Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas! I hope you have a wonderful day.

Last year I was in the village for Christmas last year and went to church at a village down the road.

After the service there was some gift giving among the members of that congregation. You can see the palm tree has been decorated with balloons and streamers (click on the photo to see it bigger).

We had a meal after the service too, and following the meal, some church members got up and sang some songs and had a great time doing it too.

This year I am in Australia for Christmas and it is good to be with my family, but I would also enjoy Christmas in the village again too. Our village went out singing carols on a few nights and I’m sad that I couldn't be a part of that, but I will enjoy my Christmas here in Australia.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Village Christmas decorations

I think our house was the only house in the village with decorations last Christmas, and again also this December. I’m not big into decorating and if I hadn’t been given the decorations that I have, our house probably wouldn’t have been decorated either.

My decorations are limited to just a small lightweight Christmas tree with lights that I got at a ‘white elephant’ Christmas party in Ukarumpa a few years ago, and two foil things that you hang up which a lady in Australia sent to me one Christmas.

One of the foil things broke in two, so now instead of having two foil things, I have three. Here was last year’s ‘house cook’ decorations. Can you spot all three foil things (seriously, what is the proper name for them?) and the Christmas tree on the table?

As the evening drew darker, our little house cook was aglow with the Christmas tree lights…

And here’s a closer up photo of the tree:

The tree on the table with people around it:

A couple of times this year I put Christmas tree inside the house on the windowsill and I thought it looked quite effective. Reminded me of seeing people’s Christmas trees at their front window in Australia.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Garden work with Mum and Dad

When Mum and Dad were visiting me, we took them to the garden in the bush and they did a bit of weeding. Here are some photos that Dad took (thus he is not in any of them!).

Mum with some of her weeds:

Ready to go back to the village – I have the backpack of garden produce:

Walking along the road on the way back:

Arrived back in the village and I am forcing a smile while thinking, “Hurry up and take the photo so that I can take this backpack off!”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Garden at Kovanis with Emily

When Emily was visiting me, we went to another village called Kovanis, and we went and had a look around a garden there. Here are some of the photos we took there.

The two of us in the garden:

The plants in the foreground are peanuts:

These are tobacco plants:

A watermelon growing:

Instant food – pick a watermelon from the garden and eat it:

Cocoa beans – this is where your chocolate comes from!

Some freshly picked aibika being put onto some leaves for taking back to the village:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Garden harvest

I like cooking with eggplants, but there’s hardly ever any eggplants for sale at the market near the village, so one of the things I planted in my vegie patch was eggplants. I have several eggplant plants growing quite happily in the garden. See some in the photo below:

I think they’re the kind of eggplant that’s called ‘Lebanese eggplant.’ They’re the long skinny ones anyway, not the big, fat dark purple ones that seem to be more common in Australia.

Here is one hanging on the plant:

These are the first two eggplants that my garden produced. I was very happy about them.

Another day, there was 5 eggplants ready to be picked, which I took a photo of (below) and another time after I had been away for two weeks, I picked 9 eggplants.

I also picked some aibika with those five eggplants, but it was only a small harvest of aibika because of the damage from the tree a couple of weeks earlier.

And here’s the aibika by itself. For those of you who are wondering what aibika is, here it is. This is aibika!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Garden disaster

As you know, I have a little vegie garden in the village. Well one morning after a windy night, we woke up to a small disaster in my vegie garden – a dead tree had fallen over and landed on top of my aibika plants, causing a lot of destruction. Here are some photos of the mess:

We spent some time cutting up the branches into firewood and clearing up the mess in garden. Here is a before and after photo taken of the same spot in the garden:

This is one of the bundles of firewood that we got from the tree.

I enjoyed cutting up the firewood and wasn’t too upset about the tree falling on the garden, but the sad truth is that almost all of my aibika plants were destroyed and we’ve had to restart the aibika plot with new plants and have a bit of a wait until we can pick and eat our own aibika again.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Making a new floor (hauling sand)

While Emily was visiting me, the village was busy preparing to host a workshop, and needed to make a floor for the shelter where the workshop was going to occur. Grass isn’t’ sufficient flooring, but sand is, so we got involved with the community in carrying bags of sand from the beach to the shelter.

First we needed to fill the bags with sand, so here’s me at the beach, scooping sand with a coconut shell into a 10kg rice bag:

Others used hoes and filled other types of bags:

Next I lifted the bag up onto my shoulders…

…and took it over to the shelter.

Then I turned the bag over and dumped the sand over the grass:

It took a lot of trips by lots of people to get the whole floor covered. Here’s Emily getting involved:

Finally, the week of the workshop came, and here are the participants under the shelter, enjoying the new floor and listening hard to the teaching:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Husking coconuts

One day when Emily was visiting me, we went to the bush and I helped one of my aunties to husk a lot of coconuts.

Here’s me carrying a couple of coconuts to husk:

Hard at work husking coconuts:

Resting a little:

Here are all the coconuts back in the village. I husked 14 of the 16 coconuts.

Finally, another photo of me husking a coconut in the village while Mum and Dad were visiting:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Teop sunrise

I’m not usually up early enough to catch the sunrise, but fortunately one morning Emily got up early and took these sunrise photos looking towards Teop Island.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Teop market with Mum and Dad

Mum and I walking along the aisle, looking at what’s available:

Some smoked fish:

Mum and I choosing some choko shoots to buy: