12 March 2015

2015-03-12 masi gwine to town  R

We started the week with Austin going to Suva and taking this little harvest of  “Masi” plant with him.  I was shocked at how tall the plants look when harvested – 12 or 14 feet long!  .   He was taking these to a friend in Suva who is planning to pound the core out into masi cloth.   I’ve never seen this done, and with masi growing here – I really need to learn.


Here is an old photo of the plant growing.


And here is an old shot of some beautiful masi cloth (which has been decorated – the masi itself comes out creamy white).

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– What’s good around the farm this week, Honey?

– Show them the macadamia nuts on the tree.

2015-03-12 one macadamia nut  Cr

ONE nut.  That’s all I could find.   One nut against our gray sky.

2015-03-12 bowl of macadamia nuts  R

But here is a bowl of them on Austin’s dresser.  Those are the big ones that he is planning to put into a nursery and transplant into an orchard he will create.   We haven’t eaten any of the macadamia nuts yet – the shells are super hard and we haven’t actually figured out how to get into them without pulverizing the middle.   I haven’t actually tried yet.  (Truth is, I don’t like macadamia nuts all that much.  Shhhhh – don’t tell, Austin.  He might be disappointed.)

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2015-03-12 trimming the fence  R

The blessed gray sky made the last day more tolerable (the sun is fierce), but I feel very sad for friends in Vanuatu who are about to get creamed by the currently brewing hurricane.   There was a chance that big wind was coming our way, so Austin and Junia have already started the season’s storm prep.   One of the first items of business is trimming the fences posts.   Living fence is CHEAP – you get a good and permanent fence for the cost of barbed wire only – but it keeps growing and when a strong wind comes, it can pull the fence tree right out of the ground.   We learned that during a banana typhoon a few years ago.

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2015-03-12 in town 1  R

I was hanging out in town waiting for a family member to finish shopping, and sat here by the Sigatoka River.  Shady, peaceful and pretty.

2015-03-12 in town 2  Cr

Then I noticed the boat.  One small boat.   With a roof!   It brought back memories of living in Chuuk Lagoon a couple of decades ago.  The “road” was (and I’m sure still is) the water.   Forty-five minutes from Tol (where we lived) to Moen (where the stores are) by motorboat.   Three hours by putt-putt, a slow diesel boat with a roof.   The dock in Moen was always crowded with little boats.  Boats tied to other boats, sometimes four or  six boats deep.    I’m feeling nostalgic.

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2015-03-12 3- legged bug  Cr

Finally a friend who limped onto my diary last night.  This is how he showed up – I have no idea what happened to 33% of his legs, or how he managed to walk as well as he did.

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11 thoughts on “12 March 2015

  1. I really like reading your posts, Kim, and would love to find a way to come out to visit, even stay in the guest house you have there. Seeing your post about the plant that can turned into paper for printing, turns out we have one of those here. It was a wedding gift from Bill Zucker! It is in our living room now, displayed with love. Also, I found the invitation to Bill’s wedding sent to us from Fiji – yes, that was the place. Keep up with the good work. The photos and writing are great!

    • Austin and I will be thrilled to have you and Cathy visit when you are able to get here – the calendar is usually open and we usually are not going anywhere. How nifty that you have a wedding gift on masi from Bill Zucker. I’d love to see a photo of it.

      It’s sad that Dorothy and Arthur, Bill and Siew Lian (Karen) are all gone on now. But how nice that the 4 of us are still kicking! Plus kids!

  2. Well Kim, you hit a soft spot this time with your blog. I can eat my weight in macadamia nuts. I think when I have been in Hawaii I spent most of my throw-away money on the candy. I wasn’t sure if the beautiful masi cloth was hand made or not. I know in some areas of the south pacific they dye their fabrics with local stains. Hope all is well. LG

    • There are traditional Fijian designs that are sometimes printed on regular cloth – but the only time I’ve known someone to dye a fabric with a local stain was when Austin tried dyeing white cotton clothes with mahogany sawdust in water. Maybe I can get him to try it again for this blog! Anyway – macadamia nuts await you!

  3. Hope all is well in Fiji. The news from Vanuatu sounds terrible. Do you have any way of communicating with people you know there? Can Fiji send aid to Vanuatu?

    • Austin is monitoring the news obsessively and we still do not have news of Tanna. Our friends in Port Vila are all ok, but so sadly, not the case for so many people. All the other island nations are rallying to send what aid they can. Austin is corresponding with aid agencies to try to send his Happy Chicken project over there.

      • I’ve just read that the UK has sent one plane with a couple of thousand shelter kits and solar lanterns/phone chargers. It should reach Australia on Wednesday morning, and then it can make flights to and from Vanuatu.
        I hope you can get your chickens into the system too.

  4. Hi Karolyn. That is great news from the UK. As for the chickens, Austin told me they should not go until June or July because the people have to rebuild their own homes first, and the plants have to be producing again so there will be food for the chicks. He’s already heard back from one of the aid agencies that is very interested in his project. God willing it comes to pass, I’ll tell about it here when it starts happening. (One item of business will be getting a more reliable incubator.)

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