Kate and Asim's Solomon Adventure

From the North Atlantic ... To the South Pacific! - Kate and Asim in the Solomon Islands!

TERM 1

Term 1

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April 2007

Here's a few pictures from the last few months, starting back in February coming up to April ...






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... the students are welcomed, as they arrive for the start of term on the Kaona. Asim makes use of his artistic abilities making signage for around the school. John Sotomana and Fred made a little hut by the beach


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Going to market.The cooks (students on duty) preparing the evening meal at the Dining Hall. Enjoying a rainy afternoon,
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Kate and Anna relaxing and catching up after a long weeks work.
Choir competition on a Friday night and dancing by the Mothers' Group to thank Kate for teaching them how to m
ake a pie


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In England you are suspended or expelled for carrying a knife in school. Here, the other side of the world, it is the other way around. Some of the Form 6 boys and girls having their Bush Knife Inspection. Some have already been sent home for not having one!




We have over the last month or so found a wonderful way of life here. We are doing what we fantasised about when we planned to come to the Solomon Islands. We are doing two things that we love, teaching wonderful kids and swimming in the lush beautiful sea. In fact if it wasn't for the piles of marking we get life really would be perfect.

We commissioned the making of a canoe. We store it at our good friend Fred’s place – on the beach of their village about 15 minutes up the road called ‘Wayoto’. Though we have been to Fred’s several times we never went to the beach and no one thought to tell us about it. The beach is one long long stretch of beautiful black sand, desolate apart from the few families that live there, the sea is so delicious and clean.
Asim is scared of the canoe and it stresses him out more than relaxes him. When I am paddling however I am near Heaven, drifting over the small waves.

We have just started term 2 having had 5 days off for Easter. Term 1 was a seriously busy term and the students and staff all let their hair down and enjoyed the celebrations. Asim and I also got to explore Makira a little and some of its rivers.
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We also managed to hitch a ride to Star Harbour in the police boat and saw the beautiful lagoon formed by Santa Anna, Santa Catalina and other little islands off the eastern end of Makira (San Cristobel) - as well as some of the scarred landscapes caused by the logging sites.

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... and despite the controversial co
ntinual logging of the islands, we are still without our library shelves... but lots has been achieved. Firstly the school has managed to chase off the many demons that seemed to control the whole school for a while! For at least 2 or 3 weeks Asim and I really thought we were living inside the play ‘The Crucible’ and it was quite surreal to say the least.

Asim has opened up the ‘canteen’
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that the Business Studies department are running. It’s a much needed service here especially as all of transport is still ‘buggered up’. Among other things the canteen sells rice, tayo, noodles, crackers and oil - all the essential ingredients for a Solomon diet. It is open daily and everything is about cost price. The students who run it are great and providing all the books add up at the end of their week they get paid too!

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My form six put on 3 nights of performances last month. As part of their internal assessment I put them in groups and they dramatised scenes from A Fijian play called ‘Sera’s Choice’ that we have been studying. For most of them it was their first time to see a play let alone do any acting so they all did really well. We filmed it so we will try to put some clips on this site. I am now in the process of putting on a major production for the year. It is a play called ‘In-Between’ by Julian Treadaway who is a very well known and respected teacher and figure around here. Incidentally, this play is about another "mixed" marriage. This time both partners are from the Solomon Islands but not the same island (which is still a bit of a taboo, despite it being very common). Maybe I have a bit of a fascination with the subject matter!?


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We talk and talk about what to do next, where our next chapter in life will be and it’s such a difficult decision to make as the life here really suits us. There is no reason to hide that we really want to start a family and that is why we know we have to go. We think it is just too risky to start our family here with the lack of hospital facilities and in any case we want to be near our friends and family for that. So, England it is for the next year or two but where is not so sure. At the moment Asim is in the process of applying to get onto the Graduate Teaching Programme and perhaps our destination will be decided upon by where he gets offered a job.

Some people have been asking us how they can help. If you are in a position to support our school in anyway large or small please see our Appeal Page. If we could just organise enough paint to give the classrooms and dormitories a once over it really would make a tremendous difference to the quality of our school here.



THANKS SO MUCH TO AUNTY MARY AND AUNTY MADALENE AND ROY FOR THEIR GENEROUS CONTRIBUTION OF £120. WE WILL SPEND IT ON PAINTING FORM 4 CLASROOMS AND FORM 5 TOO.

WE WILL POST PICTURES AS SOON AS THE JOB IS DONE.


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Original skin design by Tristan NITOT.