Refugees: Where Is the Simple Life?

The hardy people of Tristan da Cunha discovered last week that there is a force more powerful than Atlantic gales and flaming volcanoes—bureaucracy.

All 260 Tristan islanders were hustled off their tiny island in the South Atlantic last October when a long-dormant volcano poured a river of molten rock toward their thatch-roofed houses. In traveling 6,500 miles to safety in England, they moved nearly a hundred years forward in time. At home, they had lived on a fish-and-potato diet, carded and spun wool by the light of oil lamps, ridden in bullock carts. In their new cottages near...

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