Saturday, 30 April 2011

Easter, ANZAC Day and Nicky's Birthday

*Cough cough...* Unfortunately we are both sick at the moment, sore throats and coughs. Nicky had it first, and Peter had it start a few days ago. Its strange to call it a “cold”, being in the tropics, but the symptoms appear to indicate that. This is the first real illness we’ve had since arriving other than a funny tummy. No Tolar’s Pharmacy down the road here, so we are rationing Cold + Flu tablets… which Peter only just found out we have!!!
We are also a little down as we have seen some examples of people rejected in the community and we’re not sure how to respond. Being a communal society here, most people are looked after by their extended family. However, there are some who would seem are rejected by their family for some reason and they live on the streets, generally have an alcohol addiction and ask for money- especially from imatangs (white people).
Since the last update, we have had the Easter long weekend and ANZAC Day.

Easter involved going to a church in Betio and seeing some cultural events including a choir competition (shown above), a guitar/ukulele competition (which had singing as well) and a dancing competition (also with singing). They love to sing. The 4 different villages/churches of Betio wore different coloured lava lavas (skirts/sarongs). We live in Takaronga- they were wearing purple. The ones with black lava lavas were from the theological college Nicky teaches at. They're not based in Betio, but were invited to participate. As guests, we had to get up to dance in front of everyone and say a speech at the end, which was quite daunting. *Cough cough*
We were also up and at the dawn service at the war memorial at 6am on Monday for ANZAC day followed by a gunfire breakfast at the Australian High Commissioners house. They had bacon, eggs, ANZAC biscuits, sausages (chicken we think), coffee and juice. It was great and plenty to go around!
An AYAD volunteer (similar program to the one Peter is here with), who was here for a year left on Thursday. Another two leave next week and a “newbie” has just arrived. By the time we go, most of the volunteers we have befriended will be gone and there will be a new lot. I guess that is one of the benefits of makings friends with the locals rather than just hanging around other volunteers.
We met a lady the other day who is here for 3 months from the UK. She is a psychiatrist here to train doctors and nurses in psychiatry- not sure how far she'll get in 3 months, but its a start. Apparently there are no psychiatrists in the country. The lack of understanding of mental health may have something to do with the homeless issues mentioned above.
It was Nicky’s birthday on Wednesday. We played soccer on the tennis court at the Australian High Commission as we do each Wednesday. Nicky had a quick swim and got out of the pool to find a cake with candles lit for her birthday. Everyone sang happy birthday and shared cake. It was a lovely surprise that Pete had organised. We went out for dinner afterwards to the hotel down the road with some friends. Her present was some frilly pillow cases with a floral design and the words 'Good night honey, see you in the morning'.
Until next time… ti a bo.
P.S. Please leave comments. We like to know people are reading this.

6 comments:

  1. Matt and Karina Holden1 May 2011 at 9:54 am

    Great blog Pete and Nicky. We love reading all of them. Hope you are both feeling well again soon. Lots of love Karina, Matt, Cam, Brianna and Lachy xxoo

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  2. haha, love the pillowslips! a true souvenir to be brought out and shown to the children and grandchildren every wedding anniversary, to a chorus of 'tell us some tales about when you were young and in Kiribati!' .... it happens! well, we don't have the grandchildren! but you'll be so glad you wrote down these little and big adventures! Praying for you both and thoroughly enjoying the blog. Hopefully Takaua and Tio, our UnitingWorld guests in Australia from Kiribati at present, will also enjoy reading it and get to meet you some time!

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  3. We love the blog update. We know you both have a real heart for lonely, homeless people. I have no idea what difference you can make, but there will be no better people to try.
    Dad and Mum

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  4. Hi guys,
    I am sick at home right now. I just wanted to say that I am reading the smaller paragraphs (as they seem easier and quicker to read), so I read the title, the stuff on ANZAC brekkie and the last 2 lines. I am sure the rest is interesting but ... Photos are good. Apparently they tell a thousand words! Would have made uni assignments easier hey? Oh and if you are interested, I am watchng an ad for the Ab Circle Pro. Such fun on sick days.
    Keep it real team!

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  5. Hi Nicky and Pete
    Hope you are getting better. Awful when you are both crook but at least you are only the "walking wounded" and will recover quickly with rest and lots of water. Let me know if you need more cough and flu tablets or any other supplies, I am reading and absorbing everything you write so keep up the good work Guys
    Cheers Wendy

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  6. We love reading and sharing your news. We enjoy the day to day details about food, dogs transport, real coffee and more, as well as the challenges of your project work. We hope you are both healthy again now and that Pete gets REALLY good reception on that TV for all the big games. Take care!
    Julie

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