Nancy Nash and Becky Nash recently returned from a three-week-long trip to Sweden. They left on September 12, the day after Nancy’s birthday. Nancy learned she had living relatives in Sweden and that they were eager to meet her. During their visit Nancy played piano for a local church service and sang in a Swedish choir. The pair visited museums and art galleries, along with a 100- year-old school house and a historic farm, both of which had connections to Nancy’s family. Lynnita Bergstrom, Becky’s sister, joined them. Bergstrom did a lot of research on the names and history of Nancy’s family members before the trip. Nancy reflected on feeling “less like a tourist” because she got to spend so much time with relatives. The weather was nice, and they had several “fikas” (Swedish coffee time) a day.

Maia Edwards is the new assistant executive director at the Bald Eagle Foundation. Edwards moved to Haines on September 18, which was also her official start date. Maia is responsible for daily care of the birds along with general housekeeping. She is also beginning a new research program, which she will be presenting during the Bald Eagle Festival. Her favorite birds include Sitka, the red-tailed hawk and Vega the bald eagle, who are both “exciting and outgoing birds with a lot of personality.” She has been enjoying the outdoors and wildlife of Haines, and is excited to be in a place with such close proximity to nature.

The Backcountry Games were canceled last week due to heavy rains and standing water. “It’s just been a stormy October,” said Amanda Randles, the acting executive director of the Southeast Alaska State Fair. However, since they have already printed the medals, the event will have to take place before the new year. Randles hopes to host the games sometime in November or December, and said that it might be even more fun to do the event in the snow. Potential attendees are advised to bring grippers.

There was a celebration last weekend at the Klukwan Church. The event celebrated the deed to the church being turned over to the tribe by the Presbyterian National Headquarters. Jamie Campbell, the church’s previous pastor, initiated the process of acquiring the deed, which took a year to complete. “The lumber for the church was brought on canoes… and unloaded by the men, women and children of the village,” said Lani Hotch, as she spoke about the history of the building. The laborious construction of the church began in July of 1903. The celebration also served to officially welcome the newly-appointed Pastor Al Giddings and Lori Giddings to the community, as they are in the process of moving to Klukwan after a year of running the church.

The Lynn Canal Community players had their Annual Membership Meeting on Sunday, during which Mark Sebens, John Norton, Dena Selby, Roger Gentry, Annette Smith, Lori Dudzik and Delise Keim were elected to the Board of Directors. The players are currently in rehearsal for “The Play that Goes Wrong”, a comedic play directed by Tod Sebens, which will be performed beginning November 16. Another play, “The Importance of Being Earnest,” by Oscar Wilde, is planned for performance in January.

This week school librarian Leigh Horner sent an online message to Haytham Mohanna, a former Haines High School exchange student from the Gaza Strip in Palestine to ensure his current safety after war recently broke out in the area. Mohanna, who studied in Haines from 2013-14, responded to the message with information on his welfare and the current state of his home, writing “It is very hard here, since there is no safe place – hopefully it will end soon, best regards and keep us in your prayers.”