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Monday, May 2, 2011

A quiet one (finally)

Overall this week was exactly what I needed: boring.  Hey, it’s been a bit OTT lately and its nice having a quiet week. 

A couple of interesting things did happen, however.

Somehow I convinced/manipulated/used my mother’s jedi mind guilt trips to get a much coveted invite to Aiden’s house to watch the royal wedding on the big screen.  Aiden is my terribly connected, compound living neighbor, who hosts diplomatic functions and band hero nights.  Again, I would hate him if he wasn’t so lovely to his white trash volunteer neighbours who talk too loud, make off colour jokes and flirt outrageously at his parties.     

Now, I am no royalist; in fact, technically I should be banned at his residence.  After all, not only am I American but my mother is French, and we all know what they did to their royalty.  But Americans in general have a fascination with royalty.  One I share, slightly.  But not that strongly.  I just wanted to see the dress, wear my little black dress, hang out with friends and drink Pims.  After all, there are worst ways to spend a Friday night.

The wedding goes well, obviously and it is moderately interesting.  I, for one, believe in the intimacy of weddings.  I had a small one myself and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I get the feeling that the pair probably would have preferred to elope somewhere but had to do it that way.  And how many of us feel bound by tradition and family when it comes to the most intimate of ceremonies? 

So I sat there, gaping at strange hats and thinking that trees were a nice touch in the Abbey. 

The night ends somewhat dignified; I have a cold and cough and simply can’t keep my eyes open past 11.  In fact, I’ve been a terribly good girl this week, going to bed early to get rid of this chesty cough.

The dry season has come to the Solomons and everything is dusty.  However, after three weeks without rain, the Greek Doctor and I decide to go out shopping in a complete downpour. Bizarrely, neither of us have invested in an umbrella.

We sit on the bus, soaked to the bone, to the surprise of locals.  Shopping is done quickly; the Greek doctor likes to get in and get out of the shops as quickly as possible. 

I’ve enjoyed walking to work.  Besides the incident with the guy a few weeks ago, people are starting to accept me and ask me questions.  I start making a few friends on my way to work.  At first, most of the locals were slightly confused by a white girl roaming around the roads with a backpack on but now they are mostly happy to see me.  It’s not often an expat can be seen roaming the upper roads outside of a car.  But it gives me a chance to get to know people a bit better and for them to get to know me as well.

Jane, a good friend of a good friend from Wellington, has come to stay in Honiara.  She is a lovely lady and I start by giving her some advice and showing her the ropes (a bit) regarding the place.  We go on our first mission for kaliko shopping (second hand clothes shopping) and it goes down well.  Jane knows her fashion stuff and I appreciate her taste.  It’s always good to have another friend in Honiara.

Annabel, a wantok blo mi (a yankee like me), invites me and the Greek Doctor up to Visale for some much needed time away from the big dusty H.  Visale is a beautiful small bay, near, you guessed, a nunnery.  That’s right, the whole place rings of tranquility as little ladies covered in blue dresses, red sashes and white habits sneak in and out quietly in the afternoon.  The water is warm and fish hang out close to the shore.  Because of the early morning rains, no one else has bothered to make the trip up to Visale.

We spend some much needed time in the water, gossiping and girlifying in the sun and surf.  Only the occasional movement of a wayward chicken or the small, slight footsteps of a nun intrudes on our own private paradise.

And that’s what Visale is: paradise.  There is a bit of a break about 5 metres offshore to the right side of the inlet, but there is nothing to bother the almost lake like quality of the bay.  The sun glints off of the water and we cackle like a pack of witches.  All and all, a good day.

James comes for a visit and takes us out to Bonege for some snorkeling.  I stay on the beach; I’m sick, despite the fact that I refuse to admit that I am sick.  So I sit with my large, Scarlett O’haraesque sun hat watching people play in the water. 

It gives me time to think of the people in Christchurch, who are still knee deep in crap.  I feel guilty that I get to sun myself whilst my friends and colleagues have to work hard and then return to damaged homes and pissed off communities.  I miss them and think of them often and wonder when I will see them again after my self imposed exile.

Anyway, this week was also about queuing things up for May.  In May I will be:
Doing my PADI course (finally).
·         Going to Temotu and the Reef Islands (woot!)
·         Going to the Spear Festival in Makira (double woot woot!)
The month of May is looking like quite the busy one. Tessa, the Greek Doctor and myself have finally had the guts to put everything down on a calendar, the Casa Turchese social calendar and quickly realize that the first two weeks of May are completely booked up.

Let the May Madness begin…