Quick Update

It’s been relatively busy these days, so much so that I have been neglecting my reporting duties. The number of daily hits on this blog is dwindling like the polar icecaps in a world of accelerated global warming. Quel horreur! My popularity is definitely at stake! Simply put I have not been able to find the necessary quiet time to sit down and write, and I have also been working, as promised, on the transcription of the captain’s reports that should give some detailed insight into our passage from Hawai’i to here. This is quite a tedious task. Those daily reports were recorded during my early morning shift, under the ever damp bedcover that kept us warm on the watch bunk. This was done to protect me and the recorder from the spray and wind, that latter of which if not kept in check would make the recording all but indecipherable, scrambling the words behind a curtain of hiss and howl. Most of them are anywhere from five to eight minutes long and take a good hour to transform into written form. I had been doing wiretap transcriptions back in the US as part of my translation business, listening to garbled Spanish slang and slander of some under cover agent of the DEA, the empire’s Drug Enforcement Agency, materials that would later be used in the courts to convict some poor street level dealer while leaving the big fishes untouched, business as usual. The funny thing is that I remember always trying to fill in the blanks between the parts that were clear and easy to understand. After some practice you would inevitably get lured into the patterns of thought of this underworld and could connect the dots even where the sound was totally distorted and the utterances in fact inaudible. Here I’m finding myself doing the same with my own voice and it feels like I have to make a similar effort. Many times the memory of what I said that particular night is long gone and I’m catching myself filling in the inedible blanks with acts of artistic recreation.

We’ve also been making friends on land, mainly amongst the circle of French teachers brought in to teach at the local high school. To expand our economic harvesting activities within the limited window we have been granted here in French Polynesia, I have set up some Spanish classes for adults. It’s been a slow start with one student for the first class, but there is hope to recruit some more. It was quite a surprise for us to see Spanish being the second foreign language taught in the local schools right after English, but then geographically Spanish speaking South America is actually even closer to here than the ever dominant Northern continent of the Americas. That’s of course not counting French, which for most kids here becomes the first “other” language they have to cope with when they start learning it at school. Marquesan families speak their own language at home. A good two third of the locals are fluent in French, but they do distinguish themselves from those who have come here from afar to “help” with education and administration by proudly rolling their r. Vive la diferrrence!

The dance classes are holding steady with the usual wobble in consistency. The kids class is the most fun to watch, Beatriz’ gift of capturing the kids interest becoming obvious in the wide-open eyes of the girls locked on her for most of the class. In a joyful atmosphere of playing, smiling and fun, fun, fun she manages to instill movement discipline, sequence memory and rhythm sensitivity in them, while at the same time strengthening their slender muscles, heightening their precarious balance, and prolonging their already quite impressive endurance. Even those moments where the attention span has definitely been exhausted, is totally torn and broken way beyond repair, and their playful minds are happily wandering off to anything but the task at hand, or at foot for that matter, even those lost points in time seem to be part of an intense and naturally structured learning experience, where the leaders and followers of future societies develop ways to live in their bodies without domineering every single fiber of it as our generation does, having learned consistently to be afraid of anything that is even slightly out of control. They are developing a new form of intelligence that at the same time closely resembles a very ancient one, one that will hopefully not senselessly destroy the world it is living in, one that does not divorce its self from the source and then piously adores an image of god, one that constantly heals that notorious separation between you and me with a deep and practical understanding that all actually is truly one and the same. Voilà, mes amis, c’est l’intelligence du corps!

And for those of you who have kindly worried about my tooth, well, it is still in there, helping me to chew through our poor man’s diet of rice and beans, and every now and then, courtesy of our newly made friends, through some extremely delicious delicacies of local provenance. The swelling has gone down enough for my worries to almost completely dissipate, the same body intelligence must be at work in my aging temple as well! I will keep my eyes on it though for just a bit longer, so as not to appear too foolish should the symptoms return sometimes in the near future. As an additional measure of conservative caution I’ve also kept half the prescription of the antibiotic capsules with which the bacterial outbreak was brought under control this time around. Good rational probability dictates it should do that again should the need arise.

2 Responses to “Quick Update”

  1. Rod Jones Says:

    You really are a terrific writer. I’m sure there are many Wharram fans reading your blog. I sure would like to hear a little more about your experience with your Tiki, and how she is to live aboard and cruise. Also would love to see some more photos of the boat anchored in beautiful places. It’s an amazing boat and an accomplishment what you have done with her. Thanks for letting us come along. One other thing I’m sure you know already, but be very careful taking only half your antibiotic prescription. With only half taken, the infection can come back with more resistance and strengthened, and this can be real, real bad. Last year I almost died from a resistant staff infection, so I have 1st hand knowledge about this one. Good sailing, and have fun.

    • alunaboat Says:

      I’m glad you made it through the staff infection, sounds quite serious. I am convinced though, that these resistant strains are the result of overuse of antibiotics. I’ve been doing the take-only-half-of-the prescription-thing with pretty much all the Western medicine thrown at me, feeling that most doctors are in bed with the pharmaceutical industry and prescribe way too much. The main reason though being that I want my body to know that it needs to do its part. I’ll keep your requests for specific description in mind for future posts and should I forget, don’t be shy to ask for more!

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