Eating a Sea Urchin is more exciting than you might think! This was certainly a day I’ll never forget, check out the video as we test the South Pacific delicacy of Sea Urchins!
It started out as what we thought was going to be a lovely little date together. We snuck off and thought we’d grab some lunch from one of the little roadside markets. That was our mistake…in the end we didn’t eat anything.
Well there are so many things here that are different than at home and food is definitely one of them! I don’t have much to say- the video sums it up 🙂
Today we went on a nature walk to find the aloe vera plant. I’ve been drinking the juice and it’s been helping me feel better so I thought I’d try making my own. Sure enough we found massive aloe plants and the guy who owned the property was happy to let us pick them. Here’s a little tutorial on how we made our aloe juice! Enjoy my video 🙂
The open market had a strange looking bumpy oblong shaped fruit and when we asked the lady sitting cross legged on the mat on the ground behind the table she said “it’s cacao fruit”.
We bought the four biggest ones for 50 Vatu each (equivalent to .50USD) and put them in our bulging market bag.
When we got home Monday night Eric had prepared a beautiful scripture lesson on the Lords timing. He invited everyone into the kitchen where we learned how cacao plants are planted, harvested and turned into chocolate.
Without the proper timing and process, the cacao fruit which is a sweet fruit with bitter seeds inside, can never be transformed into the yummy chocolate we see at the grocery store.
The girls all gathered together, took apart the cocoa fruit, cut down banana leaves from the back yard and started the process of fermenting and drying the cocao beans.
After separating the seed from its fruit you must ferment it for three days and then lay it to dry in the sun for three days. After all that you crush it and cook it and turn it into chocolate adding milk and sugar.
I started thinking about it. Hmmmm.
I wondered to myself How many times do I judge other people or myself , thinking I ought to, or they ought to already be the finished product?
With faith in Gods purpose, plan and timing We can trust the process of growing and maturing and love people around us just as they are.
That’s my thought for today, enjoy your chocolate-we did!!
He goes on unknown hikes, climbs tall coconut trees, catches snakes, makes friends wherever he goes, speaks two languages, is literally brilliant, doesn’t care how old you are, isn’t afraid of anything, loves his family and serves God. Joshua is the most friendly, adventuresome young man I have ever met!
We really wanted to do something special for Joshua Leavitts 17th birthday so we decided to have a colour festival with colours I had brought in my suitcase from Canada. That was a bit harder than it sounds because at EVERY. SINGLE. SECURITY. Check our bags were searched and little chemical samples were taken from the colored powder to make sure they weren’t explosive or dangerous. As if travelling with 9 kids, 24 bags, one stroller and one baby carrier wasn’t hard enough right?! The only reason I even put the colors in my carry on bag in the first place was because we were overweight on all our big bags so I thought I’d be clever and just bring them in our carry ons.
I’m so glad we went to all the trouble because honestly, we had so much fun, it was amazing!!
The only person who couldn’t join us for all the fun was the “recovering from a dog attack” girl.
Even the workers and neighbors that we invited joined us and all the locals on the beach watched in total curiosity and colored powder flew out of our hands and onto each other and the white sand beach. Zaby loved it. He was a wild man running around catching people with his powder.
Today the color of Happy Birthday was bright and magical!
We have discovered since moving to Vanuatu that in some places there are 10 ways to die, and in other places there are 100 ways to die. Vanuatu must be one of the places that has a hundred ways to die!
So far we’ve discovered a few possibilities as follows:
Coconut Falling on your head
Falling out of a tree
Getting stabbed by a crazy drunk man
Getting bit by a centipede
Dying from Infection
Stabbing yourself while husking a coconut
Getting attacked by wild dogs
Sadly we are becoming acquainted with quite a few of these ways, and I’m quite sure as time goes on I’ll find many more to add to my list!
Tonight our poor 17 year old daughter got attacked by wild dogs while riding the quad through a nearby village. She received 2 puncture wounds and a big scrape. The dog actually bit her leg while they were driving and hung on as they kept going. It’s gross. She is still trying to decide if she’d rather be stitched up with no freezing or go to the sketchy hospital.
#notears #sothisisislandliving #shestough #100waystodie #islandliving #livinginVanuatu #dontworrynorabieshere
Mmmm, the aroma of the freshly grilled pizza as it got laid in front of us was amazing. I was pretty excited because pizza costs a lot of money here and cheese is super expensive so making your own isn’t really financially sustainable either.
We had splurged a little today because we were out visiting a nearby resort and we had to take a boat to get there. They implemented a strict “no food on the island” rule to get people to spend their money buying from the expensive restaurants. The kids were quite hungry and we really couldn’t avoid feeding them and since pizza at $18 USD a pizza was the cheapest thing on the menu we ordered that.
After we prayed over our food we all dug in and grabbed a slice. This particular one was Mediterranean pizza. The description under the name on the menu said “an assortment of Mediterranean vegetables.” I started to look at the pizza a little closer after taking one bite. Something was off. There were giant carrot sticks, squash cubes and pickles on my pizza. No joke- the ‘Mediterranean Vegetables’ were definitely more unique than expecting 🙂
I have honestly never tasted anything quite like it. When my sister ordered the same pizza a few minutes later hers had little cubes of peas and carrots all over it. Not sure what Mediterranean vegetable really are but I’m quite sure that I chose the healthiest pizza in the world to eat today 🙂
I woke up to a freshly picked bouquet of Island flowers gathered from my own back yard and given to me by two of my sweet children.
Eric brought me breakfast in bed with the tropical milkshake and an omelet. The tropical milkshake tasted a bit odd but I tried to be polite as I drank it. After Eric tried one taste he realized that what he had thought was powdered sugar was actually tapioca starch, and after a good laugh he didn’t make me finish the rest of my drink!
The omelet was delicious however.
It was Sunday today and we were all excited to go to church because Lindy and Dustin were going to be speaking which meant the talks would be in English.
When we got to church we were so surprised to see the way that Mother’s Day was celebrated.
First each mother was given a flower lei.
Hundreds of hand cut streamers hung down from the ceiling and were blowing in the breeze.
Signs that said happy Mother’s Day which looked like they were written and decorated by some creative man we’re posted all over with scriptures underneath.
I’m not used to our chapel being decorated in such a festive manner, but the children were delighted with the Decor and it was obvious that the Islanders love their mothers.
After church was over the men brought out a very large cake that said happy Mother’s Day on it. They said they had a special program for just the mothers. As we sat in the hot chapel we had the privilege of having an entire additional Sunday meeting consisting of an opening and closing prayer, an opening and closing hymn, two musical numbers, and four or five talks (all in Bislama of course!)
The primary came in and sang the most precious song to us, as did the youth.
Afterwards there was an announcement that there would be special food for the mothers.
We went outside and we were first served chocolate cake, then we were served lollipops, then we were served chocolate icing on white soda crackers. It was all quite darling.
There were ten matching plates and a pile of mismatch dishes were being quickly washed in preparation for the meal, there were also six glass cups. After they were washed a meal was served on them and given to the mothers first. As soon as the meal was eaten one or two of the men would come up, whisk the plate away, wash it under the outside tap and bring it back for someone else to enjoy a meal.
It was kind of strange having everyone stare at you while you ate because they had nothing else to do while they waited for their own plate. After a little while some of the other women who lived nearby saw what was happening and went to their houses & brought their dishes to add to the collection so more people could eat at once. It was very sweet, and although so different than how I normally experience Mother’s Day but was absolutely perfect and something I will NEVER forget!
The night was late and we had just crawled into bed when I heard a man yelling- well screaming really, outside.
I was afraid to look out the window and see who was being murdered, but when I finally mustered up the courage all that came into view was a fire burning in my neighbors yard- nothing unusual.
I guess Eric and I must have been feeling adverterous because just in case we both grabbed a machetes and ventured outside to see what all the commotion was about.
Happily we discovered that there were no drunk crazy men running around, it was just my brother. He is sometimes crazy but rarely drunk 😉 He and some locals were now just standing around the fire laughing.
When I inquired after the loud yells he told me a wandering dog had taken hold of the pig he was preparing to roast and he had to scream loudly -very loudly, to chase it away.
I had forgotten that Dustin was doing a pig roast to celebrate his son’s baptism the next day. He had two Nevans there helping him prepare the whole thing.
Even though my bed was calling the process was too fascinating not to stay and watch. So I took A whole bunch of pictures so I can share them with you guys.
The men had started the fire at 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon. They were then back around 10:00pm to prepare the pig and put it in the pit for toasting overnight. After brining and cutting, chopping and stuffing, digging and covering, They finally got finished at nearly 1:00 am. We were all so tired that when they told us that they would need to comeback at 4:00am to check on it we insisted that it would be fine if they waited until morning.
Sure enough they were back first thing in the morning. After digging up the pit, removing the tarp and hot stones they uncovered the pig which was roasted to perfection!
Ezra cut it up for everyone as the mouth watering aroma spread throughout the neighbourhood.
There certainly were no disappointed taste buds after that meal, and there was so much food left over that Dustin had to send everyone home with some. Everyone was impressed that he’d be willing to share such a fantastic beast, and were all so grateful for his gift. It was like the pig that just kept giving 🙂