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November 2014.

KEITH KORPORAAL – en amerikaners betraktninger etter et langt besøk på Engøyholmen

En gang høst `13 fikk vi en e-post av en kar med navn Keith Korporaal, en norsk-amerikaner som ønsket å delta på kurs i båtbygging. Dessverre måtte vi skuffe han, siden vi ikke hadde planlagt noe i denne tida.
Men ut ifra denne lille e-posten ble tråden likevel spunnet videre og resulterte etter hvert i en invitasjon fra vår side i å delta i hverdagen på Engøyholmen en viss tid.

Invitation expressed – invitation accepted – tickets bought!
3. juli `14 hadde sto Keith på kaien – med returbillet tre måneder senere. Skal det være, så skal det være.

Man vet hva man har, men ikke hva man får, det er nok sant. Men man må bare hoppe uti og følge magafølelsen. Dette gjorde vi og vi fikk til igjengjeld en dyktig, hyggelig og veldig inspirerende kar på besøk.

To the entire staff at Engoyholmen,

You all played an important part to a life changing experience. The time
that I had the pleasure of working with all of you this past few months, has
been something I will never forget. Since my return home, I find that there
just are not enough words to describe this experience of being part of the
staff at Engoyholmen. For me, this adventure started out as a desire to
learn more about wooden boatbuilding and Nordic traditions. Little did I
know that an email that Hannes answered would lead to me having an
experience of a lifetime. And to all of you, thank you from the bottom of
my heart.

Engoyholmen Cultural Center isn’t just about wooden boats. It is so much
more. Through the hard work and dedication of the staff, I experienced the
use of block & tackle, moving boats by hand and muscle power, repairing,
fitting planks, Norwegian building construction, boat maintenance, the use
of linseed oil, fishing, Norwegian foods and hospitality, eating sardines
and mackerel, steaming and bending planks, and about life, the Norwegian
way. Yet, it didn’t end there. The three months were filled with a certain
camaraderie, a certain blend that bonds all of you together.

I mentioned that Engoyholmen isn’t just about wooden boats, when I think
back about my experiences, what is so special is this small island that
harbors so much tradition becomes alive, and sprinkled with children’s
laughter. The days that I was able to observer the activities on Natvigs
Minde, where every child looked with interest at the staff’s instruction,
whether it was making flatbread or rope, using block & tackle, or fishing,
they were excited. And their laughter spread throughout.

What fully impresses me is the way in which Norway promotes, supports, and
fully encourages for others, is its cultural heritage. So, it isn’t just
about wooden boats, it is about people, young and old, that come together in
an environment that encourages learning, coupled with laughter and

I loved all my time with you. Again, thank you for bringing me, an American
into your home and homes, thank you for sharing with me the compassion that
all of you have… and thank you for this life changing experience.

Sincerely and always yours,

Keith Korporaal

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