Saturday, 31 March 2012

Busy Week

...what a busy week it has been with the Governer-General's visit and various projects around the compound....

JJ is downstairs now building the chook house. I told him I want it ready for chooks before Easter as he leaves Easter Monday for a fortnight in Honiara for work. He arrives back on the island on the same flight as Mum and Jill. So the coop is under construction.

The vegie garden grows more exciting each day as more yellow flowers appear on the squash and the zuchinni starts to show flower buds. The tomoatoes are growing big and ready to be transplated into the vegie garden. Most of our egg cups have germinated and some are also ready to go into the garden. My bed of 'green manure' is sprouting madly. The corn is geting bigger and the capsicum too.

The pool after much intensive labour now finally resembles a normal pool and we are enjoying afternoon swims nearly every day. The boys love it. The pool maneaba is tidied up and the place is starting to look loved again.

A plan that was hatched by Darren and Chris to move our fence line closer to the high tide mark was approved. So Darren is busy out side the gate laying the foundations to another manaeba. This one will be so closed to the water with a view that will allow you to see from the warf at Betio all the way to North Tarawa. The vista is truely beautful and Darren plans to have at least the deck done by the time Mum & Jill arrive. The fence should be in progress by then too. It will give us so much more room, a really long flat patch for the boys to kick the ball, backyard cricket etc.

We are off to a 'pool party' at the NZ High Commissioners residence this arvo. Jack and i made little chocolate cupcakes yesterday for the kids and a brown slice for the adults. Today I have made lovely little crusty white rolls in the breadmaker, the second dozen are in now!! There are so many more 'imatang' (white) families here now so we are getting together for the kids today. No kids Jack and Sams exact age but the social interaction is nice as nearly all the kids are under 10 years, bar two girls!

Right off to fold my washing and tidy the house before packing the esky (chilly bin for you kiwis!!) and a swimming bag

Pgotos tomorrow, enjoy your Saturday where ever you are, mwah

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The GG's visit

Not much sleep last night! practising my curtsey, excitment, JJ's snoring, who knows but it was a long time coming.

So excited to be going to the State Maneaba (traditional meeting house) and not even mascara, how wierd and how naked I felt!! Lucky I had some 'Natural Glow' and some lippy!!

Hear the sirens of the motorcade and the excitement grew, then her excellency accompanied by his excellency the president arrives to the state maneaba.

Mum (JJ's mum) had lunch with Her Excellency Quentin Bryce just over a week ago and she mentioned that we were in Kiribati, well what an intro, we were sought out by her excellency for an introduction!!!!! Didn't I feel special, thanks Mum!!! We got a quick audeience and photo in a very tight schedule. I must say her excellency is like HRH Queen Elizebeth II, an absolute lady in every respect and a women of much integraty and poise. Her dress/ shoes gorgeous and stylish, Her presents commanded attention and respect, I was in awe.

Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, JJ & myself at the State Luncheon

Her Excellency greeting i-Kiribati elders at the Coast Waters memorial in Betio before laying a wreath

Her Excellency laying a wreath at the Coast Watchers memorial in Betio (isn't her outfit awesome?)

Well from the memorial her Excellency drove straight to the airport to depart for Apaia in the Samoa.
we headed home to realieve Meei from her babysitting duties and headed to the pool to cool down, then to our balcony bar for a pre-dinner drink!! Noice, what alovely day. Feeling very special to meet such an amazing lady.

Till next time, Tiabo xx

Friday, 23 March 2012


Another busy week has disappeared!! Q busy week of not much housework but loads of gardening and outdoor jobs. The squash have loads of flower buds!! So exciting we may get some fruit yet!!! The tomato plants are looking healthy and a few bean plants have shot up. The Zucchini & Capsicum plants are looking good too.

The pool is finally swimmable so we have been in every afternoon, a good tool to tire the boys out!! With the shade cloth over it, sun exposure is low so a nice place to be. The wind has dropped in the last few days and the days are now much hotter without the breeze, I have even had to turn on the overhead fans!

Well the meat shortage on the island continues. Only chicken left, pieces, boned thighs & drumsticks!! I boned a head of thighs this week and am proud to say be the end of yesterday I was turning out some decent looking boned thighs with not much left on the bone!!!! Very exciting, at least I can do so much more with boned thighs!! JJ is just going to have to eat fish, we are going to get very sick of chicken, as the next boat is not due for one month!!! Our exciting meat order we put in and RAAF were going to bring it over on the GG's little plane did not eventuate as some office wallah decided he wouldn't allow an empty plane with a willing crew to bring it, pretty disappointing, I would love his phone number!!!!

The GG's visit is now cut short due to the funeral of the King of Tonga. Instead of arriving and staying overnight the GG and her party will only be on Kiribati for the Wednesday! So probably won't get to see her now, a shame I was looking forward to going to state House to meat her and enjoy the i-Kiribati singing and dancing troupe.

I mentioned to Meei that one of our coconut palms that was hanging, leaden with nuts over our house at a very precarious angle needed to be removed. Meei said the prisoners will remove it for nothing so JJ mentioned it to John the OIC of the patrol boat and now the tree is gone!!!! Well we had a lovely time cleaning up the coconuts and drinking moimotos (green coconut)

...........................................................Sam sucking the water out of his moimoto.................................

.....................................................James husking & opening our moimotos.........................................

.....Jack & Meei's son Philip enjoy a well earned moimoto after cleaning up all the mess........

......relaxing with a wine at our newly made "Caw Sands Bar", a fine place to sit back and soak up the ambiance of island living!! As you can see after the hard work clearing moimotos we jumped in the pool of a cool off & now here we are at the bar!...

While I write this Sam has come in with a dummy in, clutching his skunk and pointing to his room, I guess that is his way of telling me that he is ready for a nap and Jack is wanting some morning tea. I'd better go and do something with these boned thighs and finish off the bread for rolls.

Till next time, take care and "Ti a bo Moa" (pronounced Sabor moa....see you soon)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Friday Night Bokati & photos

JJ was invited to learn his i-kiribati name last Friday. He hurried us out the door to be there at 5pm, I bought the kids home at 6pm as nobody had turned up yet!! It was to be held at the Police compound Maneaba (a traditional meeting house) Jack and Sam however had a ball playing with the local kids. Sam busy entertaining the older girls and Jack the boys of all ages. It was nice to see them runnig about and having fun with others. However the botaki started around 7pm, I was well home, cooked boys eggs and had them bathed and ready for bed by then!! I never found out JJ's i-kiribati name....note to oneself: any future botaki invites get Meei to babysit so I can stay!!

..............................The boys and the local i-kiribati kids of the police compound..............................

The weekend was a quiet one, a bit of gardening but the weather mostly widy, wild and wet. Looking forward to a rain guage so I can record what we get. Been great for the vegie patch as little need to water as it is getting a good daily soaking

The squash is growing rapidly, so is the corn, zuchinni and tomartoes!!! Very, very exciting!!

My partner in the vegie patch "James" is our gardener and happy to do any job we ask of him!! Here James is cutting back the scraggly bushes around the vegie patch which is right next to our front gate.

Having Meei arrive an hour earlier means I am getting my gym time so I am back into a daily walk on the treadmill and cutting down my grog (after a deliciously wicked weekend of too much wine on my balcony bar!!!)

Meei plaited me a garland of flowers yesterday whilst I was at the gym and she was watching the boys down at the boat, it was amazing to watch it grow under her deft hands and I want to learn.

Sam and Meei plying and weaving in the 'boat' (well it was previous MSA's sail boat but much more suited to childrens play thing! I believe the first time it sailed it flipped and hasn't been sailed since!)

.........................................wearing the garland that Meei made for me!!.................................................

Played tennis yesterday and had a good hit, got ditracted by an i-kiribati man shimmying up a coconute palm out the front gate to retrieve his 'toddy' bottles. They cut into the palm to bleed out the sap (bit like rubber I guess) and the sap is made into toddy which can be quite alcoholic or made into a rich and sweet syrup to have as a dessert. I think this guy was after the first!!!!

Was hoping for tennis this arvo but it is wet and windy, no good for tennis balls with a wet court, might go and make the boys some bikkies for afternoon tea


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Vegie garden magic!!

So, so exciting!! The squash have sprouted/ germinated?? Well there is green, 3 leaves on each little plant, it is so exciting and heartening to see green appearing!! The weather has been perfect for germination, warm with intermittent rain showers. Who knows if we shall see any vegetables growing on our plants but there is a certain satisfaction in knowing I planted the little seeds and at least I can get some growth!!

Asked Meei to start an hour earlier every day so I can go to the gym for at least 1/2 hour. Worked really well this morning, only got through a 1/2 walk/run and felt dizzy probably due to still having the tail end of my cold. I even got a nice shower, exfoliate in so felt really pampered!! Mum how do you get the almond oil to flow in the cuticle pen from the body shop? I can't get mine to work!!!!

Cooked Lamb shanks last night, I thought they needed Frenching so had a funny time trying to do it, after googling it, the Internet was too slow for a you tube demo so tried by reading instructions. I am definitely a visual learner!!!!! They looked butchered alright, lol! Tasted alright!! Tonight is a roast pork, thanks to Darren's last meat order we are having some variety for a change. Tomorrow drinks here so will cook up all the breadfruit Meei bought over as chips, they do go down a treat with a drink in hand!! Will take photos of us eating breadfruit chips standing at our 'balcony bar!'

Yesterday was Kiribati public holiday for International Women's Day. Meei bought her second youngest son Philip to play. Jack had a lovely time (bossing him about!!) Even through Philip is 10 yrs old both boys enjoyed each others company. Sam enjoyed it too. We are looking forward to observing 'National Coconut Day' in August, we think it is important we take a public holiday to support our host nation!!!!

It's busy days while JJ's boss is here as I am catering for all, drinks here tomorrow night, JJ flights out on Thursday morning with his until then xx

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Busy Weekend

What a busy weekend...spent Friday cooking in preperation for Saturday lunch. t was a nice afternoon and all my food turned out well. Leftovers for today. I got a sleep in this morning (although I suspect JJ needed it more than me!!) However I did enjoy an extra couple of hours after a week of broken nights due to coughs, colds and crying children!! It never rains but pours, after a week of having a cold I spent the night on the loo (Kiribati belly??).

My Vegie patch is growing!!!!!!!!! The squash has popped up and the carrots are starting too. It is all very exciting and I spent an hour planting moe seeds this arvo. It is so exciting when you see results (well greenery at least!!)

Got loads of odd jobs done today, cleaning lights, windows, more more furniture, finished the guest room in readiness for JJ's boss tomorrow.

I finally got round to applying a hair colour on Friday night and it is hideous!! Way too dark, will have to see a good haircutter in Sydney to get it stripped out and I shall have to buy lighter ones, what a mess!! The joys of no haircutter/ colourist on the island!!

I forgot to post these photos of when we went to meet JJ's flight. You can drive on the runway, park at the end and the plane goes right over the top of you!!

This photo shows a lcal on his motorbike clearing the runway of debris & other locals just before the plane lands!!!


The plane landed right over the top of us, Sam clapped he thought it was great!!

enjoy the rest of your day....xx

Friday, 2 March 2012

End of the week already??

I am not sure if it has been a long or short week!! I know that Sam got a cold on Monday and Jack and I developed ours Wednesday. So in that repect it has been a long week with poorly children.

JJ meet some Australian Federal Police who are over on business and invited them for a drink on Wednesday arvo. It was nice to met new people and some interesting conversations. The Australian High Commissioner and his wife are coming for lunch tomorrow and now too are the thee AFP chaps so I have spent today cooking in preperation. It is quite interesting planning a BBQ without a green salad of some kind. I think I shall put on a respectable spread with home made Tzaziki dip, tandoori chicken, prawns(to be decided on how to cook them!), fried rice, potato salad, a coleslaw and a chocolate slice with rapberry mousse!!

It has rained on and off all day (good for my vegie garden and the tanks) which means tomorrow we could be sitting inside, definately not the intended plan!! JJ after a lovely long lunch at the NZ High Commission has tottled of to the pub (working drinks apparently!!) Too wet for us so I think I shall colour my hair tonight and have another night as I am feeling quite poorly.

The guest room is stocked and set for JJ's boss to arrive on Monday. He and his assistant are here until Thursday when they all fligh out, including JJ as he has been told to give evidence at another court case, this time in Brisbane. Apparently he is flying home on the Monday flight so will only be gone the 5 days!! (Unless Monday's flight is cancelled yet again and he sits in a flash hotel in Nadi until the Thursday!!)

So next week is shaping up to be another busy one!! I still haven't started formally schooling Jack, can't seem to find the time!! I got to the gym once this week, will have to make some serious changes to my time management, hehe!!!!!

till next