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Today's quote:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Pioneering Paradise?

 

In an age of anxiety men seek a refuge. Because of some deep urge, constant throughout history, troubled men traditionally dream of islands, possibly because the smallness of an island invites the illusion that here the complexities of continental societies can be avoided, or at least controlled. This is a permanent, world-wide dream."

This prologue from James Michener's book Rascals in Paradise describes perfectly what makes seemingly intelligent people like Betsy Stringham and her partner Philippe Sunnen - to say nothing of baby Klaire - "... sell our old life to live a new, self-sustainable life on a small plot of land in the South Pacific Islands. 10 months of savings & hard work has provided us with the means to purchase a 700sq/m plot of land on a small island in the South Pacific. We will be able to generate our own electricity, collect clear & clean (and free!) freshwater and grow our own fruits & vegetables every season, all year-round. We go full-risk and bare all, though in order to realise our dream, we need to find a way to get there! Our final hurdle is the purchase of airline tickets for Mr. P & Mrs. B - luckily baby K flies "free" as she is under 2 years old!"

They tried to raise funds and must've succeeded because their next video already shows them on Hunga Island in the Kingdom of Tonga:

I wrote about Hunga Island - see here, here, here, here, and here - after I had visited it in 2006 and a more godforsaken place I cannot imagine.

I guess Betsy & Philippe's earth-bag home on Lot 44 will now never be built

Betsy Stringham and her partner Philippe Sunnen - to say nothing of baby Klaire - must've come to the same conclusion because less than twelve months later they've already departed for Uruguay (why Uruguay?) and another dreamer by the name of Nico Siegfriedssohn or Neubauer (or is his real name Paul Patzig?) has taken their place - see here.

left to right: Philippe, baby Klaire, Betsy, Nico

Nico spent his last bit of money to fly out from Berlin to join Betsy and Philippe's Management LTD Tonga (which no longer exists) which was supposed to earn money managing the Cocomo Sea Breeze Residential Community (which, of course, never existed - and never will).

Betsy and Philippe came to their senses and cut their losses but Nico is stuck there. Thankfully, unlike them, he did not pay for his block of land which Lord Fulivai, one of the men behind the scheme, has allowed him to live on. This makes Nico the sum total of the 'Cocomo Sea Breeze Residential Community' which ought to be called 'Port Breton' as it has all the hallmarks of that infamous venture - see here. (For the full story of this biggest fraud ever perpetrated in the South Pacific, click here)

No doubt, eventually Nico will also depart, totally broke (he already depends on donations now; if you wish to help, click here), possibly sick, and certainly disillusioned; the question is when and will he jump or will he be pushed?

In the meantime, Robert Bryce will continue to sell his non-existing Cocomo Sea Breeze Residential Community to any dreamer willing to pay him US$5,970 upfront plus a monthly fee of US$35. Seventy-four of them have already parted with well over US$600,000 - see here.

 

 

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