Thursday, August 16, 2012

Loose Ends: July 20 - 26

My last weekend in the Falklands was seriously epic. Friday night presented the dilemma of poker night vs. pub quiz. Debs was putting together a pub quiz team, but there was an unfortunate bit of confusion. When I texted her on Friday morning to confirm I learned that Mike had taken the last spot on the team 30 minutes earlier. This confused me a bit as Mike was supposed to be playing poker. As it turns out, poker night was cancelled before I decided to do the pub quiz instead. In any case I walked all the way to the Narrows Bar to cheer on my friends. As it turned out, Debs played with her surrogate Falklands parents opening up a spot on the team with Mike, Paul, Andy P, Roddy, and Paula. The quiz felt like it would never end, but it was pretty fun. Besides the standard trivia rounds, we also had to make a potato into a recognizable famous person. We were not alone in our decision to create Mr. Potato Hitler. After the quiz finally concluded we were rather surprised to learn that we had won. Huh. That was unexpected and we owe it to Paul's origami frog which defeated all the other teams' frogs. Our tangible prizes were a couple of bottles of wine and a box of chocolates, but I think the bragging rights were the best part. We went off to celebrate our victory at Deano's.
Our Hitler is the one with the Argentine flag.
I walked into town on Saturday to do some souvenir shopping and loaded up with Falklands swag, including a giant flag for my office, small gifts for professors/family/friends, and a "Keep Calm and Keep the Falklands British" t-shirt. I am currently hatching a plot to wear the last item to a Morrissey concert in November. I haven't decided whether or not I'm going as I am torn between my love for the Smiths and my love for the Falklands.* In any case, if I go to the concert I will proudly don said shirt. As usual, the evening's festivities started at the Vic, where I found myself faced with multiple options. First, a birthday party for someone I kind of knew at Andy P's house (I was invited by Andy P, but not the birthday girl). Or another night at the Trough. I delayed making my decision by dancing at Deano's, but ended up at Andy P's, where there was a great spread of food, good music courtesy of two Pauls, and more dancing. I distinctly remember getting to samba to Lily Allen's "Not Fair." All in all, it was a great night.

The weekend's fun continued on Sunday with an asado at Alex and Vanessa's house. Basically a Chilean barbecue with a giant slab of meat. Everyone brought something to share and we spent the afternoon cooking, eating, and drinking. As I don't exactly cook particularly well I was tasked with squeezing lemons and limes for Pisco Sours. I must have done my job well as the resulting drinks were delicious. I still need to check to see if I can get Pisco in this area. I also learned how to make the ridiculously obvious snack called "choripan" (chorizo + bread). I felt almost as stupid as that time I asked when Cinco de Mayo was when I asked what went into a choripan. Eventually the slab of meat was deemed ready to eat and we were allowed to go inside. It was definitely worth the wait. Oh, and we were joined that afternoon by an American PhD candidate in anthropology considering writing his dissertation on the economics of the Falkland Islands. It seems I'm not the only one who noticed a serious gap in scholarship. 
The delicious slab of meat on the grill.
Everyone bundled up to brave the cold and watch the meat cook.
On Monday morning I returned to transcription at the museum and found that Leona was also back after she had been out the previous week with a punctured eardrum. Ouch. My transcription was interrupted by a visit from Jay, the American anthropologist, who had mentioned that he might stop by the museum. As he hasn't yet made the final decision whether or not to write about the Falklands, I introduced him to Leona and Tansy over at the Archives. With introductions made and research discussed, I took Jay into town for some lunch and to check out the Falklands 30 exhibit. Tuesday and Wednesday meant even more transcription as I worked to complete my deliverable by the end of the week. I finished early on Wednesday in order to do a short interview for the Falkland Islands Radio Service.
My FIRS interview with the lovely Samantha Addison. Just in case you're wondering, 
not all Falkland Islanders sound like her. Sam is from Yorkshire.

Wednesday was also my last steak night and as such became my first pseudo-going-away party. When I showed up to the Vic pretty much everyone I cared about was already there - it was pretty awesome. However, I noticed that no one had ordered any steaks. Apparently the steak portion of the evening had been cancelled due to a migraine. Steve and Mike solved this problem by fetching everyone fish and chips from down the street. With or without steak, it was a great night and we closed the pub. I got up early Thursday morning as the museum had arranged for me to go on a FIGAS round robin. The Falkland Islands Government Air Service offers flights within the Islands on the very small Britten Norman Islander aircraft. 
A FIGAS plane (from the Falkland Islands Tourist Board).
The round robin option allowed me to ride shotgun for the morning itinerary of one of the five planes. We flew from Stanley to Port Howard, Pebble Island, Carcass Island, and then back to Stanley. The first landing was rough as snow was falling in Port Howard, but the flight was pretty smooth after that. I got an incredible view of several islands and was only airsick twice. Unfortunately, I didn't get very many pictures as I was concentrating on the scenery around me and trying not to be sick again.
Carcass Island. The last stop on my round-robin flight around the Islands.
*Read this story to find out why my love of the Smiths conflicts with my love of the Falklands.

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