28 September 2017

2017-09-23 fire on hill to north Cr

Snap crackle pop!   First Austin heard the sounds, then he saw the flames, then he yelled for me to come with my camera.  Geez Louise – I didn’t even catch the biggest flames.  Some were 40 feet above the hilltop (very briefly).  So the hill to the north now has a nice wide burn scar on it.  Lucky for us, flames go uphill more than sideways, or the fire could have crept down and over to our property.  They didn’t.

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No photos for it, but two ladies from the 2017 census came to get our info yesterday.  I was the one home for it.  Everybody’s name, date of birth, religion, education, work.  Status of land (leased, freehold).  How many rooms, i.e. bedrooms and sitting rooms …. that surprised me when I counted: we have 19 !!  Do we have a stove, refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, generator, sewing machine? … and my favorite question because I didn’t even understand it at first – Is there a tap for every toilet?  (i.e. is there a sink, a place to wash hands)   Yes.

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The rest this week is artsy-fartsy stuff.

2017-09-21 vase and flowers

Monica made this beautiful and weird flower arrangement.

2017-09-24 a flower from Kiki Cr

Kiki brought me this flower.  (It is a passion fruit flower.)

I took photos of the dogs to try to learn to sketch them.  Po

And Torsett.   I don’t expect publishers to be flocking to me to illustrate stories any time soon…..


I was decluttering and found two sculptures from son Guy when he was 16 or 17.

Kiki saw them and just LOVED THEM (what boy wouldn’t?)  Ha ha.   Guy generously said I could give them to Kiki.  Happy him.  (Also happy me – two more items out of my house!)

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Another thing I found while decluttering, something set aside for a rainy day so to speak:  an unbrella!  And it rained a bit.  And I used it!

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Happy week, everybody.

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21 September 2017

2017-09-20 Beqa & Yasawas HC workshop R

We have another Happy Chicken workshop going on – this time with 3 people from Beqa, 10 from Yasawas and one from Nausori.   Austin’s workshops are getting better, I think.  I’ve seen participants in the chicken pen this time, and foraging for the plants that are good chicken food.  It seems to be even more hands on.

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2017-09-14 march of the millipedes Cr

Austin brought these millipedes for me to immortalize.  Why?    Seriously – why?  (I’m not a big insect fan.)  He says they are cute.  Also they are only found in Fiji, and have managed to hold their own against the chickens.  (They also secrete spit that can raise a blister – so no thanks on the millipedes.)   And, by the way, they’re not insects – they’re their own group.  (That’s good, because I actually LIKE some insects, like dragonflies….)

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You’d think I’d have seen folks out in the fields with hoes, but actually this was the first time.

These are all friends.  I asked what crop and they told me “bindi” (okra).  They’re getting ready because they are expecting rain.  I hope they’re right.

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Glimpse of future delight (I hope).   Akka and I went to buy a bunkbed for Kiki at the home of a friend from the coast, Tessa.   Akka knew she was building a bure (traditional house).   It’s done and she took us for a look-see.  Turns out she uses the bure for her massage business.  I didn’t know she has a massage business!

Oh boy!

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I know what I’m looking forward to.  I hope you all have happy plans ahead as well.

Love to all.

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14 September 2017

2017-09-09 cane trucks 2 Cr

These are cane trucks.

Now that you know what to look for, this is a lot more cane trucks lined up for “crushing.”  I took these photos from a bus as I was leaving Labasa – big town of Vanua Levu (island to the north) – in the early morning.

2017-09-09 cane trucks 1 Cr

The first time I went to Labasa (1999) everybody looked all serious.  The next time I went (maybe 2003) everybody looked relaxed and happy.  Turned out my second trip occurred during “crushing season” – that is, the sugar cane was being crushed – and everybody had money in their pockets 🙂   People looked happy this time I went, too.

The reason I went, as you might remember from last week, was for the funeral of my good friend Jone.  If you like, you can read about that here .

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Here come da FUZZ.  🙂

2017-09-01 here come da fuzz R

One afternoon these police officers dropped by to say hi, just because they were curious about the farm, the homestay, the chicken project and everything.  We had an informal and spontaneous afternoon tea and then Austin took them on a short farm tour.

Now there is a Neighborhood Watch being formed.  Meeting of the menfolk at the Indian temple tonight.

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To me – this was the very most interesting thing of the week.

2017-09-13 cement damage 1 Cr

Sarat (a builder) and his wife Roshni, our friends, wanted to see Beamer’s grave, because he is in the process of beautifying his parents’ grave.  When we went, some of the plaster was knocked off, as you can see above.  Austin was irked thinking some child had thrown a rock, some little child who lives with us, but I’m not naming names.   Sarat disagreed.

Sarat told Austin to look more closely.

2017-09-13 cement damage 2 Cr

There was a seed in the plaster.  See?   It was that seed expanding when it started sprouting that broke the plaster!   We were shocked that a seed COULD sprout inside a wall.  That is some strong seed!

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Happy week, Everybody.

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7 September 2017

It is a short week, folks.  Austin took off for a UN conference about Something, in Auckland.  Before he left, he insisted I take a photo of this:

2017-09-01 nest of ducky joy Cr

A nest of ducky joy.

And of this

2017-09-01 Duck from shell Cr

A duck about 75% hatched.   Duck on the Half Shell.

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Right now I am on bus and ferry journey taking me to Labasa (big town of Vanua Levu, island to the north), going to another funeral.  The deceased is Austin’s and my dear friend Jone Salele.  (pronounced Cho-nay Sa-lay-lay)   Though I was shocked and deeply sad when I found out he died on Sunday morning, I’ve accepted the inevitable and am ready to celebrate his life.

Jone IMG_0714

(I may dust off my “Celebrating the Baha’i Calendar” blog and do a proper write up about Jone there when I get back.  Isa, isa!  Jone, Jone!  Big heart!  Big shoes to fill!)

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Happy week, everybody … and do not take your peers for granted!

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