Monday, August 31, 2015

Day 5

I got up at 7 AM, and Simon cooked bacon and eggs for our breakfast.

After breakfast, I went on a walk into the island's interior.  I walked by a large garden where Vaine Peu was tending to some vegetables.  This was his garden where he grows rows of cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, among other vegetables.  He told me that he shared these vegetables with the whole island.

I later went to his house where he has a more personal garden.  In this garden, he grows papayas (which the islanders call pawpaw), passion fruit, and sour oranges, among other things.

He invited me in for a cup of tea.  His house was a bit rustic with concrete floors, but otherwise pretty ordinary.  He served me some tea along with some fruit from his garden.  He also served me bread with honey from his beehives.  He told me that he has 36 beehives on the island, the most out of everybody, and makes good money selling it online.

Vaine is originally from the Cook Islands.  He was a government contractor in the 1990s, sent to Pitcairn to do electrical work.  While on Pitcairn, he married Charlene Warren and made Pitcairn his permanent home.  They now have a six-year-old daughter Cushana, plus four children who had left the island.

He still does electrical work on the island, but spends most of his time in his garden or in the ocean fishing.  He claimed to have the best garden on the island, be the best fisherman on the island, and produce the best honey on the island.  He told me that he liked outsiders moving to the island because they have a different perspective.  He was relieved when Simon and Shirley moved to the island.  He spoke poorly of Meralda, saying that she was the worst racist on the island because she hated outsiders.

He also spoke of the sex abuse trials.  He said that the men of the island had this power complex where they thought they could do whatever they wanted and get away with it.  He said that the sex abuse probably goes all the way back to the mutineers when Pitcairn was a lawless island with no oversight.  In some sense, Pitcairn had remained that way until the trials when the British government actually paid attention to Pitcairn for the first time and required the island to have some outside oversight.  He seemed to conclude that without law and order, man is just an animal.

I later visited the island's jail, built and used by the convicted sex abusers.  The jail is no longer in use, and part of it has been converted to the tourism office.  Shirley was the secretary in the tourism office, and she was working in the office when I stopped by.  I asked her what sort of work she did, and she told me that she mostly just responds to emails from potential tourists.

The rest of the day was uneventful.

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