MEMORIES OF GROWING UP ON THE SOLOMON ISLANDS
My parents moved to the Solomon Islands when I was a small child. We left just before a civil war broke out in 1994.
- •The smell of third world heatMost would find this repulsive but I find it comforting
- •I once saw a woman in the village below where we lived breast feeding small piglets. I believe the villagers ate the mother...I got so excited after seeing this I ran home and told my mother... After 5 minutes of me rambling my mother said "okay sweetheart calm down and tell me everything you just said in English so I can understand you".
- •I spoke Pijin better than English for many yearsPijin is a combination on many languages where you spell everything phonetically. As a result I still spell everything as it sounds. Google is my best friend.
- •I can tell you what country a grenade is from by looking at it.They never cleaned up after the battle of Guadalcanal. I had to learn early on how to tell if a bomb was still alive. If it was I wasn't allowed to touch it. But, if it was dead I was allowed to add it to my collection.
- •Young coconuts are the taste of my childhoodI'm STOKED they are so fashionable now.
- •I went back in 2009. Everything was different.Seeing your home post war is as devastating as entering your fathers new and sparse apartment freshly after your parents divorce.
- •In 2009 I went to a remote part of the country to buy cava and was the first white person the children of the village had ever seenYou would think they would be excited and welcome and hug you... Nope, they scream and run away and they don't come back.
- •Pirates are your friendsAgain in 2009 my brother and I got stuck way out in the western province when the 50-year-old Chinese fishing boat we were hitching a ride on broke down. After about 6 hours of floating a very scary looking boat of drunk pirates approached. I was so nervous I considered rolling up my passport and putting it up my vagina, until randomly one of the pirates excitedly pointed at me "Sarah!?!? Bi wen yu stop lo Solo? It was Tini, a boy I went to school with. We used to steal birds eggs together.
- •My favorite place was on an old gun on the beach.I used to sit atop this old gun and dangle my legs as the tide came in.
- •I was never aloneThere were always people around me, community is everything over there. I now need to always be around people. I don't need to talk to them, I just feel comfortable in the vicinity of heartbeats.
- •FishWe ate what we caught. Nothing will ever taste as good as that fresh fish.
- •No shoesI never wore shoes. Ever. Or pants for that matter.
- •HappinessI will never be as happy and free as I was in this part of my life. It helps that I was a child young enough to be responsibility free.