The Ringjalis – Gita, Dal (serving) and children Cruz (7) and Crisha (5)
How long have you been an army family?
Almost 22 years.
Time in Falkland Islands?
How many other military families live there?
There is a mixture of Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Army, civil servants and contractors. Around 80 families.
What are the quarters like?
There are three- and four-bedroom bungalows with plenty of space, lovely conservatories, large gardens and a shed. The quarters are within Mount Pleasant Complex (MPC).
Are there any employment/training opportunities?
Yes, as a Locally Employed Civilian or you can apply for the civil service. There are also volunteering opportunities on the base such as the Thrift Shop and Oasis Cafe.
What about schools/childcare?
We have Mount Pleasant Primary School, which has an Early Years unit. There is no wraparound childcare so some people have a live-in nanny. There is currently no endorsed secondary school so families with over-11s are encouraged to consider boarding school in the UK. We also have a Facebook page where we can get babysitting help.
Where do people get together and who supports you?
We do everything as a community. We have a great community officer who organises family activities – including a get-together every other Friday called Happy Hour. The families officer puts on lots of things to do during the school holidays too. There’s also welfare support, the padre and the SSAFA social worker.
How do you find the cost of living?
It’s expensive compared to the UK. The internet is expensive; we purchased a large 57GB bundle that costs us £120 a month. If you buy fresh fruit and vegetables from Stanley – the capital – it’s more than double the price that you would pay in the UK.
In your experience, what are the best and worst things about living on the Islands?
The best thing is the clean air, the peace, the wildlife and the simplicity of life. As a family we have spent quality time together in a natural environment. The downside is that you can only buy very basic fresh fruit and vegetables in small quantities at MPC. Due to limited fresh produce and a lack of dairy farming, families must rely heavily on frozen and tinned foods. The weather is unpredictable and sometimes gets very cold and windy.
Would you recommend it as a family posting?
If you enjoy wildlife and are looking for a chance to have a change of lifestyle and spend quality time together as a family in a simple and natural environment, then I would recommend this posting. We have loved it here.
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