Monday early afternoon, we were welcomed at the airport by the mayor (Nestor Ohu), our host, Léon Lichle, and Ranka Aunoa, the director of the CJA. The mayor gave us a car and a driver (Noel Brown) to reach the schools we will visit.
After a nice lunch at Léon’ and Hana’s home, we went for a reconnaissance of the various places we will visit (K-5 schools in Hane and Vaipaee, and the CJA in Hane). The vacant lot next to Léon’s will be the place for public stargazing on Monday and Tuesday night.
We started our set up early, including the radio station. We had reasonable success star-wise with clouds passing by, but happy people from the neighborhood! Radio-wise, the pile-up was big and not well-behaved. Could have been more fun… but many hams were happy to have contacted Ua Huka. A good dinner and we went to bed at 9:30pm to get some sleep: we are clearly sleep-deprived!
Early start this morning to be at the school in Vaipaee at around 7am. We had a great time with all the students of the K-5 school. Up to first grade, all the students watched the Moon through the telescope, while the others were presented an overview of the near-by universe starting with Ua Huka and moving on to the closest star outside of our solar system, before looking at the Moon too and later at the Sun (full of spots!).
On to Hane for the K-5 school. The kids were waiting for us and gathered all together in room for series of questions… They were well-prepared! The Moon was not visible anymore as Hane is at the bottom of a valley with steep slopes. The sun, was now very high, was watched with interest by all but the youngest students (hard to make sure they would close or hide one eye why looking through the eyepiece with the other one!)
Lunch followed at the Centre pour Jeunes Adolescents, a school for students from 12 to 17 who had problems with regular schools. They have general education and specialized teachings on sculpture (stone and wood) or cooking. A nice group of a dozen of kids who had prepared lunch for us and were exposed to some information on universe. They had good questions and watched the sun: a very nice way for us to end our work with schools in the Marquesas Islands.
We will now get ready for our second public stargazing. TX5VT will also be on the air for a few hours!
Internet is very very slow, only available through the cellular network, so no picture They will come later…