Banana

It’s very strange spending so much time on such a small island with a small population.  Aside from the internet, it really feels like I’m living somewhere in the past, where easy communication and travel are luxuries, even to the people with status.  For instance, there is a major issue with the latest fuel shipment (for the whole island, not just for us).  All fuel has to be tested and certified, and somehow this batch got through without going through those tests. So the fuel is sitting here in the tanks, but they can’t give it to anybody.  This has several implications, most pressing for us is the shortening of current research flight (Brian is off flying right now) and the postponement of future flights.  But the bigger issue is that the monthly government supply ship was supposed to arrive today, but was diverted because they wouldn’t be able to refuel once they got here.   This has put the who island in a tizzy, and supplies are certain to begin running out pretty soon.  I think the first thing to go will probably be the beer! (XXXX, by the way)

We also have been having ongoing issues with fueling because the guys who drive the fuel truck may or may not show up on flight days, so out project leader has to go find them and roust them every once in a while. To make matters worse, one of the airport’s fire trucks needs a new fuel pump, and planes aren’t allowed to land without 2 working fire trucks.  Fortunately there is a large supply of diesel mechanics on the island right now, thanks to PASE. I guess they got the fire truck up and running, although there is some question whether or not the trucks actually contain any water.  I guess I should be impressed that there actually is a firetruck on this island at all!

Anyway, when I was driving back from the airport I stopped and took a bunch of pictures of Banana, which is the settlement right next to the airport. There’s a mixture of traditional huts and concrete, but it’s kind of hard to tell how well the people are living.  There’s definitely no running water or electricity, but most of the inhabitants must have generators, since a lot of the buildings are lit up at night.  This is a strange place.

banana-preschool.jpg

quick-stop-video.jpg

hut.jpg

store.jpg

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