I got to take a short tour of this village, along with the rest of the rescued beach refugees, divided up into smaller groups of three or four. Jim, Eli and I got shown around by a young guy named Aldo, who said he came to this island when he was a teenager after dropping out of high school. This place really isn't that big. There are no streets; it's just grass and sidewalks, and most people get around on foot, and occasionally on bicycles. It consists mostly of houses, plus a few other buildings used for general meetings and storage. Some buildings along one edge seem more run-down from not being used and maintained. And there's a recreation room with a pool table, foosball table, video games, and some board games, which was where we hung out for a bit after the tour. Aldo told us what he likes about living here: that it's free of crime, violence, car accidents and other tragedies, because it's a small enough community and everyone here respects each other. The only major requirement for living here is that you remain committed to the group and its rules and to the welfare of the island. That, and you're expected to learn Latin, because it's the "language of the enlightened".
I tried asking Aldo why not everyone on the beach was brought here, and he didn't seem to know, other than that some were chosen and others weren't, and he doesn't see it as his place to question it. When I asked who did the choosing, he avoided answering my question and said that I'd learn more if I chose to join these people permanently. That's something I haven't quite decided yet. Yesterday, I was pretty dead-set on returning home when the submarine leaves in two weeks, but after getting a brief glimpse of life among these people, I'm starting to think that maybe I wouldn't mind living here. I'd have to learn more about what I'd be getting myself into, though, before I decide.