Life on the island
Midway Islands Travel Blog› entry 3 of 5 › view all entries
May 3rd, 2001 – by: cneoridium
There were the Fish and Wildlife Service people- they had taken the island over from the Navy and ran it. It's a scary though, one of the most disorganized government agencies in charge... and they ruled with an iron fist. The beaches were closed! too much impact on the seals! You could walk only on boards and paved spots, bird burrows could be stepped on. Sort of constantly at war with the rest of the inhabitants.
Then there were the contruction guys. These were workers from the US, Phillipines, and Guam. Handlebar mustaches, Harley tattoos, ponytails- kind of a rough bunch.
The island was actually run by Sri Lankans... I have no idea how this happened, but the Phoenix Corporation (mysterious, shady CIA contractor famous for running raids over Cambodia early in the Vietnam war) had found some loophole to hire them for a fraction of the minimum wage.
There were a scattered handful of engineers, FAA workers manning the airport radar, a doctor and his family staying for a year in exchange for services, and various beauraucrats. This mixed community all ate each meal together in the mess hall, so in the end they had to all get along. I was pretty much a pariah since I was seen as just slowing down work, delaying they days they were counting until they could get off the island.
Entertainment was a little sparse. The bowling alley had been abandoned, but there was... a pool table, and a bar open a few hours each evening. Everyone would pound drinks for two hours, head home with a last call drink in each hand, steering their golfcarts with their knees. I loved every second of it. It was a 14 hour workday, but with Sundays off. I'd skip lunch and snorkel. After work I'd explore ever inch of the island. Even at night I'd wander the island, not wanting to miss one second of the experience. I swear I didn't sleep for the month.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!