1 August 2019

Got some Flora:

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Mandarin picking – finally.   The tree was just about empty by the time we got around to doing it.   Shake shake shake.

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Got some Fauna:

The moths are back.   Not so photogenic, but this is huge.  We used to have so many moths, then we had none – it was if the natural world was collapsing.  Now we’ve gotten some decent rain, and we have some insects – hooray.

And some Fauna everyone will want to see

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Puppy bath!

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Short blog, so time to plump up with some signs around town:

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Happy week, everybody.

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26 July 2019

OOPS!  I lost track of the week.  I only realized I’d messed up when I started getting hundreds of texts from distraught blog followers … NOT.   Ha ha.

In any case, it is Friday here instead of Thursday … we had a busy week.  A group of NINE from Australia on a massive activity package.   I only got kitchen shots.  Faith got heaps of other photos that will show up other places.

Making Roti

Here the group is learning to knead and roll Indian flatbread.

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We put the single burner on the dining table for it.  The breeze made it a challenge.

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And here is a sample of one of their expertly turned out rotis being fried.

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(ha ha)

Making Chocolate

Turns out Annelise, one of our guests, used to give tours in a small chocolate factory back in Florida, and she upped our game.

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We weren’t milling the beans long enough.  She had us grinding them for close to 72 hours!

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Putting the liquidy chocolate into molds.

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Somebody got the bright idea of using warm milk for the wash up instead of water.

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Yummy cocoa.

PS – Annelise says we cannot call the plant and the fruit “cocoa” ever again.  It is CACAO – and a product of it is “cocoa.”   CACAO, guys!   Ok.

Making Soap

Austin led them all in making soap.

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Here is is taking it out of the molds with a guest and grandson Leo.

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In town this morning I was looking around.

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For those of you who know Sigatoka – this is the back road by the fire station.   They’ve cut back the hill (that used to go to the sidewalk).   There are rumors that the bus stand is being moved here.  Or the market.   I’ll let you know.

And just opposite – what the heck?!

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“Post-Henge” ?    This can’t be new, although I never noticed it before.  Why are there so many concrete pillars together???

And just for a touch of fauna –

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Another dead bird.    I look down too much.

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Oh yes, one more whoop-dee-do at the farm:

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Fiji TV

They came to do a segment for their Talk Business show about the homestay.  I was on camera and felt like an idiot.   Then Monica went on and looked great.  She was giving them a tour of the place and showing them good shots to take, when they met Junia.   They loved Junia.

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Here they are with Ju up in the tree house.

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Happy week, everybody.

And Happy Birthday, Akka.

And Happy Anniversary, Austin.

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18 July 2019

The Fauna and Fauna report – nothing Floral caught my eye this week.

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Walking on the little bridge from my house, I was stopped short several mornings by this:

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A line of dashes,  or  Lines of dashes.

Very flippy in the morning sun.  I’ve seen some strange spider webs, but this is the first time I have noticed dashes.

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On the same walkway –  four hens figuring out how they can all use this exceptionally terrific laying spot.

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(Not where any of them are supposed to be laying, but they are bird-brains.  What can I say?)

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Austin has been working hard getting the pool nice for a large group of guests coming.

“Guess what I found swimming in the pool just now?”  he said to me.  “A HEN! …. OH!  There she is.”

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She didn’t look all THAT mad….

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Also getting ready for these guests – I stenciled Sulus.

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Sulu  (soo-loo) means “cloth”

It can also mean a specific cloth that you wrap around and use as a quick skirt.  Two yards or two meters for an adult.

A “pocket sulu” – is a tailored skirt with pockets that is formal wear for Fijian men.

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(I’d do better, but I’m really pooped)

Happy week, everybody.

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11 July 2019

I’m pretty sure Nicole was worried ever since she left that Granddaddy was going to get rid of Quasimodo, her crooked-neck goose pet.

Didn’t happen.

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Quasi got a JOB!   She is the baby duck and baby goose Nanny!

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In a similar vein, Junia may have been worried that Granddaddy was going to use his absence from the farm as an opportunity to off-load Angel Puppy.

Yep!  That happened.

Here she goes into the arms of her new and very happy owner.

….  Ju came home and he approved of the move.  He says Angel had started digging up stuff like Dino used to.

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Junia and Austin are both eager to keep and train up the best of Winky’s pups –

now in their second week.

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Winky is keeping herself well-fed.

This pile of black feathers was just outside her door.

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Faith and Nicole’s Vegetable Garden is doing well.  Junia took me for a tour.   All I would see is unruly green leaves if he did not point out exactly what to look for:

We have (in some order above)  amaranth, basil, cabbage, cilantro, corn, lettuce, tomato.  The amaranth (moca) is a by-stander in several other photos.

The significance of these veggies is that if we can get a guaranteed continuous supply, we will be able to guarantee farm-grown organic veggies in the homestay.  Upscaling!

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Junia and Nicole have been gone because Nicole had their baby, a handsome little boy whose middle name is Naqionitoga (nang-GHEE-oh-nee-TONG-ah).

Broken down into separate words, his name is na qio ni Toga,  meaning “the shark of Tonga”

So YES.  Junia and Nicole are the parents of


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Happy week, everybody.

I’ll leave with this beautiful shot of the Milky Way over the hatchery sent to us by TT Wong, taken by her husband Steven on their stay here a few weeks ago.

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4 July 2019

Study of the weather map:  Rain was coming and it was time to PLOW.

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So the tractor was hired.  Plowing took place.  And then it rained buckets – best rain we have had in many years.  Hooray hooray.

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Kind of off the flora-and-fauna topic, but we have a picky little eater here, and the Mama and our Kitchen Angel figured out how to make chicken nuggets:

OUR chicken nuggets have Coconut in them, and are really delicious.

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I’ve got so much junk in my phone.

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Here is a photo of a plumbing joint I needed to buy at the hardware store.  There are so many nearly identical parts – the only way to make sure I get exactly what the carpenter wants is to send me with a sample or a photo.   Also, it is guaranteed that if I need three items, I will have to go to at least 2 different hardware stores because nobody has everything….

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In town, parking behind the hardware store:

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Yep…..  that’s how we roll.

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One of the surprise high spots of the week,  one of our guests climbed into the back of our truck …

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And fixed out broken tailgate!

And the rattle from the back seat!

Hurry back, Ben!

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One bit of farm news without a photo is that the female sheep got her horns stuck in the fence.  Austin found her and released her.  A day later he went down and she was stuck again – but this time all the geese had gone down to surround and protect her.   Geese are really amazing creatures.  We had already seen them cooperatively protecting a weak or threatened fellow goose (constantly taking care of the crook neck goose, and trying to get another goose out of a hole he’d fallen into) – and now we know they extend their definition of “family” to include other animals that they live with.

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We were scared and sad.  Winky was very pregnant, but went on a hike with a guest anyway, and she never came home.   Folks went hunting for her that afternoon, and then again all the next day.  For her first litter she had hid under a breadfruit tree root – she was not there or anywhere else.

One person thought perhaps she had been stolen, since pups are always in high demand.  Two days passed.   To tell this truth, this felt grim. …..

And then a very skinny Winky showed up for water!

And she had found a new hiding place in a very unexpected location – actually not far from our house!

And she had had TEN puppies!

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Now all relocated to the bure on the top of the hill.   Happy ending.  Yay!

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FIJIAN WORD of the Week

KUA   (KOO-ah)  –  means  “Don’t”

I thought of it because of the “no parking” sign.    In Fijian the sign would start “Kua”  – I don’t know what “parking” is, and Honorable Barefoot Professor is on a little holiday so I cannot ask him.

I DO know  “I don’t know”  though –  that is  Au sega ni kila.   (Ow SENG-ah nee kee-LA)    It is a start.

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Happy week, everybody.

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