Comments: 265 • Responses: 86 • Date: 2016-02-10 10:47:21 UTCsource
Andromeda32130 karma2016-02-10 11:25:37 UTC
How did your parents meet? I know you've said your dad is Aussie, but I'm having trouble imagining just how he met your mom if your family is so remote!
Btw, ignore the naysayers telling you to stop posting this stuff, I find it fascinating every time. :)
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merrderber40 karma2016-02-10 11:30:31 UTC
Well they actually met in honiara. My mum married a guy and they moved to the main town. How my parents got together was a bit scandalous as my mum was still married to the guy. They met at the college my dad was working at and had an affair and boom. I was conceived!
beachedazd17 karma2016-02-10 11:05:37 UTC
What were your thoughts when you first saw a microwave?
merrderber40 karma2016-02-10 11:17:49 UTC
I actually remember this because it was so weird. I asked my dad where the fire was to heat up some food and he was like let me show you something. Now I understand it completely but god did I think it was weird.
ehp298 karma2016-02-10 13:55:49 UTC
Were there any other kinds of technology that surprised you?
(BTW thank you for doing this AMA, I always thought your posts were really interesting!)
merrderber10 karma2016-02-10 14:19:19 UTC
Haha the fridge, washing machine aeroplane. The list could go on and on but I'm pretty sure I'd go over the character limit.
ehp293 karma2016-02-10 14:27:14 UTC
I have to admit I am not thankful enough for those things. Not having to cook everything on the spot is great.
I wish I could go on your trip! Maybe you should see if any filmmakers/journalists are interested in making a small project about your village. That is, if your family wouldn't mind it.
merrderber4 karma2016-02-10 14:30:57 UTC
To us in the modern world it's just a way of life but for us overseas it would greatly enhance our life if we obtained some of this technology. For example we wouldn't have to walk a long distance to the river to do our washing If we had a washing machine.
Maybe next time!
zsreport15 karma2016-02-10 10:58:13 UTC
Have you known any elders who related stories from World War II? I don't know where your village is in relation to where the fighting was, but I know some fierce fighting occurred in the Solomon Islands.
merrderber40 karma2016-02-10 11:03:22 UTC
Yer actually! My grandmother had a few but she passed away. Anyways, one story I remember her telling us was when they use to hide in a cave from the fighting. She also said the Americans were very nice.
lmolari14 karma2016-02-10 11:02:41 UTC
Hi, i read some of your very interesting posts and really enjoyed to read them.
I have so many questions? :P
The question i ask my self is: do you have something comparable to law? Are there predefined punishments for certain crimes? Who is the judge? Is there someone that acts similar to an police officer who investigates a case and collects evidence?
I also read that the Solomon Islands were a german(northern part) and a british(southern part) colony. Are there still traditions or something that goes back to them? How do your people think about them?
merrderber26 karma2016-02-10 11:16:46 UTC
Ahhaha. Law questions. With general small crimes, let's be honest here. No one is there to enforce the law so you can commit them. However, if you live in a main village it is a very communal living so you can commit crime but you will most likely be shunned your whole life.
With bigger crimes , the village normally takes action and will take you down. They will than take you to any neighboring island with police and let the police deal with you.
For example, one christmas, my mental uncle threatened to kill anyone who went to church with a knife and the Ramsi was there at the time and arrested him.
cheetahlip13 karma2016-02-10 11:06:03 UTC
what's are the best conveniences you are experiencing living in Australia?
merrderber86 karma2016-02-10 11:18:55 UTC
THE TOILET! Do you know how much relief it is not to have to climb a tree over the ocean when you have diarrhea and pray to God you don't shit your pants or fall in. Thank you to whoever inventor the toilet.
opalorchid11 karma2016-02-10 11:59:25 UTC
Omg. That sounds terrifying. Why not just dig a hole? Or idk.... I feel like anything would be better than climbing a tree and perching precariously over the ocean.
Did you make a similar post about a year ago? (Or longer. I honestly don't remember when I read it). Were you the one who talked about playing in the water with crocodiles around and a kid got eaten?
merrderber18 karma2016-02-10 12:02:18 UTC
There's a hold but I prefer not to because it stinks. Yep that's me!
idlemoments12 karma2016-02-10 10:52:29 UTC
how old were you when you came out to australia for school? did you board out here?
it's so great to see those beautiful pictures!
merrderber21 karma2016-02-10 10:55:20 UTC
I was about 5, 6 or 7. I'm not quiet sure because I don't have a birth certificate! Fortunately, my father lived there so I lived with him. :)
Oakroscoe11 karma2016-02-10 10:59:16 UTC
Are you able to get a passport without a birth certificate?
merrderber29 karma2016-02-10 11:06:31 UTC
I have an aussie passport now but I have no idea how I got it without a birth certificate. For all we know, I might be some alien from another planet and we would never know!
Oakroscoe6 karma2016-02-10 11:09:28 UTC
So did your family just choose a random day for your birthday? Or do you know the actual day?
merrderber28 karma2016-02-10 11:19:33 UTC
Hahaha I chose the day. I figured people celebrate new year so why not keep celebrating?
karolgajda6 karma2016-02-10 11:28:01 UTC
There is no way to frame this without sounding accusatory, though that is not my intention.
How does your father not know when you were born?
merrderber13 karma2016-02-10 11:31:15 UTC
He was deported out of the country before I was born so let's just say it made communication a bit hard. Ahahah
karolgajda9 karma2016-02-10 11:32:59 UTC
Sorry for getting too personal. So you mean he was unaware of you and when he finally learned of you he didn't bother to ask anybody about your age?
merrderber18 karma2016-02-10 11:37:21 UTC
He tried but no one knew! Ahhaha. To us age isn't really a big thing. You're either really small, teenager,young adult or old.
karolgajda7 karma2016-02-10 11:40:01 UTC
I guess the old saying is true. "Age ain't nothin' but a number." Or, in this case, not even a number? :)
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 13:42:23 UTC
Hopefully I'll look young forever so I can lie about my age forever. Ahhah.
idlemoments3 karma2016-02-10 10:59:59 UTC
ah that makes sense! was that all in brisbane? or other places in aus?
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 11:06:58 UTC
He lived in Brisbane.
ViciousNakedMoleRat2 karma2016-02-10 12:01:56 UTC
Awesome. Are you still located in Brisbane? I lived there for a year and loved the area. Now I'm back in rainy, cold, miserable Germany and dream of the sun, the beaches and barbies at Kangaroo Point.
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 12:08:42 UTC
Yep! Still in Brisbane! AHH yes. The good old bbq at kangaroo point always brightens my day.
Rejusu10 karma2016-02-10 11:01:11 UTC
Was the change in technology level jarring? Or were you young enough that you adapted pretty quickly?
What's your first memory of interacting with technology?
How aware are your family that live on the island of technology? What do they think of stuff like the internet?
merrderber27 karma2016-02-10 11:10:42 UTC
It was pretty jarring to be honest. A lot of the things I interacted with were a first for me. Running water, switch lights. I don't think there was just a one thing that made me go "oh god, what is this?". It was basically everything that made me think that.
They know of the internet but it's still a very foreign concept. The way they talk about it is as if it's this mystical thing that only certain people have access too which is mainly true for the most part.
greedway9 karma2016-02-10 11:01:14 UTC
Do you see any big diference between people from developed countries and people from your village, or are they essentially the same?, what do people from your village think about people from other continents?
merrderber26 karma2016-02-10 11:13:09 UTC
People are people. We definitely have the same bad qualities all around but at the same time there are a lot of good qualities as well. No matter where I have gone in the world, I have managed to find kindness in a lot of people regardless of where they come from.
People from other continents are kind of something you talk about but don't really have any idea about. We use to joke about going to Hawaii when we were younger but we had no concept of what Hawaii was. To us people had just said it was a paradise so we assumed it was.
scarletmagnolia3 karma2016-02-10 13:26:46 UTC
This may sound silly, but when you were a child, did you dream of growing up and moving away? Were you more influenced to leave b/c your mother had left at one time? Do most the children dream of leaving and moving to more industrialized areas?
merrderber9 karma2016-02-10 13:32:44 UTC
We all dreamed of moving away. It really is the grass is greener on the other side situation. We all wanted to work hard at school to get out and sure enough we did but as a result some of us cousins haven't seen our parents In 3 years and we greatly miss them.
Oakroscoe7 karma2016-02-10 10:58:33 UTC
Do you remember what it was like going from a small village to a city?
merrderber19 karma2016-02-10 11:05:47 UTC
Yep because it was so terrifying! Hahha I think it was the most terrifying but exhilarating moment of my life getting on the plane. I thought I was in a dream most of it.
solisu6 karma2016-02-10 11:34:00 UTC
What was it like playing your first video game? What game was it?
merrderber29 karma2016-02-10 11:42:04 UTC
My first game was solitaire on the computer! Hahaha, I knew how to play it from playing it at home if someone brought a pack of cards. To this day I'm still not really good a video games and don't play them as often because I don't want 12 year Olds telling me how much I suck online. Ahhahaha
Hello_Wisconsin6 karma2016-02-10 11:35:56 UTC
merrderber28 karma2016-02-10 11:45:54 UTC
It hasn't been brought up yet! OK at first I studied law but I hated it. I actually remember crying one night because I was just so overwhelmed and I thought this is what I wanted to do but it turns out I hated it. So I took the plunge and changed to engineering and have since really enjoyed it. I study chemical engineering and one day hope to go into waste water treatment. Ultimately, I would like to help my island and go work back there!
Hello_Wisconsin6 karma2016-02-10 12:50:39 UTC
merrderber6 karma2016-02-10 12:57:54 UTC
Thank you for your kind words. :)
TianaTrench6 karma2016-02-10 15:07:58 UTC
Just read through all the comments so I wouldnt have a repeat question.
So you said you left around 5-7 years old, how often do you go back and how long do you stay?
Do you think your family would ever want to make the advances to have technology like tvs and washing machines, etc? Or would it ruin the way of life?
Do you guys have any holidays? What are the weddings like? What do you do when someone dies?
Ive seen a lot of AMAs but this is by far the most interesting and the only one ive read everything of. Wish I could travel with you!
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 22:23:37 UTC
Sorry for the super late response! I feel asleep. We go back every christmas if we can and normally stay about 6 weeks. Normally my mum can't get the time off work so it'll be travelling by myself but I've been use to the hard journey since I was younger.
We definitely want some things like running water or a phone tower but apart from that, we're pretty happy!
Religious holidays like easter and christmas and new year are the big ones. Normally we go to the main village and eat a big feast! There's another holiday called harvest in English where we celebrate our food we've harvested and have little markets to sell them.
Weddings are very westernised at this point as they fall under the church. So it's probably like your traditional western ceremony but there will be like 60 pigs slayed to feed everyone because tons of people will come. It doesn't matter if it's your 9th cousin from another village, they will end up been there.
Lastly, the same can be said with funerals. When my grandmother died, we had thousands of people cramped up in our little village. Normally our population is no more than 20 at a time because it's just our family but the amount of people who came from other villages was crazy. We had to cool for them as well and I can't remember much because I was so tired the whole time. I remember sitting with the body for like 2 days and god did it stink because no one embalmed it. Than finally we buried her after our sitting with the body was over. :₩
voyvoy6 karma2016-02-10 12:24:31 UTC
What kind of religion/spirituality the people were before conversion to Christianity?
merrderber14 karma2016-02-10 12:31:51 UTC
We use to sacrifice to our God inside a piece of ginger called beiou and he would protect us. Cannibalism and human sacrifice were a big thing back than. There's a stone near the shore that has a lot of skulls on it but it's against custom to touch them or take photos because they say you will get extremely sick.
voyvoy3 karma2016-02-10 12:36:31 UTC
Thank you for the answer. Regarding cannibalism and human sacrifice, do you know if people were forced or were they given into it willingly like martyrs?
merrderber17 karma2016-02-10 12:40:03 UTC
Normally we sacrificed people we hated. The only notable sacrifice was my great grandmother x6. Her story was her husband was a chief but he died. Unfortunately, women inherit the land so all his sisters were meant to inherit the land but my great grandmother stopped this by hanging herself over her husband's body. As a result, her blood sacrifice payed for her children to inherit the land instead of her husband's sisters.
tarek6195 karma2016-02-10 11:10:39 UTC
What town are you from in the solomon islands? Do you ever come across other solomon islanders in Australia?
merrderber9 karma2016-02-10 11:20:13 UTC
I'm not from a town but instead a village called Rarongozo. There are a ton of solomon islanders in Australia!
ipulator4 karma2016-02-10 11:20:53 UTC
When did you realize there is life outside the rainforrest?
merrderber9 karma2016-02-10 11:23:37 UTC
We had always heard stories of life outside when we were younger but it was sort of like a legend to us. Not until I experienced it did I realise that the expectations were a bit different to reality.
wackjack3 karma2016-02-10 12:01:11 UTC
In what ways? More amazing or more disappointing?
merrderber41 karma2016-02-10 12:04:56 UTC
Not disappointing but not what you really expected. I don't really know how to explain it but maybe I'll try with an analogy. It's like if you talk to a girl for ages with no idea what she looks like and you fall for her. You have a image of what she looks like in your head but when you meet her she looks nothing like what you expected but she's still beautiful. That's probably the best way I can explain it.
tubbana4 karma2016-02-10 11:32:57 UTC
What was better when living in the rain forest?
merrderber12 karma2016-02-10 11:38:31 UTC
My family. In all honesty I miss them so much. In Australia I have family but we are very distance sometimes. We don't do things like have dinner together or go catch fish or hunt together. It makes me really sad.
Bagofmixedvegetables4 karma2016-02-10 12:50:53 UTC
Do you still smoke marijuana? Do you prefer the marijuana from the city or from your village?
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 12:58:49 UTC
Hahha nope. I haven't tried Marijuana in the city so I can safely say I enjoy homes one the most.
shangrila5001 karma2016-02-10 14:09:55 UTC
Wait, y'all grow pot at home?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 14:15:29 UTC
barnesandnobles3 karma2016-02-10 12:22:25 UTC
Do you ever feel weird or judgemental about the people in your home village being "uncivilized" and not having access to technology like you do?
No offense intended, it just seems like a big conflict point to me.
merrderber11 karma2016-02-10 12:29:17 UTC
Hahah hell no. I was the exact same many years ago and when I go back I become basically the same wild Sara I was all those years ago.
Lazzyness3 karma2016-02-10 13:55:15 UTC
Reverse on that, do you think your family judges you or your mother? Or do most of them want to move to the developed world?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 14:20:19 UTC
Nope. They love us unconditionally. I know for a fact some of them do but a lot of them enjoy their lifestyle as well and would rather not.
snaredonk-2 karma2016-02-10 13:32:31 UTC
Wild? I like that ;) do you have a boyfriend?
merrderber1 karma2016-02-10 13:33:51 UTC
Rehydratedaussie3 karma2016-02-10 11:36:40 UTC
Oh no :( I'm sorry to hear that you have Malaria! I remember your last post when you were excited to be going home! Hopefully you feel better soon enough.
What has the weather been like since you returned?
merrderber17 karma2016-02-10 11:49:04 UTC
We actually had terrible weather. There was a cyclone going on near by but we had no idea. My cousin came home and said someone died because a coconut tree fell on them during the strong wind but turns out it was only a frog thar died and the village had accidentally spread the rumour ahahha.
tincanmanrdt3 karma2016-02-10 12:18:28 UTC
Do the people on the island wish that there is more technology and infrustructure available to them?
merrderber14 karma2016-02-10 12:26:33 UTC
One thing we want is definitely a phone tower. A major problem for us is if someone dies, we have no idea until a month later. Instead we trust our spiritual instincts. So if someone dies, apparently this bird will come to the house and you will know than.
GetESCP3 karma2016-02-10 12:16:30 UTC
Hi ! Cool post !
I have a few questions about nature of you don't mind :
What's your relation with the nature, the environnement ?
What do you think about animal rights etc...?
Do you consider that your family lives as one with nature ?
If you have read about Thoreau, Singer or Regan, what is your opinion about them ?
I'm sorry if these questions are boring or weird but nature is a subject I'm really interested in and I have so many questions I want to ask 😀
merrderber10 karma2016-02-10 12:24:47 UTC
Happy to answer!
I guess I'm pretty one with it because I grew up with it. I think it's important to protect our planet for future generations and any small change is better than no change.
I do believe animals have rights not to be treated cruely but at the same time I think it's important to understand that at a basic level, to people like us, food is food. Of course we are going to kill things like boar, pig and chickens because it's our survival
And sorry. I haven't read them but should I?
dovagolda3 karma2016-02-10 11:58:49 UTC
Do you or your family do any fiber crafting like weaving, knitting or crocheting?
merrderber10 karma2016-02-10 12:01:23 UTC
Oh damn! I forgot to get the pictures of it. We actually weave a lot of baskets out of the coconut leaves. We weave things like fans as well! Apart from making basic things like this we don't really do much fabric making.
aatop3 karma2016-02-10 11:23:11 UTC
What has been the most shocking thing you've encountered since leaving the rain forest?
merrderber24 karma2016-02-10 11:26:08 UTC
Very many things but one thing I always remember was when I saw this kid swear back at his mother. I was so confused at how this kid could be so disrespectful! In our culture, respect is a huge thing and before you weren't even allowed to look someone older than you in the eye because you weren't on their level to do so if that makes sense.
DinaDinaDinaBatman3 karma2016-02-10 13:10:17 UTC
i would totally like to go with you, but alas i am not physically fit... everything else sound great...it would be a great adventure.. some day i'll be able to go... there are so many things i would want to do like build my own hut, butcher and cook a boar, build fish traps, see if i can make an irrigated crop of whatever grows... what you consider the daily home life would be fun/a change of pace for me..
would they think it weird that a whiter than white guy would show a lot of interest in staying with them? would there be anyway to communicate (simple hand signals or pantomime) so i didn't have to rely on one person to translate? do your family speak or understand any english? how patient would the be with someone who would follow them and learn by copying them?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 13:21:28 UTC
They would be more than happy. We can speak English but very broken english. The only reason I am going with people this trip is because this is the first time we are bringing strangers to our home and if anything wrong happened, I would feel responsible.
tidtodum3 karma2016-02-10 11:30:13 UTC
This is awesome, do you run out of things to do in the rainforest compared to living in Australia? I have a kind of romanticized view of living in the rainforest like that but I'm not sure whether I could handle it. Thanks for posting!
merrderber18 karma2016-02-10 11:33:46 UTC
I have become accustomed to the luxury of toilet paper so when I run out, leaves it is. Other things are soap, Colgate, sunscreen, basically anything to keep you someone beautiful. I have run out of these things before because I was not well prepared and let's just say I looked beyond ratchet when I came back.
TherealIG883 karma2016-02-10 13:16:31 UTC
Do you have a satellite phone or would you be interested in getting one for the village?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 13:24:12 UTC
I don't have one and this is the first I've heard of one but maybe it's something I should look into. Thank you for the suggestion!
MajorLeagueNoob3 karma2016-02-10 12:25:29 UTC
Would your family move away from the village if they had the chance? And aslo this is verry cool, thank you for sharing.
merrderber6 karma2016-02-10 12:33:50 UTC
Probably not. They've had the chance before but some of them hated it. My grandad for example went to Australia for 3 months but only lasted 1 month because he hated it and said it wasn't as free .
Rozkol3 karma2016-02-10 13:12:19 UTC
I wanted to fill out your forum but I had a few unanswered questions before I filled it out I was hoping to see if you could answer :)
1) How long would we stay there for?
2) You said you're going back around Christmas, I was wondering if there was any more specific date (And if not do you know when the earliest we'd leave to go there and the latest we'd be coming home?
I only ask this because I'm wondering if I can still go in between college semesters! And also the flight from my area (US) to Australia is quite expensive and it can vary depending on the date so I'd just like to get a rough estimate on that! Hope to get a reply :) and thanks a lot for opening up your experiences with others.
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 13:20:10 UTC
Probably 1 or 2 weeks.
I haven't really set a date yet. For now I'm just getting a feel for the type of people who want to come if you get what I mean? Once I've decided who is coming I will be a lot more specific.
PotatoStud3 karma2016-02-10 12:55:08 UTC
merrderber10 karma2016-02-10 13:05:16 UTC
Money is not really a thing but sometimes you need to buy things so it becomes a things. There's small ways of making money like baking and selling cakes or selling copra. Some people have family in the capital city who can help them out.
We have a ton of games. Some of my favorites were 5 stone. You throw a stone and try grab as many on the ground before the stone lands back in your hand. Fetch the pot lid was also a favourite until someone got eaten by a crocodile. Stick game was another one. You throw a stick and try hit it as many times as you can before it falls back to the earth.
My favourite show of all time is probably avatar the last Airbender and my favourite book is the wedding planners daughter because it was one of the first novels I read and it was so cheesy.
dontbend2 karma2016-02-10 14:27:45 UTC
I love how the names of the games exactly describe what they are.
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 14:31:30 UTC
Haha why make the names difficult hence making life more difficult?
informat23 karma2016-02-10 12:43:47 UTC
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 12:54:54 UTC
I have very limited data so unfortunately I can't watch it! Sorry!
jwalker19993 karma2016-02-10 13:24:23 UTC
Have you read Mark Plotkin's "A shaman's apprentice"? It is an American ethnobotanist's autobiography of his experiences in the Amazon working with shaman's with the hopes of finding new plants that could be potentially used in medicine. It is a fascinating well-written peek into rainforest culture from a western perspective.
Thanks for doing the AMAs. Don't listen to the naysayers. Your story is fascinating.
merrderber2 karma2016-02-10 13:33:24 UTC
Nope but I'll have a look into it :)
relevant842 karma2016-02-10 13:34:05 UTC
I don't know if anyone's asked this before or not, but what technology or information was the most shocking or made you think "THAT EXISTS?!?"?
Also, how do you find you adjust to learning how to use things that you didn't grow up with? Like, you mentioned that you have a phone, did it take you a long time to figure it out without having to ask people how to do anything with it? As more modern things are being introduced to your village, do you think that people would adopt those things, or would they reject them? I've found that many people who haven't grown up with certain things (usually people who are a bit older, maybe in their 60's to 80's, but this doesn't mean everyone as my 90 year old grandmother uses her computer very well) tend to reject newer pieces of technology or say that they can't figure it out because they're unwilling to try and use it. I would be very interested to hear how you have adapted to using new things, and how you think they might be received overall by your family and people you grew up with?
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 13:49:27 UTC
My dad was an IT guy so I actually got introduced to a computer pretty early on and even than I was blown away.
I was "born" in 1996 so I was with that generation who didn't have iPads since birth but have been put in the middle of the how fast technology has developed. I picked up pretty fast on a lot of things but I think my dad been in IT and very savvy with technology definitely helped.
With my family, the younger generation is wanting more technology and the older generation is the generation who kind of opposes it because they are scared of it.
teovilo2 karma2016-02-10 12:01:48 UTC
Hi, really enjoying your posts!
You've mentioned wild boar hunting several times in your albums. How is this done, do they use a gun, spear, bow, knife, or something else?
merrderber7 karma2016-02-10 12:08:02 UTC
Good question. We have a ton of dogs but my 4 favourite ones are dead now. Their names were foenix, new grow, bean and pumpkin. Never forget.
Anyways, the dogs will find the boar and you just run behind. The dogs will than capture the boar and bite into their soft parts. The boar will whine and cry and that's when you go in with the knife. If the dog can't hold the boar, climb a tree quick because the boar will come after you. My grandad actually nearly died because he fought with a boar and was badly injured.
Oblivious_Ass_Monkey4 karma2016-02-10 12:48:18 UTC
Death by pig sounds like a glorious way to die.
merrderber20 karma2016-02-10 13:00:13 UTC
Robert Baratheon seemed to think so. Ahahah.
MYDOGSTELLA2 karma2016-02-10 11:36:40 UTC
did you use toilet paper or anything? how did the whole poop thing go down?
merrderber11 karma2016-02-10 11:46:54 UTC
I use it now but back when I was young I would climb a branch over hanging the ocean and let it go. I would wipe my ass with leaves.
thedub4122 karma2016-02-10 11:30:47 UTC
I may have missed the story initally but what was the history with Rano and how it was started that you mentioned in one of your albums?
merrderber16 karma2016-02-10 11:36:16 UTC
Ok. Prepare yourself for a bit of incest. The story is apparently the founders were 2 brothers and 1 sister. They ran away from their tribe and started rano. Their children fortunately married out but there is a rule now that you cannot marry anyone closer than your 4th cousin because we have experienced genetic problems in the past because of how closely related we all are.
opalorchid6 karma2016-02-10 12:13:54 UTC
I'm not trying to sound rude, but how do they know it's the close relation that led to the genetic problems? I mean obviously that makes sense, but for people with such limited technology or exposure to modernization it blows my mind that they'd understand a relatively complex concept. Genetics is difficult for many people to grasp in more developed areas. Is the education in your village really good or do people like you who leave bring back knowledge like that?
merrderber11 karma2016-02-10 12:19:34 UTC
I'm not quiet sure how they figured it out as well to be completely honest. They just saw it as wrong and something that led to genetic problems.
RawrDub2 karma2016-02-10 11:43:56 UTC
Do you think people are happier where you are from or in the "modern" world?
merrderber12 karma2016-02-10 11:51:20 UTC
I think a lot of us romanticize what life is there but a lot of people do get bored. I think overall there are happy and sad people no matter where I go and it wouldn't be fair to say one place is happier than the other.
aro5412 karma2016-02-10 12:11:03 UTC
What is the coolest piece of tech you own and want?
merrderber10 karma2016-02-10 12:16:08 UTC
Hmm, the coolest piece of tech I own is probably just my phone. I don't really own a lot of modern tech like an apple watch or anything because to be honest I can't really afford it and don't want to spend my money on it. Something I really want is a laptop because I broke something on my old one after 4 years of use. Sorry trusty laptop. :(
MetallicWop2 karma2016-02-10 12:10:26 UTC
What type of music do you like? What about people from your village?
merrderber12 karma2016-02-10 12:13:15 UTC
I'm not even going to lie. I'm your typical top 40s girl. Everyone from home is normally reggae or church gospel songs.
eightwebs2 karma2016-02-10 10:56:14 UTC
What flaws do you see in our welfare system?
merrderber28 karma2016-02-10 11:02:12 UTC
Umm hmm. I'm going to be completely honest about this and say that I feel like I am not educated well enough to comment on this but there was a time when both my parents lost their jobs and we were on welfare. So I am very thankful for it.
Of course there are people who are what we would call dollbludgers but I think with any system you are going to have people who abuse it.
neadien2 karma2016-02-10 12:38:26 UTC
This, is a crazy question, but what are the laws on marriage? If I give someone a pot or just some other random item I'm not going to enter in to marriage am i?
merrderber8 karma2016-02-10 12:42:04 UTC
Good question! When a girl is seriously dating someone who she is going to marry, money must be giving to all her brothers and cousin brothers as a sign of respect. Other island have bride price but the saying is that girls from our place are sweet because they are relatively free.
Tristus3 karma2016-02-10 13:17:27 UTC
What about if you just want a bit of rumpy pumpy?
merrderber6 karma2016-02-10 13:25:08 UTC
Many people do the rumpy pumpy. You just have to keep it on the downlow.
neadien2 karma2016-02-10 12:47:26 UTC
So, what would the price be? Would it be based on the woman education? Rank in the village? Do women have the same rights as men? Do men have more than one wife? What are the views of sex outside of marriage? These are not ment to be rude. I really want to know.
merrderber6 karma2016-02-10 12:56:34 UTC
It's more of a how much do you feel your woman is worth? One time this guy gave only a dollar to all the girls brothers and it was a bad reflection on the girl. It was basically a way to say you've raised your daughter and sister badly so this is her price. Of course he could have just been a dickhead but it was a huge shame to the family.
Mahimah2 karma2016-02-10 12:30:10 UTC
What is your favorite convenience food so far? (A specific fast food restaurant, for example?)
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 12:36:02 UTC
Blackflorest Cadbury chocolate is my weakness.
tarek6192 karma2016-02-10 11:41:37 UTC
How do villagers generally go to the toilet, assuming you do not have a sewer system and working toilets?
merrderber4 karma2016-02-10 11:49:44 UTC
Climb a branch over hanging the ocean and pray that no one is padding their canoe around that time. :)
saranowitz2 karma2016-02-10 12:14:06 UTC
Does the poop not wash up on the shore near the homes?
merrderber4 karma2016-02-10 12:17:19 UTC
Let's just say you have to run a fair bit away.
phadewilkilu2 karma2016-02-10 12:47:46 UTC
Greetings! Love seeing your posts!
Sorry if it's been asked, but what technology has your family been in contact with, and what did they think of it (for example: your camera)? Would they, or have they, taken any of it into their everyday lives?
Thanks again! And I hope you get better very soon!
merrderber6 karma2016-02-10 12:53:09 UTC
Probably the most advanced we've gotten is our little speaker we charge with our solar to listen to music. We also have a DVD player my mum gave ages ago to watch videos of all those times she recorded us when we were younger and went back. Most of us have been exposed to some form of modern technology but the problem is we often joke saying that our head is still a stone when it comes to using it.
Ghaul2 karma2016-02-10 12:50:14 UTC
How would your community react to a gay couple? Is homosexuality something that is known to them?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 12:57:27 UTC
They would be so confused. We knew about gay people but to us it's like a unicorn. If a gay couple came, expect to be stated at a lot.
demonachizer2 karma2016-02-10 12:58:29 UTC
You mentioned a bit of a scandal around your parents relationship. Was there any issues with him being white or was it just over the marriage thing?
merrderber7 karma2016-02-10 13:06:27 UTC
Oh definitely. His house and car got destroyed by our people in town. They wanted to beat him up but the police stopped him. Everhrually they got him deported. They even beat my mum up when she was pregnant with me. It was a huge scandal.
demonachizer2 karma2016-02-10 13:13:30 UTC
Do you find that you are treated poorly due to mixed heritage as well? Not necessarily amongst your close family but among nearby people.
merrderber4 karma2016-02-10 13:17:10 UTC
Hmm I get a lot of states when I go to another village but I don't really care. My younger brother on the other hand gets really bothered by this and normally gets really angry.
venste992 karma2016-02-10 13:10:47 UTC
Do you like to travel? If so, which countries would you like to visit one day?
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 13:18:37 UTC
I'd like to see a ton of different places! One day when I have the cash I want to take some of my family members from the village with me on this trip. It would be so fun to show them the world.
SerenityNOW_or_else_2 karma2016-02-10 13:12:51 UTC
Can/do you mail your family packages? Is there anything that they ask you to send them?
I love your posts! Thank you for sharing.
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 13:23:34 UTC
Hahaha I would if I could but alas I can't. There's no postal service there!
SerenityNOW_or_else_2 karma2016-02-10 13:35:53 UTC
Wow! What types of goodies do you take for them, if any? I'm sure it is small stuff due to flying, travel etc!
Does your family brew alcohol to consume or use as medicine?
One more! Where do they acquire their clothes?
Thank you, hope I'm not being horribly invasive.
merrderber5 karma2016-02-10 13:52:15 UTC
Chocolate! You can never go wrong with chocolate! I also bring perfume because the girls love perfume.
Yer we brew it mainly for drinking purposes.
Most of the clothes are actually donated by me. Otherwise they would run out of clothes fairly quick and I wouldn't want that for my family. :)
beccleslfc2 karma2016-02-10 13:16:11 UTC
Hi! Thanks for doing this AMA.
Does your family play sport back home?
Also, are you ever afraid of unwittingly taking diseases back home when you come from Australia?
merrderber4 karma2016-02-10 14:11:26 UTC
We play soccer against other villages during Christmas. It's actually a really big thing. Not really? Normally I'm all good when I travel but maybe I'll keep an eye out for that problem next time.
rivermedry2 karma2016-02-10 11:20:15 UTC
How did your parents get to Brisbane?
merrderber7 karma2016-02-10 11:22:19 UTC
My dad is from Sydney but I have no idea why he moved to Brisbane. My mum followed my dad and me to Brisbane :)
Moonchill2 karma2016-02-10 13:58:54 UTC
Hey there from the Netherlands!
I have a bunch of questions, but here is one I'm really curious about: how does courtship and dating work? Are there strict rules or is it left to the two people in question to figure out for themselves?
Also, if you have any questions for a Dutchy, feel free to ask.
Edit: just found where you mostly answered that already, so let me ask you another one. You said you're studying engineering. Are you planning on setting up some basic technology at your village? I could imagine sun powered car batteries for example you could use to power other things.
merrderber3 karma2016-02-10 14:18:14 UTC
Normally young couples meet in secrecy. You can't really date in public if you get what I mean. If you are found to be dating a boy, you're probably going to marry him.
I would love to apply the knowledge I've learnt to my home one day but at this point I'm still a student learning and I have a while to go!
oneknocka2 karma2016-02-10 13:59:26 UTC
Would you ever move back for good? Would you like to raise a family there? I have dreams of moving somewhere kinda remote and tropical when I retire.
merrderber2 karma2016-02-10 14:16:44 UTC
Probably when I retire. I would definitely like to make the most of my opportunity in Australia. If I have kids I'd like to raise them there for a year or 2 just because I think it's important they grasp the languagem
usuyami2 karma2016-02-10 14:27:13 UTC
What are your family's favorite animes?
merrderber2 karma2016-02-10 14:28:59 UTC
Hahah none of them would know what an anime is.
[deleted]0 karma2016-02-10 11:01:08 UTC
merrderber14 karma2016-02-10 11:08:15 UTC
Sorry. I promise I will be out of your hair as this will be my last rarongozo related post for the year. On top of that I am so happy to share my small little part of the world with you guys but sorry for disturbing you guys who don't want to see it. :)
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