27 December 2018

2018-12-24 Christmas eve crowd in town Cr

Maybe this doesn’t look that crowded, but  Christmas Eve was crazy busy.  There have been years I could not even walk – it wasn’t quite that tight this time, but close.  Akka and I went down to get Kiki back from his mom, and Akka waited at the Post Office … no way was he going to find any parking closer to town.

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2018-12-23 jackfruit anticipation R

Akka and a guest waiting in anticipation.  What for?

2018-12-23 jackfruit havest by 70 year old kid Cr

Jackfruit.

Guess what!  The man with the knife, our “old” friend, is SEVENTY years young.

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2018-12-22 wasp on kamaimai Cr

Wasp on kamaimai bottle.

Kamaimai (ka-MY-MY) is Tuvaluan syrup made from tapping the coconut flower – island version of maple syrup.   Austin brought some home from his trip to Tuvalu.  Now that Akka and Kiki are here, it is disappearing at an alarming speed.

Junia tells me this is a paper wasp.  He tells me THIS it the insect that nearly killed one of our guests!  https://ffwrfromfiji.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/17-march-2016/   These guys aren’t a problem unless they are disturbed – then they become very aggressive, and – unlike bees that can sting only once – these guys have machine gun stingers.  Ju says he had a paper wasp nest above his computer in his bachelor pad, and they were no problem at all because he never disturbed them.

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2018-12-25 lambs trying to get into pavilion Cr

Larry, Larry, Larry  – why do you and your friends keep trying to get into the pavilion?   Will these benches not dissuade you?

(Three guesses as to why we knew the lambs were hanging out there, and why we don’t want them there.)

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This year I know how to say Happy New Year without asking Junia

VAKANUINUI  VINAKA  NA  YABAKI  VOU

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20 December 2018

I’m starting a new solar orbit today by the calendar – physically tomorrow because of having crossed the dateline from where my solar orbits started….   Tonight there will be pizza!

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Only one photo in my phone this week – a real oddball photo.

2018-12-15 snowing feathers Cr

This is a little section (with good contrast) but the whole back yard looks like this – snowed under with feathers.

Why?

The geese or the ducks or both are pulling their feathers out like crazy, because I never saw such a feather-fall with just chickens.

Maybe they are nervous?  Maybe they are angry?  (I’m trying to think of what situations go with “I’m pulling my hair out over this”….)   Maybe frustrated in love?   Beats me.

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In any event, Happy week, everybody!

And … Vakanuinui Vinaka na Siganisucu    (Merry Christmas – in Fijian

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13 December 2018

Doing this chronologically – Dixie and I went to Suva and I took her to the museum.  There was ONE THING that I noticed that I’d never noticed before:

2018-12-06 fake tabua - museum R

Fake !!!   Lasulasu !!!  I never knew !!!  Fake tabuas – whale’s teeth.  Worth hundreds of dollars if real, but there are genuine-looking fake ones.  The information sheet to the right says that you can tell because the fake one is made of plastic and it melts when put to flame.  Sheesh!  Scammers in Fiji.  I really never knew.

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Ashmita, our kitchen angel, really gave making dhal balls (I forget the actual name) her best shot.

2018-12-09 Ashmita valiant try 1 Cr

She’d soaked the dhal and was ready to grind it – when the power went out.

So she found an old manual grinder on a shelf and wanted to use it, except it hadn’t been used for years, and was probably not cleaned well either.

2018-12-09 Ashmita valiant try 2 R

So she washed it and ground a couple of tomatoes through it.  I was very hopeful.

2018-12-09 Ashmita valiant try 3  Cr.jpg

Then she tried grinding the dhal.  Ick.  Grinder still dirty.   She made the dhal into soup.  Oh well.

Then she really took the grinder apart and cleaned it really well later.  She says she loves the old grinders – her grandmother had one, and they are really good.   So maybe we’ll try it again some time.

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I’ve been wanting to get a photo of Quasimodo, our crook necked gosling, for you.   Nicole got this shot.

2018-12-11 Quasimodo from Nicole Cr

And I got this one

2018-12-09 Quasimodo from Kim Cr

Quasi still gets around ok, and still eats ok, but it is getting more difficult.

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2018-12-10 fender bender NOT Kim R

OOPS ….. it was not me!  That’s all I’m going to say.

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Took a guest to the beach and there was a dead starfish on the sand up by where we park the car.   Dead.  I didn’t look twice.  But Junia did.

2018-12-11 six legged starfish Cr

It was a six-armed starfish!  Very unusual!

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And today – the biggest chicken egg I can remember having seen.

2018-12-12 gigantic chicken egg 1 Cr

Soooooo – did it have one yolk inside, or two?

2018-12-12 gigantic chicken egg 2 joke R

It had THREE !!!

(Just joking – lasulasu – that is a fake)

2018-12-12 gigantic chicken egg 3 true R

This is what was really in the egg – just two yolks and enough egg white for two normal eggs.

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FIJIAN WORD of the WEEK

You should know what it is.  It is lasulasu.  If you don’t remember, scroll up.  Heck, scroll to the top!

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Happy week, everybody.

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6 December 2018

HA!  It was another impossibly busy week, and the only photos in my phone are of paint to match – even I’m not interested in that any more…   BUT – I have a wonderful guest who took photos on her farm tour with Junia and even added commentary.

Therefore, I offer you “Farm Tour Impressions by Dixie!”

Dixie teenage chicks

(Dixie’s chicks.  ha ha.  She went for the “teenagers” instead of the hatchlings)

Here, Junior was telling me about why it is important to keep the young chickens separated from the others because of the “pecking” order, no pun intended, haha! Since they are secluded, they are able to be properly fed. If not, the older chickens would pick on them leading to improper feeding.

I even got to hold a chicken for the first time!

Dixie sacred mountains

From the pavilion, Junior told me about the two sacred mountains that are untouched. I find it amazing how those certain peaks used to be coral reefs. The chiefs realized that they were different than the other peaks and wanted to protect them. They are untouched to this day.

(That was news to me – because I do not listen.  Never knew that those mountains are “sacred”!)

We also talked about the different between Permaculture and Monoculture farming. I learned that many farmers in Fiji farm for exporting, but that this is just short term. They only farm what the exporters want in order to make money. But with Permaculture, it is self sustainable, and can last for long term.

Dixie sweet potato

Sweet potato!

Dixie physics tree - poison peanut

The Physics Tree! Thought to be poisonous by locals, the nut on this tree, though supposedly delicious, can be used to help out with your constipation haha!

(Oho!  I KNOW this one.  I blogged about it in one of my very earliest posts:  https://ffwrfromfiji.wordpress.com/2013/08/22/22-august-2013/   I called it the “poison peanut”)

Dixie drinking coconut

We ended the tour with fresh and delicious coconut! While enjoying my coconut, I learned how it is considered the Tree of Life by some. Every part of the tree can be used..to make oil, sugar, torches, and more! And the coconut water was scrumptious too 🙂

(Dixie told me she scored TWO drinking coconuts at the end of her farm tour.  I don’t know why I mentioned it to Junia, but he told me what happened:  he decided to try opening the coconut Malaysian style – and the coconut water ended up dribbling down Dixie’s shirt.  He asked her if she’d like a second one, and she said “SURE” – so he opened that one Fiji style.  Sometimes if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.)

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FIJIAN WORD OF THE WEEK

Tokani means “friend”

O Dixie na noqu tokani.    Dixie is my friend.   Junia says I acutally wrote that correctly.  Could have also been   O Dixie na noqu i tokani  – but doesn’t have to have that “i” (ee) = “the” in there.   (I probably sound a bit like Yoda in Fijian)

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Happy week, everybody.

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