Saturday, November 25, 2006

Video and a lazy day

As you might guess, living on an island with a major volcano can be interesting. Monserrat, with its Soufriere Hills Volcano, has gone through quite a bit in the last decade or so as vulcanism has destroyed much of the southern half of the island, including Plymouth, the (now former) capital. I have read about some of these events, but we live in the era of video and visual images. So, I ordered the DVD Price of Paradise "Memories of Montserrat 2005 Edition" some time ago hoping to get a better understanding of the volcano and the geography of the island.
The video is excellent with a combination of firsthand accounts of the many events leading up to the big one, and many aerial shots from helicopters giving you the perspective you need to understand the rapid changes imposed on the landscape by this monster. I had purchased a topographical map of the island from (this one, in fact) allowing us to find the cities and other landmarks mentioned in the video.
One term kept cropping up: ghaut. The narrator on the video mentioned Mosquito Ghaut, Tuitts Ghaut, and Whites Ghaut. Not having any idea what a ghaut was, I looked it up. Here's a definition from the Volcano World: "A ghaut (which is derived from India) is a mountain pass or a valley between two mountain ranges." So, kids at home, when you run into a new word you don't know, stop and look it up. {grin}
As you might expect, the volcano did not have one eruption but had, instead, a long series of ever escalating events the culminated in the final evacuation of the island's southern half. The video does an excellent job of showing how this long transition affected the landscape, economics, and people of the island. This was no travel video; it was an excellent documentary. Highly recommended.
I was lazy today. I had intentions of doing lots of things to prepare for this trip, and to finish some stuff for a local radio club that I had promised to do. I did neither (and nearly nothing). I even took a little nap this afternoon. I think I needed it.
Tomorrow, though, it is back to the to do list. I've got audio testing to do, preparation for the conference call with the rest of the BUMS scheduled for tomorrow night, and, yes, I need to do my laundry.


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