21st July 2010 – Utian,
A beautiful day,thank goodness, to
clearly see the coral lying just beneath the surface of the sea as we
negotiate yet another difficult entrance to this island. With our hearts in our
mouth, we hope that we do not hit these coral heads, which are the dark
patches in the photos. Thankfully, we did not, but still have to
negotiate or way out in a few days time, which may not offer such good
weather, or visibility as we have to leave earlier in the morning.
It’s not long before we get loads of visitors asking us to
trade for fruit and vegetables and shells
Swanky and Kanaloa anchored close
together in the bay at Booker Island is quite an attraction for these
islanders. They are very polite, and try and find out what we would
like before asking for things they would like. We were pleased to offer
them school exercise books, biros, children’s clothes and sugar and
So we went ashore to see the primary
school. Kids out of school couldn’t wait to give us a warm
Booker Island school
The teachers at the school explain to
David how they teach the children. They trained at the main island of
Misima for three years.
They couldn’t wait to follow us
on our walk through their village
Typical kitchen belonging to one of the
They look like wild boar, not a lot of
meat on them.
Of course the kids just loved showing
off for their photo
Stafford explains how the man’s
face carved on the front of their boat holds the spirit of the tree the boat
has been carved from. They become a partner with that spirit to guide
and look after the boat.
All these kids in a dugout without an
outrigger is quite dangerous, the boat tips up so easily!
Thankfully they wanted excercise books
to trade for these shells. I hope they were found and not killed!
Thankfully, we were not asked to trade
for these clay pots, the speciality of thiIts Booker island, which they can
trade with other islanders for cooking their vegetables in. It’s
great to see this ancient tradition continued, as they have plenty of
aluminium pots which they buy at the store on the main island.
The women hard at work cutting back the
weeds in their garden behind the school.
We were glad to get away from the
non-stop trading that seemed to be accumulating around us. The island
has 300 people, of which I am sure we must have been visited by 50 in their
We already traded for a lot of paw paw
and spinach the previous day