Monday, 17 March 2008

The promised entry - guest blog

Guest blog: Sarah Wattie (Kiwi/ Wellingtonian)

Well, it is my last night in the Solomon Islands and although relative peace has returned to the country, I remain in fear as Rob, Lara, Kelly and Steve have threatened that should I forget to fufill my blog obligations, there will be trouble. What this means and what they would actually be capable of is a humorous thought, since I am already in Honiara and they are stuck in Auki, devoid of transport and communication with the ‘Other Side’...

Despite their dictatorial stance towards blog duties, I will dearly miss the lot. After six weeks they are well and truly wontoks, Solomon Islands family and great mates.

I stayed with the romancing Rob and Lara, who looked after me like I was a daughter of their very own. Rob took it upon himself to give me a hard time, keeping my confidence at a healthy level. In my opinion, he asks for trouble. One moment springs to mind. We had just enjoyed a cleansing swim in a beautiful river ninety minutes uphill from Auki. Rob sees a pile of sawdust. Normal people would continue on un-phased, if they even noticed it in the first place. Rob however is a bit special and forgetting about his adulthood, took a running leap and jumped straight in, rolling around like a small terrier. Head to toe covered in peachy sawdust. From then on it was Rob a.k.a “crumbed fish.”
Lara on the other hand is a readaholic. She is perhaps the worst case I have come across. I must have known because I packed 15 sizely books into my Solomon’s luggage and she motored through them all! Rumour has it (source: her husband) that when they first arrived, she was down to one book and had to ration the pages. Suffering from withdrawal symptoms she began pacing back and forth in the lounge, lost, directionless. Things are improving but we are not sure that “handing out” books is the solution to the problem. We are worried it may lead to a further entrenched dependency (with Lara asking for more and more books) but there is no easy answer.

Steve on the other hand has tendencies to gambling. It is a good thing we play with chips. If he and Kelly weren’t volunteers there could be room for concern. Always the first to casually suggest a night of poker and next thing you know, game on! It is man against man, in a battle of skill, risk and courage. They say in a developing country it is all about relationships, but there is no room for relationship-building here. On a positive note, he is a really helpful bloke. I have problematic toes (rather knobby and lanky) so using his talents in prosthetics; he gave me some firm but fair advice over one of Kelly’s beautifully cooked meals. You see, it might sound weird to you but the air in the Solomon Islands encourages conversation and lots of it and one easily forgets their inhibitions, resorting to engaging debate on toes and other quirky matters.

I know I know, I am going on and on and I haven’t even mentioned Kelly yet. Please don’t make a big thing of this but a couple of times Rob, Lara and I had to baby sit her while Steve was in Honiara. Babysitting a mid-twenty year old is an interesting job, requiring quite unique skills. It was a first for me but actually rather fun and I am wondering whether there is any employment in this area back in New Zealand? I don’t want to paint the wrong picture though… Kelly shows much maturity in other areas. She is a dedicated, hardworking and intelligent woman (making babysitting an intimidating job at times) so this should not remain too much of an issue.

Now that the truth is uncovered, you might be wondering what my business is, perhaps even thinking that this is all a bit cheeky? All in love, all in love. I may have even exaggerated a little.

My business in Auki for the past six weeks has been as a World Vision volunteer for the peace building project in Malaita. This has been a huge time of growing, learning and broadening my horizons. I have been honoured to share many experiences with team of other Solomon Island peace faciliators. However I will leave the details for another blog.

For now, Rodliea to the Solomon Islands and to the famous four (Rob, Lara, Kelly and Steve). So many fond memories and you will be in my thoughts and my prayers always. :)

No comments:


Add yourself to our guestbook each time you drop in!