Posted by: nativeiowan | January 7, 2012

saturday, com’n down

Saturday afternoon coming down. A wagtail dances in the yard. A second one came and chased the first away. Air-borne antics galore, now. Got some territorial stuff happening here.

Our last day/ night in Gizo. What a good place. We fly out tomorrow afternoon. A few days in HIR then on to BNE.

Have been out on the water numerous times. Been fishing. Been over to SanBis. Had a session with the “boys” at PT 109.  Hell, even had a couple beers at the old Gizo Hotel.

Must be time to leave.

Time to get back to work. Get the boys back in school. Finally, a year late, Angelo and Mendozza are starting school in Palmwoods. Big move for the family. Huge move for the boys and Grace.

This past 10 days is the longest we have been in Gizo for ages and ages. Not since the earthquake in 2007. I’ve only spent a night or two at any given time. Grace the same. This is a good place. For soooo many reasons… we moved into this place in December 1998. Had a big party, which saw a star, studded cast. All good fun. And the neat thing, after a bit over a decade, all the fruit trees, bushes, shrubs and veggie vines are in high production. We have pineapples to waste. Bush limes galore. Pamelo, pawpaw, guava, pumpkin, watermelon, and cucumbers. Cassava and kumara. Three types of bananas. And it’s all soooo good… fresh produce…

Had some cassava and punk’n the other eve that was amazing. It’s all soooo goooood.

I am being a glutton on fresh produce.

Frigate birds fly high off the southern shore. Have spent most of the past days on the north side of the house. The wind and activity ahs been there. But the wind is shifting. As the frigates confirm.

Had a hoot yesterday: Mendozza got it in his head he could drive the boat. Now, I run a 50hp, with a tiller drive, on a 21 ft. alloy rocket. It is a fast and very responsive boat. You can easily go wrong with it. Been known to happen. And a 6yr old on the throttle of the 50… it was fun.

The seas were good, oily calm, so once we got on a plane and trimmed the engine a bit it is easy to hold on a straight path as you hurl over the surface.

He did a very good job.

We ended up over to Liapari and back. Did some trolling but did not catch anything. At one point we were out running with the birds that chase the schooling tuna. Thousands of birds all around, skimming the water to snatch the small bait fish being chased up by the tuna. Some doing big dives in to grab a decent sized morsel. The water all the time boiling with fish in a feeding-frenzy. All on a quick-paced move.

The school we were on was very small bonito. Too little for our lure. So we raced around at high speed, following the school and the flocks… very cool.

A few days back we caught a nice blue fin trevally. We were running a 20lb reel and the fish may have been 5lbs so it was no drama to haul in. Mendozza and his uncle Robbie shared the task of cranking the beast in. Note in the picture how it had swallowed the lure. Had to cut the fish open to get it out.

There is a flower outside the house here that, every eve, starts up a very heady scent. I think it’s tuber rose.

Very good end to 2011 and very, very good start to 2012.

My 31st year in this land is almost over. Anniversary is January 11. A few days away.

I look around and search for something to be optimistic about. I struggle. I fear the Solomons, despite it’s numerous opportunities, has simply made the choice to not worry too much or work too hard.

I know it is in the island style and we luv these islands but, there are simply too many problems on the horizon.

But, then, the world is generally in a heap of grief. And I figger I’d just as soon be hanging out around here when the “shit-do-come-down”, as Uncle Teddy would say.

So not optimistic but satisfactorily philosophical, so we’re ok.

The urbanization of Gizo has been very hard on the character of this town. The pressures of populations are extreme here. And our highly disposable lifestyles simply don’t work any more. When the population was small we could throw our garbage in the ocean and let it float away with the tide. The town council collected it and dump it in a swamp outside of town.  Now people still throw their garbage in the ocean. And it piles up on the tide line and ends up on the beaches. The city council now uses the same swamp, but they have filled an area about the size of Kennedy island and it grows daily.

In those days most of our refuse was organic. Nowadays everything is plastic. Or worse. The simple introduction of disposable diapers here has increased refuse by a huge amount.

Betel nut stalls are everywhere. And people appear to make living out of buying nut from their family “at home” for a small amount and, under a bit of tin roofing iron, in a makeshift stall, on a strategic corner on the hill, one person sits, day in and day out. I am told there is good money in it. I may take it up as a side line in my retirement. Doubt though the palmwoods neighbors would appreciate the overall exercise.

So the day has been spent cleaning up and sorting for the departure. Have had SIBC (Solomon Islands Broadcasting Corp) “radio happy lagoon” on the tin sounding am radio. Takes me back to my youth. Kinda nice if not relaxing in a strange way.

The surf pounds the island. The breeze carries a brisk reminder of more rain.

Life is guuud



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