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GadgetgirlKS
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

I think a big part of the romance is being able to identify with an exclusive set of girls who are going through something similar to what you are going through. I can only imagine being a teenage with a serious medical condition and the exclusion you would feel from your typically healthy peers and the prospect of maybe never having the intimacy that comes with adult relationships (significant others). The Chungamunga's give each girl a "family of significant others" to support them and be involved with the rest of their lives, no matter how short or long.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

I think this ties in with the question above. The girls are brought together on the water, and are eternally connected because of this bond. They have the Chungamunga girls forever in their lives and even if they are not the girls they went down the river with, all the Chungamunga girls have gone down the same river.

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MSaff
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

  Not being of the female persuasion, I can’t say that there is any romance in being a Chungamunga Girl, however, this organization sounds wonderful and has it’s place.  Far too often we tend to neglect anyone with any type of illness or disease, to the point of shunning them away and keeping our distance.  The Chungamunga Girl concept obviously takes great pride in finding these  young ladies and gives them a purpose to life.  The are rules while the young ladies are on outings, such as no electronics or the like, but there are no boundaries in which the girls are limited.  I like that.  My question is whether or not the young ladies know of their illness or disease prior to receiving an invitation to become a Chungamunga Girl?

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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Bonnie824
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

I would imagine getting invited to be a Chungamunga girl would be thrilling to almost any 10/11 year old girl. The whole induction/invitiation/welcome ceremonies seemed magical and special. Just what girls with medical problems would need to take them outside their real lives awhile.

 

Having read journal entries and saw artwork books by sick children, I do believe kids with terminal illnesses often have a wisdom and peace adults can't imagine.

 

Eternal on the Water seems to me to mean all of them, not one specifically. Like the new age "the universe" idea, we are all one and part of us goes on forever.

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sifu-hotman
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


MSaff wrote:

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

  Not being of the female persuasion, I can’t say that there is any romance in being a Chungamunga Girl, however, this organization sounds wonderful and has it’s place.  Far too often we tend to neglect anyone with any type of illness or disease, to the point of shunning them away and keeping our distance.  The Chungamunga Girl concept obviously takes great pride in finding these  young ladies and gives them a purpose to life.  The are rules while the young ladies are on outings, such as no electronics or the like, but there are no boundaries in which the girls are limited.  I like that.  My question is whether or not the young ladies know of their illness or disease prior to receiving an invitation to become a Chungamunga Girl?


Yeah, I'm pretty sure they do know of their illness. I don't think it actually says that anywhere in the book, but between the lines. And what about the boys? There should be a Chungamunga boy. They get sick as well.
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msw888
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?

 

Being a nurse, I know that kids or any other patients who have a incurable disease are very aware of their conditions and their limitations. In nursing school, I made a mistake of doing a patient teaching on their disesase, they are already aware of it and know every aspect of the disease. Mary's attitude is slightly different because she is in a minor denial about her condition and just living for the moment. Mrytle knows that she will not be around and does not think about the future.


How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

 She is a Chungamunga girls due to her Huntington's disease, but at the same time, she is not until she accepts her disease.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

 Being part of a special group that will go on forever, it just means that when one becomes part of the Chungamunga girls, you will be part of the river forever with others.

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?

They are ordinary in that they are just girls who are different because of their particular diseases. They are different because they are specially invited to join the group.

 

What do you make of Wally?

I agree with another reader, she may have been a Chungamunga girl at one time and her disease may be in remission. She represents strength and support for the girls.

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sifu-hotman
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

msw888 - You being a nurse, how do you feel about what Wally said about the girls not taking their medication while being on the river? I understood the whole leaving the phones and everything else behind when going on this expedition, but the meds, thats a bit reckless. 

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MSaff
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

  I have to agree, but society for some unknown reason tends to forget about girls or young ladies.  It's too bad.  I just wish we could find a way to encourage all youth.

 

 



Yeah, I'm pretty sure they do know of their illness. I don't think it actually says that anywhere in the book, but between the lines. And what about the boys? There should be a Chungamunga boy. They get sick as well.

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Chungamunga Girls

 

The Chungamunga girls sounds like the make-a wish foundation ... granted, I don't know too much about that either. The way the girls are invited is wonderful ... making them feel special and freeing them for a short time of the difficulties they face/will face.

 

I think that 'being eternal on the water' refers to a time when they were truly alive and where there sould will remain once they are gone.

 

Myrtle made me cry ...

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wjbauer
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?"

It had to be a most exciting adventure for a young girl. The invitation, the initial meeting with the bear in the balloon, the excitement of the unknown and the great feeling of being away from the shadow of your health problem.

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?

I didn't see the relationship between invitation and diagnosis but did read about relationship between inivation and girls interests.
The invitation was geared around something special in the life of the girl. If the girl was into race cars the invitation was delivered in one.

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions?

I believe that each one knew and accepted their condition.
 
How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?

Mary didn't know for sure what the outcome would be. There was a test she didn't want to take which would have told her an age range for her death. Thus Mary wanted to live life with out knowing when while Myrtle know her life was to be short and dealt with that.

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

She was diagnosed with Huntington's disease . She was extended an invitation to become a Chungaming girl when she was young.

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

There will always be a Chungamunga girl on those waters through the generations. I believe either physically if the money keeps coming in or in spirit.

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?

It is apparent that each girl is sick but some are not experiencing any symptoms.

What do you make of Wally?

She has one of the best jobs on "Planet Earth". I knew she loves it by the way she interacts in the story. Such as being a bear and trading work for food.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

The romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl"The Creation of this Camp is just a story within a story,like a fable,reality mixed with a bit of fanatsy and I just want to sprinkle some Angel Dust all over them.and all will be well,and wonderful for them..I think thats how they feel.Living with this knowlege of their illness,and without any notice they are tranformed,and brought into a safe,beautiful world,where just maybe they will heal spiritually .The "Girls" also feel so special in a good way,not because of their illness.Mary was chosen by another older "Chungamunga Girl' who passed down her experience to Mary by inviting her.Eternal on the Water,they will live forever..like Mary will.I guess I have trouble accepting that all the girls are so sick,so I just see them as girls having an exceptional camp experience that they will remember forever.Wally is their pilar of strength and knowledge.. Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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LindaEducation
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

Eternal On the Water to me means they live among the water, and their spirits will remain in the water

long after they are gone. They are eternally connected to the water.

 

 

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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PB684
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


spyderfly wrote:

The Chungamunga Girls.  "They are eternal on the river."  Great stuff.

 

 

They are eternal on the water because no matter how long they live, or what they do later in life, or after death, there will always be another Chungamunga Girl to follow.  They will always be there, in spirit and then some.  If gives them a sense of being a part of something bigger, a tradition. 

 


I like your interpretation of the phrase "eternal on the water". I also think that maybe (and this isn't a spoiler because we know this much from the first few paragraphs) Mary felt that dying on the river would mean her spirit would live on in the water.

It could be that the Chungamunga girls can accept the circle of life better after living simply in nature...live each day to its fullest because, like the animals, you never know when life will end and that doesn't necessarily have to be because of an illness, it's just nature...I think that might lessen the hold that the illness might otherwise have psychologically.

Paula

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Leeza14
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

I agree with a lot of what's been said.  They know they are a part of something very, very special (the Chungamungas), and that will never leave them.  It is forming who they will be for however long they have in this life.  Likewise, they will never spiritually leave the river.  They'll forever be tied to the almost mystical experience of their time there, and they will always be a part of that river (all figuratively and one, certainly, literally). 

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Thayer
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Re: Chungamunga Girls


thewanderingjew wrote:

 


Rachel-K wrote:

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received?

 

I would never presume to understand the thought process and overwhelming nature of what one would endure when being handed such a tough obstacle to face as a life threatening disease, but my impression is that this group allows the girls to belong to something that will allow them to not be labelled, categorized and diagnosed, if you will.

 

It gives them an outlet and a chance to just....be.

 


 

~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Leeza14
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl?

Mary is a Chungamunga girl not just because she was invited to be a part of the group but moreso because she completely internalized the values and meaning of that time spent in commune with the river and the other girls as she discovered herself and how she fit into her own life.  It's as much a part of who she has become as anything else in her life.  It's an identity.

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Bonnie_C
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

The whole concept of the Chungamunga Girls is like a secret society based on magic and fantasy.  Receiving an invitation to this group opens the portal to a world of natural beauty, wonder and mystery that each individual can immerse herself in.  For a few days each girl can fill their lives with something other than physical disease and emotional stress.  They also find a ready made support group even though talk about physical disabilities is not allowed. 

 

Once this trip is over, the lessons learned can be taken back into the real world.  The Chungamunga girls will live each and every day of their lives to the utmost.  They become eternal when in their death, their story will be told around campfires along with those of the crows and bears.  They become a part of the eternal fantasy that will be passed to the next generation of Chungmunga girls.

 

The Chungamungas become teachers.  Mary and Wally teach the new inductees how to let go and embrace the beauty and mystery nature has to offer.  Myrtle is already a teacher.  She is able to teach how to recognize your personal gifts and to live each and every day to its fullest.

 

Bonnie

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Sirscha
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles?

 

Myrtle strikes a cord with me.  She appears to have a grasp that she is not long in this world.  I think that the girls understand, on a basic level, that they have a limited time in which they choose to experience eah day.  Myrtle's comment really struck me.  I feel we should all try to live each day with that attitude - we only have today, right now, so let's just be, enjoy it and grasp each moment.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?"

 

I am really not sure yet.  They are there now, on the water, taking the experience to its fullest.  The only moment is the one they are in; right then, right now.  That moment is eternal.

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different?

 

I don't think it is apparent that each girl is ill.  What is apparent is that they are caught up in the adventure and mystery of the whole Chungamunga experience.  They jump in with both feet and make the rituals their own. 

 

What do you make of Wally?

 

I enjoy Wally's personality.  She creates intrigue for the girls.  Her eccentricities and ability to be someone "different" for the girls increases the mystery and uniqueness of the Chungamunga experience.  She really gives of herself to make the experience extra special for the girls. 

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JoanieGranola
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

**WARNING: This post may contain spoilers for those who have not completed reading the novel.

 

What is your impression of the romance of being a "Chungamunga Girl?" There's a sisterhood amongst the girls, both past and present. It's a time where they can escape their lives, even if it is for a short period of time.

 

How is the singular and mysterious nature of the invitation contrasted with the diagnosis each of the girls has received? The diagnosis is what the girl(s) will have for their entire lives. The invitation takes what is most important to them or is the most interesting to them, and gives them a uniqueness, if you will, apart from the uniqueness of having a disease.

 

When Cobb asks Myrtle if she'd like to be a minister, she answers, "I won't live long enough to be anything. Today I am whatever I will be." What is your impression of the level of understanding that these girls have about their own conditions? How do you think Mary's attitude about the possibility of her condition is similar to or different than Myrtles? It is my impression that all the girls are very aware of the outcome of their various diseases, and embrace the escape that being a Chungamunga girl allows them. Mary's attitude is exactly the same as Myrtle's.

 

How is Mary a Chungamunga girl? Mary is a Chungamunga girl because she suffers from Huntington's, which is fatal.

 

What is your understanding of what they mean when the girls say "I am eternal on this water?" I believe the meaning "eternal on this river" means that the girls - all past, present and future Chungamunga girls - who have experienced the trip down the Allagash, are connected by their diseases and being Chungamunga girls. They all have a limited amount of time to live (some longer than others) and have all bonded together while kayaking the Allagash. They will have the experience of a lifetime that very few others will share and no one will be able to take away their memories and good time.

 

Is it apparent that each of the girls is sick, from what we've read so far? How are the girls "ordinary girl" and how do they seem different? They are only ordinary as far as being girls. They are different in the diseases that they each have, how they were chosen to become a Chungamunga girl, and the invitation that they received.

 

What do you make of Wally? All throughout the book, I was confused about Wally. I understand that she is the only full-time employee, which made me realize that she isnt' a "normal" Chungamunga girl. She's the only one who will make the trip down the Allagash time and again. The only thing I can guess about Wally is that she had someone close to her die, which is why she's so involved with the Chungamunga foundation.

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TamCG
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

I loved the Chungamunga Girls!  Even after reading the book I still found myself thinking of them and just admiring the basis of anything that would create such an awesome program.  The romance of it is intertwined in the companionship, mystery, and love that the girls all become a part of. 

 

Myrtle - ooh Myrtle - it just breaks my heart thinking about her.  Being so young and so bright - it's almost a curse that she just knew too much about her condition which may have led her to not live her life a bit more as an actual child. 

 

Wally rocks!!  She is like an old mother hen.  She is one of those people who you get the impression could do anything.  She loves the Chungamunga Girls and what they stand for. 

 

Love the book! ~ Tammy

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jb70
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Re: Chungamunga Girls

I think of being "eternal on the water" as a way of saying that life keeps going no matter what.  The water will always be moving on the earth, even if it changes course it is always moving and never still and we don't know from one moment to the next where our own lives are going to take us or who they may take us to, we are all continuously in motion together and alone.  These girls are on this water and part of them and their spirits will be carried on the water forever as an echo.

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