Trains and planes.

29 01 2012

I’m on a train.

I was looking forward to spending Cristmas and New Years AND my birthday in my village.

It’s a good thing it is time for ‘spel’ or holiday because the heat and humidity have been atrocious. I can barely stand walking the 10 feet from my sleep house to my kitchen house. I didn’t even think about cooking, only room temperature instant coffee for this gal. The heat here is bizarre, my kitchen thermometer never read over 80-82 degrees, yet the humidity had to be at least 90%. I’d wake up and by the time I made coffee, got dressed, and fed my chickens I had a nice glow going. So then it was time to sit in the hammock and read. After a few hours I’d walk to the water tank and stand under the gravity fed water while fighting off mosquitoes.

Then I’d go home, laze around until I felt like walking in to the village to hang out with somebody, wash clothes, or get some air by the ocean. Usually I’d take a bucket bath before going to bed in an effort to cool off enough not to be sweaty when I was lying in bed at night. Yeah, pretty garsh darn hot.

So hot that I have been a little less than happy about my growing number of chickens. They are a little too tame, and I find myself constantly chasing Nikolas and his 6 children out of the house. I wake up and they are waiting for me on my doorstep, ready to be fed. I used to give them a handful of dried rice when I had it, so they now know to go inside my house near my Tupperware food safe. Chickens are easily conditioned lil’ guys.

Because the headmistress and my closest neighbor are gone, I also have their chickens coming to my house to be fed. When they hear the first few whacks of my bush knife on a coconut, they all come running. Twenty fine-feathered friends to feed. And often times Hitler, the white rat dog who has been hanging out all break running between Nik and my house. He stays at my house until I finish eating and go in for the night, then he runs over to Nik at the kava bar where all the men feed him wasamoat. (mouth-washing food). Smart cookie.

Did I mention I was on a train?

A few days before Christmas I got the results back from the lady test I got taken during my mid-service medical. I had a very frustrating 2-3 satellite conversations with our doctor along with several texts back and forth. This prompted the immediate installation of our satellite phone antennae, which has been sitting in my kitchen for months. Now I have a massive bamboo tower outside my kitchen, which the villagers call my “Digicel Tower.”

The only thing I got from the conversations was that a) my pap smear results were not good b) I had to go to Brisbane for follow up tests c) it wasn’t bad enough to rush me out, I could enjoy Christmas and New Years with my village. Which I did. It was lovely and understated and not full of commercialism and materialism and all the crap that stresses people out during the holidays. Resting, family time, and eating were the focus- as they should be.

A very young man (25-30ish) became very sick and died within a week right before Christmas, most likely Hepatitis B. He left a really young wife and three children under the ages of 4, one still breast-feeding. That was fairly depressing thing to have right before Christmas.  I also saw another cow inhumanely killed and slaughtered, never fun to watch… but delicious.

Speaking of delicious, I bought tin meat and my family baked tuluk, easily one of my favorite island meals.

Nik was the sleaziest Saint Nicholas you ever did see. He danced, powdered, and brought cheer and fear to each and every village kiddo, even in the pouring rain.

I have yet to explain why I am now on a train, but it turns out I cannot type or work on the computer while on this train. I’ll explain myself  and my medical fun later. Sorry this entry is all over the place. Being in civilization has made Jennifer a frazzly mess.

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One response

30 01 2012
Pam Blount

We re so glad we went in nov. Don’t think I could have stood the extra humidity. It was bad enough when we were there. have fun on your trip

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