Sunday, 29 January 2012

Rainy Sunday

Well yesterday arvo was bliss. I put Sam down for a sleep and took my book and banana lounge over to the pool for some 'me time'!! Jack and JJ promptly followed!! But I enjoyed listening to their games and splashes while I swam and read a little. Mariana, a volunteer who is staying in the compound with us until school starts on her outer island came over and 'crashed' our family time, as JJ said 'its ok we are crashing Jodie's me time'!!
So Maraina had a play with Jack and JJ bought us over some beers so we flopped around the pool chatting and sipping beers! Very civilised!!
Sam slept through most of our swim, got up played on the tennis court chasing the ball until he came a cropper and now has a very bruised little face and graze on his nose. Then we went inside for dinner.

Well after yesterdays blissful weather today is the complete opposite!! It has been raining since 2am last night and the wind is so strong I feel I might be blown into the Pacific ocean!! The 5 compound water tanks are overflowing and I am excited that my vege patch is getting a really, really good soaking!! Also the poor old Papaya trees that Chris planted but hasn't watered are now getting a good drink. Tess do you think they are all male plants, one is waist height, the other face height?

Well no photos today as internet is so very slow, so will go and do some baking, enjoy your Sundays....

So baking done, fresh bread (getting better loaves now!), a Donna Hay Apricot slice and ice-cream. Gran's casserole slow cooking in the oven with carrots, mash potatos & peas for dinner.

Kids have been crazy today, nothing but whinging, think it might be the wind, I think it is as blowy as a Cat 5 cyclone!!! (So does JJ!)

Early night tonight as I haven't been right all day and am so tired. Goodnight!!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Tennis anyone?

woohoo, JJ & I had our first hit of tennis since August, when sea time and wisdom teeth extraction got in the way!!!!
The court has seen better days but it is good enough for us beginners. It felt good to finally get back into it and we'll do it again tomorrow (even though I'll be as stiff as!!), also did 2 km on the bike in the gym, can't work out the treadmill but the bike and rowing machine and cross trainer should keep me amused. I also bought over my fitball so I'll pump that up to do some weights. It is nice to feel the heart rate rise again!!

A beautiful day here, gentle breeze, loads of sun, a pool arvo methinks!!

The weather over the last week has been mixed and with some glorious rain we have full tanks again!! The vege patch soil has been turned and got a good drink, ready for some seeds!

Made my second pizza from scratch last night, a few issues with getting the dough on the pizza stone but will get it happening soon, it tasted ok, just looks a bit dodgy!!

Well off to feed Sam who is getting more imsptient by the minute, catch you later, enjoy your Saturday....

Friday, 27 January 2012

Happy Australia Day!

So here we are!!!! Australia Day in the most reomte part of the world. We had an aussie morning tea of piklets, jam and cream (uht) & Lamingtons. May was most impressed!
JJ was home as it is a public holiday in Oz, not here but hey we are Aussies!!!!!
Flew the Aussie  & Boxing kangeroo flag off our balcony.

Attended the Australia Day function at Austrlia House, noice! Again forgot my camera - bad move! The traditional dancing was AMAZING, the i-kiribati people have beautiful voices and I want to learn to shake my hips as the i-kiribati women do !!! Dancing was amazing!!!!

I got 'garlanded' apparently commen but i was very humbled as a beautiful young i-kiribati women garland me!

so anyway JJ & I got 'frocked up' and had a great night!! (I am not sure how I have managed to lose my make-up bag, but sorry Liv but went out without mascara!!)

so here we are, froked up and ready to go! It was a great night and and Australia Day to remember

Happy Austrlia Day :0)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Random photos

Driving over the causeway that links Batio to Biriki. The lagoon on the left, the Pacific ocean on the right!

the local coppers, everyone crams into where ever they can fit in a car & utes are the prefered vehicle!! Speed limit is 40 kph on the island and 60 kph on the causeways! (Unless your a bus driver who feels it is his duty to go as fast as minivan will go - deadly!!)

My 1st attempt at home made pizza, dough done in breadmaker and managed to find some left over chorizio sausage and a rather sad capsicum, 3/4 was rotten but the 1/4 that made it onto the pizza was yummo!!

Jack was determined to take my photo!!! Very squally day here today with quite a few rain fronts coming through!!

Shopping in Moel's is mainly canned and dry goods....OMG what to choose!!!!!!!!

The boys chilling before lunch and a swim :0)

Monday, 23 January 2012

Ideas on a vege garden

We are hoping to start growing some vege as there is precious little fewsh produce avaiable. The soil is sandy with not much else. We have started a compost bin & have an incinerator too. Any advice on what to mix into the sand would be appreciated. There is no fertilizer, soil or mulch available!!!!!
Our vege garden is already set up with netting protecting it and bays made out of concrete to hold the soil but it is only holding sand at the moment!!

Ideas on keeping chooks!!

We are hoping to build a coop and keep some chooks!!! Eggs average 60 cents each and can sometimes be as high as $1 each!

I have never kept chooks before so need advice on housing, feeding and how many to keep, Jack doesn't want a rooster incase it pecks him!!!

The compound is surrounded by a high chain link fence and it is all sand, very little native grasses. Do I need to get some chook pellets in or are table scraps enough, I gather the chooks we see around the island get a few scraps and scavenge as the majority of table scraps go to fattening the pigs here!!! Please leave me your advice, as it will be greatly appreciated.......

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I would love to hear and read your comments, it is as excting as getting mail!!! So please don't be shy and drop me a comment :0)

Quiet Saturday

Having a break from baking today, finished a book (fiction) about the wreak of the Batavia. Won't be recommending it, too weird. Left me feeling quite odd, JJ's going to read it and will probably enjoy it.

OMG less than 2 weeks in and I am struggling with feeding my family. The fresh produce is just so limited. So is the meat really, all frozen and just chunks or in bulk so it is hard to identify!! Finding we can get potatoes and carrots fairly well but the rest is very hit and miss. I bought a capsicum that was 3 parts rotten & I paid $5 for that privilege!!! People tell me they can't grow capsicum here but will give it a try. No lettuce just cucumber and occasionally avocados (of all things!) Not much in the way of tomatoes either, very scare!!
The GG arrives for a head of State visit early next month i think??? We are hoping that we can get a box of fresh fruit and vege put on the RAAF plane. Our Airline who used to fly from Brisbane with refuelling in Honiara & Nauru then straight to Tarawa no longer flies which means the overnight stop via Fiji makes it very difficult to bring back and fresh produce or meat like the expats so often did when flying Our Airline, oh well, I am feeling the fat rolls building from all the carbs!! Better read up on the gym equipment and get in there!!

the compound next door is part of the Kiribati Police Training centre. Blue houses are owned by the government. The thatching is traditionally Pandanus and water tight!

Our neighbours!! JJ & Jack took a walk out on the mud flats at low tide to see the WWII bomber plane remains that are exposed at low tide. Of couse the WWII history is one of the reasons JJ wanted this posting, it's his thing!

Friday, 20 January 2012


Last night it poured with rain, great excitment as it has not rained for months, quite unusual for Kiribati. Not enough to replenish the tanks but a really good soaking for the gardens and to settle the dust. It is humid with the cloud cover but the wind has sprung up to a good 25 knots so it is keeping it pleasant for now.

The bread is on and put in just a shade less water and yeast to see if I can get a better loaf this time, hehe plenty of time to perfect it and the boys aren't complaining....yet!!

some local kids, the suitcase is 'the buggy'. Behind them is a pig pen, every family owns pigs to be butchered only when they are big (butchering small piggies is taboo)

Went to the 'Captain's Bar', the place to go on a Friday arvo for a beer.I felt like I was back at TI pistol club, getting further and further behind as the rounds piled up!! Think I have lost my ability to throw back a XXXX & keep up with the others, only one thing to do - PRACTICE!!!!

Made pizzas tonight, 1st time making the dough in the breadmaker. It was ok, bless my boys for loving everything I put infront (well the big & smallest that is). I have 3 years to perfect it, hehe.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Well yesterday I didn't get the blog. Had a really clumsy day in the kitchen, trying to make bikkies, bread and slice. I kept dropping things, wrong measures and losing things. The white bread isn't rising properly and is quite heavy and sticky!! The anzac bikkes are to dry and my slice base is to soft and because there is no copha to add to the chocolate top it cracked all over when cutting - blaggh!!! My 1st attempt at making a frozen yoghurt in the Zoku maker got stuck and I snapped a stick trying to get it out, OMG what a failure of a day :0(

Today started better!! Andy the Australian High Commissioners wife took us for a spin around Tarawa. The main islands of Kiribati. She is amazing, been here for three years and speaks Gilbertese so well. Heard so many new words today, it is going to take ages to make head nor tail of the village names and get my head around the language, so far May has taught me - Hello, goodbye, see you tomorrow and yes!! We went right up to the north, as far as you can go in a car, then to get to the next island you need to wait till low tide to wade across of take a dinghy. How RUDE, I forgot the camera!! Betio, the village we live in is the most populated but up the top it is much less so and truely beautiful. It is all palm trees, coral roads and sand with the blue, blue waters of the lagoon. It is much cleaner up there and the boys had a paddle in the clear waters next to 'broken bridge' (it was broken for 2 years till the Australian Army engineers came over and repaired the bridge and the name has stuck). Sam screamed blue murder when I tried to get him out, poor Andy is not used to kids, methinks Sam really put her off for life, hehe!

Andy also took us to a lovely little cafe that serves 'real' coffee and we started the morning with affragoto (ice cream with a shot of coffee poured over!), the boys had a banana smoothie.

Never fear JJ wants to see the 'north' now so it won't be long till we go again and I will definately take my camera this time!

We finishe the morning driving back to Betio and stopping to do groceries on the way. I-Mart over the causeway in the next village is a favourite of the expats as they stock loads of Australian imports. So we picked up some Rice Bubbles, Pauls UHT milk, roasted peppers and a freddo frog for the boys! We got some bananas from the roadside and then on to the compound to put a weary little Sam to bed.

Right off for a swim as Sam is asleep and Jack wants to play, bliss a swim on my own.......catch you soon :0)

.......swim was bliss, I scubbed the sides of the pool, floated on the noodle (no floating lounge as I thought with the boys I'd never get a chance to use it!) & read in the sun for a while!

note to oneself: sunscren car window arm as it'll get burnt on a morning out!!

Excitement today, Thursday fortnights is out Diplomatic mailbag delivery and I GOT MAIL, bless you my dear Livvy! I loved my card AND letter too. I'm saving the Out Back magazine for when Sam is next aslep and I can sit and read with a cuppa on the verandah :0)

An i-Kiribqti man up the coconut palm, this is not James our gardener but he goes up the tree when I ask for some green coconuts!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


The boys have there very own race track!! The verandah is wide and goes all the way around the house. Now I have found some of their bikes and trikes they are off and racing........but what father in their right mind would unpack only ONE bloody car, off course the boys were fighting over it before JJ had left the compound!! With Sam on my hip and Jack trailing behind I had t go and find more trikes and bikes, unwrap them and drag the whole damn lot upstairs!! I got my revenge, making JJ put together the cubby house when he got home, te-he-he-he!!!

The boys swimming, well cruising in the pool, behind is our Maneaba, our 'meeting place'. Today the breeze got up in the arvo making it too cool to swim!!!! What a pleasant change from Darwin.

Hoping to get out tomorrow with the High Comissioners wife for a tour of the island, well parts of it as it takes a good hour to get the the northern part of Kiribati.

Good night xx

ps we have been here one week today, goodness how time has flown!!!!!

Monday, 16 January 2012


My 1st day of not unpacking!!! We have little hermit crabs scurrying around under the house - so Cute!!

Still clearing out furniture and rearranging, loads of plans in place for new furniture and the little flat downstairs!! At least I have a deadline to get down stairs finished as the Defence Attache for our island group is coming mid march and we want him to stay here. I want to paint, clean and furnish before then!!

Baked an Orange cake today, using plain four with baking powder added to make it S R Flour and it worked a treat!! The cake behaved perfectly and was yummo too!!

Steak for dinner, rump sliced quiet thinly and was tough as!! JJ didn't mind but me, nope, I'll give it a miss untill I am desperate for steak!!!

Had a swim after lunch, pushing the boys around in the blow up boat, hmm maybe I'll get toned thighs out of it!!!!! Afternoon tea on the verandah, noice!

Next doors pig lives on our fence line, it squeals all day long, at first I thought it was a baby! Everyone keeps pigs here, they are meant to be 50 m away from a dwelling but there is not enough room, most are tied by their back leg to a tree!

James climbed up a coconut palm and got us some green coconuts at Jack's request, he was so excited to see James climb up!! May (house help) opened them and we tried our first drink of green coconut, they are meant to be incredibly healthly and the i-kiribatis use them for all sorts of health issues and as a tonic!! I feel healthier already, one a day to keep the doctor away!!!!!

The hose to the toilet broke today and water was pouring out everywhere, i had a fun time mopping it all up, it tripped the power and after JJ & Darren (engineer here) reset it i promptly got a shock while trying to turn the power on, apprenetly the beas are steel. Mental note to myself, don't turn lights on after walls, roof and electical ceiling fans and lights got wet!!!! Bit sore through arm and shoulder, hair a bit curlier but no major halm done xx

May & Sam on the verandah enjoying the view and morning tea of fresh orange cake and tea!!

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Lazy Sunday Arvo

My pool has a swim-up bar!!!! ( JJ was watching & replenishing whilst I swam with the boys!!!!)

left over chicken chassuer with rice and left over sausages for dinner. Chicken sold in 2 kg bags!! Sausages pre-cooked from fiji, taste ok!!



First impressions - basic with some bizarre items. All flour, sugar and rice comes only in 25 kg sacks!! No Self Raising flour, figured by making my own from plain it will help the 25 kg sack go more quickly!!! Only raw and white sugar, no caster sugar but icing sugar!

The bakery is very basic & sugary like American bread. I think I will be making alot of bread, have made 3 loaves already and have turned out well.

Fresh produce is non-existant. Found some potatos, carrots and very sad tomatos, capsicum, methinks we will servive quite well on tinned, frozen and dehydrated veges!!!!!

Right off for a swim with my very noisy, busy boys xx

Question about composting

This is my 1st time composting all left overs. There are 3 empty compost bins ready to be filled, no worms as it is a sand atoll!!

What can't I put in the compost bin?

Most people keep pigs here so as I understand it most scraps goes to the pigs......

More photos

 The view from our verandah. Our lovely swimming pool with the tennis court behind it. At the back is the engineers house.
Loads of room for chooks to scratch and the vege patch is infront of our house next to the front gate!!
The weather is a perfect 30 degrees but as we get a constant sea breeze it is sitting at a lovely 27 degrees. Perfect!!!!

Next doors compound, made up of 3-4 of these little huts, used mainly for sleeping in. Tarawa is one of the most populated areas in the world!!

First Impressions

Jack standing on our balcony, just off the dining room that over looks the lagoon.

We arrived in Kiribati on Tuesday after departing Sydney on Monday the 9th of January. We arrived into Nadi, Fiji to overnight before catching our flight to Kiribati the next day.

Fiji to Kiribati was another 3 1/2 hour flight. Flying over the island is a beautiful experience. The nation of Kiribati is made up of many sandy atolls and they all curl around the lagoon, which is similar to the brilliant blue water of the Torres Strait. The four mail atolls are linked by causeways and we are based on the bottom atoll of Betio. (pronounced Base-oh!)

The Defence compound consists of 3 houses, all fairly identical in size and layout. Four bedrooms upstairs and a guestroom downstairs, along with a storeroom and garage. The houses are built to our standards and are very comfortable. The boys are so much happier to have a room to themselves and loads upon loads of room to run around in and sread their toys out.

The compound boasts a swimming pool (only 3 on the island, us , the Australian High Commission and the New Zealand High Commission) and a tennis court. A disused vege garden and 3 compost bins. Once there were chooks so we'll re-instate them (Eggs are 60 cents each!) So all in all we are very comfortable and happy with our new home.



I thought this blog would be a great way to keep in touch with everyone who is so interested in our new life on Kiribati! So bare with me while I navigate my way around the blog and learn to post photos and perfect the layout!