25 November 2020

This pile appeared on my porch.

about a thousand ears of corn

A new mountain of corn needing to be shucked. Plus four more feed bags full against the wall. Lucky we got it all in before the rain – but man, shucking that much corn is really hard on the hands.

Go, Team Shucksters !!

I got a helper. I slit the tops with a paring knife and started pulled the leaves down. Kiki finished pulling the leaves down and twisted them off the cobs (requires a lot of hand strength on the stubborn ones) – then putting the clean cobs to the side and tossing the shucks over his shoulder. Ay carramba!

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Stepped out one morning to THIS:

fat bougainvillea trunk…. and it is a “bush” !!

Those of you who have been here know the big bougainvillea bush. Somebody decided that this bush was going.

Rakesh working. Junia clowning around.

Going, going, Gone. What is INTERESTING about this is the REASON for its removal. We have noticed hornets building their nests close to the ground, a fairly accurate predictor of a bad cyclone season. This bougainvillea was already all wrapped around the guy wire to the power pole. Alas, alas – it was a security problem, and had to come down for the greater good.

The fellows did leave a bit, so it should grow back in time.

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I was invited to a “pooja” (prayer ceremony) of a neighbor doing her annual house blessing. She had noted the rain on Sunday and said she hoped the weather would clear by Tuesday, when the pooja was to take place. It looked like she got her wish. The morning was clear for the putting up of the flags. When I went at 1pm for the second part, it was still sunny and some of us sitting in the open porch were grumbling about the heat. Pandit-jee arrived about 2 and started. About halfway through this ceremony, a patter of rain started.

The rain got heavier. As Pandit-jee chanted, some ladies got up to move the mats people were sitting on. One person got a 2 meter length of roofing and poistioned it to stop back-splash from puddles at the edge.

And it POURED. Still the ceremony proceeded with calmness and deliberation, as those of us who had been sitting were now standing.

And then what won my heart. From up the hill four men came walking down under a large gray tarp together – making me think of a turtle. Very smootlly they came into the porch and secured their tarp to prevent any blow in. All the while dear Pandit-jee carried out the ceremony as pandits have done for thousands of years.

After it was all over, I told my friend how beautiful I found it. She replied that it was spoiled. But no – I tried to reassure her that is was Truiumphant.

Evevy candle ablaze despite the storm

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Happy week, everybody.

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19 November 2020

Where the “past” lives on. The hearse is the strong shoulders of the tallest men. A slow and dignified walk through the village. All are comfortably quiet. A cloud of love walks with us.

Before we had some prayers and eulogies.

Soon we will inter the body and casket.

Then we will share lunch and visiting.

This funeral was remarkably peaceful because the beloved one who has “graduated” was an incredibly gentle, peaceful, kindly soul – my son-in-law’s father, Frank Isaac Whippy.. Such an angel.

Go forth in joy, Frank. We love you.

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Have a blessed week, everybody.

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12 November 2020

I confess – I have done nothing all week except engage with my Obsession of the Month – trying to make a “stained glass quilt”

It’s not even one fourth finished, but since I haven’t done anything else, I have to show you SOME thing. Ha ha.

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I did have the joy of watching Ashmita cooking yesterday and chowing down on the results. Before she left, she prepped some jackfruit.

You remember jackfruit

Cleaning it is messy. Here it is at stage 2 – skin off, in big chunks.

And here it is in its final glory before cooking

One of the virtues of jackfruit is that it retains its volume when cooked – what you start with is what you end up with (unlike, say, spinach). Another is that it is toothsome. It makes a good vegan “pulled pork” or “shredded chicken.”

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Pulled out the camera for a sight that is so common in the tropics and something I don’t ever remember seeing as a kid in the temperate zone:

Rain coming.

I just now realize that there is a different tropical treat that I used to experience in Pohnpei that does not happen here – that is HEARING the rain coming like an elephant stampede. Must have to do with the size and density of the leaves…

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Last thing in my camera – something very cute

A mouthful of new adult teeth.

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Happy week, everybody.

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5 November 2020

Sigatoka used to have a set of clocks in a little tower at the roundabout at the beginning of town – but it got torn down about five years ago. There was nothing but dirt and sometimes flowers. Not any more. I give you …..

The NADRO STALLION. “Nadro” is short for Nadroga (Nan-drong-AH) – the name of our province. The horse is rearing up and resting a hoof on a rugby ball. Iconic for the folks here.

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Austin is away doing coral work. I’m lonesome.

Here are chickies tucked in for the night. Sometimes I feel like that duckling.

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Yesterday when I was visiting Martin, Manik (his father) asked me if I’d like some beans. “Sure,” I said. He gave me an arm full.

Manik apologized. Because of the rain, he had not been able to spray and so the beans have a little insect damage. YAY! We LOVE “not sprayed” – we don’t mind some insect damage, it proves it’s not sprayed!

For this, the export company would not buy his beans. Dummy customers.

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The National Geographic hide-your-eyes section …. just because I never posted this before.

Yep.

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Happy November, everybody.

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