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Old 02-13-2008, 10:42 PM   #1
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Hello All,

I have just received a email request from the Island of Pitcairn requesting that people bring the following as trade goods if they happen to have a planned stop there. i will put the full email here feel free to contact them for any other information.

Thank you,

John

Hi John,If is not too late if is is possible maybe you could bring us a few items for sport entertainment. For instance Table Tennis - A few balls, a net and a couple of bats.Tennis balls, Volley Ball, 2 or 3 sets of Darts would be helpful.You see we are trying to set up something entertaining for our people to get a break from the everyday routine here on our samll island.If you think you could help in any way it would be gratefullyt appreciated.Look forward to hearing from you.

RegardsJay WarrenChairman of the Entertainment Committee.

jaycarol@pitcairn.pn
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:45 AM   #2
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Hi John,

While I cannot help directly in contributing to the Pitcairn Island wish list, I commend your approach and hope it brings results for the islanders.

Good on you, mate.

David.
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:23 PM   #3
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Please forgive me for the cynicism this post reflects.

We went to Pitcairn, and though there's no doubt that a small community of people on an island that is so far out of everyone's way, and an island so inhospitable to visiting yachts, is a difficult life in many ways.

Walk around the island. Every home has at least two deep freezers. Every power tool one can imagine. Each home has at least one off road vehicle. TVs, VCRs. It's been a while since we were there, so perhaps now they have solar panels, wind generators, whatever. I would be interested to know how much they exploit the renewable energy sources of the island.

Pitcairn is the responsibility of New Zealand. Do speak with the NZ couple who are the current teachers. Beyond middle school, the Pitcairn children are schooled in NZ. Pitcairn receives all its goods from NZ; freight is, I believe, free. No taxes. I was told by the NZ teachers that each fellow who goes out to sell his carvings and fresh produce to the passing ships comes back with about $2,000 NZD. EACH person.

These are not poor, deprived people. They are master traders, so you will probably not get the best of the bargain, but don't let them take advantage of you.

We got an earful from the NZ couple that were there when we visited, and much of it was not complimentary. They clearly were suffereing from the late stages of culture shock ("to know them is to hate them," the big letdown from the first idealized view of the culture)

On the plus side. The island really is gorgeous. The carvings are wonderful. They will speak English to you, but their private language is a patois that I found unintelligible, probably with a healthy dose of 17th Century Polynesian.
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Old 02-14-2008, 02:02 PM   #4
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Hello,

I am very sorry but I believe that the post was misunderstood, the items listed are to be Trade Goods not donated Items. This is just one of the islands that have contacted me with request most have ask for books or any children's items.

Thank you very much,

John
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post
We got an earful from the NZ couple that were there when we visited, and much of it was not complimentary. They clearly were suffereing from the late stages of culture shock ("to know them is to hate them," the big letdown from the first idealized view of the culture)
This is sad to hear, since I was a child Pitcairn's Island has been a spot which I too idealized. While I am fully aware that it does not exist outside the influence of the rest of the world I didn't realize it had been as influenced as this post indicates and was hoping that there would still remain a largely agrarian culture...

I would still like to visit one day but it just dropped from the top of my list to the middle.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #6
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I'm sorry to be such a wet rag with regard to Pitcairn. It must be emphasized that anybody going there cannot leave their boat anchored and go ashore for a day. There is no safe anchorage anywhere, most boats that visit Pitcairn will send one person ashore while the other person stays on board, drifting around for the day. We anchored on a glass calm day and we almost lost our bow and anchor when we left. It's a difficult place. Imagine having words with your neighbor and not ever being able to get away from him.

It helps to read the history of the island. The one I read was a British book published on the anniversary of the mutiny. Pared down with details a bit sketchy, there were 11 mutineers, two polynesian men and 13 polynesian women. When a british ship refound the island the two polynesian men and all but one of the mutineers had killed each other, and a bunch of the women were dead as well. There were something like 21 children and several women and one mutineer, who had found god at some point in their self-imposed exile.

When we visited the island, there were about 100 inhabitants, worried about the declining populations as their children often didn't return to the island after secondary school in New Zealand. There's a lot more to the history than this quick summary. It just isn't a paradise, and it never was.

When we were there we learned that there were two factions. There was the fundamentalist faction that didn't smoke, drink, dance, etc. Then there was the group that would have liked a bit more out of life than that. This second group apparently went on an annual retreat to uninhabited ?Thompson's Island? for a week or two and apparently it was a bacchanal far from the disapproving eyes of the more straitlaced of the islands. Obviously, this information was gossip provided by the Kiwis, but from comments we heard from a few of the islanders, it doesn't sound too far from reality.

Pitcairn is a rock sticking up out of the water. No flat plain, just ups and downs. This picture is Bounty Bay, where they burned the Bounty, thereby marooning themselves permanently on this giant rock.

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