Saturday, 20 October 2007

Solomon Islands Taem (time)

Halo . . Hau nao?
Our first steps onto Solomon soil were not greeted by the wall of heat Rob was expecting but a gentle refreshing breeze. Amazingly (according to Jo, our country manager) the plane was early and so began our introduction.

Our first week has been filled with introductions: to other AVI members, the weather – heat, sunburn & a thunderstorm – local wild life in our rooms – rats, cockroach, rhino beetle and geckoes – and Kelly’s favourite. . . language lessons!! Much credit must go to Jono, our language teacher (from Malaita) for his patience, ready answers and constant smile.

Walking (wakabaot) around Honiara, local people walk or gather in groups, battered utes drive by fully (dangerously) laden with people, red betelnut splattered around the dusty ground, Westlife blaring from heavily barred shops and everywhere wafts the unique scent of the Solomon Islands! Lara feels at home, as most locals have bigger hair than she does (ah, the humidity)!!

Steve & Kel are pleased to see after their visit two years ago cleaner streets, well-kept greenery on median strips, completed footpaths and more shops open for business.

Rob totally endorses the Nutrimetics deodorant: “I’ve got the driest armpits in Honiara!” (thanks Sarah Wood!).

The fastest person to acclimatize to the heat has to be Lara who with the air con on low is wearing socks, thermal longs and Kathmandu jacket to bed under a sheet! Kelly fears that Lara has a thermal dysregulation problem..

We have been richly blessed and thankful for the amazing people who have made our first week so welcoming: from the AVI staff who have gone the extra mile for us, the judge who certified our marriage certificates without payment, an extremely warm welcome from the expats, to the houses that will be our homes for the rest of this time (a class above than what we lived in NZ). (P.T.L.)

Quote of the week:
In our first language lesson –
Steve: (about Rob) “Hem krangge” (Him crazy)
Rob: (about Steve) “Hem plonker” (No translation required!)

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