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Published: August 5th 2009
Early Friday morning we left Honiara for Avi-Avi Marina about 24 mile away on Ngelic Island. We arrived at 11.00am picking a mooring outside the Pamler’s house (friends of Brian). The boat was situated so that the dinghy could be used to go backwards and forwards to the house by a pulley system. The Palmer family is affluent by the standards of outer islands Solomon people. They have electricity for about 14hrs a day. The Marian has a generator producing electricity which they are able to tap into. Brian hooked us up to shore power and he was able to do the welding required on the jobs he needed to get done for the boat. The Pamler family have five children from 11 to 1 years old and grandparents living in what seems a small house by our standards but huge by Solomon islander’s. The grandfather - Brian’s friend David is in the late stages of euphemism so basically bed ridden and looked after at home. They all seem to get along well. The children play well together and are given chores which they seem to do willingly. They live a simple live which is refreshing to see. The kids are
Tasted delicious but hard work getting to the meat - this is after we steamed it!!
fit healthy and outside playing suing there imagination. For example there is a slope of wood slates from the outside veranda to the dock. One of the boys was using another piece of wood to slide down it.
The kids know Brian well and by the end of the after noon were managing to how to get on the boat by pulling the dinghy hopping on and pulling on another rope to get to the boat. They are so agile - even the 3year old managed with the aid of her sister to get on the boat. On Saturday I asked if they had a canoe that I could use. One appeared and we all had a good laugh while I worked out how to sit in it and keep my balance. It took a few goes - we have videos of me falling out of the canoe. These canoes are basically just tree trunks hollowed - very difficult to keep ones balance. Charlie the eldest told me to sit on the bottom - which I did and it worked. I had a great time canoeing wit Madu - 8 year girl who was full of character. Madu could canoe as well if not stronger than I could - amazing!!! Brian took his DVD player ashore so they could watch movies from his extensive collection - over 400 DVD!! The kids loved it.
Shortly after we arrived Henry a man from another village came along side in his canoe to ask Brian for some old Batteries. Carl asked him if there were any mud crabs here. He said he could get some for us. On Monday night he appeared with 5 mud crabs for approx $2.5 US each. Carl and I spent Tuesday steaming them not and easy task but we managed and Tuesday night we had cold mud crab for dinner. It tasted delicious but for me having cooked them all day and had the tips of my finger picked often it was a lot of hard work for the meat. However it was a great experience - not to be missed.
Brian got on and did his jobs and Carl and I helped out when needed. To begin with, I was a bit reluctant to do too much swimming away from the boat as there are supposed to be crocodiles in the area. However Carl was not deterred - he went off and snorkeled for hours on end. I eventually after seeing it was safe ventured into the water. We did a dive on Monday afternoon and my teeth were fine. My left ear may have a slight infection which I am dealing with. So the good news is that I should be able to dive during the next few weeks.
The past few days have been a wonderful insight to how the Solomon Islanders live a simple yet extremely happy life. We are headed back to Honiara where we pick up Michael one of the guest for the charter - The other people arrive on Sunday so we have a few days to provision the boat. I will make sure we have loads of pineapple onboard - it was so sweet. We will be gone for about 12 days to the other islands diving for shells. I have a great start to a shell collection.
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