Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Grocery Order

Imagine sitting down and working out a grocery order for three months. I'm having trouble getting my head around it. The dry goods are one part. Then you need to think about frozen items which don't travel well. The peas in our freezer taste like they have been thawed and refrozen a few times on the way here. Dairy items are OK if they are reasonably solid, but once they are here I have to think where I can store them as I only have a small fridge area. So the cheese and butter go into the deep freezer. So does the bread which has been in the freezers on the ship. The time it takes from leaving the ship until it gets into our deep freeze is probably one and a half hours, so it is thawed and then refrozen.

We can also order fresh produce. This time I am going to order red cabbage and pumpkin, onions and potatoes and carrots. These all have a reasonable shelf life, but probably won't last for three months.

Apart from groceries there are hardware items and chemist shop items which I'll have to ask family members to shop for. It is surprising what Countdown can supply.

It is a privilege that we have this service of a supply ship and I am thankful.

Friday, March 16, 2012

National Geographic Expedition Visits Pitcairn Island

National Geographic Expedition Visits Pitcairn Island

Between 15th – 19th March the island is hosting the thirteen members of the National Geographic team.  The expedition leader is Enric Sala from Spain and his team consists of eleven men and two women.  From Pitcairn, the team will travel to the other islands in the Pitcairn group – Ducie, Oeno and Henderson, spending four days at each island.  The overall purpose of their expedition is to survey and describe the bio-diversity of the waters surrounding these four islands.  Under the sea they will note and count species of fish.  In addition to the survey of the marine life, land based Mike Fay, will explore the land to view and photograph birds, plants, corals and algae.  He will also study how successful the rat eradication programme on Henderson Island has been. 

Andrew Randall from Pitcairn Island will accompany the National Geographic team, so we hope to hear more from him once the trip has finished.

The outcome of all this will be a TV documentary that will be shown later in the year.  We look forward to this.  In the meantime if you want a taste of what is to come you can follow the adventures of the National Geographic team on their blog site.  One of the team members updates it approximately every three days.  The reference is

A Nasty Taste in my Mouth

We share our home with a myriad of insects.  They in turn, are food for the geckoes and lizards which are everywhere. Further up the food chain are the birds. Nobody goes hungry here.

Yesterday I slipped on my gardening gloves and was working away when I kept noticing a tickling feeling inside one glove finger.  I pulled them off to inspect and found a large cockroach!

Even worse than that was an incident in the afternoon when I was taking the class for music recorder lessons.  An earwig emerged up through the mouth piece into my mouth!  The kids thought it was pretty funny when I flung the recorder away from me with a shriek.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Unhappy seedlings

I dug up the 'lawn' to create a vegetable garden.  I scrounged for rotted sawdust, sand, ashes, seaweed and other compost material and dug them into the soil.  Then I planted out the seeds.  I could not believe how fast they grew.
BUT I had not counted on the torrential rain that washed my little seedlings out. However, as they say... "Failure is just the stepping stone to success".  On went my thinking hat and out of the dark damp shed I emerged with a box of old glass louver windows.  In went more seeds and then I made little 'A' frame cloches with the glass as a canopy over the seeds.  Maybe this time I might have more success.
In the meantime I'm swapping vegetables for baking with Carol Warren, Pitcairn's gardening genius.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pitcairn Church

Pitcairn Church

Aerial view of Seventh Day Adventist Church

Pastor Ray Codling's last Sabbath

Here on Pitcairn we have a lovely historical church building. The title above the door says Seventh Day Adventist. However, the reality is that people from different denominations and walks of life attend this church and it has more of an inter-denominational flavour. For the past six years Pastor Ray Codling and his wife Ann have pastored this church. It hasn't been an easy time to pastor this church and the congregation has dwindled due to a number of reasons. The Seventh Day Adventist church has recalled Ray from his position. Last Saturday was the last Sabbath day for Ray and Ann. Later that day, they boarded the Claymore II (supply ship) and departed for New Zealand. That leaves the church in a new position without a paid pastor.

Having a personal faith in God and trusting Him to help us with our daily living has always been an important part of life for Paul and I. The fact that the church has no pastor does not make us feel insecure. In fact we feel that it could be a time for a fresh new start in the church. There are plenty of people here that can take an active role. Paul is more than happy to preach and teach, plus he has experience in church leadership.. He has done so in the past in other situations. The school teaching job is here is just for one teacher and yet there are two of us both trained and working at the school. Taking a 50% school teaching role each, leaves us with spare time to help out with the church.

The people of this island have been through a great deal of anguish in the past ten years with plenty of negative media attention. It is a perfect time to make a positive new beginning and the church is one place that can help to bring healing and reconciliation.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lucky Rooster

Pitcairn Chickens
If you want to be assured of an egg supply on Pitcairn you need to keep some chickens.  You can order 4 dozen eggs to arrive on the supply ship but after 3 months you may find that they are not as fresh as you would like.
There is an art to keeping healthy chickens here and it is quite unlike poultry raising in New Zealand.  Firstly you go into the jungle and find some nice coconuts and some ripe bananas. Then using the large axe you break the coconuts open. You need to be careful doing this as they tend to roll around when you strike them. Don’t do it on your back door step as the juice inside the coconuts will run out all over the show and attract heaps of ants. I learnt the hard way.
Get your large lidded bucket of scraps from the kitchen.  You will find that you have a full one most days.  In it will be the skin of pawpaw, breadfruit scraps, passionfruit casings, banana peels and numerous other fruit and vegetable scraps. You will not find apple cores, pineapple skins or orange peel in it as they are not readily available here.
Add one cup of Peck’nLay Pellets from the 25kg sack that you ordered from New Zealand at a cost of over $50.  Tuck the sack down tight so the rats cannot get in.
When you get to the hen run, check to see if there are any large soldier crabs lurking in the corners of the run waiting to steal the food.  If there are, whack them with the axe too so the chickens can eat them. Scatter the ripe open bananas, the coconuts and food scraps in the run. Collect the eggs and top up the water.
Observe the rooster strutting around his little kingdom and wonder once again whether the early morning crowing is worth the contented happy little flock or whether a good casserole might be a better option.  Leave the decision for another day.