Juan Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe Island)
by Edmund Cushing
(Flat Rock, NC 28731)
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"All of us are Americans, some are North Americans and some are South Americans"
On October 26, 1963 I arrived at Isla Juan Fernandez from Los Cerrillos airport (Santiago de Chile
) via PBY amphibious aircraft owned and operated by Colonel Roberto Parrague.
This was my first landing in water.
I assembled by amateur radio station (CE0ZI) with the help of Robinson Green, son of my hosts, Mr. and Mrs.
Norman Green from whose bay front home I operated CW (Morse code) and phone until October 31 contacting 3.477 stations in 72 nations.
Mine was the second "ham" operation from the island, the first being Luis Desmaras, CE3AG some years before.
While on the ieland I was befriended by the resident teacher at the one room school. Inasmuch as I was the first visitor from the United States, many of the children had not talked with someone from the States.
After a few minutes a young man stood and, with great respect,said, "All of us are Americans, some are North Americans and some are South Americans"
(The teacher interpreted for me).
I had been using the phrase, Americans, while speaking about the United States- which, by the way, is still used by others.
I was deeply concerned about the tsunami that damaged the Island so extensively. As of this writing, late November 2010, I still haven't found or read a comprehensive report of the disaster.
I was greatly impressed with the people who were/are hard working, resilient, very polite, helpful and friendly.
I consider Juan Fernandez to be a charmed place with its background, beauty and intrigue.
Unfortunately, at my advanced age I will not be able to fulfill my wish to return to the island I love so much.
Archipelago Juan Fernandez is located 414 miles (667km) off the coast of Chile
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