Tuesday, November 18

After several rainy mornings and the lack of canoe, we finally got our trip to take Edi diving for shellfish yesterday morning.  God gave us the perfect weather, a little bit cloudy, a light breeze, and low tide.
Edi holding starfish
Sunday night, Ruthie (our diving guide) came over to say that her sister's big canoe wasn't going to be available and that we needed to take a fiberglass canoe so we would all fit.  I was sorely disappointed, but God worked out everything, and when I went down yesterday morning to see if the sprinkles were going to delay our trip again, Ruthie said that we COULD take her sister canoe.  Yipee!
(Jayli peeking over the canoe)
Jayli peeking over canoe
So, we loaded up a canoe full of girls, Ruthie, her niece, Jayli (one of Olivia's good friends), Edi, Sarah, Olivia, Josa, and me, and began to paddle out to the beautiful place where we find a bounty of God's creation of kalimeta.
Joanna & Olivia by canoe
I never get tired of how beautiful the Russell Islands are.  We swam around, scanning the sandy bottom of the ocean for the little critters we were hoping to eat for lunch, but they were hiding or had changed addresses.  Finally, when I was about ready to call it quits, Ruthie shouted, "Kalimeta vutia!" to let us know that she found their new home!
Katherine holding lunchWe loaded up a couple of flour sacks with kalimeta, Josa added some clam shells (suta) and another critter or two, and we paddled back to Marulaon.  Paddling back home is always a little harder after you've been fighting the current and diving down in water over your head for several hours.
Girls cleaning shellfish
Ruthie and Katherine helped clean the clam shells, and we divided the kalimeta between the three households represented in our diving crew.  I think Edi was a little bit grossed out by the slimy, black contents in the clam shells.
suta
But she was a really good sport and ate them for lunch when I cooked them up with some green papaya.Edi & Joanna holding suta
After lunch, we worked on preparing the kalimeta.  They are much more labor intensive.  First you boil the shells to kill the critters and to wash off the sand and grime. 
Aaron grabbing a kalimeta
Then, you pull each little critter out of the shell and clean off the parts you don't want to eat.
Katherine pulling out kalimeta
Finally, you rinse them off again and cook them up in some fresh coconut milk with curry and salt.
group showing off kalimeta
And when God gives you plenty to eat, you always share with your neighbors, so I took a small bowl over to my friend, Ofoaen.  On the way back, I got into a great discussion with a pregnant mama and another friend who has six children.  We discussed how God gives our children personalities while they are still in the womb and what a gift those children are to us!

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