Tchabo brings levity as I hold the stories and the workload. He teaches me Sugstun words he learned at Headstart as we zag through the woods to our final interview with the students. I often wonder at his unique experience of a village. Our days end with his stories of going with his babysitter to her Godmother's house and enjoying dried & salted fish, or walking to the visiting dentist with the other Head Start kids. We are both relieved its Friday; he will play with friends while I sweat in the Banya before we call it a night. Reunited we are stunned by the milky light of a nearly full moon, drenching the village in festivity. Kids play basketball, cruise around on 4-wheelers, and from the darkness of the low tide splashes of light play off the coral reef; the flashlights of folks searching for octopus and bidarki entice us for our first harvest. We donned our extra tuffs and headlamps and scrambled across the barnacles and tidepools to join the others, the momentary brightness of star fish and anemones slicing through the night.
We find Martha and Guy, who we had not yet met but welcomed us to join their harvest. The quiet excitement of the bounty of the ocean underneath the moonlight was wordlessly understood by all. Tchabo shimmied uriitaq (bidarki) off the rocks with a knife, and felt the suction of the amikuq (octopus) as Guy held it up for him to hold. Later I giggled with Martha who gently teased me for gathering only the smallest bidarki. "We would call you a cradle-robber, but you didn't know!" We laughed as she showed me how to shimmy the bones and guts from the mollusks.