Friday, July 08, 2011

Starting to feel at home

The first week here I was feeling very overwhelmed and very tired. I hadn't realized how hard I had been pushing myself until I got here and had nothing to do.  I did a lot of sleeping and lounging about the house and the beach. I felt really spacey and had a hard time making decisions. I often caught myself staring blankly out at the waves, at the mountains or at my feet.

Dave and the kids were pretty patient with me though the kids too were feeling off kilter, so I guess I should say that Dave was pretty patient with all of us. He said that he too felt like it was all very surreal for the first few weeks.  Surreal is exactly what I feel.  Like I'm in the twilight zone. Could this really be my new home?

I fall asleep every night to the sound of the waves, the wind and the neighbor playing Tahitian music.  I wake up every morning to the sound of the waves and the wind, the cock-a-doodle-dooing of wild roosters ("Jungle Fowl") and my other neighbor practicing his bongos. We are stacked in pretty tight here with 8 houses and a church all within a stones throw of the front porch. We hear a lot of everyone's business all day long.

During the day I am beginning to venture a bit beyond my bed and the beach.  I have gone to the grocery store a few times on my own.  We have visited the kids schools, gone to the doctor to get our TB tests for school admission and we found the public library.  Our first books to be checked out were some comic books, a book on gardening in Hawaii and four field guides for identification of reef fish, birds and plants.  I discovered that the tree I identified the other day on my pictures post was not a Mango tree but a Papaya tree.

I also made a stop the other day at the Laie Country Store and Egg Outlet.  The sign outside read "Cackle Fresh".  I had to try them. While waiting for my turn in line to order my tray of eggs I browsed through the tiny selection of fresh local produce.  It was all very interesting stuff none of which I had ever had before. I picked up a bunch of Indian apple-bananas and then asked the sales lady how to choose a good Papaya.  "Get a yellowish one", she said. "But don't squeeze it, it will ruin it".  I followed her directions and submitted my order for eggs.

When she brought the tray and rung up my order I asked where the egg farm was located (it was obviously not on the property).  She said "the mainland".  The Mainland?! How could you call it a cackle fresh egg outlet if all the eggs were coming from the mainland?  I just said "Oh."  Later I compared the price I paid for eggs to the local store prices and was satisfied that though they weren't truly "fresh" the eggs I had purchased were much cheaper.  At least "egg outlet" had been accurate.

Also accurate was the woman's direction for enjoying a fresh papaya.  I let it sit for a day to ripen a bit more--still a little green--sliced it in half and scooped out all the seeds (they look like frog eggs). I sliced it right through the skin dividing it in sections as I would a cantaloupe and then eating it like a cantaloupe, discarding the peel.  The taste is more bland and floral than any other fruit I've had here; not very sweet.  My neighbor suggested that next time I serve it cold with a squeeze of lime juice over the top.  I don't have lime juice right now but this morning I ate the rest of the papaya cold with some slices of fresh pineapple.  That was very good.

Today I will venture a little further than I have previously on my own. The kids and I are going to stop in at the BYU-Hawaii farmers market and then head up to the medical clinic in Kahuku to get our TB results read and then we'll continue around the North shore and circle back into Mililani town.  Heath has to get a chest x-ray (he tested positive for TB as a Kindergartner so we have to do this once every 5 years or so) and then we will stop in at Costco, Wal-Mart and Target to stock up on the things I forgot to get last time we were in town.

I spent quite a bit of time last night studying the maps and figuring out how to get there.  Dave reminded me that we have a GPS and that it's an island--I can't get too lost. The drive into town will take about 45 minutes so I suppose with my stops and shopping included this will be an all day event.  I feel a little overwhelmed but I suppose I must get back to real life sometime, might as well be today.

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