Annabelle Boudinot, second in command, and Marco Simeoni, President of the Foundation, were invited by journalists from the local radio station on Robinson Crusoe Island to give an account of the state of the plastics in the Oceans and present the Race for Water Foundation’s missions. Annabelle shares her experience
We meet in the central square and a pick-up draws up and hails us. We begin the climb: “Since the tsunami the population has lived up in the hills and only shops and businesses set themselves up at sea level,” the driver explains.
Indeed, in 2010, a devastating 12-metre wave surprised the inhabitants whilst they slept… Since then, the local authorities have taken steps and the population lives up in the hills; only the shops and businesses remaining low down. A rocky mud track leads us towards the radio station and the engine roars during some of the hill starts. Shaken about, we quickly switch to 4×4 mode.
We pull up in front of a small house overlooking a big antenna. The view across the bay is fabulous, the ocean oscillating between deep blue and a greeny-blue, the earth drawing on the ochre, tinged green by the conifers. The reddy-orange flowers add a few bold splashes of colour. The island’s vegetation reminds me of Madeira, hardy and Mediterranean-like.
The house is only lived in over the summer months with a very simple kitchen and a small lounge with a breathtaking view. There are decorations made from bubbles of blown glass. The local journalist explains: “They wash up on our beaches, but we don’t know where they come from!” To my mind, they are from fishing net floats; who knows, as we make our way back up the Pacific, perhaps we’ll discover their origin!
We enter ‘the studio’; one table, two chairs, a computer broadcasting music over the airwaves, and a rudimentary mixing desk.
“This station was fitted out by an amateur radio operator who made landfall on the island. He left us the equipment so we could create this radio station, which is obviously the only one on the island! We broadcast music on Fridays and we have an hour-long programme where the topic is open. This week the topic will be Race for Water. Twice a week, the island’s news is read out! If people want to make something known, they’re free to do so.”
We’re joined by two women, who are also in charge of the interview and the broadcast and naturally everyone is an amateur. There is a great deal of enthusiasm and pleasure! With an hour-long live broadcast, our arrival is appreciated!
On the way back, we stop off at the waste collection centre… And there we get a glimpse of another reality… Stay tuned for the next episode!