Lost all goods at sea
Living in abandoned shell
All I have is yours
© Alicia Khoo
NaPoWriMo Day 19
An Ancient Postal System:
Galapagos island relies on travelers to deliver the mail
“Floreana Island’s postal service hasn’t evolved from its origins hundreds of years ago. But unlike Darwin’s finches, it doesn’t need to adapt to survive.
Instead of stamps and postmen, the Galapagos isle relies on a barrel and the kindness of travelers to move its mail. The guests, mainly cruisers eco-touring the Ecuadorian islands, sort through the stacks, looking for addresses within delivery distance of their homes. They also drop their own messages into the receptacle, adding another link to the chain of mail.
The practice started in the late 1700s as a way for English whalers to communicate with friends and family back home. The men heading out to sea would deposit their correspondence, which sailors returning home would collect and deliver.
The “post office” looks like an installation piece by Robinson Crusoe, with artful piles of driftwood and other organic detritus surrounding the elevated barrel. Stickers, scrawlings and a poster of Golden Age Hollywood stars adorn the artifacts as if they were a bathroom wall in a bar.
A New Yorker named Maura approached my parents with “Brookline,” thinking that the Boston neighborhood might be close to their home in western Massachusetts. She kept one destined for Cambridge, Mass., planning to drop it off during an upcoming trip there. The Swedish family grabbed a Stockholm-or-bust postcard and gave me a patient grin when I asked whether a holiday in Copenhagen was in their future.
In my cluster, I found cards addressed to California, Toronto, France and Germany. One for Vancouver said, “We are stranded on Postcard Island. Send help. Quick. Stop.” A sheet of thin, fraying paper covered in tiny print needed a lift to Romania. I was tempted to deliver it myself, worried that it might disintegrate before a Romanian-bound traveler could save it. After flipping through countless images of sea lions and blue-footed boobies, I finally scored: East Capitol Street, Washington, D.C.”
Article found at http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2010-01-31/news/36873153_1_galapagos-island-floreana-island-travelers