Friday, 3 June 2011

Mauri mauri

I know, I know... Before you all start I know we have been slackers with the updates. We have fallen back into busy-ness but at least it is now about social events and outings, instead of work and sitting in traffic which was life in Sydney. Haha to anyone reading this on public transport right now!

We can't believe it has been a whole month since our last blog update. Time is going fast which has advantages and disadvantages. Having gone a month without blogging makes the updates harder to write as we try to remember all the things we have done and seen in that time.
We were filmed for DVD about the AusAID volunteer program in Kiribati, but are yet to be interviewed. We are also in the Autumn 2011 UnitingWorld update-
We attended a 1st birthday party (photo below) which was a massive celebration and feast. We were embarrassingly asked, like we are at all the others events, to dance at a certain point at the beginning to help break the ice. Like usual the imatangs were asked by one person each and 300 people sat and watched. I think they do it for the laugh... White man can't dance
I don't know the stats, but there is a high infant mortality rate here. That is why the 1st birthday celebration is such a big one- it is a big deal to make it through your first year of life. A lady I know has lost 4 of her 7 children. Not all were infants, but still, that would be highly unlikely in Australia.
Nicole received belated birthday gifts from Pete's work mates- 2 shirts, one that says Peter and the other says Nicole, and 2 pillow cases- one that says 'Sleep Well Nicole' and the other says 'Motu Raoi [sleep well] Peter' (photo below). That is so nice of them to custom make gifts for the wife of a co-worker. People here are so thoughtful.

Nicole has been going to weaving classes each Saturday. She made a book mark and is now making a table runner. It should be ready by 2015 at the rate she is going. It would go faster if she stopped talking during class...
Now for the big news, drum roll... We are getting a pig, let me rephrase that, a piglet. Not long after Pete convinced Nicole it was a great idea which took about a fortnight, a friend’s neighbour had piglets and we asked him for one. We pick it up this weekend once it has finished suckling from the mum. It will be either black, or black and white. So far a great suggestion for a name has come through, Collingwood. To make this blog interactive, when the pig arrives we will take a photo and add a poll to the blog so people can vote on a name.

We are now legal and can leave Kiribati (if we ever leave) as we got our work permits stamped.

We were getting sick of rice and fish, fish and rice, fish and fish. So Peter was on a mission to eat baked vegetables. We cooked them at home and found potatoes, carrots, onion and pumpkins at the shop and markets. Was superb!
Now for some personal notices:
- Glad you had a great time in China Dad + Bev. We look forward to the 3hour photo session and 10minute story that goes with each photo when we get home.
- Glenn, Peter is keeping his eye on the Parra Eels and is very disappointed thus far. With the Swannies succeeding and having the games shown on the one TV channel we have, Australian Network he has fully converted to AFL, for the time being, unless NSW and Parra start winning.
- Grandma Steele we are glad you have been able to read our blogs and hope you heal and get home from hospital soon.
- Cam, we heard you and Matt went to a kickboxing show or tournament when in Sydney. Uncle Pete looks forward to getting home so he can have a battle and see your moves.
- Thanks Jenny for printing these out and posting on the church bulletin for others to read. We hear lots of feedback and indirect comments that people are enjoying the read. We find that hard to believe, but we’re glad and it motivates us to write.
- Matt and Claire, we trust you are enjoying our house and it's nice that we can share our home with you.
- Siarn and Lacey, was it planned together?? Pete would happily run a day care from home, now that we will have 7 kids in the complex!
- Dave, Pete had a bit of fish last weekend (photo below). Firstly on the boat and his line broke when a fish took the hook and snapped the line. Almost then caught a barracuda twice, when fishing from the sand. He is confident his first catch isn't far away.

This is highest point in Tarawa, Mt Eita. I'm not sure at what level they say 3metres, as the difference between low and high tide is 1metre. So it could only be 2metres at high tide or 1.5metres in a king tide!?! We like the slogan- "Rising seas, drowning islands. Save these isalnds! Yes we can."

Don't be fooled by the trick photography, Nicole here is a long way up that palm tree- at least 2metres. Only 25 to go, but too scared of falling to go much further.

We are well settled and enjoying life here. We’ve been here for nearly 3 months now, and we look forward to the next 9 and a bit. We’re making new friends all the time as new development projects commence, but losing them also, when those projects finish and the friends go home.
Ti a boo for now.


  1. I always enjoy reading your updates. A pig sounds like an interesting pet! Glad to hear our prayers are being answered and everything is going so well :)
    Maryanne xox

  2. Hey, if you want to be a full on AFL fan, do yourself a favour and don't name a poor little helpless pig 'Collingwood'. Any other team would satisfy. Obviously the colours would suit but you wouldn't want a pig that everyone hated. If you did, you could encourage some pig shooting!
    Not long before we will see you.

  3. Hi guys!
    I love the hand-made presents that you got Nicky- they are beautiful! Very jealous :).
    As for a name for the piglet, I propose 'Babe'- you can't get anymore Australian and pig-ish than that :P.
    Please be careful when climbing that mountain, it looks pretty high.
    Glad that you are settling into everything there, and that the social busy-ness is really setting in.
    God bless,

  4. I laughed at the idea that Nicole will finish her table runner by 2015 becasue she talks too much in class. Some things never change!
    I hope the pig doesnt bark all night when we come to visit soon.

  5. Fascinating. Can I take the liberty of asking yourself or anyone interested in Kiribati discussion to have a look at It a new news and discussion group, looking for members. (I won't be offended if you remove this post!)