To be a TSE chaser means to be open to new adventures and what an adventure this has been so far! To be on this tiny island somewhere in the Pacific and sleep in a bungalow with your door open and the ocean a few steps from you is an experience like no other. Birds that sing through the night, the occasional squeal of a bat or two or three, and the very loud generator right outside our bungalows all add a new layer to this adventure. So does showering using water from a tank in our bathrooms (saltwater), having misaligned toilets and washing our clothes by hand. Sure it can get to be too much at times, but we are here and we must make the most of it. Adi has done just that. He jumps in the ocean to swim and then he stops, pulls out his razor and shaves. Duncan’s bungalow is on the other side of the island (~5 min walk) but it’s a nice walk through the mini jungle and he has a gorgeous view of the West. Pavel and Peter are enjoying their swims in the ocean and their astrophotography (gorgeous night skies!) while Duncan enjoys sugar cane.
When technical difficulties arise and communication with the other team members is necessary, the lack of Internet and phone signal is a major frustration. Thankfully, for a couple of team members, satellite signal allows them to send texts, sometimes call, the others at Buli and Maba. All things considered, what a gift to have some “time off” from the emails, the calls, the deadlines, the meetings and in a sense, the responsibilities. Our only responsibilities and frustrations are those relating to the eclipse. I understand how immense those responsibilities and frustrations are, but we are here to observe and obtain new information about our Sun, to enjoy this experience, to connect with one another, to learn new things, to grow, and to share with all of you. We own the week!
I mentioned briefly in a previous post how wonderful the staff here on Plun Island is. They are always in high spirits and more than willing to help us out and accommodate us. Their cooking is fantastic! The fish is caught in the mornings so it’s always fresh, they make their own bread and they make delicious cakes. Nurul speaks a bit of English so she helps us communicate with everyone. They are all very warm and happy. We have become very fond of them!
From left to right: Juhria Mandar, Suriah Mandar, Nurlaela, Naty Alzate, Radian Agriayani, Rifka Atika, Nurul Hudaiya