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Talk about climate change. After weeks of working on a tropical island in 32 degree heat I’m now crunching across frosty ground on my way to work and happy to be indoors.
The initial challenge on working on the towering Government building with the hot Tuvaluan sun beating down from above was becoming just another day at the office. The biggest challenge we faced was still the incredibly steep 35 degree slope, where ropes and harnesses are needed just to keep us upright, let alone prevent the fifteen meter fall to the ground below. Jon, my other workmates' reference to Everest, wasn't too far off, you don't walk around this roof you climb it.
After a slow, but steady day at work Carolyn and I headed down to Filamoana for dinner where we met Andrea, a long-haired Sicilian PhD candidate from United Nations University in Bonn, Germany, and Vlad a solidly built Russian photographer on assignment for UNICEF. Desperate for a change from VB we ordered the (one and only) wine on offer. The sweet, chilled, red cask wine was far from the best I had ever had but was thankfully drinkable
Following this not-so-nutritious, but none the less satisfying lunch, Carolyn and I jumped on the back of my trusty red moped and made tracks for the northern tip of the islet. Once past the wharf the land narrowed to a mere 50 meters with the calm turquoise lagoon to the west and the sapphire blue surf crashing onto the shore to the east. The scenery as we drove north ranged from simple family dwellings set amongst idyllic coconut groves to stacks of rusted out cars and other machinery laying discarded by the roadside.
As I unloaded my provisions with much excitement it felt as if I was setting up the Funafuti branch of Countdown, with the rows of tinned and packaged food lining the shelves. Just as I was finishing up I was joined by Carolyn my new flatmate, a girl from small town Massachusetts here on a study grant. Both exhausted from the heat of the day we made our way down to the jetty by the hotel to go for a swim.