Wednesday, September 7

Wednesday morning, we woke up early and began preparing for the Kosko's arrival.  We heard from a SITAG friend that the ship's radio wasn't working, so we didn't know if they would report in at the scheduled times for all ships.  We scheduled a radio sked with SITAG for 9 a.m.  If we didn't come up on the radio, then SITAG would know we were on the ship. 

We were ready by about 7 a.m., and thankfully, just after 9:00, Kosko was able to somehow report that it expected to arrive in Marulaon around 12:30 p.m.  This gave us several hours to visit with our friends and walk around the village - one of my favorite things to do!  I started walking towards the point and found Katherine and Mary playing by the water's edge.  They were banging nuts on the coral.

A few yards down the beach, I found my friend, Sylvester (yep, it took me a long time to match her name with her face).  She was rinsing off shark meat and planned to make a stew with it.

Next, I went over to Grace Delight and Kiko's kitchen.  They were finishing up a batch of lisa, the lime that goes with betelnut.   Last week, they went over to a small island near Marulaon and harvested live coral (I asked to go, but they wouldn't take me).  Then, they burned it and left it covered up for a week.  Finally, they took the white powder that remains and sifted it well.  Lisa stores up to a year in an airtight container.  According to Kiko, you know it's a good batch of lisa if your mouth turns bright red and burns when you chew your betelnut!

I visited with several other friends and received requests to buy material and yarn in Honiara so my friends can make food covers.  Then, I returned to our pile of boxes on the beach to find Sarah high in a tree admiring the gorgeous orchids.  She borrowed the camera to take this picture.

And Benjamin found his own perch to await the Kosko.

Finally, around 12:20, we heard the first shouts of "Koooskoooo!" and watched the green ship pull around the corner of the island.

We had already lined up a motor canoe to take us and all of our boxes out to the canoe, so we were surprised to see it head off with a different passenger before it came to pick up Aaron and our cargo.  But the canoe finally came back to pick up the rest of us, and we waved goodbye to Marulaon as we bounced over the waves.  Thankfully, the Kosko waited for us, and God gave us great weather and calm seas.

The kids scrambled up, then I passed Katherine up the ladder to Aaron.  We have never boarded the Kosko from a motor canoe before, and I have now added climbing up a narrow ladder in a skirt to my repertoire of activities.

Passengers had already been traveling on the boat since the day before, yet several of them were gracious enough to scoot over and make room for our family.  The girls pulled out their books, and Benjamin grabbed a deck of Phase 10 cards.

Always vivacious, he taught several new friends how to play the game and kept them occupied for a couple of hours.  We finally arrived in Honiara about 8:30.  Naomi really wasn't doing well, so some friends helped carry her to a SITAG car and took her back to the house with Katherine and Olivia while the rest of us carried boxes and waited for Aaron to pay for the shipping charges.  Finally, we arrived in yet another SITAG house to lots of hugs and some pizza being kept warm.  We couldn't have asked for a better trip!


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