A NEWER BEGINNING ?!
I have been at Turupu Island now for 15 months and I know, finally, that I have found my true Solomon Island home. I met Johnlee Koli 28 years ago on my first trip to the Solomons. Johnlee was an engineer aboard the liveaboard dive ship, Bilikiki. Over the years, we became good friends but lost touch when I was at Peava and he was back working on a ship to earn funds to continue building his dream Guest Lodge.
Late in 2016, when Johnlee was seeking a business partner for his Minado Eco Lodge (things werre falling apart for me at Kahaini) a lovely couple who showed up in their yacht at Kahaini learned of my problems. Later when they were at Minado, put us back in touch. Johnlee invited me to visit Turupu -- his family's privately owned island -- and Minado ( love in the Marovo language) Lodge. I fell instantly in love with the beautiful island, the calm seas, and Johnlee's well educated, business oriented family. I moved here with my beloved little dog, Midget, on January 24, 2017 and began settling in to my new home. We have accomplished an amazing amount in 15 months. We have built our dive shop and my little "castle" by the sea -- 1 room for me, an office and a big deck where I mostly live. Add to that a new "house" for the water tanks, our sun and social center house and sundeck extension of the existing jetty, re-roofed the lodge and replaced the leaf exterior walls with timber. While former dive guides, Bryan from Peava days, and Owin from Kahaini have stayed with me, Johnlee, brother Evin and friend Dalton are now all very excellent dive guides. Johnlee's present passionate project is the construction of walking trails across and around the island. My two passions have been recording the growth of marine species and numbers in our flourishing Marine Protected Area, and planting, planting, planting- beautifying the area around my house and oceanfront with colorful plants.