Sunday, May 1, 2011

Parent Exposé: They made us!

We thought it'd be a good idea to recognize our parents for who they are, how they feel and all that they've done...

The Raihos

Pamela Jean (Niewinski) Raiho grew up in East St. Paul. You can tell by her characteristic Minnesotan accent. Recently retired from 30 years to service to the US Federal Government, she enjoys gardening, going out to eat, the theater and traveling.


Ray Roy Raiho grew up in Duluth. His Nordic stature is accentuated by his refusal to wear shoes most of the year. Ray is retired from a long career starting with the US Coast Guard and ending with the US Post Office as an electronic technician. He enjoys fishing, MSNBC and the north woods.

The Raihos currently reside in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.  They are planning to sell their home and spend the summer months at their cabin (with the only blue roof in Cook County) on Lake Saganaga and travel in the winter.
From Ann:
My parents have always been very supportive of my wilderness endeavors. From driving me to Jackson Hole, WY for a winter NOLS course to comforting me after a rough trip in the BWCA, they have encouraged me to apply for outdoor jobs and pursue whatever it is that I like to do. I feel privileged to be their only child and am looking forward to seeing them more than usual this summer when they bring our first two food drops!

From The Parents:
How have Menogyn experiences effected Ann and Natalie?
Mama Raiho:
To name a few experiences that I know of for Ann;
1. her energy of compassion while leading a Menogyn group to Isle Royale,
2. her self discipline when canoeing and camping and being very hungry
3. maintaining a good attitude under adverse conditions when coming to the aid of other Menogyn campers in her group who had acquired foot rot, assuring that they were taken for medical care. 
Papa Raiho: The experiences have made them grow into mature young women.

What did you think when we first brought the idea up?

Mama Raiho:
We believe this canoe adventure will be a exciting endeavor for Ann and maybe she can find a full time job somewhere along the way.
Papa Raiho: Oh god no,  I hope this doesn't happen. I think it will be a long and tough trip and I know they are up to it.

What is your largest concern for this summer?

Mama Raiho:
Ann and Natalie going over dams in the canoe, crashing into rocks, being attacked by polar bear or regular bear, being stalked by a crazy person, surviving a tornado, getting sunburn,  getting sick, breaking something, arguing, losing the SAT phone, losing the canoe paddle, missing the float plane, missing the train, missing mom and dad.
Papa Raiho: Rough weather on Lake Winnipeg.  Navigating the Hayes with the waterfalls and rapids.  Hope it doesn't get too cold by the end of the trip.

What do you think will be the most exciting part about this trip?

Mama Raiho:
Paddling Lake Winnipeg and meeting the native people of Canada.
Papa Raiho: Meeting people and visiting new places.

Is there a short story that you would like to share about either of us?

Mama and Papa Raiho
: For Ann's 16th birthday she received a cedar strip canoe.  We brought it to the indoor pool at our community center (since it was December). She and her Menogyn friends paddled it around in circles. They had a great time.  Ann and that canoe have a lot of stories to tell.

The Warrens

Lisa Warren
Lisa was born and raised in Miami, FL, where she still lives with her above-average-looking, babe of a husband, Richard. She is a elementary school music teacher who loves to sing, garden, and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Her ability to dress up like a clown and cook delicious banana bread compensates for her inability to pronounce peoples names and stay up past 10 pm.

Richard Warren
Richard was also born and raised in Miami, FL. A pro at the guitar, Richard has been a great musical inspiration to Natalie throughout the years. You can catch them rocking out together at morning church services when Natalie is home. He also enjoys brewing beer and playing tennis. A man of few words, everything he says is subtly witty and challenges the stereotype that old people can't be genuinely funny.

Natalie also has a 25 year-old sister, Leslie, and a 26 year-old brother, Timothy. Leslie is a financial adviser for J.P. Morgan (she loves mutual funds!) in Philadelphia and is getting married this July. Timothy has his own film company in Miami and currently attends graduate school at the University of Miami for film. They are both really great and supportive!

From Natalie:

Whether it was biking around the neighborhood as a child or supporting my trips to Menogyn, my parents have always given me the freedom to explore and make my own decisions. They are the greatest example of a loving couple -- they take time for themselves, their hobbies, and their children. Even though we don't get to see each other often, their support is like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day!

From the parents:

Q: How have Menogyn experiences effected Ann and Natalie?

Warrens: Menogyn experience. Natalie grew up in in Miami Florida so going to Menogyn exposed her to the culture and habitats of the midwest. She also developed strong ties with other girls who enjoy the outdoors and adventure.

Q: What did you think when we first brought the idea up?

Warrens: Another crazy idea of Natalie's. No you are not going!

Q: What is your largest concern for this summer?

Warrens: That you show up to your sister's wedding unscathed and on time. After all you are the maid of honor! Also your safety.

Q: What do you think will be the most exciting part about this trip?

Warrens: Enjoying the sights and sounds of the wilderness. Meeting people whose life style is unique or at least quite different.

Q: Don't you think we are the coolest children ever? ;)

Warrens: You are only cool because you are in MN.
I do appreciate the fact that you find pleasure in the simple things like nature and home-made bear costumes.

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