|Non-canon Article: This article is in conflict with canon information or has not yet been reviewed for compatibility with the Chakat Universe.|
Alaula (formerly East Island) is an island on Chakona, located some 60 km east of Ulara. The island sits at 177°E 11°N, making it the easternmost piece of land on the planet. The name is Hawai'ian and means 'dawn' or 'light of daybreak'; the Eponids chose it as symbolic both of the fact that their home is the first to greet the sun each morning as well as their birth as a new species and their freedom. It's about 390 km long by 180 km at its widest, with a land area of around 58,400 sq km. As the tropics are not the preferred climate for chakats, the island was charted but not actively scouted for development. The Eponid settlement is also referred to as Alaula, and is located primarily along the southern coast of the island; the remainder is largely virgin wilderness.
After paying the cost of their passage, the Eponids were able to afford only the most basic infrastructure, and as a result have opted for a primarily low-technology lifestyle which goes well with the warm, tropical climate. The Eponids have fully adopted the chakats’ love of and respect for Chakona’s unspoiled beauty; that, together with a strong Polynesian influence from the heritage of many of their number, they choose to build using natural materials as much as possible, emphasizing open-plan structures with minimal walls and integrating the landscape into their homes as much as possible. Therefore while high technology does exist – comm equipment, computers, medical equipment – there isn’t a lot of it.
The Eponid community being as yet under a thousand, their government is strictly municipal; all higher-level functions are handled at the provincial and planetary level. As part of Chakona, they are of course subject to and fully accept Chakonan laws, which have been supplemented by municipal by-laws as required. The only elected local government official is a mayor and bears the semi-formal title of Mare or Boss Mare; shi is elected for a three-year term (Chakona years). The nomination and election process consists of candidates declaring their candidacy at a public meeting, and then at a subsequent public meeting, a secret ballot. As required by Chakonan law, two scrutineers from outside the community are brought in to tally the votes and announce the result.
Locally, there are five full-time public safety officers who carry out police, firefighting and paramedic services, supplemented as required by volunteers who may be deputized when and as needed. Municipal administrative services are performed by a small staff in the Mare's office. Much of their duties consist of liaising with their counterparts at the provincial and planetary government levels.
Alaula has such a small population of children that schooling is done in the home. The annual school cycle follows the model prescribed by the planetary Ministry of Education but is administered individual at home by parents. As the school-age population advances, schooling up to the conclusion of high school will be provided, but post-secondary education will be off the island, most likely at Dewclaw University.
While the Eponids embrace the equality of species under the law, they are nevertheless wary of humans generally. They would never deny anyone the protection of the law as required, but while morphs and taurs are quite welcome, whether as visitors or to take up residence, humans are politely tolerated and not encouraged to extend their stay. This does not preclude individual Eponid-human friendships, but those humans with such friendships will have a warmer reception than otherwise. Needless to say, any kind of species-est or hate-driven activity will be promptly and swiftly curtailed by the public safety officers and the offenders summarily ejected from the island. Members of Humans First or Earth For Humans who have considered causing trouble for them have found out to their sorrow that while they are emancipated, the Eponids have not forgotten their fighting skills. Some religious missionary groups have also found their efforts to 'save' the Eponids from themselves on the grounds of their 'indecency' or 'immorality' are thoroughly unwelcome.
Access to Alaula can be had by air; Mephit Belle Air operates a regular weekly flight from Yarraville and of course charter flights can be arranged. Alaula does have emergency air transport arrangements on hand as well. Visitors can also arrive by sea, if they wish; since the island is so close to Ulara, the over-water trip is quite short and well worth it.
Once on Alaula, visitors will be pretty much dependent on walking. PTVs are present but rare, being mostly used by businesses or for government purposes, and Eponids will walk rather than ride for any distance much less than 15 km, which handily covers the entirety of their settlement. As a result, there is no public transit system and taxi service is a matter of arranging to hire the use of a PTV from a business willing to part with one temporarily.
On a similar note, because the community is so small, there is little in the way of tourist facilities; only one hotel exists and rather small at that – 15 rooms, though it certainly rates well for quality. Some few families have built guest accommodations and operate small bed-and-breakfast-type affairs, though these are again on the same open-air plan as the rest of their homes, so if privacy is a concern, the hotel is the better bet. Similarly, there are few organized tour activities, so visitors should be prepared to find their own entertainment, or negotiate with someone to be a guide or arrange activities.
Food is largely vegetables, fruits and starches; sugary foods are not popular with the exception of ice cream. Other dairy products are available as well, provided they keep well – cheese, for example. Meat and poultry, however, is not on the menu. Diners can find several excellent wines and some beer, but they will not find rum, gin or other hard liquor. Tobacco is banned, as are so-called recreational pharmaceuticals. Like chakats, Eponids are too well aware of the effects of drugs on a person’s health and other than prescription medication, they find the use of mood-altering chemicals abhorrent.
Data & comm services are available everywhere, though not free; they are a public utility along with power and sanitation services. Residents are billed twice a year; visitors pay for data access on a per-diem basis. However, given that Alaula is so small, the system is quite over-powered for its normal usage levels, having been built with an eye to future need. There are several public terminals available at kiosks in the settlement area; and personal comm users will find signal quality and bandwidth are excellent all over the island. The only restriction is that CommStar is the only protocol supported; if your personal comm isn't CommStar-capable, you are strongly advised to rent one before coming to Alaula.
Alaula has a local credit union which offers all the financial services the community currently requires. It is fully accredited, though, and in accordance with Federation and Chakonan financial laws and regulations, offers inter-bank services with the major banks on Chakona. Consequently, visitors will find that most major credit cards are honoured on the island and if necessary, such things as letters-of-credit, bearer bonds, etc. can be processed.
Health Care AccessEdit
Alaula does not have a hospital of its own. Two Eponid doctors have established a clinic practice and will attend non-residents in an emergency, but anything beyond clinical capabilities or requiring advanced care will necessitate an airlift to Yarraville via the public safety emergency aircraft. Visitors who require prescription medications should ensure they have a sufficient supply with them. Again, bearing in mind the Eponid attitude toward drugs, visitors would be well advised to have a copy of their doctor's prescription with them as well. On a related note, those with physical handicaps will find it difficult to manage on Alaula. The Eponids try as hard as possible to comply with laws regarding access and services for those with disabilities, but visitors should remember that there are as yet no elderly or infirm Eponids and their limited municipal budget has several competing priorities. They will help the disabled as best they can, but they do not have the same scale of resources as larger population centers such as Amistad.
The climate can best be described as coastal sub-tropical, with little annual variation due to the combined effects of its proximity to the equator and Chakona's lesser axial tilt. Air temperature averages 30 degrees C in the daytime, dropping to 23 at night. Humans familiar with Maui on Earth will know what to expect.
As far as dress goes, visitors are welcome to dress up or down as they please and as makes them feel comfortable. However, bear in mind this is a tropical environment; full three-piece suits are not suitable for this climate. Shorts and sandals are all anyone should need and if visitors choose to adopt local custom and go naked, no-one – except possibly other visitors – will bat an eye. Morphs and taurs should remember that fur, while beautiful, can be a problem and that they are at a higher risk than humans for heat injuries.
Customs and BehaviourEdit
As elsewhere on Chakona, a moment's thought on the part of a visitor to Alaula can save much subsequent awkwardness. Simple common sense and courtesy will cover most situations and remembering the following points should make a visit a pleasant and memorable experience for hosts and guests alike:
- 'Nakedness is often observed but never seen’ runs an old proverb, and that holds true on Alaula. The standard of behaviour at a nudist colony – don’t stare, don’t touch, don’t comment on it – is a good rule here. Eponids aren’t prudes, but they’re also not exhibits on display, and to them it’s not only natural but not a topic for debate or discussion.
- Never refer to Eponids as 'it'; they are people, not objects and being treated as non-persons is highly offensive. The correct pronouns to use are shi and hir. Some first-generation Eponids prefer to use female pronouns but everyone understands that's a matter of personal preference and visitors can't reasonably be expected to know beforehand.
- Do not bring or consume meat. Eponids are, without exception, vegetarian and find the eating of meat and poultry distasteful. When they travel off-island they accept that they will see other species eating meat but they prefer not to see it here. It's not illegal but it is frowned upon. Seafood is generally okay - it's not a social solecism to ask for a tuna salad sandwich, but not all Eponids are likely to want one themselves.
|Aloha (Hawai'ian) / alofa (Samoan) / aroha (Maori)||love, compassion, peace||Greeting, welcome, farewell|
|Haole (Hawai'ian)||foreigner||A visitor or foreigner|
|Haere mai (Maori)||Welcome, enter||Greeting, welcome|
|Mahalo (Hawai'ian)||admiration, praise, esteem, respect||Thank you, gratitude|