Sunday, August 16, 2009

Home Sweet Home ...

Learning to mix the yaqona. Doesn't look like I'm doing it right.

Scraping the coconut as fast as I can, subsequently winning the coconut scraping contest!!

My Fijian Ta and I at the homestay family appreciation day. We match ... awww.

Video of my new home in the village.

YAY! So the video FINALLY loaded, and now I feel the pressure to write a small blog as well to go along with it while I'm online. The video is a bit long, I apologize, but I hope it gives you a good idea of where I am living these days. You will notice that it is not insulated or sealed from the environment in anyway. The small broom leaning against the wall is the "sasa" I made from coconut palm fronds. How handy am I? There has been a few rearrangements with the arrival of a small table to go in the corner by the door. All the tubs on the counter in the kitchen house dried beans, rice, sugar, and powdered milk because I have no fridge. Even with the tubs and putting EVERYTHING I open in ziploc bags, ants are prevelant. So far (knock on wood) I have not seen a rat. Perhaps Simba is scaring them away by his king-like presence.

Besides the ants, I have what can only be called a hermit crab infestation. I know you think such a thing sounds crazy, but hear me out. The floor of my house is dirt. On top of that dirt (this is also in the video) is coral rubble, then dried sasa, then the mats. Inside all of the coral rubble happened to live hermit crabs before they were so rudely displaced to become my floor. They then like to crawl around the mats at night and against the tin walls and be all "clickedy clickedy like" ... is this not an infestation? Newest form of entertainment sans tv is to watch the kitten attack the hermit crabs.

Attempts at cooking in my kitchen have led to many failures. If you have any good recipes for how to cook dried kidney or black beans, please share!! I attempted to cook them and they didnt pick up the spices I added and just tasted bland and dry. My 2 attempts at making dahl (aka split pea) soup also ended badly: once because apparently chic peas are NOT split peas and 2 because the split peas never softened despite constant boiling attempts. Sigh ... I need Bobby Flay or that hot girl from the food network.

I would like any veternary advice anyone has for me: my kitten had what appears to have been a grand mal seizure yesterday. I've googled it and found out that cats can indeed have epilepsy. I was just wondering if anyone had any experience with this and advice to give me. The whole thing lasted about 5 minutes. He started to twitch and contort his body, lost control of his baldder, eyes were rolling about, and he started to foam at the mouth. Then he was fine and slept for like 2 hours in my lap and has been fine since ... back the annoying habit of sucking on my face at 5 am.

And on a final note, I guess I could bring up work. I've met with a few people in Levuka town on Ovalau that would like my help with some things like environmental impact assesments and giant clam farming, etc. Hopefully I will get busy soon because as of right now, I've read 5 books in 2 weeks.

Hope this has satisfied your Fijian thirsts and please stay in touch!