Sunday, April 19, 2009

Holy Guacamole!

Tons of avocados right now, and plenty of limes. What does that mean? A big ol' bowl of guacamole. And yes, you can have to much guacamole...

Fun things this week:

Gina and Mat visited the farm. They camped out here and we made a fire and roasted marshmallows and made S'mores. Then they took Em and I to the beach the next day.

Saturday morning, we went to the Ho'okena beach with Yuko, from Japan, and her friend. It was finally sunny and warm down at the beach and I can't tell you how good the sun felt. Yuko's friend (I can't remember her name) took us out snorkeling and it was so fun. She would dive down and bring up sea cucumbers and sea urchins for us to see. I tried going under the water for the first time and i felt like a mermaid. When we got out, Yuko's friend and Jon had gotten sea urchins and said we were going to eat them! So she just cut them in half and all of this water shoots out and inside it's basically hollow with some orange egg looking things and that's what we ate. I was so reluctant to try it. It was maybe the strangest thing i've ever eaten. It wasn't bad, though. The color and texture were hard to get past, but it tasted alright. Em tried it too.

When we were sitting at the beach, a local hawaiian came to us and asked us to take our stuff off of this rock that was beside us because it was an ancient sacred shark rock. When we looked closely, we saw it was carved and looked kind of like a shark. She said that if you disrespect the shark rock, sharks will be attracted to you. Yikes! Obviously we removed our stuff.

Yuko has been teaching us all about the Japanese culture and cuisine. She made us sushi with big hunks of raw tuna that were really delicious. She made some with egg on them and some with avocado. Then she made tempura--battered and fried beans, squash, and bananas! Yummy yummy. Much easier to eat than sea urchin.

Bye ya'll,

Monday, April 13, 2009

easter eggs and rice

Happy Easter, everybody!

I'll start with good Friday: it rained all day. Very appropriate I guess because it's supposed to be a solemn day. We couldn't plant because the soil was too wet, so we just seeded the trays and ken let us watch movies. Just so you know, Purple Rain is a very weird movie.

Saturday when we woke up, it was so nice and sunny, so we thought, let's go to the beach. By the time we got to the beach, the sky was solid clouds and it was so chilly. We left pretty soon after that and hitched into town. I was really craving a hamburger, so we found a place that served them. Man, what a bad hamburger. It was one of those premade frozen patties and made me feel bad the rest of the day. Em got one too and it did the same to her. We should have expected that since it was a mexican restaurant. When we got back to the farm, we got ready to go volunteer at a benefit dinner for a family who lost their husband/dad. The food there was so yum, but unfortunately, I was still feeling funky from the hamburger so couldn't enjoy it to it's fullest. They had a live band and we danced a bit in the mucky, rain-soaked grass.

Easter was great. It didn't rain until the evening. Em and I made banana pancakes with bananas foster for breakfast. Holy moly, bananas foster is good. And since we didn't have an easter basket full of candy, we had to get our sugar somehow. We rode bikes to church and that little church was crowded so we had to sit outside. At church, a woman named Margie invited us to her house for Easter dinner. It was so nice! It reminded me of Easter with my family, a big family with lots of kids running around, dying easter eggs and having an egg hunt, eating lots of food and desserts and easter candy. Margie warned us about the kids and the chaos before we went in the house and Em and told her we were used to it and chuckled. If she only knew. The only thing much different was they had rice and soy sauce with their meal...oh, and no collards.

Hope everyone had a blessed Easter.
Love, Coriena

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

big guns

I think the farm work has finally caught up with me, or else i've reached a plateau. We've been here for almost 2 months now (which is crazy) and my body has all of a sudden decided to act a fool--creaky knees being the main thing. I shouldn't be surprised when I squat at least 10 hours a week. A good thing is that i have gotten my farm guns back. That's what hours of hoeing, lifting lettuce trays and baskets, moving bags of potting soil, chopping coconuts, digging holes, and machete-ing coffee trees does to you. Oooh, they're growin' now! And boy do I have some gnarly, dirt stained, dirt-under-the-fingernails farm hands.

Today i was making something and I thought, a lime would be good in this. So I looked in the fridge, but there was no lime. So I walked across the yard to the lime tree and picked a beautiful green lime. I mean, how awesome is that?

Sunday, the farm took a trip to Makalawena (pronounced mah kah lah VAY nuh). It is a beautiful white sand beach about a half-hour north of here. It was right before Pat had to go to the airport, and we had a good time swimming, snorkling, throwing the friz, and laying in the sun. To get there, you had to walk about a mile down this super rough lava path. After the beach, Ken let us take the van and hang out in Kona before we had to take Pat to the airport. We went to the kava bar, and asked this man to take a picture of us, but then he started taking a video of us with his own camera and said he was going to put it on youtube. So, here it is, the most stupid and boring video on youtube: So strange.

Em and I are working one or two days a week at the aftercare program at the school. It is quite exhausting, especially after a hard morning of lettuce farming, but also fun. We're slowly learning all of the kids names (a lot of them are unique and/or hawaiian, for example, Kainua, Nuara, Halia) and feeling more comfortable. We have good stories to share when we get home. Here is a song we sing before we eat snack. It's a hawaiian blessing song (each line is echoed).
E ke akua
Mahalo no
Mahalo ia 'oe
No keia 'ai
I can't really find a good translation.

Oh, and one more thing. I booked my flight hooooome! I'll be leaving Honolulu June 10 and going to Phoenix the June 11-16 and then flying home to VA on the 16th. Party in Phoenix!

Woo woo,

Thursday, April 2, 2009

coco loco

Hey hey,

We're still loving life on the Kona coast. In the next weeks, 3 apprentices are leaving, including our dear friend Pat. Barry, one of the farm owners, is also on vaca with his family for 3 weeks, so if we don't get any other apprentices, we'll be way down on numbers.

I've been working on buying my plane ticket back to the mainland and i'm planning for a stop in Oahu to see Gina and a stop in Phoenix which I am so excited about!!! Then it's back to VA to do I-don't-know-what except to see my family for a bit. Hey, if you have any ideas on what I should do next, please let me know.

Em and I eat a lot of fresh veggies and fruit, but our other staples that we fly through are bread, peanut butter, plain yogurt, and milk. Peanut butter and jellies have made a comeback and I've really enjoyed eating them. Other common grocery purchases are eggs, chocolate chips, rice, soy sauce, and cheese. We've become creative with our meals.

For Pat's last night, we played Apples to Apples, ate a chocolate cake with peanut butter icing that Emily and I made, and listened to a lot of reggae music--Pat's fave.

So let me tell you about Kona coffee. It's really good. It is also very strong. When I drink the coffee here, I have this urge to clean (and luckly there's always something to clean with 5 boys around). So there's a little hint: invite me over and give me Kona coffee and I may just clean your entire house.

Today Em and I rode the bus into Kona. Two very unfortunate things happened: the buses were very unreliable, and 2 bus drivers were mean to me. They just talked to me in a mean tone and it hurt my feelings. Maybe they're not paid well. I dunno. But i maybe won't be taking the bus for a while. In Kona, we tried to print pictures, but the digital picture machine wouldn't read our cards. Then we tried to find Cadbury Mini Eggs easter candy, and they didn't have bags of them, only very small packages. I mean, come on!

Goodnight and Happy Palm Sunday!