After months of assuming that ‘Betty Karmer’ was probably the name of an American Seventh Day Adventist evangelist who had set up shop in the Pacific, it turns out that ‘Betikama’ is in fact a river, with an accompanying suburb, dominated by the Seventh Day Adventist School which shares the name. There is a nice carving shop here too. We’ve visited a few times.
The sorrounding suburb seems to be managed by the SDAs and is the nicest in Honiara. Apparently, all of Honiara used to be like this. When people get all misty-eyed and nostalgic about what is was like under the British, this is what they’re thinking about:
The difference is that because the SDAs own all the land, they look after it collectively, in the manner that Honiara was formerly looked after by its kastom owners before the land was sold off to the government to house the Capital, and before the British left. It’s a glimpse of what the whole place could be like, if there were a renewed sense of collective ownersip for the Capital that somehow transcended local kastom ownership and moved into the domain of pan-Solomon civil society. Yeah. And then we could all fly off to Mars in our magic fairy car.
The point is, Betikama is pretty nice. This is part of a large collection of buildings where the teaching staff live.
The carving shop is nothing special really, although it’s fun if you want to see the carvers at work. More interesting is the collection of WW2 remains that the owers have formed into a kind of macarbre sculpture garden in the front and rear yards. There is a museum too but its not as good (I think they sold all the good stuff to souveneir hunters.)
Back down the road and you get to ‘normal’ Honiara again. Here’s the power station, on a rare occassion on which it is not belching out black diesel fumes into the air. It does the job done most of the time!
PS – I’m getting kinda sick of the password system and am in the process of convincing Louise it’s unnecessary most of the time. Most posts like this won’t have it from now on.