Monday, June 25, 2007

Here comes the rain!

It's wet season in Milne Bay so yes from here on until about October, it'll be nothing but rainy days ahead. Actually they say it's usually around March/April that the wet season kicks in. Lately we've had a few sunny days but they are becoming rarer. Sometimes it feels like 4 seasons in one day! And when the rain does come,it almost sneaks up on you and then pours down on you when you least expect it. The sound of the rain is quite loud and thunderous in our building,after two years,I'm used to it but initially it was frightening. I've grown to appreciate it now and from our location, it's quite beautiful to watch the rain or a storm rolling in across the bay.Just so you get an idea of what it's like here at the moment, have a look at these images.

Alotau Market on a Saturday morning
Main warf, Sanderson Bay
Two yachts in the bay
Early morning at Gurney Airport
Driving in the rain
KBD Beachfront
Kaure muala and his funky liklik puk puks

(little crocs) from Uncle Cam &
Aunty Jane

Breakfast by the beach

Wanigili Beach front facing Waga Waga

Sometimes on a Sunday morning if the sky's clear and the sea's calm I like to take Kaure paddling in the canoe. We pack a few munchies and a drink and paddle out to have brekky with the fish. Kaure's always intrigued, he loves looking at the fish and just being out on the water and it gives me a chance to practise my paddling skills! A few Sundays ago, we had Javier and Jamon Simpson over for the week-end and decided to have breakfast on the beach for a change.

Kaure,Javier and Jamon Simpson playing.

Having come up with the "brilliant" idea to cook pancakes over the fire, I soon realised it wasn't as easy or as fun as I had imagined it to be. Number one I had to find dry wood (it had been pouring with rain the whole week so trying to find anything remotely dry was pretty challenging), Number two I had to make the fire which didn't happen right away (when you have 4 hungry kids staring at you, it can be slightly stressful!), Number three, I had to actually make the perfect pancake which was no easy feat let me assure you, not when you've got smoke coming at you from every angle, your eyes are watering and you're constantly being told by an eleven year old (Jamon) just what the perfect pancake should look like!!

The quest for the perfect pancake!

So what was meant to be an easy going relaxing Sunday morning brekky by the beach ended up being a rather stressful and exhausting experience! No, it wasn't that bad really, after 2 flops with the pancakes (I was using an el cheapo frying pan so had to change it to the heavier one) by the third round when I finally did make the perfect pancake all the kids actually cheered!!We ended up having pancakes with honey and french toast -hey it was all worth it but when Jeannie (my girlfriend) called later that morning and suggested we make a fire and have lunch by the beach I had to decline- I was all fired out!

Rosita and Kaure digging into his pancake

Smiles at last after finally having a taste of
pancake! If you're wondering what that bright

red structure in the background is,

it's a Gogodala war canoe from Western Province

(it fits up to 50 men)

In the distance is the way home to Sariba Is.

We even managed to make French toast

a la fire!

Not sure what that is? it's an upside down coconut.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

My Daddy and me

I like sleeping wid my daddy.

Daddy and me have da same nose.
I love mummy too.

When my daddy comes, he used to take me in his car and we used to go for spin in town.
I'm tired

My daddy's from Chimbu,in da highlands where deyas plenty of biiig mountains. Mummy said it's very cold up dea. I want to go dea wid my daddy one day.
Me an daddy spinning in da car.
We went to da airport to leave daddy.
We went to da riva before da plane came
I like trowin' stones in da riva.

My daddy used to take me to Papindo to buy my prawns den we go back to the house and he cooks dem for me. I love prawns, so does mummy, but daddy can't eat prawns, adawise he might get sick. Daddy always cooks me yummy food.
Det's me eating daddy's pen

My daddy went on da plane.
I saw daddy going and I cried.
I'm not happy wid daddy.

My daddy lives in Mosbi.His office is in town. He stayed for short time an den he went back in da big plane. I was sad when he left me. He made me cry when he got on da plane. I want to go to Mosbi an see my daddy but mummy said later we'll go.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The cocktail affair of the month

It was the perfect evening. Along the beach front, the torches were lit, the decorations were up, the food was prepared, the D J was playing down the tunes, all was set for the cocktail affair of the month. Friday 1st June 2007, Alotau Enterprise (Alotau Supermarket/Family Store/Hard Ware) celebrated it's 25th Anniversary at Wanigili Centre. 300 people flocked to our venue, the majority of the guests were management and staff of AE and the rest were visitors from out of town.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted at the main foyer by a line of Trobriand Islanders in traditional dress. The auditorium was a kaleidoscope of colours with people decked out in pacific island shirts and dresses, grass skirts even saris and of course cocktail dresses. I’d never seen so many glamorous people at Wanigili! Thankfully,the rain had disappeared, replaced by an air of excitement and anticipation as the crowd warmed up with the beers and wines while waiting for the evening program to unfold.

Some of the guests arriving at the function.

Maxine behind the scenes.
Some of the delicious nibblies prepared on the night.
The spring rolls were delicious!

The Kiriwina dancers and Alotau Enterprise
Staff waiting to meet guests.

First on the agenda was the traditional Chinese Lion Dancing. This was a spectacular show performed by a troup of Moresby-based Chinese dancers. The two lions danced, jumped and rolled to the beat of a drums. It was my first time (and Kaure’s) to see Lion Dancing up close. The costumes were striking and the dancers extremely well co-ordinated especially with two dancers per lion. The highlight was when the lions moved onto the board walk and danced beneath the fire crackers-pretty daring stuff!.These went off with such a loud bang a lot of people freaked out (myself included!). I swear my ear drums popped! I think a few people probably shat themselves! I recall one concerned guest screaming at us to “ PUT THE BLINDS UP! THE BUILDING’S GOING TO CATCH ON FIRE!!”.Nothing of the sort happened of course!(As if we’d let that happen!)

The lions danced to the drums and not sure what the
other instrument is, a tambourine-type-thingy?

Close up of the lion-beautiful colours!

Lions doing some tricky stunts.

The fire crackers were the highlight of the night!

Alotau Enterprise General Manager-Tim Seeto
(in the middle with brown shirt) and family and
the lion dancers from Moresby.

Following the dancing, the speeches took place and then it was the Trobriand Islanders turn to steal the show. The dancers came out in full costume, singing and dancing. They had travelled all the way from Kiriwina (Trobriand Islands to Alotau is about 18 hours by boat) to provide some local entertainment especially for the function .

"Kuma Besa Tapioca!!"

The beautiful dancers in their traditional finery
I don't think I've ever seen a Trobs dancer with
saggy boobs!(hmm probably because they only get the young ones to dance!)

Afterwards, the cake was cut, the music was turned up and then it was time to party, and party we did!The Trobriand Islanders wasted no time in grabbing a partner and hitting the dance floor. They seemed to respond naturally to whatever music was playing. Venga Boys was certainly a hot favourite!Normally I can't stand techno but that night I was jumping up and down and grooving with the rest of them whether it was to Venga Boys or Tolai Rock!??? Strongpela Samatex acting Tolai!I didn't even have one drop of alcohol all night!What can I say,
we all got into the spirit of the night and even the Filipinos were going off!We all had a ball, so much so that despite dancing bare foot all night, my feet were killing the next day!
Mr & Mrs. Seeto-parents of Tim Seeto
Vero-our head chef cutting the absolutely
scrumptious (and huge) chocolate cake baked
by Raphael-one of the Filipino managers.
Pacific Island style shirts were the go that night.
"Oh Geez! Where do I look?"
Harry,Joeena & Javier Simpson
join the party.
"Wow there's two of them!They must really
like my moves!"
Tanya Doyle-Looking divine and
showin' some serious moves on the
dance floor.
Trobs girls givin' it to Venga Boys!
The Trobs boys were pretty good too!
Zen Alaluku and Maxine in party mode!