Greg in 2009

The end is near

by on under Army

I’ve had a good couple of weeks here, we’re on the home straight and the atmosphere smells of excitement. Tonight we went out for dinner at a fancy French restaurant. It was a large group of ORs and Robyn the NZ sig covered my shift. It was a large group of about 20 so I ordered my steak rare, this meant it came out first :) A little trick I’ve picked up. The whole meal with starters and non alcoholic drinks came to about $SOL300 which is about $AU60 so the prices are on par with Australia which was a little odd although all the food must have been imported (I had some of Rod’s snails), so I guess that makes sense.

On the way home the topic of our presence in the country came up and the argument was made that we should just leave these people alone because they don’t want to help them selves. I went on the defensive and pointed out that we are very similar, the main difference being our loyalties lie with our nation and theirs lie with their wontok. Timmy made the argument that they should get a job and move to another country, I was just shocked, his belly was full with a weeks wages in local currency. He must know that the people that work at GBR are getting paid less in a week then he is in a day. I heard figures like $SOL200 per week, that’s $AU40 a week and they work long hours with little thanks. Timmy and I earn about $AU1300 tax free a week with the knowledge that we are leaving this place in less then 4 months. I also made the humanity argument but it was a tough crowd.

Speaking of doing it hard here in the Solomon Islands, the rest of my week was fairly easy. Tuesday was a low tempo day for the Sig Cell, we went to the pool at one of the fancy hotels, then for dinner we ordered Chinese take out. Then Wednesday night I organised a BBQ (I’m the resident BBQer because and I get good reviews :) ). I’m a little disappointed about the comments on the way home, we’ve made it possible for children to go to school and not fear being killed because of their ethnicity, a fact that seems to be lost on the majority of the people sent here to help them. I hope wontokism and nationalism are replaced by humanism by the time these twins explore the world.

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