Surviving Paradise: One Year on a Disappearing Island

Flower Power
by Peter Rudiak-Gould | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 1402766645 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Aberpeter of Kirkland, Washington USA on 10/26/2014
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Aberpeter from Kirkland, Washington USA on Sunday, October 26, 2014
from inside the book:

Just one month after his twenty-first birthday, Peter Rudiak-Gould moved to Ujae, a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands located 70 miles from the nearest telephone, car, or store, and 2000 miles from the closest continent. He spent the next year there, living among its 450 inhabitants and teaching English to its schoolchildren.

To the outside world, the Marshall Islands are known as ground zero for America's nuclear testing at the height of the Cold War. To their natives, they are a battleground for culture clash - a place simultaneously rooting in local tradition and fully aware of modernity with citizens who are both masters of seamanship and the latest hip-hop styles. To Peter, Ujae was the site of personal upheaval as his idealistic expectations of a tropical paradise confronted the harsh reality of island life.

With gripping tales of exotic adventures (including Peter's riotous attempts to lean the ancient art of spearfishing) and escapades indies the classroom and out, Surviving Paradise is a vivid coming-of-age memoir as well as a fascinating documentation of life in a corner of the world where tourists are few and discovery is plentiful. It is also the record of a place that may not exist for much longer, as rising tides due to global warming threaten to swallow this tiny, low-lying island.

Surviving Paradise is the portrait of an island at the turn of the 21st century, and how it felt for a young an to live in this alien culture on a remote speck of land at a rather tender age. Peter was a kid who had signed up for growth adventure, and disillusionment on the ends of the earth. What he got was so much more.

Journal Entry 2 by Aberpeter at Kirkland, Washington USA on Thursday, November 13, 2014
Peter's year on Ujae as a teacher wasn't the idyllic paradise he imagined it would be. Being raised in the the United States, Peter was accustomed to a privileged life style and equality for all. When he first landed on the tiny atoll he quickly adopted a cynical view of the customs and lifestyles of the natives and wanted to "Americanize" their way of thinking and doing. After a Christmas break from his little atoll to the capital of Marshall Islands he came back to Ujae a little less cynical and with an appreciation and understanding of the local customs. By the time Peter's year was up, he felt at home on the island and it was bitter sweet to return back to the US.

Journal Entry 3 by Aberpeter at Kirkland, Washington USA on Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Released 7 yrs ago (11/19/2014 UTC) at Kirkland, Washington USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

sending to hyphen8

Journal Entry 4 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Received today - thank you very much!

Ex-library hardcover.

Journal Entry 5 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, June 18, 2017
Still TBR, but reserved for booklady331's nonfiction VBB (round 6): maybe that will push me to get it read!

Journal Entry 6 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Thursday, October 19, 2017
Claimed from the VBB by freezone, so I've put it up next on the TBR list.

Journal Entry 7 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Sunday, November 12, 2017
An interesting read about a place I'll probably never visit. As an anthropology major with a little familiarity with Pacific islands & islanders, I wasn't too surprised by anything, but it was nice to learn more about the Marshall Islands specifically.

I found the author's reference to falling into "the compliment trap" amusing, since I was reminded of this particular bit of Polynesian culture a few months ago on an evening when I ended being gifted with two skirts. (Pohnpei is part of the FSM - Federated States of Micronesia - rather than the Marshall Islands, but there are clearly some similarities.)

Some great graphics - helpful if you're confused about islands and atolls - and some info about the effects of climate change from the NYT here.

Map of Ujae Atoll and BBC interview with Peter Rudiak-Gould here.

Journal Entry 8 by winghyphen8wing at Honolulu, Hawaii USA on Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Released 4 yrs ago (11/14/2017 UTC) at Honolulu, Hawaii USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Tuesday, November 14, 2017: headed for Massachusetts via media mail.

USPS tracking # 9549 0104 3303 7318 3245 73
ETA 12/05/17

Update 12/28/17: apparently the ETA above is pretty much meaningless. Tracking shows it was in San Francisco on the 21st, but it hasn't been heard from since. Hopefully it shows up in Massachusetts someday. :(

Journal Entry 9 by freezone at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Thursday, January 4, 2018
Received from a non-fiction VBB. Thank you so much! Looking forward to reading it. Later: I absolutely loved this book. He reports beautifully on his own inner changes and the culture he interacts with. Another culture makes you learn about others, but also confront yourself. Highly recommended, lots of fun.

Journal Entry 10 by freezone at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Thursday, June 27, 2019

Released 2 yrs ago (6/27/2019 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Into Asian themed book box.

Journal Entry 11 by AlterEgoZoe at Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA on Monday, September 2, 2019
Came home from the Far East Box. Looks interesting

Released 4 mos ago (1/11/2022 UTC) at LFL #89043 (outside Salvation Army Hall) in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

When he looked up again Tas had gone. Rising to join the others, he caught sight of something small and abandoned on the floor. "Tas you forgot your pipe." He picked it up and then saw words carved into the wood he had not seen before. Find the music, find the magic.
"Did you carve this?"
Tas did not turn. "Yes," he said, reluctantly. "I have to leave it."
"But, Tas, why?"
Tas squared his shoulders as though firming some resolve. But still he did not turn. "Because the shepherd said that it could only be used once. Thats why I can't get the pipe to play that song-or any song. I've used the magic." He took a deep breath and went on. "And he said that once I found the magic I had the pass the pipe on." he paused and then he did turn, a scamp's humor in his long brown eyes. "It's going to be a long winter. I'm going to leave it here for someone else to find."
"Snowsong" by Nancy Varian Berberick

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