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17 / 12 / 11 - 01 : 16



13 / 12 / 11 - 02 : 58







04 / 12 / 11 - 02 : 15

Halte californienne dans le bungalow bleu de Gilliane et Chris sur le chemin de Tuvalu.

Au programme : cours de caméra par Chris pour maîtriser la nouvelle JVC qu’il s’est chargé d’acheter avant notre arrivée, en prévision du prochain film ; digitalisation du reste* des vidéos de l’an dernier, pour ne pas avoir à emporter les bandes ; courses diverses ; expédition de la newsletter pour annoncer notre arrivée aux tuvaluens ; coucou aux copains pour Gilliane, qui a passé 20 ans de sa vie entre Paris et la Californie, ça crée des liens. Ah oui et reconditionnement des bagages… Entre autres objets à y faire entrer : les 27 kilos de métal du gazogène expédié par Gek en remplacement de l’ancien, 10kg de cadeaux transités par Linda il y a quelques semaines, 2 caméras...
*reste signifie ce qui n’est pas monté par Gilliane et déjà sur DVD que nous portons pour faire des projections, comme le King tides festival (2x 52 min et un bonus de 26, s’il vous plait !). Notre camera pro ayant subi les vagues tuvaluennes, elle a pu finir de digitaliser avec la camera de Tuvalu qu’elle avait apportée à Los Angeles pour réparation… Merci Chris pour s’être chargé de ça aussi.

Consciencieux, Chris avait étudié la nouvelle caméra et son manuel dans les moindres détails. Il est bon pédagogue et avec l’assistance technique de Sam, le fiston, par téléphone depuis Paris, nous voilà parées pour tester l’engin in situ.

Parmi les rencontres, la mère de Chris et son ami Bob, 190+ ans à eux deux, vaillants et toniques comme peu. Elle avait un problème avec son mac. Chrrriiiis à la rescousse, tandis que Bob, très intéressé par Tuvalu, blablatait avec Gilliane,.
Devant la maison, revenant du dépôt d’une nouvelle centaine de photos pour l’exposition au Vaiaku Lagi Hôtel, la voiture rouge pétante d’un copain de Froggy et Pupa, les petits fils de Rosie la voisine, était garée juste devant la maison. En voyant Gilliane, Froggy, tout sourire, a filé chercher Rosie. Pendant ce temps-là, Pupa tendait son portable à Gilliane : il a gardé la photo de Rosie devant la tour Eiffel, un voyage que Gilliane lui avait offert avec ses miles il y a un paquet d’années. Touchant..

Et tout en même temps que Rosie sortait de chez elle, arrivait Dee, la copine de toujours, pour embarquer Gilliane à dîner. Double méga hug ! que je me mords les doigts de n’avoir pas immortalisé sur pellicule.

Dans le jardin refuge à la végétation luxuriante, les opossums auront préféré manger les restes des repas à l’abri de nos regards ; ou peut-être laisser la part belle aux écureuils grands et petits, aux pics vert à la robe zébrée, aux colibris aux cuicuis caractéristiques et si vifs qu’il est quasi impossible de les prendre en photo, à Lili le chat du voisin, aux papillons etc.

A l’expédition de la newsletter, quelques retours sympathiques : Willy, le Premier Ministre, qui prévient que Seinati, son épouse, prépare la maison péninsule pour notre arrivée. En direct de la COP17 à Durban : Apisai, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et de l’Environnement, qui se réjouit de notre retour en terre tuvaluenne et espère que nous attendrons Nala, sa femme, qui crochète par la Nouvelle Zélande avant de rentrer au pays ; et Mataio, le Directeur de l’Environnement, à qui nous avons eu le temps d’envoyer une video pour la COP avant de partir de Paris, chaleureux lui aussi. Coucou du Japon de notre copain Soma, qui suit des cours en diplomatie internationale et désespère du manque d’actions concrètes au-delà des blahblah NAPA (plan dits nationaux et d’adaptation) pour les communautés locales… Et puis Vete, l’ingénieur civil, rassuré que la santé de Gilliane soit de nouveau au beau, l’ami Kalisi content qu’on revienne, Risasi qui attend son amie de Paris avec tant de choses à lui raconter qu’elle a du préparer un stock de cigarettes pour les pauses…. Et Penny, la femme du Ministre des Finances qui elle sera à Suva (Fidji) quand nous nous y poserons.

Mardi 29th. 2011 -12h00 : Les bagages sont près, 22 et 23 kilos on est bons ; le bagage du gazo est monté lui à 29 kilos emmitouflé qu’il est de papier bulle et de fringues. Dans quelques heures, il s’agira, si besoin est, de convaincre la douane américaine que l'engin est inoffensif et nous tout pareil..

Fetaui

30 / 11 / 11 - 00 : 00








27 / 11 / 11 - 19 : 30

Une valeur sure et un coeur d'or, Line Lavesque, au service de jeunes photographes.
Amis du sud courrez-y!

19 / 11 / 11 - 21 : 08

Hi friends, I haven't been updating you about the water situation because it is now less of an issue, with several desalinators working and this week also a delivery by ship of some water and two tank trucks to assist with delivery. We've also had some rain. Water is still being issued from the communal tanks and I see plenty of people queuing up to get their quota, so I suppose house tanks are still not back to normal levels, but the situation is easing.

Something I did mean to mention is that frangipani trees are blooming very well, and so are the nice pinky flowers (excuse that description, I'm not a flower person!) that are around some houses. To my untrained eye it seems the frangipani flowers are more plentiful than usual, which is contrary to what one would expect considering the lack of rainfall.

Not so nice is the black weed that has covered the beach along the lagoon side of the island. It's not only ugly but it STINKS and the smell extends well back from the beach. However, there was a volunteer cleanup team working at low tide last Saturday morning, collecting mounds of the horrible stuff and putting it into trucks to take away. I believe they are going to have another session this weekend. What a wonderful example of co-operation and community spirit. When I said 'team' I didn't mean half a dozen people, I meant hundreds! I think I'll go help this weekend, as I am definitely benefiting from this cleanup right in front of my house.

03 / 11 / 11 - 19 : 21

28 / 10 / 11 - 23 : 10

... in a veny kind email : "the kids LOVED talking to you!.. I hope we can arrange for you to come back. We will work on letters this week to President Obama, Sec of Energy Chu and Eric Garcetti."

In chris's reply he added, on Oct 31st still : 'Don't forget to include Michelle Obama when you write the prez. She is particularly responsive to kids...'

27 / 10 / 11 - 20 : 00

[en]
I did my 4th-grade class today about tuvalu and climate change. very fun! bright kids who are quite concerned...lots of questions....

You may be hearing from their teacher, Lisa, who might want the class to join Alofa...and might want to order a few more english comics if you have them. the kids are also talking about writing about their concern to Barack and Michelle Obama...and perhaps trying to do some kind of fundraising campaign for Alofa....all of which I encouraged them to do.


27 / 10 / 11 - 18 : 00

We have had several good showers in the last two days. The daily allowance per household has been increased to 80 litres. Our situation is certainly improving. Today the wind changed direction and blew quite strongly from the west, although it died away again towards sunset. It's too soon to say that the westerly season has arrived but certainly it seems there's some transition going on.
Bye for now. John

24 / 10 / 11 - 18 : 00

[en]
Dear Gilliane,

There is now no need to reconsider your trip, at least not from the water viewpoint. In addition to yesterday’s hour of rain (Tataua tells me it was 52mm) the NZ desalinator got going again (a special engineer flew in on Tuesday and overcame the problem); another desalinator is arriving today by ship; and another one tomorrow by a different ship; and a ship is on its way with one megalitre of fresh water (perhaps one of the two ships previously mentioned).

I think those plants produce bacteria-free water…. the output varies according to the quality of the intake water. If it’s good, clean ocean water the plant can produce at full capacity. If it is contaminated by, say, oil, sediment, sewage etc the output is lower because it takes longer to process the water to the point where it is potable.
….
I cycled up to the main wharf this morning for exercise, and to take a look at the desalination operation (what I could see of it from outside the wharf fence). The Army guys were busy moving pallets with 1000 litre plastic tanks on them. So obviously they are producing again. I had more exercise than I expected because my back tyre went flat and I had to walk home. Never mind, I needed it!


21 / 10 / 11 - 07 : 18

[en]
Our neighbourhood ‘water warden’ Tataua tells me that the water ration is now 40 litres per household per day. He also says that the NZ desalinator has created enough water (now in storage in the Government cisterns at the main wharf and the radio station) to continue the water distribution at same rate for about six days. By then, the NZ desalinator should be operating again.

Presumably the Government one is back in operation after its maintenance yesterday.

I heard there has been a proposal made that households with more than fifteen occupants should get a higher allowance than other houses. Forty litres per day split fifteen (or more) ways is not a lot per person!

I also heard that the Meteorological Office is predicting no significant rain until January. Gilliane – is it important for you to come in December? The situation might be more comfortable by January. Anyway let’s see how this situation develops. I’ll keep you posted.

We had a good shower last night.


18 / 10 / 11 - 15 : 03

[en]
I have good news and bad news.
Firstly, the good news. Fortunately, no water was wasted; commonsense prevailed, allowing the NZ Army to drive the road tankers outside working hours.
And now the bad news. The NZ desalinator has broken down. There will be a three day delay while new parts are sent up. Meanwhile Tuvalu had to shut down its own desalination plant today for maintenance. Unfortunate timing!

18 / 10 / 11 - 14 : 56

[en]
There’s no possibility of feeding trees with any excess water because there’s no way of getting the water to the trees. If there were a means of doing that there would also be a means of getting it to people’s tanks. The desalinator could be switched off but evidently the engineers don’t want to do so. I suppose there are technical objections to stopping and starting it.

16 / 10 / 11 - 21 : 15

[en]
We had some very good rain this morning. It was loud enough to wake (me) up 
(before dawn) and when I got up (later) there were puddles of water on my 
driveway. Hooray!
Unfortunately it has gone back now to being hot and dry. 
I decided it was opportune to do my washing - the first for nearly six weeks 
so rather a lot!

16 / 10 / 11 - 21 : 10

[en]
The NZ Defence Force team exceeded their own targets for establishing the desalination plant. They had it up and running early and have already generated about 80 kilolitres. However, there is a problem – distribution. Tuvalu Government has restricted the road tanker operation to normal working hours, to avoid overtime and avoid additional fuel costs. Meanwhile the plant is operating 24 hours a day.
For time being the excess is being piped into the big concrete tank that was built a few years ago by Japan during the reconstruction of the wharf facilities. Once that is full the excess production will have to be pumped back into the lagoon, or the plant will have to be shut down – neither of which is a good option.


16 / 10 / 11 - 21 : 08

[en]
... I mentioned that trees were suffering from the water shortage. Breadfruit trees are in big trouble I reckon. A lot of upper branches look dead now and all leaves are limp. The fruit is tiny or non-existent. Even when the
desalinators are in full operation there isn't going to be anything left over for watering trees. Even the palm trees look as though they're suffering. A lot of grass has turned brown too...

12 / 10 / 11 - 16 : 05

[en]
The desalination plant that was talked about last week is indeed too much for a C-130. That's not entirely because of size/weight of the plant but also because the C-130 cannot refuel in Funafuti. So it has to carry enough fuel for a round trip. Why is the plane unable to refuel? Well, it's because
the fuel tanker has broken down!

Anyway, the plant will fit in THREE C-130's. It's New Zealand military equipment, 1960's vintage, but of course well maintained over the years. Its capacity is about 50 kilolitres/day, five times our present plant's capacity. A Royal Australian Air Force C-17 ('Starlifter') flew from Canberra to Auckland yesterday and carried the plant from Auckland to Apia(one trip). A C-17 can't land at Funafuti. Today the RNZAF C-130 arrived with part of the plant. It will come again on Monday and Tuesday with the remainder. Tuvalu has vetoed a flight tomorrow because it's Sunday Church services.

There are technicians here already assembling the plant and it's quite conceivable they'll have it running this week.

Additionally, each island will be receiving its own (permanent) desalination plant. Apparently Britain, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have agreed to jointly fund the eight units at a cost of about $120,000 each plus $50,000 for spares and consumables. Those plants won't be here for a month or so - presumably by sea.

Anyway, we're into the last 15 minutes of the France/England rugby match (France well in the lead and almost sure to win now) so I'll say goodnight.

08 / 10 / 11 - 16 : 43

Alofa Tuvalu recommande:

L'exposition "Maori, leurs trésors ont une âme" au Musée du Quai Branly à Paris, du 4 octobre 2011 au 22 janvier 2012 conçue et réalisée par Te Papa Tongarewa, le musée de Nouvelle-Zélande.
L'exposition a été installée en une quinzaine de jours sous la direction de la conservatrice de Te Papa, Nirmala Balram et son équipe, qui nous ont fait l'amitié d'une visite à leur arrivée à Paris.



06 / 10 / 11 - 00 : 10


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