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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trading with the locals

Trading with the locals

Speaking of canoes, they are of the dugout rigger variety and are a common site in the bay. Young children, teenagers, chiefs, mothers and babies paddle around and visit the yachts many times a day hoping to make some trades. They proffer fruits, vegetables and local handi-crafts such as baskets, carvings and shells. They paddle up and hover around the boat patiently waiting for your attention. Sometimes they will softly sing songs or quietly whistle a tune to let you know they are there. These are modest and shy people hoping to make a deal. We are good trading partners having brought lots of trade goods so all of our transactions are trade and never cash as it has so little value in their "Kustom"ary economy. We carry for trade, rice, sugar, oil, fish hooks, fishing line, flash light batteries, clothes of all descriptions, hats, and bed sheets to name a few. We also have a big pile of gift items such as pencils and pens for the school age kids, toy cars, balloons, dolls, cards, dominos, etc to give away as gifts. The smiles we get in return for a good trade or small gift are truly priceless!

Our best trade so far was with Gordon who proposed a trade for freshly caught live spiny pacific lobster. I proffered four "D" batteries, a knife and elastic tubing (for a spear gun) in exchange for eight fresh lobster to be deliver that evening. We each thought it a great deal!

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