Never a dull moment here in Rote… Our week started in church on Sunday with the usual auction at the end of the service. Up until this point we have seen pumpkins, rice, mung beans, papayas and the like being bidded for but this week, after the usual fruit and veg being bought up, we discovered what the disruptions during the service had been due to… live chickens! Anyone bought a live chicken in church before? We were tempted, as it has been a reeaally long time since we’ve had a treat like that, but the thought of killing it, plucking and cleaning it was just a bit too much for me at this point. I guess I’m not hungry enough yet… Close though!
Things are slowly getting easier here on the land, we now have a table in our little ‘multi purpose area’ with our kerosene stove and even a light which has changed our world!! We have a small generator up and running which means that we are not racing the sun to get dinner prepared before dark each night and we can also charge our phones and laptops… Life changing to say the least! Sally was moved to tears this week when Paul managed to find a blender for her at the weekly Tuesday markets which means smoothies for breakfast!! Pure luxury…
Our Bahasa Indonesia is definately improving as, mostly, there is no other way to communicate. We have met a beautiful lady that has already started to become part of the family… She had been bringing us gifts of papaya and sweet potato and then invited us up to her garden which was amazing! On the way back we stopped in at her ‘Mama’s’ house where all the ladies were preparing the evening meal together..Seriously, us westerners have SO much we can learn from a people and culture that value community and family like they do!
The next day Sally & I went back up for our first Bahasa Delha lesson, which is the local dialect spoken here. We had a ratio of 22 teachers to 2 sudents in a small dark concrete floor room… Talk about cultural immersion! Noah had a blast, drinking VERY sweet black coffee (even the children drink it here) and fried balls of dough which tasted very much like a donut. He was happy! There are at least 13 different dialects just on this small island of Rote and Bahasa Delha is what is spoken here and in the surrounding villages within about 15 km’s. Travel to Ba’a, the main town, and the language is different again. The locals,especially the elderly, get such a kick when we speak to them in their own dialect. We are absolutely loving it! Since then, if Delphiana is not down here with us we are up there with her and her family learning the language. Our communication link is actually Indonesion which forces us to be learning and speaking it constantly. One day Delphiana asked if we liked ‘Babi’ (Pig) and of course, we all said yes, next thing she brought down a very scary looking jaw bone (we thought we were going to end up eating teeth) which she proceeded to cut and fry up for us. Well, it tasted just like bacon, suprise suprise… We all enjoyed it (some more than others) fur and all!! So, scrambled eggs with hairy pig for breakfast the next morning. Yum!!
With the help of Delphiana and her family (actually more like we helped them) we now also have a MASSIVE garden including 2 banana trees, 13 Papaya seedlings and 10 chilli plants, all contained inside a 5ft high rock wall (to keep the goats out!) We brought with us tomato, beans, snow peas, basil, cucumber and some other seeds which we can’t wait to plant in there as well.
We are all healthy and well other than some scratches and things that are taking extra long to heal and a close call with our drinking water this week. We usually just use the well water for washing and, after purifying in the sun for 8 hours, for cooking & washing up. (we buy our drinking water in 5 gallon bottles) There was some confusion this week as, after noticing things floating around in our 5 gallon drinking water drum, I went to the well to fill our other drum to leave in the sun to purify and it wasn’t there!! It took a little while for it to ‘click’ that somehow the we had been using the well water to drink from! Yes, well our homeopathics are coming in handy anyaway!!
For kicks this week we watched a live gecko fight on our new kitchen roof. Quite distubing when you are serving up dinner right below it!! The smaller gecko was no match and ended up as mince meat…. Also had my first attempt at riding a motor bike in the paddock next door, apparently you don’t need your feet to propel yourself (the bike does have an engine) Matt said I looked like a ‘Flinstone’!! (I have got better since!) More on our adventures next week. Nat, Matt, Jayden, Molly, Grace, Noah, Sal & Paul.