We just realized that tomorrow is the Queen of England’s birthday. By some stretch of history this cherished event is a public holiday among Tuvaluans, and on this day yacht clearances are going to be hard to get, so we’ll have to delay our departure once again. S is hoping for a parade, ever willing to see the rainbow in the rain.
In the meantime we’ll connect to the internet and try to avoid a spam attack like the one that was delivered to many of you in our name last week due to the dirty servers at the DHL internet cafe. Tuvalu has an unusual level of internet throughput for its size due to the very desirable and lucrative “.tv” domain name. Everybody on this island has a laptop.
It’s a fun juxtaposition. You can sit on your elevated dunnage platform and surf the web while your wife cooks tiny reef fish to a stone age recipe on an open fire.
Chinese motorcycles are the other remarkable technological development on the island. The density is incredible for such a small place.
We got to recognize many of these busy commuters as they sped around the few miles of island road all day.
There is no minimum age and some of the delicate riders looked nervous. Or maybe it was just that we were nervous for them.
Another cool development are the new composting toilets being installed by an NGO. Not considered as stylish as flushers, the composters faced an uphill cultural battle until someone made known the recent rumor that Prince Charles has one. This rumor will soon be evaluated and confirmed by a letter from the Governor General to the palace.
While all this web surfing, motorcycle riding, and poop composting has increased the pace of daily life there is always time for an island-time breather.
It’s a slow an harmonious pace among the dogs of the government house.
Tuvaluans between 6 and 60 are nearly as relaxed as they pass the hot hours of the day under a shady blue tarp.
Besides the two crazy gringos lugging their laptop around in a desperate search for a safe internet connection, only an ambitious overachiever would be found out in the mid-day sun, wrangling the livestock…
or representing the French government on a quick consular mission from the embassy in Suva.
We’re hoping to clear out on Tuesday, but if that doesn’t work we’ll probably get one of these breezy little houses…
… plant some papayas…
… and spend our days enjoying curry samosas and red palm toddy at the airport snack bar.