When I was last in the UK I was trying to explain how small is the Falkland Islands population (3200) to my God-daughter. ‘So its like a small town’ she said and I nodded ‘ yes, but a very small town and probably smaller than any you’ve visited’ I explained. Her eyes glazed over as she nodded sagely. I knew she wasn’t getting it, she couldn’t understand the scale, so I suggested ‘check out the O2 in London, what’s the capacity?’ She looked it up on her iPhone ‘20,000 people’. The 02 can accommodate nearly 8 times the population of the Falkland Islands. Wembley stadium with a capacity of 90,000 would envelope our population about 28 times. I think she got it!
What of these 3200 people? So far, luckily, I’ve only met wonderful people.
W was my first friend on the island. A brilliant mind, a warm heart and a wonderful sense of community she gives help and support wherever she can. With a huge network she introduces people and can always find a connection with others. She’s a teacher by profession and even though she retired she’s still facilitating and enabling people to learn. She is the type of person with whom you can have a deep and challenging conversation and then be a bit silly. She is direct and honest and she reminds me of the head girl at my school who seemed to be good at everything but humble in her achievements. I wrote about W some time ago and now she will soon return to the islands and I am so looking forward to seeing her.
S is highly creative, determined, generous, warm, kind and again has a sharp mind. A strong woman who is devilishly proud of her family. She shares knowledge and facilitates learning. She is someone who intuitively knows when I might feel a bit low and she will call or text to suggest a meet or to have a brief chat. To know there is someone looking out for you, particularly when you spend long days alone, is a gift. I am loving learning so much that is new to me. Ive also been able to share my thoughts about my future ventures and had some wise counsel.
N has an amazingly sharp mind. I suspect she could do anything she turned her hand to. She cares deeply and is widely respected. Some people shine in a small place, but might struggle elsewhere, not N she’d shine wherever she landed. I’ve learnt many things and we have the most hilarious conversations. A recent evening with friends ended in side splitting laughter. I’ve no doubt the produced endorphins definitely strengthened my immunity to the bug which is going around Stanley. Before I leave, I’m looking forward to finishing some projects with her.
Until I started to write this I didn’t notice the themes. They’re appearing though: sharp intelligence, kindness and friendship, creativity, teaching or facilitating learning and a ‘can do’ attitude. These are all women who get things done and done well. I feel so very lucky to have found such wonderful friends.
There are many other people I’ve met who are equally amazing. It seems the lure of the islands attracts an array of talented people who like to connect and engage in the community. Its a privilege to know them and to spend time with them. As many of them are quite private I won’t write more.
As I finish this piece, I’m left wondering if the prospect of living in an isolated but immensely beautiful part of the world attracts a higher proportion of people with great interpersonal skills and an array of talents? I also wonder if living in a small community forces people to engage more and to be kinder than they might be otherwise?