.

Books are books, and so it did not matter to me if I was assisting in distributing First Wave or Bright Lights Book Project books.

It was because I was tired that it occurred to me that if I am going to continue in this line of work that I’m going to need to pace myself. I had originally believed that there would be a time in which I’d be dealing with a small amount of books every week and that I’d also be spending just a few hours five days a week, working on this project.

I realized that this was an erroneous assumption when, finally, I took a minute and checked my email on my cell phone. There were eight Bright Lights Book Project messages. This, I knew, was a good thing because it means that the project is growing. But it was also a bad thing because it means the project is growing.

Milena said I’ll feel better about this once I get a salary. I’m not sure that I agree.

So I am going to have to take a few days and access the situation – the most important thing is that I resume spending time with my animals, and in particular the horses. Maybe all I have to do is make out a schedule.

This all deserves more thought.

Next: 75. 3/2022: A Day at Home

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