From February 24
We made a big tray of lelenga/cassava pudding yesterday, and Naris brought several fish that her husband, Dawa, caught using Aaron's spear on Wednesday's overnight fishing party, so we have plenty of food to bring for today's celebration. Last night's festivities went until midnight, and our morning began early with the multiple bells waking everybody up for the communion service. The church was full with lots of visitors.
After the service, Aaron took down banana cake for the Big Men's breakfast, and the kids and I got the lelenga and fish ready to share with the community. When Aaron came back up, he was accompanied by several men, and they quickly did a little dance practice under the house. Aaron had been trying to get the guys to teach him to dance, but the timing had never worked out. So, just before the festivities were to begin, they practiced a couple of dances to represent the Marulaon men.
I saw one of Katherine's friends, Gloria, looking really sad, so I asked her what was wrong. She had a fever and a really bad tooth ache, so I went back to the house to get some liquid ibuprofen for her. She let me pray with her after she took the medicine. Her mom and dad had gone to Honiara because her mom's dad had just recently died. Eta was taking care of the little girl, so I gave Eta the ibuprofen bottle which had enough for only two more doses in it, along with the measuring spoon and instructions.
Our new District Priest was just ordained last week at Mane. His wife and young child stayed back in Mane today, so I went to ask my faithful friend, Kiko, if it would be appropriate to send some food back to her. Often, the priests aren't paid on time, and their travel expenses come out of their own pocket. Kiko was down with her sisters drinking tea, and she said it was very appropriate to send food back. The community would send fish and lelenga back with the priest, as well. She promised to come up later later and help me select to food to send.
The Marulaon ladies had parceled out the food to different tables, one table for each visiting village, and two for the important guests. Our family got to eat at one of the honored tables, and we had the head of my favorite kind of fish, Betea (I have no idea what the English name for this fish is), waiting for us. I enjoyed getting to meet some of the leaders from around our church district that Aaron had already met at other gatherings around the Russells. Then the dancing began. The Marulaon men were first, and Aaron did a great job dancing. Their group had everybody laughing as they parodied scraping coconut in one of their dances.
Karumulun, the village across the bay, is well known for it's custom dancing. They always do such a great job, and they didn't disappoint today. Our family enjoyed sitting in the shade and visiting with our neighbors while we watched the dancing.
When the dancing and speeches were over, Kiko came by to help me pick some slippery cabbage and a pumpkin to send back with the District Priest. The sun was sinking by the time we finished.