Wednesday, October 15, 2008

White Sunday

White Sunday
Well we survived the White Sunday long weekend, each day we tried to do something different. Arrived at Sa’amoana Resort Friday evening just in time for Fia Fia night that started with a Arva welcoming ceremony of “carva” followed by a traditional umu (underground) baked meal. Then it was singing and siva dance by a local village group.
After a lazy Saturday breakfast it was into the van bound for the Sua Trench. (The surfers had a 5am wake-up call for the boat trip to the break where the boat is moored outside the surf.) After climbing down to a secluded beach I snorkeled back to a cave entrance in the cliff and two underwater swims into the hole with the ladder and climbed back out. Then it was a short walk to another trench and 5 meter jump into the water and another underwater swim through the cave to the surf and back again. It was a very low tide and only a low surge pounding the rocks. The climb out is through a tunnel in the cave. Then it was time for chocolate cake, fruit and water then the drive back to the resort.
Sunday we walked (with our golf umbrella and a water bottle) to the local Salamumu Methodist Church for White Sunday (Children’s Day). This is a celebration of children in all churches with special treats and lots to eat afterwards. The children put on skits and were all dressed in new mostly white clothes. Afternoons were spent around the pool and relaxing.
Monday morning we took a double ocean kayak for a paddle along the coast for a swim and a snorkel in front of the resort for F. The afternoon was a Hash run at Tafatafa Beach with the run starting at 2.30pm. We ran along the beach and track towards Nuusafee Island then it was through the scrub to a road and back to the coast road for a couple of k (a bit hot away from the beach breezes), then a shortcut back on a muddy track to the beach and an umu put on by Godfather, coconuts and free bottled beer. F already was sipping from a coconut when I staggered in and as there was limited beer (3 large eskys) I missed a down down although lots didn’t. Then it was into the food served on real china plates. Talking of Hash, last Monday we presented Samoa Lifeline with 3000 tala from our fundraising, it can be a lot of fun and friendship (not to mention the gumboot drinking) along with a more serious side. So we finally got back home in the dark to get ready for another week.
This week we got the 5.1 sound system installed and sound checked, and the broadband is in at last. I picked up canasta at Ladies Cards although some of the rules were different and I actually won a couple of hands. I started an oil painting of a turtle at art group on Thursday (11-4) and hope to finish it by Christmas. Gotta brush up on Mahjong.

R & F

Pics: Arva ceremony (welcoming each guest in turn hence the list), Fia fia meal, F and Anzac, Sua Trench, Coastline looking east and west, blowhole, pool cleaning with a difference, Hash.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fiji Trip

30SEP08 (Waiting for a modem and an internet connection at home)
The House
It’s Friday today, we have been in our house for two nights, the dogs in the area can really go on a barking spree at times and then the roosters chime in anytime after 4.00am. There is also a large diesel generator that has a low rumble 24/7. Reminds me of my Uncle Claude’s farm situated out on the Darling Downs. We will get used to it and it will be just part of the background noise. Our street is a dead end further up the hill so the traffic is minimal. We have a view of the next bay east of the harbour and are on a good rise with the University grounds over the back fence, so the ocean breeze is refreshing. The place has the equivalent of 24 sets of ceiling to floor louvers so the breeze can flow through, although it is a bit of a cleaning task. We are just camping at present with minimal kitchen and bedding stuff, waiting for our boxes to arrive. I cooked spagbol last night which went down OK with a cuppa and lamington for desert. Our first cooked meal in the house. Gotta join that gym !!!!
All of the maintenance issues have been fixed on our house and our tank is filled with town water (we now have a private pipeline, although it is only a trickle into the tank) and a 20 liter bottle in our dispenser for drinking.
On the social side I joined the Ladies Morning Tea at Paddles Café overlooking the harbour on Tuesday, as the token male. It was just good to find things out and swap information on where to shop and what was happening in Apia.
Monday night was a rainy Hash and there was a last minute change of venue and just a road run until Godfather decided we needed to add an extra long block, a coconut never looked so refreshing. At least it wasn’t in the swollen creeks and scrub that was originally planned.
I also got to play lifeguard for a two year old at Paloa Deep as we counted coral and rocks and dropped them back into the water.

Next week we will be in Fiji so I hope to see some of the sights as we drive from Nandi to Suva and back, hope I can adjust to driving a right hand vehicle again.

Well we are back from Fiji, 3 nights Nadi, 3 in Suva and an evening in Nadi waiting for the midnight flight to Samoa. Night flights suk !!! On our way to Fiji it was up at 2am, taxi booked for 2.45am, flight at 5.35am, I am not a morning person. Unfortunately I booked late and Business Class was the only seat available, so while I was in food and service heaven, F was back down the isle and because of turbulence didn’t get anything to eat or drink. We crashed at our hotel to emerge late Sunday for a drive to Nadi and Port Denerau ( a copy of a Gold Coast canal and marina development, about 1500 rooms in Hotels, shuttle buses etc.)
I went on a day package to Mala Mala Island, which was good value, although the coral was not a patch on Samoa. This was probably because of siltation from the mainland as Mala Mala is one of the closest islands with about a one hour run from Denerau. Overall I enjoyed myself and met some interesting people. One interesting person we ran into was Colleen Hewitt (Hair – the musical) as she signed a guitar and talked to a singer in a shop. In Suva I visited the Fiji Museum and read about the waves of settlement of the Pacific in the last 5000 years. The war clubs, cannibalism and the utensils for eating humans were a bit ghoulish (see the background behind Colleen), I didn’t buy any wooden forks for eating eyes and brains.
On Saturday evening the hotel had a dance and fire troup, some pics attached.
We flew back from Nadi and returned to our house at dawn to be awoken by amplified reverb music from a sports carnival on the uni oval, so much for sleep, it was time for breakfast anyway and shopping and checking out the volleyball comp. After a late sleep-in on Sunday we went to Sinalei for lunch and a snorkel, a lazy day before work starts again for F and I prep and paint the kitchen.
The Kitchen looks good in Sky Blue(it was on special), next is to do the white trim. I painted it with a brush, so I’m waiting a while for the next step. Also my left shoulder is missing some bark from a stumble on slippery rocks on Monday evening’s Hash run or should I say a marathon through jungle and cow paddocks. The teaming rain on the run back was just a relief, they did warn us to bring a change of clothes.