November saw JJ depart to Australia for Darwin for his handover to J3 & then onto Canberra to the DCP Recall conference. Scott joined JJ in Canberra so the girls are running the compound!!
My dear friend Sonia arrived on the next flight after JJ left for one short week. It was fabulous to have a friend visit and force me to do the things I want to do again before we leave.
Meei has had a boys full dance costum made for Jack and the dance mat (skirt) is tied traditionally with a belt made of their mothers hair!! So Meei decided to cut her hair to make the belt so it has extra special meaning for Jack, as Sonia cuts hair much more successfully than me she got the job!!
I don't think Sonia and I drew breath all week!! We talked all day and long into the night, sitting out on the verandah enjoying the breeze, view and companionship. We explored the island and on the Thursday got up to TeBon te Keeke, here Meei, Sam and I are sitting on the outrigger canoe going across the channel to an afternoon of bliss!!
If time had of permitted we thought a night or two chilling out in the Kia Kia over the water would have been great, but time was definitely against us. So the afternoon sufficed, we enjoyed a fish curry for lunch washed down with Moi-Motos (Green Coconuts) and Tody pancakes with Kam mi mi syrup. Toddy is the sap collected from the coconut palm and then they do a heap of different things with it, the Kam mi mi is the boiled version, it is boiled until it is a thick sweet syrup, similar to Maple or Golden syrup. It was amazing and I don't think we would have eaten for a week after it all.
On Sonia's last full day I organised to go out on the fishing comp, we were unable to get two berths on the Aussie boat so Mike the NZ High Commissioner invited us out on "Tangaroa" the Kiwi boat. We were up at 2aqm for a 3am start. Sonia just wanted to see a fish caught that was bigger than a flathead!! Her wish came true 9 times over!!! She pulled in two fish, two types of Tuna, neither big enough to qualify for the comp weigh in but they certainly qualified in Sonia's eyes!!
we had the most fantastic day, we fished, swam, ate, swam and fished more, drank lucky beers to entice more fish!! and they were indeed lucky as we caught some more....we fished out a Miania for the day which is south of Tarawa and the fish are disease free so we were able to eat everything we caught. One of the Kiwi's grandson was on board, a 17 y.o chap, just joined the NZ Navy as a Chef and as we left the harbour and hit the huge swell of the open ocean the poor kid vomited and that was him for the day, by lunch time he was comatosed, Sonia and I felt so sorry for him but there wasn't much we could do, it certainly was huge swells, we'd be hanging off the back of the boat communing with nature and you'd look up at this huge swell baring down on you wondering if it would swamp you or not, fortunately Tangaroa is a good sound boat and rode it all well.
I even got to drive as we were one down!! Lucky beers and my driving skills!!! I was at the helm when we hooked up two, one being a huge Giant Trevally!!! Below our gracious host Mike and our 'Lucky Beers', even Sonia whom doesn't drink beer was enjoying hers!!!! By the end of the day, trawling home, eskies (or chilly bins for the Kiwi's) full of fish, tummies full of beer we sang our lungs out to Robbie Williams on the ipod player, startling birds and probably the fish away too.
My contribution to the day was a 25 lb Yellow Fin Tuna, a great catch and good eating at the end of a very long day!!!
Our long day wasn't in vain!! We placed second with 3 species all over the qualifying weight!! This was our lucky team L-R Charlie, Mike, Me, Sonia & Ox!!!!!
The long job of filleting my catch, lucky Birdie was there to help.....
Sonia's visit went all too quickly and even scoring an extra day due to the plane being delayed one day wasn't enough!! All too soon we were back at the airport saying goodbye, Mike also flew out and a few other friendly faces, it hit me then that we have 3 weeks left on this paradise and boy does it hurt.....so now it is back to reality with a thud, the packers arrive on Monday and I have a busy week sorting the house and preparing all our things to go into the container for the long journey home.
until next time
ti a bo moa xxxx