Monday, March 2, 2009

Social life in Ha'apai

This last weekend we decided to invite everyone over to our house for dinner, we made a couple of pizzas with green peppers, pineapple from the market, onions, and also made pasta with a seasoned butter sauce and bruschetta. There were 9 of us altogether, it’s fun to get together with people here since there’s not much else to do. Grant from the outer island was in for the weekend so he stayed at our place, and Alicia and Sarah made it into town for the dinner. The hardest part about having a lot of people over is the glass beer bottles, you can't burn them! So we just rinse them out and store them under the sink for now, they're really hard to get rid of here. On the main island there's a recycling program for glass, but not here in Ha'apai.

The next day me and Alicia went snorkeling on the beach right outside our house. I’d heard there was a lot of dead coral from all the boat traffic, we weren’t seeing much and it even started to rain on us. But then it cleared up and once we got out to the edge of the reef where it dropped off to about 15 or 20 feet it was a lot better than we’d expected! There were tons of little colorful fish, the bright blue ones that shimmer in the sun and swim in big groups, angel fish, and some bigger fish as well. And there was a lot of new brightly colored coral growing on top of the old dead coral, with lots of little passageways and tunnels. We went at low tide, so actually had to walk way out, it was too shallow to swim. It’s really cool that all this is right out our back door at our beach here! Brian from the scuba shop that we know and Phil went out spear fishing that day as well, so they brought over a bunch of fish we cooked up that night. Brett got the spear made for his spear gun so this week or weekend he might try going fishing on the reef. The spear gun is made like a sling shot with a piece of wood and rubber, and then there’s a long metal pole that has a point carved on the end that gets shot out. It takes a lot of practice to start getting fish.

We’ve almost been at site now in Ha’apai for 3 months now, mid-march!! Some changes I’ve noticed in us adjusting to life here now - we’re not scared to walk around barefoot in our sandy yard that’s covered in broken glass anymore, I don’t flinch anymore from the huge bees that fly in and out of places all the time, we’re used to cold showers, we have a routine for getting water from our sima vie outside, and we can cook quite a lot with the few ingredients available here.


Chabec said...

Hi guys,
I worked with Kate when she was at Carmichael Lynch. I just wanted to let you know that I've been so amazed, following your blog. I'm so impressed at how well you guys are acclimating to your surroundings. Keep up the great work (and the great blog posts)! :)
-Becky Chaffee

Kate and Brett said...

Thanks, good to hear from you! Hope things are going well at CL!


Filieta said...

Hi Guys,

I used to be a local over there long time ago.......LOL. Now, living in the States over in Texas. I was looking online for a photo to post an article for St. Joseph at
Although I couldn't use the photo of St. Joseph that you posted but I can surely use the photos from the kindness of your heart that you have displayed on this blog.
More importantly the magic impact of your lives on my people.

I am very grateful for what you done back there. I am also very grateful for the abundance of my new homeland even the simplest thing like warm shower....its has a different meaning after growing up on cold showers.......LOL

In closing I am grateful for your lives and the challenges that you have accepted with your families to reach out to those who are less fortunate. So I couldn't help it but being moved by your goodwill and humanity to thank you very very much.

Keep up the great work.