Day 6: Leaving Gomai tomorrow, we don’t wanna leave…
I spent my days at Gomai recording under- and over seas in a very noisy jungle on the islands around (Taukuna and Gomai, listen in previous post), diving to the reefs staring in the eye of clown-fish, painting the unbelievable colors of the reef waters, making some binaural tests on sounds of sea bottom with sand and dead corals, and exchanging with the people of Gomai whom we’ll miss!
Peter the teacher and his four children, Marta and Chris the diver, and of course all of the kids we met at the village’s school when we made a presentation of the expedition. We showed a film about the project – it took a while to find a strong enough generator for the projector, in a village organized without electricity.
This afternoon I boarded a pirogue to go swim ashore with the other kids and learned a few words of the village’s language with Meri, Melinda and Anna. There’s about 70 local languages spoken in the Solomon, while Pidgin (mixture of Melanesian grammar and English vocabulary) is used to communicate between different islands and provinces. The kids have their local language as mother tongue, then learn pidgin then English at school.
No one lives on the west coast of Bougainville by the sea, due to the old tradition of head-hunting that was conducted by the Shortland Islanders… Peter the teacher told us. So every Thursday, a couple of boats leave Gomai towards the autonomous province of Bougainville to sell Shortland fish to people that still live up in the mountains. Tomorrow morning we’ll say farewell to the bay and the Shortlanders to sail North towards Bougainville then East New Britain Province of Papua New Guinea.
(pics below: the tiny island of Taukuna and its reefs just ashore Gomai, and kids on board Fleur de Passion checking out the hydrophone)