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".
30 October 2006
26 October 2006
25 October 2006
24 October 2006
17 October 2006
At least, that is what we think! Pablo, above, officially turned six months old a week or so ago and reports that life in New Caledonia just couldn't be better. Sunny skies, cool breezes, fun-filled days. Rice cereal, apple, pear. What more could a little boy want?
Sophie, likewise, is excelling in school - she just took her brevet blanc and got a 33.5 out of 40 in History/Geography! Well on her way to scholastic success, I wonder how she does it - what with juggling friends, babysitting, drum lessons and super long days at school. I stand in amazement.
Life in New Caledonia truly is good.
16 October 2006
15 October 2006
13 October 2006
10 October 2006
A subject of great taboo
75% of today's European population in New Caledonia (the Caldoches) are descendants of these prisoners. The penal colony was a subject never broached. It was almost completed razed in 1933 and was not opened or visited until 1994. A great divide had grown up between the descendants of the original prisoners and the 25% Europeans who had come to New Caledonia as free citizens. Inter-marriage was formally forbidden and many a bloody fight flew up in the face of the past. "My grandfather was not a straw-hat!" would come the calls of new generations defending their roots. (Straw hats was the term used for prisoners as this is what they wore to work under the heat of the sun.)
Today, one can visit what remains of the penal colony with the help of a guide. Asked who comes to visit the prison and museum, the answer is Japanese tourists or people who've come for a short stay (teachers, military, administrators). The Caledonians? Very few.
06 October 2006
05 October 2006
03 October 2006
Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2005.