I’m afraid I left you all hanging with my last blog post. So let me continue the journey with you.
Saturday 12 October
Afio – government substation for the southern region of Malaita province, nestled at the southern mouth of the passage between small Malaita and the main island. The Phoenix turns up the passage at this point, by-passing the eastern side of the island and Sa’a village. So we disembark at Afio to meet up with Richard, the Chief Education Officer for Malaita Southern Region, and get a canoe to Sa’a. Richard has to attend a funeral today, so we are here until Sunday morning.
There’s not much to Afio; a few government buildings, a disused market hall, and a couple of guest houses are tucked in-between the shoreline and a steep cliff. Up the hill a bit is a small hospital and a few houses for its staff. Further up are a few more houses for the substation workers, and a mobile phone tower.
The guest house has screens on the windows, but nobody has informed the mosquitos of this. So I’m glad I brought my mosquito net. There is no power grid. The guest house has a small solar system and the owners also fire up a small generator occasionally when there is no town water pressure or to run the lights when it’s been cloudy.
I manage to make a few calls back to Martha in Honiara, and send a few texts back and forth. But coverage is very spotty due to the steep cliff, and I have trouble maintaining a connection even when the signal is strong.
Yes, the modern conveniences are coming, but it’s still a bit “hit or miss”.