When I first got here, seeing the dusty town of Honiara reminded me of Salelologa back in the 80s (according to the videos I saw, yeah right hahah).
It was on the cusp of 'development' but not just there yet...the roads were hastily built and strange things were being constructed right before the General Elections....and then forgotten right after.
I was well prepared for this trip. All the Solis I know kept warning me, particularly about the betelnut spitting and all that jazzle.
I arrived on the morning William and Kate were leaving, so really, the town was considerably cleaner than usual....the hasitly laid pavement on Commonwealth street was still shinning new and intact (for a day)....and notices were all over forbidding betelnut.
Then, when the royals left, ...it was back to business as usual.
Its strange how we in Samoa learn about World History, but that really means European History and very very little about our own backyard. I only truly understood the bloodied battles in Honiara in UPY...but seeing the map of Iron Bottom Sound was something else....and actually seeing the shipwrecks by the beach humbled me. ...wow, 40 known battle ships and submarines sunk here, thousands of Japanese and Americans died right here ):
Suddenly, I was mad at myself....what the hell was I thinking, making comparisons and likening this place to Salelologa, where the only struggles have been who slept with whose wife and who ate the pagikekes from the sefe?
How wrong was I.
This place has witnessed a lot more and is still healing, 1942 is NOT that long ago and with that comes the political and economic struggles.
Yes, I have much to learn.