Friday, 28 September 2012

Update On Chooks

OMG, talk about blown out of all proportion!!!!

Meei has followed the leads and talk to so many of the kids on Betio to find the 2 missing chooks. I have offered a reward to whom ever returns them.

Tonight I was sitting out on the kiakia with the boys playing with the girl next door. All the chooks were pottering about and I counted them as I automatically so these days and there were 9!!! Yes I re-counted about 10 times and someone has obviously chucked a chook over the fence!! How cool is that??

The local builder is about to start building the chook-mahal of chicken coops!! This along with the fencing job I have done will keep them from getting out!!! Naughty girls!!!

The veggies have kept on growing, very exciting, the cucumbers and eggplant have their frst flush of male flowers, I'm expecting, with no setbacks (no chook interference!!) fruit within the next month!!

The facility managers visit was awesome, the best part is we are to employ a maintance man, whom will do everything we ask and it will be such a help, the compound will certainly benefit and things will be greatly emproved to our specifications.

Right JJ is ready to watch 'The Tudors' , we recieved the whole series yesterday. We have just finish watching 'The Straits', thanks Tess, we so enjoyed it and can't wait for series two!!!!

Sai bo for now


Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Damn Chooks!!!!!

What gives???? If it is not one thing it is the other, so the chooks have discovered boys, well roosters to be exact!!! So we discovered the chooks slipping under the second gate to go over to visit the rooster!! In the rain, I filled in the gaps with chicken wire and cable ties!! Only to discover they were then getting out in the gaps between the new gates!!

So two chooks got out and disappeared into 'thin air'. Today two girls told Meei that boys had taken them. Meei has gone on this huge 'chook quest' into the police village next door, the boys have been beaten by their police detective father for aiding and abeiting a chook kidnapping and so the Betio CIB are investigating the kidnapping of the i-matang's two chooks!!! No stone will remained unturned as Betio police and Meei investigate the disappearance of my girls!!!!

A third chook wandered off out the new gate yesterday arvo and was returned by our neighbours, squatters who live next door and we moved the new fence line so they could stay, see good karma!!!

The facility manager of the Defence Co-operation Program compounds in the Pacific is here for a visit and a site survey. He must think we are absolutely mad with the carry-on. How ever he has approved 'on the spot' building of a new chook coop and run by a local builder!! It will be big enough to leave the girls in of a day if need be, specially good for when we are away and the issue of letting them out and putting them to bed arrises! Photos to follow, the builder has been told that we wanted it built 'yesterday' so hopefully it will be built within the month!!

James, the facility manager has also approved the kid's play equipment and new large maneaba. Once installed and complete this place will be awesome, so we are taking bookings for the guest room!!!!

Next week the ADA & DA's PA will be here from Monday till Thursday when they will fly out with JJ who is off to Tuvalu for a joint patrol for 2 weeks. Then time will fly to early December and our visit home!! I am so looking forward to being home and catching up, not to mention preparing and eating real salad and vegies!!

With that comment the cucumbers are starting to flower so to is the tomato and the eggplants, everything else is growing like mad - woohoo!!!!

Tia bo for now


Jack and his sandcastle in the 'new section'
Sam and Meei's grandson Seayung (14 months) in their "Cushie Tushie' nappies!!

Friday, 14 September 2012

TRIUMPH at last....

Finally we have hit on a fool proof way to keep the chooks out of the veggie gardens!!!!! WOOHOO!!
Meei showing off our new lattice gate!!

I clipped their wings as suggested and the bitches went straight to the garden and flew over, how rude!!

We finally came up with the idea of fishing net, so Meei picked up a 100 meter long net and we set to work hanging and hammering it into place. It was hard work up on ladders in the glaring sun. The results are perfect.

The chook, with Chummy’s help were also getting in the cocky gates so we replaced those with lattice gates, hinged with cable ties.

We also found some old plastic lattice like stuff and have staked it in the corner garden for the cucumber to grow on.

So we went back to the nursery and got some tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum and cabbage and started planting, only to discover the beds were rock hard so all had to be turned again with the pitchfork. What a huge day, I was filthy, sore, crippled, sunburnt, dehydrated but TRIUMPHANT.

Everything survived last night and today, chooks trying to get into the gardens but in vain. I have such an ENORMOUS satisfaction looking out onto a newly planted, chook proof garden. All done by “Girl Power” (oh James did help hanging the fish netting). I am feeling hugely empowered but oh so exhausted. JJ & Darren better be suitably impressed at our use of off cuts & power tools!!

 Early to bed for me tonight, methinks.
I am filthy, exhausted, sore and sun burnt,(not too badly, more sun kissed!!) but nothing will take away my pride at getting the gardens planted and chook proof!! It has been a long and frustrating process. Now we can move on to the next project, enlarging the chook coop!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Ghost Town

Goodness who’d have thought that with JJ & Darren away it would be so quiet!! But it is, just me, the boys and animals. So it is fantastic news to hear that Darren’s replacement is a chap whom has served with JJ in Patrol Boats in Darwin. I understand he is bringing his wife and two girls who again I understand are closer to 10 in age. I think it is a first for both positions to be filled by families. It will be sad to lose Darren who has been an excellent neighbour and a great help as we set up in Tarawa but that is the nature of the defence force!!!
Well I won't be winning mother of the year with this ripper egg thanks to Jack chasing him and a fat lip due to the misuse of tupperware!!!!

Next door tied their rooster to our fence, right next to the chook coop so the poor girls have gone off the lay and are quite out of sorts. Not to mention the 0430 wake up calls, needless to say after a bit of nagging it has been moved. Now they have removed tin from their pig pen also located on our fence line next to the chook coop just upwind of our house, the smell is foul and I have been forced to close up the house and run the AC. JJ can fight that one when he returns!! The girls continue to fly over the barriers and my beautifully healthy flowering eggplant and tomatoes are now reduced to stalks!!!!
Jack on his scooter from Opa, he roars around the compound's paths like a wirlwind

I took the tennis net down as I have no one to play with and let the boys tear around on their scooters. I pumped up the tires on Jack’s bike, which he hasn’t ridden yet and ran around the court a few times supporting him, then he was off and racing, no training wheels, thanks to years on the balance bike. He is so chuffed and I had a tear as I watched my first baby achieve this important childhood milestone. Sam is so funny to watch on his scooter, he’s got the hang of it but steering is still missing, we’ve had a few prangs but they both have got up and got back on which is good. It is also a damn good way of wearing them both out, they come up so exhausted they are happy to sit in front of the box while I prepare dinner and do the other necessary jobs about the house and compound.
Jack on his bike, woohoo
The internet has been so spasmodic this week. I have only managed to get connected 4 times usually in the early morning. It is so rude for skyping, emailing etc. I am sure everyone thinks I am ignoring them, but rest assured I am trying to call & blog etc. I am even writing my blog on a word doc and transferring it over to the blog when I can get on – frustrating to the max!!!

my naughty chooks enjoying a dust bth near the front door!!

Anyway I’ll post this as soon as I get connected, in the mean time


Tia bo moa

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

This week.....

Gracious time does fly. Since being back from Fiji JJ has been away for a fortnight to Honiara in the Solomon Islands for work, bringing home with him the Defence Attaché for a visit. The DA left on Thursday and now both JJ & Darren have departed for Kiritimati Island (pronounced Christmas Is) and onto Honolulu for another 2 weeks. Hmmm, the life for some!!!!

I was chatting to a friend at the Australian High Commission today and she coined how I am feeling exactly, one step forward, many steps back!! That is exactly how I am feeling about my garden. We put up fencing and barriers out of what was lying around but now the garden soil is sieved of all coral stones, had copra and compost added and it is so ready for planting, you can smell the richness in the soil the damn chooks think it is their personal domain or their own oversized dinner plate, I can’t keep them out!!!! I had planted the last of my precious zucchini, also spinach and capsicum and tomatoes. I gather by now the seeds are well and truly chook poo!!!
Meei's son and his brother-in-law sieved all the soil in the veggie garden, the piles of rocks are all the coral they got out, made a huge difference to the beds!!!

As Mana arrived from Abaiang with rocket in hand and we had found some beautifully ripe tomatoes we decided a 'Hamburger Party' was in order!! Fresh rolls were prepared, patiies made and let the wonderful joy of a colourful hamburger, brimming with fresh veggies begin.........tarrra, tarrra!!!

The land mass to the right that is quite hazy is our atoll of Batio. Mana and I are sitting at Carriers hotel one atoll above the 5 atolls that are connected by causeways. We walked cross at low tide.

One of the sleeping bure at Carriers.....
so we walked over but going back was a slightly different due to an incoming tide, so we caught the local ferry!!!!!

It was a great day out and now I know it is there I will go again. The drive however is a long one as the road past the airport is full of potholes that I thought our little RAV4 was going to disappear into at times but our feet stayed dry!!!! Just along from Carriers is a ship building yard and we were shown over it by the foreman whom is an Aussie volunteer, they also have a few sidelines the main one being clam farming for the aquarium markets mainly in the USA and Germany, they are found here in the Kiribati Islands and bought to the clam farm to grow, they also harvest some of their own with these amazingly huge clams that are in their 40's!!! Not such good photos, the colours were amazing, a real feast for the eyes, I could quite happily have stayed there all day gazing at the beautiful colours and patterns on the lips of the clams.

Tia Boo Moa (see you soon) xx