Tuesday, 29 January 2013

a few pictures from the 1st post of 2013!!

Meei and Kaitlyn learning to weave floor mats

with the demise of Big Red over the christmas break, a new one had to turn up sooner rather than later!!!

the new maneaba, is a great place to meet drink and be merry.....

the husks from the moi-mot (green oconut) being buried below high tide mark, there it will sit for 3 months then we'll seperate the fibres and either spin twine or use it on the veggie beds as mulch! Either way James (gardener) & Johnny (maintainence man) did a good job, but the tide did beat them in the end!!!

Australia Day doings

Again it has been too long since my last post. You can blame the Australian High Commissioner for that as I was thrown into helping his wife, Denise cater for the formal Australia Day dinner. 375 people were invited and we catered for close to 250 people!! Our menu was quite ambitious for none of the i-kiribati women had any experience with catering for such a large number (indeed I don’t either!) or cooking western style food!!

My biggest contribution was 54 Pavlovas, which I had never successfully made one but with a little help from Donna Hay, an oven thermometer and a wooden spoon (to crack open the door of the oven!) I achieved it. I also churned out 12 dampers and spent the rest of my week heavily supervising the i-kiribati women on how to make mini meat pies, sausage rolls, snags with caramelised onions, beef and fish sliders, beer can chicken, beer battered fish and our scrummy dessert Mango and Passionfruit Aussie Mess!!
Pavs in the 'cool room' awaiting being turned into a Mango and Passionfruit Aussie Mess.

Denise, Kristy and some of the i-kiribati staff helping to prepare the feast!! Including 12 dampers

The night went well and I think enjoyed by most. It is not every day one gets to say they cooked for the president, but indeed I did and he sent me his compliments!!!

 So the whole of last week was a blur, poor Kristy talk about being thrown in at the deep end, she helped every step of the way and must be wondering what she has come too!!!

So the veggie garden and everything else got terribly neglected and yesterday I picked all the ripe tomatoes and capsicums, what an amount and that is only half of what is on the bushes!!

 The island has again run out of rice and flour and we see the i-kiribati lined up each day at any shop that still has some to buy a 2 pound limit. Thank goodness we are not big rice eaters. The rest of the food stores on the island are very low and our little garden and freezers are keeping us going. A ship was due in yesterday but it hasn’t been sighted yet....

 The kids are all having a ball together. We finished the school holidays with fish and chips in the maneaba with Pavlova for dessert. The kids, indeed the adults too all gobbled up their beer battered tuna in record time! School has started back in the compound, Jack is still waiting for his material from Katherine, School of Air so we are concentrating on some reading and writing and games. Kaitlyn and Gemma having most of their material have started in earnest. The kids meet after lunch to resume their playing and we don’t see much of them!!

With the excesses of Australia Day and being home again over I have taken up a six week exercise and clean eating challenge. Up at 6am for the 1st of the day’s 2 exercise routines I am already exhausted so had a short power nap. I am sure my energy will increase as my body gets back into the swing of clean eating and adjusts to the smart cardio I am doing......if not it’ll be a long six weeks!!!

Ti a bo


Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Gracious, the 1st post of 2013!!!!

Gracious I can't believe it is mid-January already, we have been home two weeks and so much has happened in that time.

We got home to the normal neglect so I spent a busy few days making repairs and replanting the veggie garden. The tomatoes and capsicum have survived, nothing was going to kill those suckers!! They are huge!!! Still plenty of tomatoes and capsicums on the plants so as there was not a scarrick of fresh fruit (due to the ship being delayed by cyclone Evan) or veg to be found on the island it was nice to have them.

Darren was on the wind down and the new family due t arrive four days after we got home. So much to do before they arrived.

Arrive they did in due course and we all braved the 0545 am start to go and greet them at the airport. Scott, Kristy, Kaitlyn and Gemma arrived safely and we are happy to report are so far enjoying the island and the compound.

I have hardly seen my boys since they arrived, the four kids spend their days running amok outside, either swimming, collecting hermit crabs, playing hide-and-seek or tag on the bikes and scooters. My boys are certainly exhausted by night time!!! It is lovely to see.

We hosted a farewell/ welcome botaake in the new maneabe for about 50 people last Saturday. Kristy pitched in and we outdid ourselves with a menu that disappeared like 'soapsuds down a gully trap!' Meei and her daughter cooked what was needed, served and cleaned up (a happy arrangement for me!) About 10 kids ran about and swam and had a generally good time, once the play equipment is in they will be begging their parents to come for a play date methinks!!

Darren's farewell was a sad one, the Williams' family are sad to see our lovely neighbour leave but like all Navy postings people move on......luckily we have a lovely family moving in.
       Thank you Darren for the good times ad being such a great neighbour and friend to us all!

Today Meei and Palrina showed the girls how to weave their own mats!! Poor Johnny and James were asked to supply palm fronds, moi-moto and then to add insult bury all the husks from the moi-moto in the beach below the high tide mark. (this is so we can separate the fibres to make lovely mulch for around the veggies plants. Unfortunately the ground is coral so they required a pick and mattock to dig the hole and the tide beat them in the end!!)

The girls had a lovely time weaving mats, I don't think they quite enjoyed the moi-moto like we do, maybe an acquired taste? Anyway more for us and the fridge is full. So the fridge is full of tomatoes, capsicum and eggs, the cooks seemed to be on steroids or something but are laying between 8-10 eggs a day!! Big Red mysteriously died while we were away so a new rooster has  moved in from next door! This one isn't being taken back, I am tagging him and won't give in. JJ tried to buy another at the hatchery but they no longer keep or sell roosters so our new, yet to be named, ring in will have to do!

I think everyone is happy to be home and back to familiar toys and beds. We had a wonderful time in Oz, plenty of good food, too much good wine and loads of quality time with family and friends, it of course went bye all to quickly but that is the nature of a good holiday methinks.

Sam is back to wearing nothing, Jack shorts and no shirt and I am spending an hour each night tottering about in high heels in preparation for the formal Australia Day dinner, that as a co-host I have been informed to frock up so I have taken the hint and am re-acquainting my feet with heels!!! I am also back in the gym (much to my body's disgust!) and on a healthy eating plan after over-indulging for too long (I think I have consumed alcohol every day since leaving Kiribati back in December, till now, I'm NOT an alcoholic?????!!)

I promise it won't be so long between posts, till then........


ps I can't download any photos, not sure why but will do do as soon as I can, cause I have some beauties!!!