Sunday, December 26, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
This past week was our villages' week. So the kids at the village spent most nights up at the local hall so that they would all be ready for the big day of dancing. John, Josie and Detrix got asked to go!
Can you find them in the picture?
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Note: Behind the couple is a cement water tank it hold approx 10,000 Liters of rain water. The church has 3 of them and they are public water. Right now are village has no well water - the well was contaminated with salt water when the cyclone hit last year. The entire village is dependent on rain water.
The weddings here take place on Tue or Thursday, there is a party after the ceremony. Then the bride and groom go back to their seperate homes until Sunday when they present the bride at church and have a small ceremony. Sunday after the feast and ceremony the bride and groom then go to the house they will live in together.
Due to this wedding being the minister - nearly every family in the two villages prepared a table... In Tonga the more you have on your table the bigger status you have so the people literally spend an entire weeks salary or more preparing a table for others to eat at! The picture at the right is Maka, with the pig he killed for the feast. This was his own pig, and one of the bigger pigs he has.
The villagers also collected money over the past couple of months and purchased a couple of cows to eat at the feast. The following pictures are of the cows hanging from the trees after they were killed, and then the umu (underground oven) that they cook all the meat and vegetables in. The vegetables here are mainly sweet potatoes and taro leaves. Taro leaves are close to tasting like spinach.
I went up with Derrick to where they were preparing the meat. They were very happy to have me take pictures, I then realized there were no women at all near the umu or any of the slaughtered pigs and cows. I was quick and taking pictures then I left the men to cut up the meat and prepare the pigs and cow for the feast the next day! Derrick was invited to stay and he sat and drank kava (local plant root) and cut up cow.
The picture is of some of the men in the village who dug the umu. It was atleast 6' deep and 10' long! I think a total of 2 cows, 5 pigs, other various animals and all the sweet potatoes went into the umu to cook overnight.
The amount of food on each table was over whelming! Each table had on it; of oti ika (oh-tie-ee-ka) it is a raw fish in coconut juice with tomatoes and lime juice. Sweet and sour chicken, deep fried chicken, lu (corned beef wrapped in taro leaves) regular fish, chicken chow mein, mussels, clams, lobster and then in front of us was a whole cooked pig. I would guess there was over 300 people there from both villages. I must say my favorite thing to eat is the oti ika.... before coming here I had never tried raw fish, no sushi, nothing, but I wanted to try eveything when we moved here.. now it is one of my favorite things to eat!
We had a great time at the wedding and feast, I might still be full from all the food!
The last picture is of just one side of all the tables, there was a whole other group of tables set up to the right.
Monday, August 02, 2010
What a beautiful view we get to look at every day!
Yesterday was the King's birthday. Because it is a royal holiday everything was closed, after a brief trip into town, then realizing everything was closed, we did what anyone does on an island, piled everyone in the car and went snorkeling at the beach!
The kids played for a few hours in the water - it was perfect!
What do you get at the end of a rainbow? We got three wonderful children! We had a really nice wind and rain storm on Saturday night, right before the rain storm we looked off of the back porch and saw a rainbow. There are people in the background collecting mussels, they must not have known to dig under the rainbow to find the pot of Gold! We have already found the pot of gold, with the three kids!
Monday, July 26, 2010
We arrive at 9am and we purchase the country's flag for each child... The teachers then begin instructing the children that they are to stand on the sidewalk and proudly wave the flag when the torch comes by.
At 9:30 am we hear the plane fly over, this will be a while... the torch is coming from the airport to town a 15 minute drive. They will be running, ok we figure give them an hour, hour and a half... we will then see the torch. Over the next 3 hours we would continually go through a drill every 20 minutes or so of someone yelling, "here it comes!" All kids would then run to their designated spot and proudly hold out the flag. Minutes later we would be told, it was a false alarm. Pretty comical really. After 3 1/2 hours we finally see the torch coming. We were standing next to a gal from Austria and some other Americans we all wanted to know what torch was coming, it was not the Olympic Torch!
We found out it was the Common Wealth games torch! The next half hour the people from England, and Canada had to explain that the Common Wealth games take place with countries associated with England. (This is what was explained to me... if it is different, sorry I still don't know much about the Common Wealth Games!)
Can you see the torch? Definitely not the Olympic Torch!
The funniest part of the whole day: When the torch finally came - all kids ran from the sidewalk and crowded in the street. The people holding the torch (not an actual torch at all) were walking not even trying to run! Too funny.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Well hello there, blogging world! It has been a while. Most of you already know that we have moved to another country. We have moved to the South Pacific to the
I wanted to start from the beginning and go through our lives as we arrived in
Josie and John arriving in Fiji - after our 10.5 hour flight!
So from the
Whew… it was long trip especially with two kids in tow and 12 suitcases! The kids did amazingly well, I was jealous of them on the airplane when I looked over and they were sleeping, they looked so comfy all cozied up in the seats. We were fortunate and could sprawl out over 3 rows of seats! Little Josie finally conked out on the long LAX to Fiji flight, John was so excited to be on a BIG airlplane that he watched every movie on the movie channels, he finally fell asleep with only 3 hours left on the flight. So when we arrived in
We stayed one night at the resort across the street from the house we were finishing, and then moved into the apartment. The first night in the apartment we got all settled and put some rice on to start dinner. Then the lights went out. No power. Hmmm, I know I have a candle in one of the suitcases, search through 12 suitcases and finally find the candle – get it lit and then realize that the rice is completely burned! The stoves are all powered with butane gas so it kept cooking even when we had no power. Pretty funny, the kids were troopers and ate just rice for dinner. We were all so tired, we crawled into bed, and were out in no time.
Monday, March 01, 2010
(Picture on right is leaving Ano Beach)
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Derrick and I on tapa island. We went to a paella restaurant there.