Wednesday, May 5
Once again, we enjoyed a marvelous market. Our neighbors even brought some lelenga (cassava pudding) and fish. I finally got the name of that yellowy leaf that is supposed to be so good for new mamas. It is the same one that my friend, Jenny, knows from Makira. Called "geke" in Makira, it's "lelevio" in Lavukaleve. The ladies laughed at me because of all my questions about this leaf and its properties! I made a big pot of soup with the ingredients I bought at market, and we had plenty to share with one of the widows in our village.
After school, Sarah went with some friends to gather kimita, a long slender reed with thorns on its edges. These reeds are used in weaving sleeping mats, and both Sarah and I have wanted to make one for a long time. They grow in rough places with lots of bugs, and my friends have always told me I couldn't come along. After a couple of hours, the girls had collected enough (six parcels, according to Sarah) kimita for one mat. They spent the next four hours laboriously taking the thorns off each reed.
I watched the girls wrap a piece of fishing line around their thumb and first fingers and, starting at the base of the reed, slowly peel off the edge with the thorns. When Sarah finally got home, she placed the kimita under the house in preparation for sunning them tomorrow. They have to bleach and dry in the sun for a few days before they can be woven. I'm so proud of my Sarah!