31 October 2019


The blog-week started with a Teitei guest going for a village visit – and me hitting Traffic on the gravel road to the village!  Several cars!  This just wasn’t normal.

Here she is on her return – with powder on her face and a garland round her neck.  Side by side with All The Vehicles at the village

SOOOOO – what had happened is that an international rugby player was home from France, and having a huge wedding.  The whole village was invited, and all the relatives from other locations were also coming for the big event.

*     *     *

Then it was Diwali – the Indian festival of Lights … and fireworks … and sweets.

stock Happy Diwali.jpg

I got this greeting from Google images to put on Facebook for my friends.

The neighbors all set off fireworks, sending our dogs into panic attacks and also into our living space.

2019-10-31 Diwali sweets  R.jpg

And many people brought sweets to share – I didn’t think to get a photo until this morning … still have some left.  Thank you, everyone.

*     *     *

Folks are getting prosperous.  When we moved here 12 years ago, there was only one other family on this road that owned a vehicle.

2019-10-28 so much traffic on our road  Cr.jpg

Now there is the occasional traffic jam.

*     *     *

Anyway, Diwali was Sunday and then it was turn for the Baha’i celebration of the Twin Holy Birthdays – and it was a bicentenary, the 200th anniversary of the birth of the younger of the two Holy Ones.    We were inspired to give a celebration our best effort – here was the invitation.

Invitation Bicentennary 2019  R.png

But a party would have been utterly impossible without the help of our magnificent neighbors.    Here are ladies cooking, and this is only a few of them – there were about 18 cooks:

These photos don’t do it justice.  Started about 10:30 am, finished about 5:30.  Chicken curry with 26 of our old hens.  So tender.  An ice chest (minus ice) filled with puri (deep fried flatbread).  A cannibal pot full of aloo-baigan (potato and eggplant curry).  Another cannibal pot full of rice.  Lovo cassava (tapioca root) and palusami (taro leaf dish).  Salad.  Tamarind chutney.  Tomato chutney.  Oh, don’t forget the 150 hard boiled eggs.   Man, oh man!

But first there was a little program:

2019-10-30 Pavilion full of people  Cr.jpg

About 80 people in and around the pavilion.

Then food.

And dessert – 2 kinds of cake and 2 kinds of ice cream.  The kids lined up over and over.  ha ha.

And our own FIREWORKS!……   Our dogs were up on the hill with us – and boy did they take off!

The celebration was sweet and fun.

*     *     *

I have a few photos around the farm, but think I’ll just leave them for next week.

Happy week, everybody !

*     *     *



23 October 2019


2019-10-24 nopal cactus rising though cut off  CrE.jpg

This string of nopal cactus pads were cut a week or two ago for lunch and didn’t get used.  While they’ve been sitting there, they put up new shoots (circled in orange) – planning to grow big as though they were still connected to Mother Earth.

*     *     *

I promised to tell you about the PNG group.  They were here for four weeks on a workshop sponsored by Kyeema Foundation.  https://kyeemafoundation.org/   (This is the same organization who sent us Faith to help out – God bless them!)

2019-10-17 PNG biosecurity planning R.jpg

Here they are on their last day, figuring out how to have best-practice biosecurity in a poultry farm – using OUR farm as a test problem.

2019-10-17 PNG biosecurity plans  Re.jpg

Wow!  And here we have a map of our chicken pens – what chickens should go where, which order they should be fed in, etc. etc.    Beautiful plan!   We look forward to implementing it all.

2019-10-17 PNG farewell group photo  R.jpg

And here is their farewell photo.  Isa isa – I miss them already.

*     *     *

Akka caught this one:

2019-10-17 geese V-formation  Cr.jpg

Geese flying in a V-formation …. while walking.   Ha ha

*     *     *

You remember that Faith and Nicole’s veggie garden got repurposed as a juvenile chicken pen?   Well, the veggie plants were not abandoned.

2019-10-17 Faith's garden salvaged veggies  CrE.jpg

Into a wheelbarrow they went.

And then into the fenced area by the cantina that our Samoan friends put up for us.

2019-10-24 Faith's new garden 1 cantina  Cr.jpg

We have Kale!

2019-10-24 Faith's new garden 2 kale  Cr.jpg

We have Basil!

2019-10-24 Faith's new garden 3 basil  Cr.jpg

We have CELERY !!

2019-10-24 Faith's new garden 4 celery  CrE.jpg

*     *     *

Austin caught this one:

2019-10-21 kitties at laptop  Cr.jpg

The kitties were playing with bubbles on his laptop.  When the bubbles were gone, they were still trying to play.

*     *     *


Qase   (ngGAH-se) – is “old man”

Buinigone (mBU-ah-ning-OH-nay) – is “old woman”

This buinigone  is a little lialia  (“crazy”), sitting in the wai cevata  (“ice”)

2019-10-24 ice bath  Cr.jpg

*     *     *

Happy week, everybody !!

*     *     *

17 October 2019

Akka was in the truck with me on the gravel road to our house.  “Look!  Look!  See the wild turmeric flower!’

I didn’t stop.

“It is a really nice deep pink.  I never saw one that pink.”

So I stopped and backed up.

2019-10-14 wild turmeric flowers in Jeswant's drive  R.jpg

Akka hopped out and got the photo.

Funny enough, he was the one who pointed out the same flowers to me several years ago on a different road and made me stop for a photo.   They were pretty but paler.

*     *     *

Bruno is growing.

2019-10-17 Bruno getting bigger  R.jpg

Looks like a fine up and coming pup, doesn’t he!

*     *     *

Out for an evening walk, we saw a pair of yoked bulls just getting ready to go to work.

2019-10-14 yoked bulls heading to work in the late afternoon  Cr.jpg

“Be sure to get MY picture,” my neighbor joked.  He’s there in the dark blue shirt, if you look closely.

*     *     *

Best Idea Ever

One of our guests from PNG put a drinking coconut into the freezer.

2019-10-15 frozen cocnut water by Ali  R.jpg

Frozen coconut juice.   YUM.

*     *     *

Heaps of Chicks

We hatch 15-20 dozen baby chicks a week, and they’ve started piling up. Phone orders fell off.  Austin got sick one week and couldn’t go sell them in the market.  Then last Saturday, market day, it was rainy – and this – and that – and Austin didn’t go for the second week in a row.

2019-10-17 heaps of chicks in outside pen  Cr.jpg

So 3 week olds got put out into mobile rearing pens.  I don’t know HOW many dozens are in there.

Bigger ones (that Junia and I had failed to sell while Austin was gone) got better digs.

2019-10-17 Mami-Faith-Nicole's garden chicken pen 1  R.jpg

They are in Mami and Leo’s vegetable garden, that was revived by Faith and Nicole for veggies, and has now been converted into a step-up juvenile pen – a safe fenced place that is still “happy.”

2019-10-17 Mami-Faith-Nicole's garden chicken pen 2  R.jpg

There is an open “house” in it – with roosting poles – backed up against the grown-up-chicken villa.

2019-10-17 Mami-Faith-Nicole's garden chicken pen 3  R.jpg

And a roof of coconut thatch made by the PNG workshop folks and Faith.  (The PNG folks are leaving tomorrow morning, and I’ll tell you more about them when I post the Goodbye Photo next week)

*     *     *

Not His Fault

Remember I showed the little drone our guest a few weeks ago?  He gave me a file of photos he’d taken before he left.  I forgot about them.  Terrific photos!  So I want to end with my favorite:

Breeze - Boerger drone of pavilion  R.jpg

Boerge’s drone photo of the Pavilion, with a tiny shot of Boerge himself in the corner.

*     *     *


Wai batabata  (wye  ba-tam-ba-TA) – means “cold water”  – literally “water cold”

Wai cevata  (wye theh-VA-ta) – means “ice”

I think of it because my new  obsession is learning to take cold showers with internet instruction from the Iceman – Wim Hof.    And you can’t get the water “cold” here unless you add some ice.

*     *     *

Happy week, everybody!

*     *     *


10 October 2019


2019-10-10 Fiji Day Ashmita  Cr.jpg

And here is our adorable Ashmita – at work today – wearing her “My Fiji My Pride” top and Fiji flag inspired sulu.   Fiji became independent from Great Britain on 10 October 1970.  You know what that means for Next Year!!!

Ashmita is at work because we still have the workshop going.

*     *     *

The whole gang went down to the field to collect corn and papayas, and Junia forgot the feed bag he was going to bring.   No problem!   The Samoans grabbed a few coconut leaves.

2019-10-08 Samoan coconut baskets  R.jpg

And made big carrying baskets.   They are made in Fiji, too – but not all Fijians make them.  It looks like all Samoans still use them a lot.   (The coconut frond basket also features in the darling Samoan movie “Three Wise Cousins”)

And then the Samoans had to leave –

2019-10-09 so long Samoan friends  Cr.jpg

2019-10-09 Samoa PNG and homeys  Cr.jpg

It was hard for us to say good-bye.

Happily our five guests from Papua New Guinea are still here.  One of them was in the market and a local asked her where she’s from.  She said “Papua New Guinea” and the local asked “Africa?”  She repeated and he repeated.  Several times.  We laughed when she told us.  No one knows “Papua New Guinea” here – they only know “PNG.”   Everybody knows PNG is part of the Pacific.

2019-10-08 edible plants at workshop  R.jpg

Here are some of the PNG group with Teitei guests  looking at edible wild plants from around the farm.   We ate well that night!

*     *     *


2019-10-09 oja santa leaves  R.jpg

Austin’s latest “discovery” – oja santa leaves are very soft and very strong.  He is sure they will make excellent …. Toilet Paper.   HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

*     *     *

FIJIAN WORD of the Week

Drekedreke (ndre-KEHN-dre-keh) – is a woven coconut basket.

This is to prove that Fijians do know how to make the Samoan basket.  ha ha.

Draunikau (ndrow – nee – cow) is leaf.

So dranikau ni vale lailai   is “bathroom leaf”?   Honorable Barefoot Profesa tells me there is a REAL word for it.  So let’s learn this together:  nai taqari   (nigh- tang-gahr-ee)

*     *     *

Happy week, everybody.

*     *     *



3 October 2019

This is part of the farm cuteness this week.

2019-09-28 Daisy and kittens R.jpg

We took Daisy’s kittens out of their box.  She couldn’t get her mouth around their necks to pick them up, so she just stretched out to comfort them while she figured out what to do.   Ended up the game plan was “Wait for the big folks to put the babies back.”

*     *     *

2019-09-28 Guest's little drone R.jpg

Maybe “cute” isn’t the word the owner prefers…. but here is a little drone brought by a guest.  He went up to the pavilion to fly it and he took some amazing, beautiful photos.  I’ll share when they send the copies.

*     *     *

What REALLY took up all my time this week.

2019-10-03 chicks close  R.jpg

Awwww… little chickies.

Austin was/is gone doing coral work – so I have to take care of these little birds every two hours – water and feed.

2019-10-03 chicks  R.jpg

There are more than 15 dozen chicks in this box.  And I need to give fresh water, and feed, plus put down new newspaper every morning and “change their diapers” (pull up all the old newspaper and put down a new starter layer) every 4-5 days.

2019-10-03 big chicks  R.jpg

And there is also a box of bigger chicks.   So much for my life of leisure!

*     *     *


Sega na leqa  (seng-ah na leng-Ga) –  means “no problem”

Sega  means   “no’ (i.e. “none”)     “No” (i.e. “Don’t”)  is Kua.

Lega means “problem”

Like “hakuna matata”/ no worries, from Lion King.   But I like my own Fiji version better:  “tukuna mataka”  .  It means  “Tell me tomorrow”  🙂

*     *     *

Happy week, Everybody.

*     *     *