I’m using rain and my sore leg as excuses to skip church this morning. I’ll miss seeing people there but is nice to enjoy the relatively cool air at home. I’m listening to waves and the choir of the Catholic church as I type.
My family made an umu (stone oven) last night to roast a pig and some vegetables. I’d bought a small “pumpkin” (some kind of squash) at the market and they tossed that in for me. I’m trying to decide what to do with it today. Was planning to just sauté it a bit with some butter to heat it back up but it I could also make a nice pumpkin cream soup. I think I’ll make a tiny batch of soup and use the rest as a side dish for my chicken.
I helped the kids who were trying to get the breadfruit for the umu off the trees over my house. The technique is to use a long stick (about 12 feet) that has a notch/nail at one end. You get the stem of the breadfruit in the notch then twist to break off the breadfruit. Then you dodge as it falls. I knocked down three but they all splatted when they hit the ground – too ripe. One of the boys finally climbed high into the tree and I passed him the stick so he could get the ones at the top.
Bought a bag of lychee yesterday from a neighbor down the road. $1 US for a bag of the freshest, largest lychee I’ve ever seen. I gave several away to various kids and ate several myself. I’ll be having the rest for breakfast this morning.
Pineapple and mango season is officially over. Not a single one at the market. Very sad since I love them both and they won’t be back until just before I leave the country. I did snag some avocados, though, and plan to make some guacamole this evening.
Had to laugh at a couple of t-shirts I saw at the market yesterday. One was worn by a nice guy who let me get on the bus ahead of him. His said “Just kill him, Sole”. The “J” was actually one of the traditional war clubs that’s shaped like a “j”. Sole is like saying “dude”.
The other shirt was from Whole Foods. No, there is not a Whole Foods in Samoa. I just finished watching season 5 of Top Chef and they usually shop at Whole Foods. Irony and cosmic humor.
I was chatting with my “mother” yesterday and told her about the suggestion that I occasionally bathe in bleach water. She was shocked. Then she laughed and said “You’ll smell like clean laundry!” Better than smelling like dirty laundry, which is how I smell most of the time.
Am searching online for children’s action songs. English Day preparations have begun, even though it’s months away. The older kids will be doing Eye of the Tiger, We Are Family and a modified version of Country Roads. Here are the words we’re using. BTW – manaia means beautiful and Faga is the name of my village.
Almost heaven manaia Faga
Views of the mountains
Crystal clear blue waters.
All my friends there
Hangin’ on the beach
Young and old among them
Feel the ocean breeze.
Country Roads take me home
to the place that I belong
manaia Faga, beautiful village
Take me home,
I hear His voice
in the morning hours He calls me
As if to remind me of my home far away.
Driving down the road I hear God calling to me
from yesterday, yesterday
All my memories of the village school
Brown skinned children
Clear blue island sky
Daytime sunshine, oh so bright
Midnight moon a’glowin
Stars up in the sky.
Country roads take me home
to the place that I belong
Manaia Faga, beautiful village
Take me home, country roads
One of my kids just brought me some food. A gift from his uncle. He’s the one I typed the English test for last week. Nice gesture and very typically Samoan. If someone does something for you or gives you something, you thank them by giving them something in return. The food is two small baked taro and a large palusami. Palusami is young taro leaves wrapped around coconut cream then baked in the umu. A bit like spinach dip and delicious.
Time to kill a few of the dozens of flies in the house. Have a splendid Sunday. Or Saturday.