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Mo’orea, Society Islands

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It didn’t take much more than an hour to sail northwest over to Mo’orea from Tahiti. The actual spelling is Mo’ore’a, which in Tahitian means ‘yellow lizard’. Three ferries a day travel over to Mo’orea’s Val’are wharf.

This beautiful mountainous island is 10 miles wide and is completely surrounded by a crystal clear turquoise lagoon. Beyond the lagoon is a large reef, and Darwin once said, while looking at Mo’orea from a mountain top in Tahiti, that Mo’orea is a beautiful picture within a frame. In the photo below, one can see Tahiti in the distance.

Every photo taken looks like it’s been photoshopped, but it truly is just that beautiful!

This morning the creatures and I went for a dinghy ride to check things out. The mountains are so thick with foliage with dramatic peaks and valleys.

Small settlements are scattered along the coastline, separated from the ocean simply by a few coconut palms.

We had to watch closely for coral heads in the clear water as we moved through it, as some of them were large, but flat with tall pinnacles,

while others were stag horn and antler corals and spread out wide and close to the surface.

A gorgeous resort is located on the southwest end with bungalows over the water and an exquisite reef to explore.

Since it is paradise, there is of course plenty of area without coral if that’s what you prefer!

When we returned to Tanda Malaika, a ray welcomed us home and our sweet friends on Makara, (Ian and Erika), came over for a visit.

Erika brought me some keifer in sugar water to experiment with – she’s experimenting too. So if anyone is a pro at the water keifer, I could use some advice. She also let me borrow her book called Wild Fermentation, because I want to start making my own sauerkraut and kimchi.
Ian and Danny worked on building a new starter, using a blue footed boogie feather, pine sap from the island of Yap, the spring from inside a nebulizer and a zip tie. It worked and we now have two running engines. VOILA!

Far out there!!!

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The past few days are a blur. Due to the medication I’ve been on for sciatic pain, my brain has been some place I’d never heard of or discovered yet. During that time I asked Aidan how his non existent hamster is, I conversed with Mycah concerning upcoming plans about half a dozen times only to realize today that I’d never heard about it before. I discussed an upcoming flight for Danny, ‘we’ agreed to him accepting it and today I heard I’d agreed to him leaving for a month – maybe two.Three days ago I passed out twice here on the boat while we were all working on projects, both times waking up to find concerned family members around me as I’d French kissed the floor.
Two days ago I showered and dressed (with all clothing items on the correct body parts), and began walking to the temple. Danny and the creatures had decided to go hiking up to some waterfalls. Mycah took this gorgeous photo there.

After about an hour of walking I was drenched in sweat mostly from sciatic pain, but also from the humidity, and even though my head was spinning around at incredible speeds, because of my ninja skills I noticed a vehicle drive passed me, turn around farther up the street then drive passed again – this time very slowly. I wasn’t sure if I was going to need to give them directions some place or use my Jackie Chan moves, but somewhere in my floating head, I was ready!. They turned around again and this time stopped next to me, rolled the window down and sweetly asked if I needed help. I guess I must have looked pathetic. I tried to focus my blurry eyes on them and told them I was walking to the temple, and just as they told me they’d give me a ride and opened the door, I woke up half an hour later in the Emergency room of the hospital. After some time of me drifting in and out of some sort of dimension combined with an English word here and a French word there, they pried Danny’s cell number from my comatose mind, did an EKG and drew about 48 gallons of blood with a needle the size of the Alaskan pipeline. I quite enjoyed the entire experience telling jokes I’d forgotten the punch lines to. I’m still not entirely sure but I think the EKG showed my blood sugar was extremely low and the blood work showed that my pacemaker was doing its job…or something like that.

I do recall sometime in there some half naked men running a race carrying lots of fruit! Bazaar, I know, but welcome to my week!

Other men were loaded with far more than just bananas…we’re talking about an entire fruit salad for a tri-county picnic.

When I left the hospital I was told that they highly recommend me having an ultrasound on my neck to check out what mischief my arteries are getting up to. Danny showed up some time in there – I have no recollection of when or if it was really him, but I knew the nice man drove me to the marina and I ended up on Tanda Malaika to rest.

Yesterday I left the boat while all but Danny were asleep and walked to where the clinic was for the ultrasound. My sciatica pain was really getting old and exhausting.The only effect I could see I was experiencing from the meds was scrambled egg brains. I arrived at the clinic and spent literally an hour (which felt like 4 hours) being sent to different departments, up and down stairs and finally told I’d need to go to a hospital for the service about 480 miles away. I’m proud to say I didn’t cuss once, but instead left with a garbled ‘merci’ from my parched mouth, and began my next trek. At about mile 111, I noticed a beautiful mural and studied it as I held onto a street pole in appreciation of the incredible talent and time it had taken. II wished I could be the girl sleeping so peacefully.

By about mile 298 another mural caught my eye, and I leaned against an electrical box of some sort and studied every detail of the art work. I was amazed.

What seemed like 3 days later I reached my destination and stumbled inside like a zombie from The Walking Dead series. I sat down for a few minutes to catch my breath and checked my phone for the first time. Danny had texted and when texting him back he told me he was getting a tattoo in 20 minutes and that Jude and Mycah wanted to find me and keep me company. The twins accompanied Danny. I walked over to check in, handed them the order for the ultrasound, and was told to return on Monday. I’m not sure if it was the fire in my eyes, the sweat dripping from me all over the woman clean desk, or the fact that I told her that Monday was never going to arrive for her if I didn’t get it done today, but she told me to take a seat and she’d squeeze me in in about 3 hours. I then walked over to the general med area and demanded a big fat dose of anything at all – I couldn’t care if it was windex, to be injected into my hip for my sciatica. The doctor smiled and told me that people here NEVER ask for injections because of the pain. I told him I’d birthed several children, I’ve hung upside down after been impaled on 4” spike, all my body weight pulling down on the metal in my leg, I’ve ripped my knuckle in half, sending it down the side of my finger and more importantly, I’m African, so bring the dang needle even it’s size put a javelin to shame, and show me the love! He handed me another flipping piece of paper and told me to take a seat. Jude and Mycah arrived, we chatted a while and they left to check on Danny.

I was finally called back and the doc told me that the injection may bring relief for 6 hours or it may bring relief for 6 weeks – it depends on the person. I told him I’d take my chances and he drew up a some sort of concoction that looked like fabric softener, which was fine with me, and asked if it would be ok for him to get a nurse to hold me down because it’s very painful. Once I had him convinced that they simply didn’t have a hospital employee strong enough and that I welcomed and adored pain, he counted in French and slammed that baby into my right hip/buttocks area then exclaimed, “VOILA!” It hurt so good. I thanked him profusely and since I still had a couple hours I walked around, hoping it would encourage the fabric softener to spread quickly. My appointment time time eventually arrived and I lay down on nice clean hospital bed – not having felt any pain relief yet. The Radiologist gooped up the ultrasound wand and slowly moved it up and down my neck, periodically stopping to type some things into the computer. I’m not sure how long I’d slept and I hoped I hadn’t snored, and was at first embarrassed about the amount of drool on my neck but quickly remembered it was KY gel from the ultrasound. I sat up at the starring doc and smiled at him and said, ‘VOILA!” I didn’t understand 90% of what he explained to me, only that I had growths on my thyroid and that I needed a neck and brain scan, I thanked him, and paid my bill then made my way to the exit, Too many walls for this girl for one day! The hospital fees for two days, EKG, fabric softener in the hip, ultrasound and consultation with the radiologist, plus medications all came to about $250.
The creatures arrived as I was exiting the building, we stopped for an ice cream (I had mango sorbet) and walked back to the boat.

I’ve learned a lot the past few days. I learned I’m stronger than I thought I was. That my children are even bigger Angels than I thought as they let me lean on them for support and they cooked dinner. I learned there are two main types of people…those that love unconditionally and would walk to the ends of the earth with you without judging like a true disciple of Christ and those that ‘love’ only under certain conditions. These people in Tahiti love BIG. They share and laugh and work together, sitting in circles singing in the parks, with their genealogy beautifully recorded onto their bodies. Some of them are massive and few are petite, some are more dolled up than others while others are natural, and they are all so beautiful. I love these people with all my heart. We leave for Mo’orea today, which is another of the Society Islands. I pray my sciatic pain will fade away so I can be active like I usually am, and maybe there, we will once again take our imperfect selves and find those that we can serve, love and learn from.

Far out there!!!

Posted on Updated on

The past few days are a blur. Due to the medication I’ve been on for sciatic pain, my brain has been some place I’d never heard of or discovered yet. During that time I asked Aidan how his non existent hamster is, I conversed with Mycah concerning upcoming plans about half a dozen times only to realize today that I’d never heard about it before. I discussed an upcoming flight for Danny, ‘we’ agreed to him accepting it and today I heard I’d agreed to him leaving for a month – maybe two.Three days ago I passed out twice here on the boat while we were all working on projects, both times waking up to find concerned family members around me as I’d French kissed the floor.
Two days ago I showered and dressed (with all clothing items on the correct body parts), and began walking to the temple. Danny and the creatures had decided to go hiking up to some waterfalls. Mycah took this gorgeous photo there.

After about an hour of walking I was drenched in sweat mostly from sciatic pain, but also from the humidity, and even though my head was spinning around at incredible speeds, because of my ninja skills I noticed a vehicle drive passed me, turn around farther up the street then drive passed again – this time very slowly. I wasn’t sure if I was going to need to give them directions some place or use my Jackie Chan moves, but somewhere in my floating head, I was ready!. They turned around again and this time stopped next to me, rolled the window down and sweetly asked if I needed help. I guess I must have looked pathetic. I tried to focus my blurry eyes on them and told them I was walking to the temple, and just as they told me they’d give me a ride and opened the door, I woke up half an hour later in the Emergency room of the hospital. After some time of me drifting in and out of some sort of dimension combined with an English word here and a French word there, they pried Danny’s cell number from my comatose mind, did an EKG and drew about 48 gallons of blood with a needle the size of the Alaskan pipeline. I quite enjoyed the entire experience telling jokes I’d forgotten the punch lines to. I’m still not entirely sure but I think the EKG showed my blood sugar was extremely low and the blood work showed that my pacemaker was doing its job…or something like that.

I do recall sometime in there some half naked men running a race carrying lots of fruit! Bazaar, I know, but welcome to my week!

Other men were loaded with far more than just bananas…we’re talking about an entire fruit salad for a tri-county picnic.

When I left the hospital I was told that they highly recommend me having an ultrasound on my neck to check out what mischief my arteries are getting up to. Danny showed up some time in there – I have no recollection of when or if it was really him, but I knew the nice man drove me to the marina and I ended up on Tanda Malaika to rest.

Yesterday I left the boat while all but Danny were asleep and walked to where the clinic was for the ultrasound. My sciatica pain was really getting old and exhausting.The only effect I could see I was experiencing from the meds was scrambled egg brains. I arrived at the clinic and spent literally an hour (which felt like 4 hours) being sent to different departments, up and down stairs and finally told I’d need to go to a hospital for the service about 480 miles away. I’m proud to say I didn’t cuss once, but instead left with a garbled ‘merci’ from my parched mouth, and began my next trek. At about mile 111, I noticed a beautiful mural and studied it as I held onto a street pole in appreciation of the incredible talent and time it had taken. II wished I could be the girl sleeping so peacefully.

By about mile 298 another mural caught my eye, and I leaned against an electrical box of some sort and studied every detail of the art work. I was amazed.

What seemed like 3 days later I reached my destination and stumbled inside like a zombie from The Walking Dead series. I sat down for a few minutes to catch my breath and checked my phone for the first time. Danny had texted and when texting him back he told me he was getting a tattoo in 20 minutes and that Jude and Mycah wanted to find me and keep me company. The twins accompanied Danny. I walked over to check in, handed them the order for the ultrasound, and was told to return on Monday. I’m not sure if it was the fire in my eyes, the sweat dripping from me all over the woman clean desk, or the fact that I told her that Monday was never going to arrive for her if I didn’t get it done today, but she told me to take a seat and she’d squeeze me in in about 3 hours. I then walked over to the general med area and demanded a big fat dose of anything at all – I couldn’t care if it was windex, to be injected into my hip for my sciatica. The doctor smiled and told me that people here NEVER ask for injections because of the pain. I told him I’d birthed several children, I’ve hung upside down after been impaled on 4” spike, all my body weight pulling down on the metal in my leg, I’ve ripped my knuckle in half, sending it down the side of my finger and more importantly, I’m African, so bring the dang needle even it’s size put a javelin to shame, and show me the love! He handed me another flipping piece of paper and told me to take a seat. Jude and Mycah arrived, we chatted a while and they left to check on Danny.

I was finally called back and the doc told me that the injection may bring relief for 6 hours or it may bring relief for 6 weeks – it depends on the person. I told him I’d take my chances and he drew up a some sort of concoction that looked like fabric softener, which was fine with me, and asked if it would be ok for him to get a nurse to hold me down because it’s very painful. Once I had him convinced that they simply didn’t have a hospital employee strong enough and that I welcomed and adored pain, he counted in French and slammed that baby into my right hip/buttocks area then exclaimed, “VOILA!” It hurt so good. I thanked him profusely and since I still had a couple hours I walked around, hoping it would encourage the fabric softener to spread quickly. My appointment time time eventually arrived and I lay down on nice clean hospital bed – not having felt any pain relief yet. The Radiologist gooped up the ultrasound wand and slowly moved it up and down my neck, periodically stopping to type some things into the computer. I’m not sure how long I’d slept and I hoped I hadn’t snored, and was at first embarrassed about the amount of drool on my neck but quickly remembered it was KY gel from the ultrasound. I sat up at the starring doc and smiled at him and said, ‘VOILA!” I didn’t understand 90% of what he explained to me, only that I had growths on my thyroid and that I needed a neck and brain scan, I thanked him, and paid my bill then made my way to the exit, Too many walls for this girl for one day! The hospital fees for two days, EKG, fabric softener in the hip, ultrasound and consultation with the radiologist, plus medications all came to about $250.
The creatures arrived as I was exiting the building, we stopped for an ice cream (I had mango sorbet) and walked back to the boat.

I’ve learned a lot the past few days. I learned I’m stronger than I thought I was. That my children are even bigger Angels than I thought as they let me lean on them for support and they cooked dinner. I learned there are two main types of people…those that love unconditionally and would walk to the ends of the earth with you without judging like a true disciple of Christ and those that ‘love’ only under certain conditions. These people in Tahiti love BIG. They share and laugh and work together, sitting in circles singing in the parks, with their genealogy beautifully recorded onto their bodies. Some of them are massive and few are petite, some are more dolled up than others while others are natural, and they are all so beautiful. I love these people with all my heart. We leave for Mo’orea today, which is another of the Society Islands. I pray my sciatic pain will fade away so I can be active like I usually am, and maybe there, we will once again take our imperfect selves and find those that we can serve, love and learn from.

Street Art

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Yesterday the creatures and I went to the Museum of Street Art. We have been so impressed by the incredibly beautiful murals around Papaette.

Artists from all over the world have been invited to paint murals around the city. Their styles are so different – like this one that has animated figures in it.

Some are abstract and have hidden messages in them – only showing up with a camera flash like this one.

One of my favorites is by an artist who collects garbage and fashions it into something meaningful, like this turtle. Everything is made from plastic bottles, except for the turtle which is made from broken car parts.

Many of the murals are characters of Polynesian women.

One of the artists uses wood and concrete and chips away at it, creating a scene. This one is of a young mans face on wooden doors.

Just outside the Museum, is another of my favorite murals. I love the bright colors.

The creatures scrubbed decks yesterday in preparation for Danny’s arrival last night, and I cleaned inside, completing the last items on the long list of things we wanted to get done while he was away. We also hung another bunch of bananas, which a bird is very interested in, and stocked the fridge.

Late last night, Mycah and I went to the airport and were excited to see Danny arrive after being gone for 10 days. We placed 3 lei’s around his neck and brought him home. My sciatic pain has been getting worse even though I’ve been massaged by a couple professionals and done the exercises, so this morning Mycah and I walked over to the clinic and I was prescribed some muscle relaxants and better pain meds. Today, Danny and the creatures have gone to spend the day hiking, swimming and eating lunch at an awesome resturant up the mountain, with Jane. The boat is so quiet with everyone gone – it’s kind of weird!
Danny brought back needed boat parts for the engine, so we will be installing those and then heading to Moorea as soon as it’s done. We now have just under 1 month left on our French Polynesian Visas, and feel like there is still so much to see!

Hiking Valle’e Vaitepiha, Tahiti

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When we were in Panama we became friends with a lovely couple, Ian and Erika, on a catamaran named Makara. Ian is originally from Britain and Erika from Germany. They stopped by Tanda Malaika a couple days ago, and we chatted about the passages we’d made since we saw them last. They mentioned that they needed to get to Taravoa to check out a marina, so we told them we’d take them and we could all explore together along the way.En route to Taravoa, we saw a sign saying Grotto de Marae, and exited to explore.

Infiltration of water has formed small bodies of clear, cool water in large caves and beautiful ferns drape the outside, framing the entrance, some of them several feet long.

Ana-Vai-poiri is the largest of three, where locals were enjoying a refreshing dip.

The area surrounding the grottos overflows with tropical flora,

and small grey Pacific swallows swoop in and out of gaps between hanging vines, branches and leaves like tiny fighter ships in space. Large Banyan trees reached heavenward with thick trunks and branches, while monstrous vines seemed to weigh them down to Mother Earth.

The scent of flowers rich and concentrated in the thick humid air.

Those that fell to the ground to join yellow decaying leaves, looked beautiful there too.

We found the marina, where Ian and Erika took care of business, then ventured on to a pleasant little park for a picnic.

The park was landscaped with mango and breadfruit trees, and overlooked the water. Picturesque coconut palms hung over the edge, as if daring to enter.

We feasted on baguettes, patte, brie, salami, apples and potato chips, and drank mango, lime and peach juice until we were filled to the brim.

Before leaving we had to check Aidan’s growth progress. Being in baguette country, we used a baguette as a leveling tool since the baguette does not lie, and much to Aidan’s dismay, he is still tiny bit away from his sisters height.

We then continued our drive along the north shore of Tahiti Iti (little Tahiti), passed through the town of Pueu and turned up a dirt road along the side of the river, Valle’e Vaitepiha.

We followed a road on foot that led us to a narrow footpath, and from there we were swallowed up into the dense tropical jungles of Tahiti.

We crossed over a stream and Aidan was able to find a way to keep his Van’s dry while the rest of us waded through the cool water.

Thick bamboo stood tall along the trail,

we meandered through open areas of wet green low-lying brush,

as well overhanging branches covered in moss and tiny ferns. I knew that if my mom was there she would have noticed the tiny fairies that quietly flew through their precious kingdom. It was magical.

Elephant ear sized taro leaves appeared to be florescent as the sun shone through them,

bright red leaves contrasted against all the green foliage,

and little yellow flowers covered in raindrops stood out against the dark earth.

We reached the end of the path, where Emma, Jude and Erika took a dip

and the rest of us skipped rocks and fought off huge swarms of bugs.

Periodically we’d see an eel moving through the water, and Emma would somehow end up on top of Judes head and shoulders to get away from it. Our walk back to the car was just as beautiful,

though I did notice something I hadn’t before…the biggest fern leaf I’d ever seen!

Tahiti is such a beautiful place.

I am so grateful for opportunity and ability to immerse myself in nature, because it is here, that I feel incredible peace.

Team work

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There comes a time in everyone’s life when they just have to know the truth about certain things. Important things. You realize you might not be able to go on anymore if you don’t have the answer. On Tanda Malaika we had that burden, but after a great deal of travel, research and meditation, are now enlightened and feel an incredible weight lifted off our shoulders. By now you may wonder what it is that troubled us so dramatically, and I’m here to share the love and pass on the knowledge…We have been eating and enjoying animal crackers our whole lives (technically I have only since coming to America), and have always wondered just what exactly all those little animals are, and how many different ones there are. Strictly for research purposes, we invested in a small 4 lb container of them, and got to work to discover the truth.

The creatures had to find one of each animal and we lay them out in a specific order. Each of them took turns writing on a sheet of paper what they thought the animal was, and in the meantime I googled it then checked their answers. Aidan is the ACCW (animal cracker champion of the world), after only getting two of the thirteen wrong. Did you know that these delicious morsels have been around since 1903 and 106 different animals have been made!? One last fact to share: Jude especially loves the flavor of the cow shaped ones, and bugs Aidan on purpose by picking them all out and eating them.
This past week has been frustrating for me. I like to get things done,to work, explore and adventure, and have no time or place in my life for laziness (not to be confused with relaxation). I am busy having an epic sciatica disaster from my lower back, down my right butt cheek and all the way to my foot…like a hot poker has been inserted. I usually quite enjoy pain, but this is something else, and leaves me walking like a 98 year old version of the Hunchback of Notradame. I’ve been downing Motrin, Tylenol and Excedrine, and no position brings relief for very long. So, we haven’t done a whole heck of a lot, but have worked as a team and checked a few things off the to do list. We borrowed Janes car and went provisioning.

This of course involved first scrubbing out every food locker on the boat, and reorganizing so older stuff gets used first,

then shopping for the new goods and stowing them too. This is what the receipt looks like after such a grocery run. We should for the most part be good for the next few months, with the exception of fresh produce. Check out Emma’s new haircut!

The twins removed everything out of the starboard forward crew berth, which is like our garage, scrubbed it out and reorganized everything in there. Jude lay all duffles and luggage out on the tramp to air out and check for broken zippers etc, and reorganized and stowed them.

I tackled Danny’s and my berth. It’s always best to do this when he’s out of town because unlike him, I have no problem throwing things away or donating them. Our room looks twice the size now! Aidan and Emma did lots of cleaning and room switching, Mycah washed and cleaned the windows, Emma cleaned the anchor locker, I fixed the corroded zippers on Danny’s backpack, and we remarked the anchor chain.

We have tried several things for this job, but always seem to come back to zip ties. They last longer and can easily be seen as the chain rushes down into the ocean below.

We also fixed the lazy jacks (they hold the sail bag up), which took lots of team work. In order to feed the line down through the mast, we taped a weight to the end of a line, which was attached to the lazy jack line.

We sent Emma up the mast in the bosuns chair where she had to drop the weighted line through a small hold in the mast.

Mycah used a hook at the end of a snake and skillfully retrieved the dropped line out the bottom of the mast.

Emma came down and Jude went up in the bosuns chair and used her ninja sailor skills to fix and reattach the lazy jack line, and Bob’s your uncle, the job was done!

The marina we are in runs parallel to a wonderful park.

Yesterday and last night there were all sorts of festivities there, including a parade that the creatures walked over to watch, while I stayed on the boat and took photos.

Everyone was dressed up with leis and traditional outfits.

Men performed dances, their voices loud and strong as they recited chants and hakas..

Beautiful children chatted and watched,

while others took selfies to remember the day!

I love these people, and I love the energy that they freely share.

When the creatures returned up the dock, we cooked hamburgers for dinner,

then watched the beautiful sunset glowing from behind the huge cranes.

Danny is enjoying spending time with Aundrea, Mom and Dad in California, and we are so glad that he has the chance to do it. We miss him and are excited to show him all the projects we hope to complete before he gets home.

Bustling Papaette

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Everyone onboard has commented at one point or another that Tahiti is far more commercialized than we’d expected. For so long now, we have been exploring slow paced, sparsely populated islands, and we were not prepared for the hustle and bustle of Papaette.

It was a little intimidating at first but we are adapting well and are taking advantage of some of the conveniences – especially when it comes to reprovisioning, which is something we haven’t had the opportunity to do since Panama City a few months ago. Until now, we hadn’t seen a respectable grocery store or any place to buy things in bulk.
We have docked in a marina for the first time in a long time, so we can use the water to give Tanda Malaika a good scrub down, and to hook up to electricity to give the generator a rest. The creatures enjoy land showers where they don’t have to be as conscious of conserving water, and we usually use the marina laundry rooms which is a big luxury.

But…the marina has 220 volt hookups, and an adapter is not available, so we can’t hook up to electricity, and the washers cost $18 a (small) load, so we won’t be using those. When we were in Fakarava, we met a wonderful family who have a flat here in Papaette, and they have graciously offered for us to use their washer and their car.
Papaette is an interesting place with many modern businesses, as well as the quaint markets we have become accustomed to. Beautiful little ladies making fragrant flower leis are everywhere,

and markets with local goods like honey, sugar cane juice, jewelry and baskets, etc.

Produce stands are also in great abundance, which are always less expensive than grocery stores.

Every produce stand sells loofa, which is not something we have seen on the other islands. I explained to the creatures how the loofa pods grow, and they thought I was pulling their legs. They had assumed that all loofa are brightly colored balls found in stores.

I love to admire flower stands, where the beautiful fresh fragrance of jasmine and plumeria replace the smell of fish markets and perspiring bodies.

Many of the women look so lovely with fresh (and fake) flower leis in the their hair.

Danny and I came across a fishing store, which is one of my places. I feel like a kid in a candy store as I admire the gorgeous lures in every color, and I immediately want to throw off the dock lines to go fishing!

We’ve seen some amazing street art, one of my favorites thus far has been a funky, musical hermit crab.

I also love the colorful stairs outside the street art museum!

The streets are clean and well kept, and the people are friendly and full of smiles.

After having Kjira on board for a couple of months, and loving every second of it, we finally had to see her off as she flew back to the US to get back to work. She has been such a great crew member, fish gaffer, cook, Settlers of Catan player, comedian, entertainer, shell collector, hermit crab saver and hugger. She has read every book we have on Tanda Malaika and braved trying every local dish served to us. We love her so much and already miss her beautiful face.

Danny left with her so he can get his flight physical, and will return next week with some engine parts we need. We miss him too much already as well! He is such a warm, bright, secure presence, as is my best friend and Sweetheart. We are excited that he will be able to spend time with Mom and Dad in California.

The creatures and I made a list of 20 projects to work on while he’s gone so we can surprise him when he returns. We also hope to get some hiking in, and will always be on the lookout for service projects to do in the community and interesting characters to get to know.

Life is good.

**I listened to a funny conversation between the twins this morning…

Emma: “You need to gather up your laundry because mom said we will be using Jane’s clothes cleaning machine today.”
Aidan: “OK”
I chuckled at what Emma said, and Aidan turned to me and asked why I was laughing. I told him I thought it was funny when Emma said ‘clothes cleaning machine.’
Aidan then asked, “well isn’t that what you call it?”
I reminded them that it is called a washer, and had a good laugh at my crazy little boat kids.