8-27 My Mommy came to Visit; part 2, The Island

Ma learning to weave coconut leaf mats.

My mother’s visit to the village was a combination of whirlwind and boredom. The boredom was mostly on her side. Island time takes some getting used to.

Thursday I had an all-day workshop. She came to the first half and found it interesting but left after lunch. I don’t blame her, they weren’t all that dynamic a workshop group and I was getting bored. She and Jason found entertainment at the house, though I couldn’t tell you what it was they did.

Friday, I brought her up the Kindi and left her there. She likes kids and I had to get some work done. They had fun, both the kids and my mom. They were working on counting to ten on their fingers so she asked them how many toes they had. They learned to count on their toes too, which is more useful here than you’d think since the kids never wear shoes.

Meeting the friends and family in the village.

Saturday we went down to Vanwooki where Jason has a student for martial arts. The village is also close to our garden and it is easier to walk along the big road to Vanwooki and cut up than follow the footpaths to the garden. We trained for awhile in the morning. We got a woman and a small child to join in for a few minutes after my mom hit the pads. It is hard to say you can’t train when a white-haired old lady does it first. After that, we went up to the garden. I do mean up, the hill is about 20 degrees shy of a direct vertical. We got a little bit of cabbage and other veggies and Ma got to see what I mean by a garden.

Sunday we went to church in Melsisi. That was the usual church experience. She borrowed one of my island dresses so she was appropriately garbed for the experience. It was as unintelligible as ever and I don’t pay attention. After church, we took our time walking back to the village and stopped to get gato or fry bread. It is our Sunday treat. (I know my life has changed; a junk food day is when I have gato and a box of Shapes. Forget chips, pop, icecream…)

We played in the waterfall for half the day.

Monday we walked down to Waterfall. Waterfall is beautiful. It was fun to play in the water and explore all the bits of rocks and hidden streams that join into the falls. The water is clear and cold which is glorious after the walk to get there. The sun even came out for a few minutes, which it hadn’t done for about three days. We walked back in a hurry because my mom and I had a date to weave mats with one of the women in Vansemakul. As soon as we got back, I went to gather some coconut leaves to weave. It was a battle to get the leaves. I had to jump down the hill and hck at things with a knife then try to throw them back up the hill. They are surprisingly heavy when they aren’t dry.

Learning to weave was fun. We made some new mats for my porch, which I really needed. I’d done that style of weaving once before but couldn’t have done it again on my own. Both Mary and Ma seemed to enjoy it and I got some fun pictures. I also got three new mats for my trouble. My porch is greatly improved by that.

Learning how to burn copra.

On Tuesday, my mom followed me to another workshop I was running for the morning. Luckily, she got to leave before she was too bored and go to Melsisi with Jason. She sat in on his computer classes, which were apparently hilarious. It really worked out for the best since my workshop folks decided to start the last day of the workshop at 4pm. We and finished around 7 pm, which is about two hours before my bedtime and two hours after dinner. I got home half an hour or so after that. I was grateful my mom and Jason had cooked food so I could just collapse. A 10 hour workshop is too long.

Wednesday morning we spent packing up and getting ready to go to Vila. We walked to Melsisi carrying all our bags, which was the usual experience of travel on Pentecost. Two feet do all the work. The ship came in the afternoon and we jumped on.

Loading the ship.  The best entertainment that’s going to happen this week.

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