This blog on New Caledonia is for those of you who ever wondered what life on a tiny island in the South Pacific might be like. Tired of bracing winter winds, the stress of an inner city or simply dreaming of a life change? This is a blog about what happens when, in the words of Yogi Berra, "you come to a fork in the road, [and] take it".

28 April 2006

Carnaval Nouméa Style

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.
Carnaval came to Nouméa on 22 April 2006 and boy was it something! Imagine a three-hour parade of 1 400 dancers on 27 floats dancing to disco, 50s American rock, local traditional music, Celtic ditties, Indian bits and Brazilian drums. The streets were filled with an enthusiastic audience from babies to grandpas, many dressed in carnaval garb, putting their hands together and swaying to various beats.

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2006.
Sophie was one of the dancers and danced with Float 18 (the "Peace and Love" float) to the theme of disco - in pink and white. There were a fair few 150 of them on Float 18 and Sophie had a whale of a time (though very exhausted the day after!). Can you imagine dancing through the streets for three hours to disco? Ah, those were the days ...

21 April 2006

A "New" Caledonian

Pablo Killian Guiader (left, two days old) was born in Nouméa on 7 April 2006 at 12.43. As he was born in New Caledonia, he is by all counts and purposes a brand-new "Caledonian". He is also French and American - due to his parents' nationalities (great combination - wouldn't you say?). We were absolutely thrilled to welcome Pablo in early April and have since been settling in to adjusting to sleepless nights, fun-filled colicky evenings and unexpected but throroughly enjoyable visits from friends and well-wishers. Having a baby is like Christmas every day.

This little blog on New Caledonia has consequently suffered slightly since Pablo's birth, but I hope to post regularly now (once a week to begin with). Do keep coming back for more bits and pieces on life in New Caledonia ... and feel free to let me know what you want to read more about!

Photo by Sophie-Alix Kilcoyne, 2006.

03 April 2006

An American Monument in New Caledonia

Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2005.

"In honour of the US forces who by their presence during the Pacific War from March 1942 to February 1946 insured the freedom of New Caledonia. Her people are deeply grateful."

I have discovered that there is one place in the world where one does not have to be ashamed to be American. Here in New Caledonia, Americans still have a positive image, carried over from their treatment of the local population during the Second World War. They were the first to pay the Kanaks for their work and modelled equal treatment of African-American and caucasian soldiers during their stay on the island. Many New Caledonians also credit Americans with having saved their island from having been usurped by the Japanese...

Speaking of exemplary Americans, Happy Birthday Clydio!