Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A couple of events this weekend reminded me that I live on an island. Except in cases of medical emergency (helicopter), we are only accessible by boat. Food, building materials, tourism - everything depends on boats crossing the 25k stretch of open ocean between us and Naha.

Yesterday we had a small festival to welcome spring. About half (29) of the boats that reside in our harbor went out packed with people and they paraded around the channel in front of Zamami, then came inside the harbor. It made me think that most families/businesses in Zamami own a boat. Our economy - whale watching, diving, and fishing - is all boat-based.

[A tradition possible because of a concrete departure]

Our school year ended last week, so the teachers who were transferred back to the mainland moved away Saturday. Living on an island makes community gatherings at one's departure easier, since the boat schedule dictates an exact time. Cars going to the airport can always fudge a few more minutes and going-away parties can last all night long, but the boat leaves at 3pm.


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