Thursday, February 19, 2009

Under the Volcano

Under the Volcano

Laura Phillips

It wasn’t until after 8pm last night that the field crew finally made it back to the Flamboyan. Exhausted, but triumphant having finished excavations at BN1 (Banda Naira Site 1 near Lautaka, if you have a detailed map on hand), the hungry crew celebrated a final dinner. The lab crew worked until just before 8, too. We almost finished packing up all of Peter’s collections from his 1998-98 excavations. This morning, Kelsey and I will finish up the final boxes, so Wuri can courier the collection to Ambon next Tuesday on the cockroach-infested ferry-from-hell. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the Bemoli boxes make it. Bemoli is the frying oil that everyone uses here to fry bananas, cassavas, and fritters. I am told these boxes are quite strong, but I’m worried the signs of dripping oil on the outside of the boxes will undermine our packing job. Nevermind what the bugs will do…

Right now, everyone is gathering o on the Flamboyan porch, bags in hand, ready to stow our gear on Ayub’s trusted boat. A small group will head over to Pulau Ay this morning; the rest of us will catch a larger boat (2 engines) after lunch. In the meantime, it’s Friday, our free day, and we’ll wander around the town that has become our home. Many of us are no longer known as “hello mister,” and instead, are called Ibu or by our first names (Selmat pagi Kelsey…or Wilson, Ari, Watana, Pippit…)

Today is also our last opportunity to use telecommunications. I’ve heard there are no public phones on Pulau Ay. It was great to hear Clara, Yari and Eric’s voices this morning. I’m looking forward to sharing all the amazing stories. In the meantime, I hope you are all well. XOXOX, laura (mommy)


  1. Hey you!! How amazing this journey of yours is. It has been so long since we connected. I'm wondering how the weave of work, life and distance are shaping your days. It is late tonight and all my little ones are sleeping away after our first day of "hiking with mom". Galyn Beck ambled really well through this lovely interpretive trail on Squaw mountain. The sun shone all day reminding me of the June to come. I've stopped working-do you know that? It gives me time to drop off Jarah's APP appeal, sign Surana up for Girls choir and reoragnize the house.
    I'll show the blog to the kids tomorrow.

    Love you and can't wait to see you. Be safe.


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